P.D. Soros Fellowship for New Americans

  • Dena Simmons and LiberatED colleague outdoors

It's Giving Tuesday!: Celebrating Nonprofits Created By Our Fellows

Jasmine Singh

In honor of Giving Tuesday, we are highlighting organizations founded and led by Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows. With their immense skillsets and desire to give back, it is no surprise that so many Fellows are involved in non-profits and tackling some of our nation and world's biggest problems through the philanthropic sector.

  • Dena Simmons Founder of LiberatED

Dena Simmons (2010 Fellow)

Organization & Role: LiberatED, Founder & Executive Director
Location Served: National
Years of Involvement: 1.5 years

"I love that, with my amazing team, I get to work with educators and students to support them in centering radical love, healing, and racial and social justice in education so that all children could live, learn, and thrive in the comfort of their own skin." - Dena Simmons

To donate to LiberatED, click here

  • Hikma Health logo and photo

Senan Ebrahim (2013 Fellow)

Organization & Role: Hikma Health, Board Chair
Location Served: Worldwide, currently serving refugee and migrant communities in Lebanon, Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Azerbaijan
Years of Involvement: 6 Years

"I am grateful to be working with tirelessly compassionate clinicians like Dr. Feras Alghadban, a Syrian refugee himself, who started taking care of his patients in refugee camps in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. I had the opportunity to work with him clinically, driving out to the camps and seeing patients together. It is amazing seeing how having Hikma Health on his Android phone has unlocked a new level of personalized care for his patients." - Senan Ebrahim

To donate to Hikma Health, click here

  • Andres Idarraga Transcending Through Education Foundation

Andres Idarraga (2009 Fellow)

Organization & Role: Transcending Through Education Foundation, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors
Location Served: Northeastern United States
Years of Involvement: 10 Years

"Out of the many amazing letters I have received from the folks TTEF supports as they pursue higher education in prison, one stands out.  The letter was from someone I was incarcerated with in a maximum security prison.  And the gist was, 'I was in a cell near you, and I saw what you did day in and day out to prepare for your second chance.  I don't think you did anything special - anything that is outside of my reach.  If you can do it, so can I." - Andres Idarraga

To donate to Transcending Through Education Foundation, click here

  • Giving Tuesday November 2022 Article Impact Experience Jenna Nicholas

Jenna Nicholas (2016 Fellow) 

Organization: Impact Experience
Location Served:  US & various other countries
Years of Involvement: 7 Years

“My favorite part of this work is working with inspiring people around unlocking capital into communities and people who are often overlooked and underestimated. Given the lack of capital into women and people of run companies, being able to work on equity issues across investments, education, healthcare, and the environment is deeply inspiring.” - Jenna Nicholas 

To donate to Impact Experience, click here.

  • Giving Tuesday November 2022 Article SYNGap Research Image

Mike Graglia (2001 Fellow)

Organization & Role: SynGAP Research Fund, Founder/ Managing Director
Location Served: 1/3 of diagnosed families are in the United States and we work with groups and researchers around the world
Years of Involvement: 5 Years

“SRF is accelerating development of therapies for my son's rare neurological disease, SYNGAP1.  I love my work because it helps Tony, the 1,000+ children diagnosed and the tens of thousands still to be diagnosed.  A disease like this forces the choice between hope and despair, by serving our families, I help them (and myself) choose hope.” – Mike Graglia

To donate to SynGAP Research Fund, please click here.

  • Giving Tuesday November 2022 Project Invent

Connie Liu (2020 Fellow)

Organization & Role: Project Invent, Founder
Location Served: United States
Years of Involvement: 4 Years

“I founded Project Invent in 2018, and it has since empowered hundreds of high school students to invent technologies for social good and see that their ideas can make a difference in the world. There is nothing more important than preparing our next generation to lead with creativity and compassion and seeing the students in our program invent impactful ideas gives me endless hope for the future.” – Connie Liu

To donate to Project Invent, please click here.

  • Giving Tuesday November 2022 National Sawdust

Paola Prestini (1999 Fellow)

Organization & Role: National Sawdust, Co-Founder and Artistic Director
Location Served: North Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and New York City
Years of Involvement: 7 Years

"At National Sawdust, we create intentional spaces for artists and audiences to initiate conversation, spark change, and ignite joy. Forming National Sawdust has been instrumental to my own work as a composer and artist, and I am constantly inspired by the imagination and creativity that emerge from inside our walls. The connection that our artists form with our audience members is unparalleled in such an intimate and acoustically driven setting, and I could not be more proud to act as Co-Founder and Artistic Director of this wonderful space for music creation." - Paola Prestini

To donate to National Sawdust, please click here.

  • Giving Tuesday Article November 2022 ars lyrica edit

Kinga Ferguson (2001 Fellow)

Organization & Role: Ars Lyrica Houston, Executive Director
Location Served: Houston Metropolitan Area
Years of Involvement: 16 Years

"For almost twenty years, Ars Lyrica Houston has been offering local and global audiences innovative programming on period instruments, ranging from small chamber concerts to fully-staged Baroque operas.  In that time, we’ve grown from a small startup to a mid-sized non-profit organization, with steady growth in historically-informed programs supported by a strong donor base that shares our passion for neglected gems and familiar masterworks of the 17th and 18th centuries. My favourite part is building relationships through the community so we can go beyond the concert hall and offer our carefully crafted, time-travel musical experiences in diverse public venues, including schools, parks, museums, and even airports." - Kinga Ferguson

To donate to Ars Lyrica Houston, please click here.

  • Dekow Sagar and ICRI Logo

Dekow Diriye Sagar (2012 Fellow)

Organization & Role: International Council for Refugees and Immigrants, Executive Director and Founder
Location Served: Omaha, Nebraska
Years of Involvement: 6 Years

"Traditionally, Nebraska has not been ethnically diverse but ethnic and cultural minorities have been arriving this state since 1980s as a part of US refugee resettlement program. Today, there are significant population of refugees and immigrants in the State of Nebraska. These demographic changes paved the way for more vibrant and richer communities but also brought its fair share of challenges. Nebraska is home to a significant number of refugees. Most have fled from civil war in their native countries and have experienced traumatic events during these civil wars and subsequent life in refugee camps. ICRI is here to provide culturally sensitive and linguistically appropriate services and serve underserved, underrepresented and marginalized population." - Dekow Diriye Sagar

To donate to Inernational Council for Refugeees and Immigrants, please click here.

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