NationSwell is launching its first fellowship program, NS Fellows, sponsored by the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact. The NS Fellows program aims to provide the network, support, and knowledge to help young leaders level up their environmental and social impact. Over the course of ten months, the Fellows will work to refine an individual social impact project, connect with established leaders in their field, build upon their expertise of environmental and social issues, and co-design the program in its inaugural year.  

We are proud to announce the seven young leaders who were chosen as Fellows in the first year of the NS Fellows program: Uma Agrawal, Thea Gay, Sophia Kianni, Saadhvi Mamidi, Sarah Miller, Sydney Claire Neel, & Safiyah Zaidi. These young leaders stood out with their immense passion for their environmental and social issue areas of focus, demonstration of leadership in the field, and focus on the importance of intersectionality. As social impact trailblazers, they work on a range of issue areas including climate justice, healthcare access, disability rights in the workplace, racial justice, & more. We can’t wait to see what these Fellows will achieve over the next ten months! Meet our inspiring Fellows:

Uma Agrawal

Health and Design Coordinator from California, working to create equitable healthcare pathways through innovative systemic change for underserved communities

She is driven to find ways to make healthcare equitable and accessible and is currently helping build a “digital front door” with physicians, technology partners, and business leaders, that takes into account the diverse needs of underrepresented communities. With her passion for finding systemic solutions, she will capitalize on the network and tools of the program to design healthcare systems interventions that work to connect with the communities they serve.

Thea Gay

Recent college graduate from Florida, bridging the gap between climate justice and diversity, equity, & inclusion

She is laying the foundation for the next generation of advocates and focuses on intersectionality and greater representation of marginalized communities in social impact efforts. She will use the Fellowship to find creative solutions that tackle the compounding effects of colonization, racism, the patriarchy, and other oppressive systems, particularly when it comes to how climate change disproportionately affects historically marginalized groups.

Sophia Kianni

College student from Washington D.C., making climate change education globally accessible

She is the founder of Climate Cardinals, a youth-led nonprofit, which has translated over 50,000 words of climate information into 100 languages and serves as aUnited Nations Climate Advisor. She will be utilizing the NS Fellows program as a platform for building upon her Climate Cardinals work, using technology to solve climate-related issues.

Saadhvi Mamidi

College student from North Carolina, championing disability advocacy in the workplace

She is a co-founder of Bringing Occupational Accessibility in Teams (BOAT), which provides workforce development tools and resources for people with disabilities. She recently launched a podcast where she discusses how to make the workplace more accessible with other disability advocates, employers, and workers with disabilities. She’s going to use the Fellowship as a way to develop a stronger intersectional lens for her disability advocacy work and grow her podcast.

Sarah Miller

Project Specialist at United Way from Indiana, building climate & community resilience

They are intent on creating a greener and more resilient future for the State of Indiana, and have previous experience in climate action, community mobilizing, and building engaged partnerships. They plan to use their time in the Fellowship to build connections and grow their expertise, in order to build coalitions that will have a real impact on tackling community challenges, like poverty alleviation and climate change adaptation, more holistically in Indiana.

Sydney Claire Neel

College student from Institute of American Indian Arts, using storytelling to uplift the Indigenous experience

She is a Cherokee Nation citizen with a mission to tell the stories of her community as a way to advocate for their research and policy needs. She works with the Research for the Front Lines and the Graphix Project on equitable research. With her time in the program, she aims to build a network and support system for Indigineous women, driven by Indigenous women.

Safiyah Zaidi

Federal consultant in Washington D.C., advocating for policy change in healthcare for women and girls

She is a business analyst and assists federal agencies, working to make public services more accessible. She is also passionate about the health and wellbeing of Muslim women. She recently published a policy brief on the role of Medicaid-funded doula care to improve maternal outcomes for mothers in the South.

Learn more about the NS Fellows program and how you can be involved next year by clicking here.

NS Fellows is sponsored by the American Family Insurance Institute for Corporate and Social Impact, a venture capital firm and partner of choice for exceptional entrepreneurs who are building scalable, sustainable businesses in a long-term effort to close equity gaps in America. It also recognizes that capacity building and supporting organizations and experts that have been working toward social causes are equally important in making a positive impact within our communities around the country.