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The Morgridge Acceleration Program Fellowship

MAP Fellowship About Explore the Challenges Program Highlights FAQs

Driving Social Innovation

The Morgridge Acceleration Program (MAP) Fellowship matches nonprofit executives, called MAP Mentors, with emerging leaders, called MAP Fellows, looking to create positive impact while developing professional skill sets and networks. Through the program, MAP Fellows collaborate with peers and industry leaders to challenge the status quo, foster new and meaningful connections, and spark the sustainable change needed to achieve a profound and lasting impact.

While driving impact for nonprofit organizations, MAP Fellows gain elite mentorship, executive coaching, networking opportunities, travel, and access into a tight-knit group of peers. This year, Forbes called the MAP Fellowship “a powerful opportunity for collaboration and innovative thinking.”

We are not currently accepting applications for the MAP Fellowship. Learn about this year’s cohort and the program details below.

challenge map

Explore the Challenges

Twelve leading nonprofit executives representing different industries have issued unique challenges designed to engage MAP Fellows in the intense and rewarding experience of change-making. Fellows remain in their current, full-time jobs while dedicating approximately 10 hours a month, or 60 hours through the duration of the program, toward solving the challenge posed. In exchange, MAP Mentors commit to sharing their expertise, industry knowledge, and professional network with their MAP Fellow. Click through to learn more about each Mentor and Fellow, and the challenge they seek to solve together.

  • New Profit
    Collective Impact Boston, Massachusetts

    Challenge: Leverage the insights, learnings, and policy recommendations from proximate workforce entrepreneurs and workers for the sector as a whole.

    Gimme More: For the Future of Work Grand Challenge, an initiative of New Profit, catalyzing systems change within the workforce sector is the ultimate goal. Workforce system today and the labor market of tomorrow, left unimpeded, will leave millions of workers behind. The path towards an equitable future of work means the adoption of proximate expertise, the centering of worker voice, and uplifting inclusivity into workforce development practices. It also means listening to the recommendations of the people who know this work better than anyone else – the entrepreneurs who are solving the very problems they themselves have faced. A key component of New Profit’s larger goal of instilling equity into the workforce system involves scaling insights surfaced from proximate workforce entrepreneurs and workers as best practices.

    MAP Mentor Headshot

    Mentor

    Dr. Angela Jackson

    Dr. Angela Jackson leads New Profit’s Future of Work Initiative, which seeks to close the career-readiness gap for Americans from low-income backgrounds. She also launched a $6 million Future of Work Grand Challenge in 2020, powered by XPRIZE and MIT Solve. Angela’s career started in the private sector leading business development for organizations like Viacom and Nokia. Then, she founded the Global Language Project to transform how we prepare students to succeed in a global economy and workforce. Most recently, Angela completed a doctorate in educational leadership at Harvard University. Her work and writing has been featured in CNN, Huffington Post, and Harvard Business Review.

    Fellow

    Jaylen Hackett

    Jaylen Hackett is a Masters in Public Policy candidate at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He is a native of Mobile, Alabama, and received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from The University of Southern Mississippi. During his time at Southern Miss, he became a community advocate for students from low income backgrounds. He was also a Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Congressional intern and completed the Public Policy International Affairs Junior Summer Institute. Previously, he completed his Teach For America fellowship as a Middle School Math Teacher and worked at the Jersey City Housing Authority to revamp summer camps. This past summer, Jaylen served as a Summer Associate at Robin Hood Foundation supporting educational technology efforts across New York City. He then worked with the Policy Team and supported the Grant Readiness Insights Training program.

  • The COMMIT Foundation
    Data Communication Bozeman, Montana

    Challenge: Analyze data and create a comprehensive framework that allows The COMMIT Foundation to tell their stories of leading and informing military transitions—no matter where or how they happen.

    Gimme More: The COMMIT Foundation seeks to provide high-touch transition support that becomes the standard nationwide so veterans in all communities can access services, helping them identify their passions, build strong networks, and leverage their skills in civilian careers. By showing impact in a data supported and creative way, the COMMIT Foundation will more deeply engage the ecosystem (mentors, stakeholder, donors, community partners, and others) and recruit a more diverse pool of program participants.

    Mentor

    Dr. Amy Taft

    Dr. Amy Taft is the senior director of education at The COMMIT Foundation. Dr. Taft has almost ten years of experience in military transition training and several years of experience in workforce development training. She has a strong background in adult online learning and curriculum development and uses this knowledge to advance the learning environment to drive people towards success. Dr. Taft was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Bush Institute Veteran Stand to Leadership program and worked with the Institute for Veteran and Military Families and the USMC Marine for Life program. Dr. Taft has a master’s of education with an emphasis on curriculum and learning from Liberty University and a doctorate of education from Liberty University.

    Fellow

    Sally Rowland

    Sally Rowland grew up in Connecticut and attended Wake Forest University, where she majored in Finance and minored in Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise. Following graduation, Sally received the Fulbright Scholarship and worked in South Africa for one year at a business and commerce high school, where she focused on managing community partnerships, building the school’s innovation capacity, and implementing technology into the classroom. Currently, she is pursuing her master’s in Social Entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and is the Career Services Manager at a squash and education organization that works to expand opportunities for young people growing up in low-income communities.

  • Brink Literacy Project
    Podcasting Denver, Colorado

    Challenge: Create a comprehensive content and marketing strategy to help Brink’s brand-new literary show make a splash in the podcast community.

