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The Morgridge Acceleration Program Fellowship

Accelerating Skill Sets

The Morgridge Acceleration Program (MAP) Fellowship matches emerging leaders with non-profits looking to create long-term and positive impact, while developing professional skill sets and networks. The MAP Fellowship’s unique alchemy is its focus on experiential co-learning to empower strategic growth. Harnessing the passion of non-profit work, the program cultivates tomorrow’s leaders, challenging them to think differently, work strategically, and innovate solutions.

Additional details on the 2020 MAP Mentors, Fellows, and challenges can be found below. The Morgridge Family Foundation (MFF) is not currently accepting new applications to the program.

Meet The Cohort

The 2020 MAP Fellow cohort comprises future social-sector leaders who have demonstrated remarkable personal and professional accomplishment early in their careers. Chosen from an impressive pool of applicants, each Fellow possess a passion for generating new ideas, a craving for collaboration, and the desire to create long-lasting impact.

The MAP Mentors are leaders in their field. During the program, they will collaborate with their selected Fellow to drive effective and innovative solutions to the challenges posed.

Each Fellow pledges approximately 10 hours a month, or 60 hours total, throughout the duration of the program to collaborating with their Mentor. All expenses and experiences associated with the MAP Fellowship are fully funded by MFF, including travel, accommodations, meals, and a two-day site visit to their Mentor’s organization. Additionally, each Fellow receives sessions with an executive coach as well as a generous stipend to be used for a shared learning experience with their Mentor.

The MAP Fellowship serves as an extension of MFF’s mission, which is to invest in organizations and leaders that are reimagining solutions to today’s biggest challenges. The Fellowship fosters new and meaningful connections, amplifies awareness of important causes, and sparks profound and lasting impact.

Challenges map

Explore the Challenges

Fellows receive hands-on guidance from non-profit leaders at the top of their industries. Click through to learn more about each Mentor and Fellow, and the challenge they seek to solve together.

  • 1 Brink Literacy Project
    Literacy Denver, CO and Edinburgh, Scotland

    Opportunity: Curriculum Development

    Challenge: Create and implement a strategy to use F(r)iction as a teaching tool in high school and university classrooms. Although F(r)iction, a premier literary magazine, is enjoyed by readers around the world, the publication is specifically curated to increase literacy, critical thinking, and engagement with diverse cultural, political, and socio-economic issues. As it reaches its pivotal 5th year, developing a system to bring it to classrooms will help grow readership and create vital expansion to help safe-guard its future. This process will include surveying teachers, creating responsive curriculum and marketing packages, targeting specific educational institutions, tracking educator reception, and reporting key learnings.

    Dani Hedlund

    Mentor

    Dani Hedlund

    Dani Hedlund founded Brink Literacy Project at the age of 19 to champion new and diverse stories. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the critically acclaimed publication, F(r)iction, one of the fastest growing literary magazines in the world. She travels the globe, working to increase literacy rates, empower underserved communities through storytelling, and elevate their stories into the national conversation in order to spur large-scale cultural and political change.

    Fellow

    Jessica Parra

    Jessica Parra is an Educational Specialist with Friends of the National Zoo at Smithsonian’s National Zoo, where she works in curriculum development, teacher training, and working on other education projects. She is a former teacher, teaching in the Bronx and the Anacostia section of Washington, DC, for 14 years. She has participated in various conservation and global education fellowships to meld her educational expertise with her eagerness to travel. She has served as a State Department Teacher for Global Classrooms Fellow in Senegal, a National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellow in South Georgia and the Falklands, a National Council for Geographic Education Fellow in Iceland, and a Fulbright Specialist in Uganda. Jessica is passionate about helping kids become compassionate, educated, proactive citizens, and has worked to enhance curricula to reflect this passion in her classroom, in her work with other educators, and in her current position at the Zoo. She is committed to the forward progress of educational equity, the importance of literacy, and creating engaging curriculum, and is constantly trying to improve her skills and networks. When not working, Jessica enjoys traveling to the far corners of the planet to learn and grow, running, and reading adventure memoirs with a good coffee.

  • 2 Denver Museum of Nature and Science
    Museums Denver, CO

    Opportunity: Branding

    Challenge: Rebrand a 100+ year old institution to more accurately reflect its current state: modern, innovative, fresh, and community-driven. The Museum’s Everyone, Everywhere strategic plan places significant emphasis on making science fun and inclusive. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science seeks to expand their presence throughout the state of Colorado and reflect an updated experience that is modern and dynamic. DMNS has completed market research and is eager to find the Museum’s voice and share its story of meaningful impact.

