P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans


Norma Torres Mendoza, 2018

MBA, Rice University

Norma Torres Mendoza is an immigrant from Mexico

Fellowship awarded to support work towards an MBA at Rice University

Norma Torres Mendoza was born in Queretaro, Mexico to a single mother who held three jobs to support her family. Norma and her mother were literally and figuratively hungry for a better life, one with an actual opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty that they were destined to experience. This ultimately led them to immigrate to Houston in the back of an eighteen-wheeler looking for the American Dream.

Growing up undocumented, however, Norma questioned the American Dream as she saw her Latinx friends on different trajectories. Some did not finish high school and others saw their dreams banished in the juvenile system. This was the impetus that led Norma to work for change in her community. At age 19, she cofounded the Young Owls Leadership Program, a non-profit that has raised over $250,000 and helped over 400 students in the Houston-area become the first ones in their families to attend college. It was through this project that she discovered her love and passion to serve as a bridge of resources for non-profits through consulting work.

Norma has consulted for numerous non-profits, businesses, and governmental agencies on their vision, expansion strategy, fundraising tactics, and technology integrations. She also attended the Harvard Kennedy School and received a master’s in public policy. After business school she hopes to launch a non-profit consulting firm that will explore big questions about how to create transformative social change by providing interconnected social solutions that are nuanced in ways that cut across sector lines to expand the American Dream. 

  • MPP | Harvard University 2016
  • BA Political Science, Hispanic Studies | Rice University 2013
  • MBA | Rice University
Related Articles

The Opportunity You Shouldn't Pass Up: Apply

The 2025 application is open. Are you a New American who will be 30 or younger as of October 31, 2024, and who will be in graduate school full-time for the 2025-2026 academic year? Check out our eligibility requirements, learn about the Fellowships,...

Read More

The Summer Awaits: How Recent Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows Are Spending Their Summers

From trips to visit family around the world, to internships and research in and out of the lab, the 2018 and 2019 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows have a lot to look forward to this summer.

Read More

2018 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows Announced In The New York Times

Read More
transform="translate(188.000000, 15.000000)"