P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Maria Vertkin, 2017

Founder and Executive Director, Found in Translation

Maria Vertkin is an immigrant from Russia

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MFA at University of Washington

Maria Vertkin is an immigrant from Russia and an MFA candidate in creative nonfiction at Washington University in St Louis. Her writing explores her Chavásh and Jewish lineage, migration, erasure, colonization, ancestral/transmitted treasures and traumas, and plurality of identity. She also enjoys writing fairytales for grownups! Prior to attending Washington University, Maria spent fifteen years in the nonprofit sector, including eleven as the founder and Executive Director of Found in Translation, a Boston-based nonprofit organization with the dual mission of creating economic mobility opportunities for multilingual immigrant women and reducing racial and linguistic disparities in healthcare. Maria is an Echoing Green Fellow, Vital Voices Fellow, Grinnell Prize winner, WeWork Creator Award recipient, and Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur. She holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Regis College.

  • Maria Vertkin GIF
  • BSW Social Work | Regis College 2011
  • MPH Public Health | Boston University
  • MFA | University of Washington
  • 2017 New Profit Women's Accelerator
  • 2016 Chronicle of Philanthropy 40 Under 40: Pioneers
  • 2015 Grinnell College Innovator for Social Justice Prize
  • 2015 Manhattan Institute Richard C. Cornuelle Social Entrepreneurship Award
  • 2013 Echoing Green Global Fellowship
  • 2011 Kip Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship
  • 2010 Pearson Prize National Fellowship
  • 2009 Superstars Foundation Veronica Award
  • Echoing Green Global Fellowship
  • 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30: Social Entrepreneurs
Work History
  • Found in Translation, Founder and Executive Director | September 2011 - PRESENT
  • Rediscovery, | January 2008 - June 2012
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