    Mentor

    Serena Bruzgo

    Serena Bruzgo joined the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in 2016 where she leads the Development and Marketing teams. Previously, she founded Community Investment Advisors, and held progressive leadership roles at the Colorado School of Mines Alumni Association. She also led successful campaigns, for the United States Air Force Academy Association for Graduates, Freedom Service Dogs of America and Avial University.

    Ash Dumford

    Fellow

    Ash Dumford

    Ash Dumford is a communications specialist based in Denver, Colorado. Previously, she was the Director of Marketing and Communications at Uncharted, a social impact accelerator that scales solutions to the world’s most pressing problems. She focused on brand messaging and campaigns that promoted programs in collaboration with national partners. Prior to that, she served as the digital strategist at Unreasonable Group, traveling to global programs to produce content with partners, including Barclays, Pearson Education, and the U.S. Department of State. She has also worked as the social media editor at Outside Magazine, where she led organic social media strategy across channels. Her work is driven by a simple but powerful belief that radical collaboration can push the social sector forward—and that collaboration starts with communicating a shared vision for change.

  • 3 Global Conservation Corps
    Conservation Atlanta, GA and Johannesberg, South Africa

    Opportunity: Community engagement

    Challenge: Expand the Global Conservation Corps (GCC) network of U.S. supporters by creating a web of chapters across states to support their work. GCC has hit a point of critical growth and is ready to scale, but needs to engage communities across the U.S. GCC has the story, branding and means to communicate their message in a moving and effective way. Now, it’s time to create a model for establishing GCC chapters across the United States, including systems to recruit, onboard and support “GCC Ambassadors,” and develop best practices.

    Mentor

    Matt Lindenberg

    Matt Lindenberg founded the Global Conservation Corps to conserve the world’s most precious wildlife by working with the people and communities who border conservation areas. He holds a B.S. in geography and zoology from the University of South Africa, and an M.S. in Conversation Biology from Grand Valley State University, Michigan. Previously he served at the Southern African Wildlife College, where he worked as a field guide, community-liaison officer and field-ranger instructor.

    Eleanor Milano

    Fellow

    Ellie Milano

    Ellie Milano is the Manager of Learning at Impact by Design – a nonprofit consultancy focused on environmental and animal conservation. A passionate conservationist, Ellie seeks to make a difference by helping nonprofit organizations achieve their greatest impact on people, animals, and the environment. In her current role, Ellie’s work focuses on strategic planning, project management, assessment, facilitation, training, and capacity building. Her expertise comes from years spent working both in the field and at the strategy level, as well as extensive international nonprofit experience. Before joining Impact by Design, Ellie served as a Program Officer at the International Fund for Animal Welfare, where she supported the development and management of community-based projects across the globe, including Bosnia & Herzegovina, Mexico, Indonesia, and Canada. Ellie has also spent time in academia as a laboratory technician at Cornell University’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department, studying the effects of environmental change on aquatic biota. Ellie holds an MSc from Tufts University in Conservation Medicine, a BS in Biology, and a BA in Environmental Studies – both from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Ellie hails from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and in her spare time, enjoys hiking with her dog.

  • 4 Impact100
    Philanthropy Traverse City, MI

    Opportunity: Fundraising

    Challenge: Propose the best vehicle(s), language and methodology to establish a sustainable flow of recurring gifts to support the critical work of Impact100. Impact100 has an updated digital presence, refreshed brand, robust audiences data, and is ready to capitalize on the strong momentum they’ve built thus far. Now, the organization needs help casting a wider net to attract a broad donor base that will support their work.

    Wendy Steele

    Mentor

    Wendy Steele

    In 2001, Wendy Steele launched Impact100, which empowers women to fund transformational grants of $100,000 or more to communities it serves across five broad focus areas: Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Family and Health & Wellness. Her model has been replicated around the world and given away more than $67 million.

