It's easy to mistake the primary benefit of the Fellowship as the tuition and stipend it provides. I would not have been able to attend graduate school without it, so I went into the Fellowship program simply grateful for the support. I quickly realized that the actual Fellowship experience was comprised of much more than just resources. The best part about my two years as a Fellow was my cohort, who continuously blew me away with their work ethic, intelligence, resilience, and humility. I only wish we could have spent more time together outside of the annual conferences. I learned so much from their example and I strive to be better because I know them.
During our first gathering as a cohort, Fall Conference, the Fellowship kindly took us to see Hamilton on Broadway. This was in the early days of the musical's premiere, so we got extremely lucky that the foundation had the foresight to take us to a then-unknown work of art about immigration and the American Dream. During the musical, a character sings, "Immigrants, we get the job done!" And unanimously, my entire cohort erupted in whoops and hollers and clapping. It felt like we had been seen, and it reminded us why we were there. It was humbling.
If at first you don't succeed, try try again. It's important that some people reading this know that I didn't get the Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship the first time I applied. Never give up.
I just graduated with my MBA from MIT, and I'm going to keep working on the startup I've been doing throughout school. The problem we're trying to solve is that 80 percent of America is locked out of the solar market because they cannot install solar on their roof. Our Boston-based startup, Solstice, radically expands access to clean energy by providing community-shared solar power to American households. This model enables any resident to enjoy clean energy at no upfront cost and save money on their electric bill every year. We are wrapping up the Echoing Green Fellowship and we just concluded Techstars Boston, so it's an exciting turning point for the organization and I'm excited about what lies ahead.
I'm going to attend (and hopefully organize) gatherings in whatever city I'm in. If you're in Boston, holleratchagurl.