    Maggie Jackson

    Fellow

    Maggie Jackson

    As senior director of executive and Board administration, Maggie Jackson manages Shedd Aquarium executive leadership in their work with the Board of Trustees and President/CEO. Maggie executes quarterly Board and standing committee meetings for the 50-member Board of Trustees, including curating agendas, ensuring valuable discussions and creating presentation decks and documents. All work follows a multi-year calendar of activities to fulfill organizational governance responsibilities. Maggie works in tandem with Shedd’s CEO and leadership to create and implement strategic plan communication tools such as detailed deck development including drafting content and influencing design; engagement sessions for Board socialization; promotional videos for donors and community influence; and Board checkpoint books to articulate the plan at key inflection points. Additionally, Maggie directs the daily operations of the President/CEO’s office through supervision of the Executive Assistant. Maggie stays well-informed of current issues and initiatives imperative to Shedd’s mission and serves as a sounding board to aquarium leadership. Maggie holds an MBA in sustainable management from DePaul University and a BA in strategic communications from Miami University (Ohio). Maggie lives in the River West neighborhood of Chicago with her husband and golden retriever Bud. She enjoys yoga, reading, cooking and being outside.

  • 5 MIT Solve
    Business Cambridge, MA

    Opportunity: Impact Investing

    Challenge: Develop a more nuanced understanding and targeted investment strategy for entrepreneurs working in developing economies and with vulnerable populations, based on market conditions, including (but not limited to) foreign exchange risk, existing venture capital ecosystem, and debt markets. Solve Innovation Future (“SIF”) is an impact-focused venture investment vehicle held as a Donor-Advised Fund, which will allow Solve to direct catalytic investments in early-stage entrepreneurs solving global challenges. SIF is new, and if MIT Solve doesn’t adapt and evolve quickly it will impede their ability to build an evergreen vehicle that disrupts traditional philanthropy. This is the moment to develop a renewable philanthropic vehicle focused on increasing impact by informing investment strategy.

    Casey van der Stricht

    Mentor

    Casey van der Stricht

    Casey van der Stricht is Principal of Solve Innovation Future, an innovative vehicle designed to make investments in the Solver teams. Casey joined MIT Solve from Social Finance, where she was Vice President of Social Investments. She has experience in management consulting, financial services, and the nonprofit sector. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in history from Yale University.

    Alen Amini

    Fellow

    Alen Amini

    Alen Amini is currently a management consultant at the Bridgespan Group, a management consulting firm that provides advisory services to philanthropies and nonprofit organizations. He also serves as the executive director of Wisconsin Microfinance, an NGO based in Madison, Wisconsin that provides microloans to entrepreneurs in the Philippines and Haiti, and is the Chief Operating Officer of the Homeland Security Foundation. A former Fulbright scholar, he previously served as a high school math teacher and vice principal in Southeast Arkansas with Teach For America and worked at the White House. Alen is a recent graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, where he served as the editor-in-chief of the newspaper and was the student body president, and the Dartmouth College Tuck School of Business.

  • 6 TGR Foundation, A Tiger Woods Charity
    Education Anaheim, CA

    Opportunity: Strategic Planning

    Challenge: Develop a strategic plan to engage multinational corporate social responsibility partners interested in investing in human capital development through education. The TGR Foundation provides access and equity in education and empowers students to pursue their passions through education. The organization seeks a viable and sustainable plan for designing, developing and delivering STEM education and job readiness programs in underserved communities throughout the world.

    Michelle Kim

    Mentor

    Michelle Kim

    Michelle Kim has served as a VP of Strategic Partnerships at TGRF for 16 years. Previously, she served as Global HR Director at Accenture, served as an advisor to Johns Hopkins University, KPCC-Southern California Public Radio and several Silicon Valley social impact firms.

    Samantha Harper

    Fellow

    Sami Harper

    Sami Harper is a water resources engineer for the State of California. She works to protect water quality for current and future generations by regulating cannabis farms and vineyards in the San Francisco Bay area. Sami has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from MIT in environmental engineering. She spent time at MIT and afterward volunteering with non-profits on both solving engineering and non-technical problems – mostly in the water and sanitation sectors in developing countries. Sami lived in Stuttgart, Germany for a year doing research on groundwater remediation to remove heavy metals from groundwater. She is an active volunteer with the professional chapter of Engineers without Borders working on a project for a rural town in California and a volunteer interviewer for MIT admissions. Sami is dedicated to working alongside this group of talented leaders and Fellows to solve challenging problems together.

Follow Along

Over the next six months, the MAP Fellowship’s progress will be shared throughout MFF’s website. Additionally, The Reach, MFF’s monthly newsletter, will tell stories of impact directly from the cohort. Subscribe below to get their insights delivered to your inbox and to be the first to know when the new application cycle begins. For questions regarding the MAP Fellowship, please contact Tony Cohn at tony.cohn@thinkmff.org.