    Gimme More: By curating a podcast that invites the biggest names in literature to both tell gorgeous stories and showcase the personalities behind their bestselling works, we’re creating an exciting platform to elevate Brink’s nonprofit mission. This challenge will act as the compass for this innovative step forward, carving a path for a podcast to build nonprofit brand awareness, reach enough listeners to open sponsorships opportunities, and—most importantly—allow Brink to stay on the cutting edge of elevating the voices of people living on the brink.

    Dani-Hedlund

    Mentor

    Dani Hedlund

    Dani Hedlund founded Brink Literacy Project at the age of nineteen to champion new and diverse stories. She is the editor-in-chief of Brink’s 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. Dani studied at the University of Oxford and the University of Northern Colorado, holding degrees in English language and literature, philosophy, and mathematics.

    Fellow

    Victoria Bruick

    Victoria Bruick is a freelance marketer and producer with a passion for education and supporting the work of nonprofit organizations. She helps experts and educators create accessible digital content to reach their audiences through podcasts, live virtual events, email, and more. Currently, she is co-host and producer of the podcast Book Club with Julia & Victoria and producer of The Pandemic Parenting Podcast. Victoria earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and Music from Valparaiso University where she was selected for the J.S. Kemper Foundation’s business leadership program and was awarded a Calling and Purpose in Society (CAPS) Fellowship. As a writer, her poetry has been published by The Academy of American Poets and in Indiana’s Best Emerging Poets (Z Publishing). Victoria enjoys reading, traveling, cooking, being outside, and trying local bakeries and breweries. 

  • MIT Solve
    Data Analysis Boston, Massachusetts

    Challenge: Propose new strategies rooted in available data to better tailor core and investment programming to elevate the best solutions and innovators working to solve the world’s most pressing problems.

    Gimme more: MIT Solve has a wealth of data on the status of entrepreneurship globally. Understanding the data that they have will help to: 1) better refine the organization’s selection criteria and position MIT Solve as the preeminent marketplace for social impact innovation in the world, 2) better refine their Solver program to accelerate the growth of Solver teams, 3) better direct their philanthropic investment capital toward scalable solutions, and 4) help them to ‘coach-up’ all Solver teams to ensure that they are supporting under-networked and under-represented founders to promote entrepreneurship regardless of background.

    Mentor

    Pooja Wagh

    Pooja Wagh is Director of Community Operations & Impact and Health Community Lead at MIT Solve. Pooja came to Solve in 2017 with over a decade of experience in international development, program evaluation, and data analysis in the private and nonprofit sectors. As Director of Community Operations & Impact, Pooja designs and oversees many of Solve’s core operations, including selecting Solver teams, implementing the Solver support program, engaging Solve’s Member community, and measuring the results of Solver teams’ work and the impact of the partnerships Solve brokers. As the Health Community Lead, she develops and nurtures relationships with Solve’s health-focused Members and Solver teams, and works with them to drive forward promising, innovative solutions to pressing challenges in the health and wellness space. Pooja holds a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelors in electrical engineering from MIT.

    Fellow

    Billy Huang

    Billy Huang is a biologist-turned-entrepreneur born and raised in New York City. Growing up in a low-income and first-generation household and as a person with a disability, he is passionate about addressing intersectional issues related to poverty, health, and access to economic opportunity. Most recently, Billy created a startup based around improving social determinants of health with an emphasis on housing and homelessness. Billy has also collaborated with researchers at Yale and Rutgers on studies at the intersections between technology, mental health, and homelessness. Complementing his professional work, Billy advocates for disability rights at the municipal level by chairing the New Haven Commission on Disabilities and at the national level through the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation. He holds Bachelor degrees in biology and history from MIT as well as an MBA from the Yale School of Management.

  • Firefly Autism
    Partnerships Denver, Colorado

    Challenge: Chart a path to establish strategic partnerships with local universities to design an in-person program that could change the landscape of applied behavior analysis (ABA) education in Colorado.

    Gimme More: An ABA education program hosted by local universities would allow Firefly to create a pathway for students to complete an internship within the organization, fulfilling practicum requirements beneath a board certified behavioral analyst (BCBA) and negating the need for an additional two years of supervised work after graduation. This would allow graduates to begin practicing immediately once they have passed their boards and receive their certifications, creating a more streamlined entry for new BCBAs in the field.

    Jesse-Ogas

    Mentor

    Jesse Ogas

    Jesse Ogas is the CEO and executive director of Firefly Autism. In these roles, Jesse has increased outreach and autism treatment to previously underserved Latino and Black communities. He has acted in performances and served on the board of Su Teatro, a cultural and performing arts center that seeks to advance mutual respect for other cultures and establish avenues where all cultures may come together. He serves on the boards of many charities, including Clinica Tepeyac. He was appointed by Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock to the Mental Health Center of Denver Board and the Mayor’s Latino Commission, where he served for six years as a liaison to Mayor Hancock on issues that impact the Latino community in Denver. Jesse was named the 2021 9NEWS Leader of the Year.

    Fellow

    Bethany Thorne

    Beth Thorne is the Chief of Staff at Project Rousseau, a role she has held since 2016. Beth also serves as Chief of Staff at the ACH Charitable Foundation. Previously, Beth has experience as a consultant with the Center of Public Research and Leadership at Columbia Law School. Here, she advised a leading charter school network on its mental health strategy and a higher education institution on a student leadership development initiative. Beth graduated top of her class from Oxford University in 2016 with a Bachelor’s degree in Human Sciences and holds a Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University‘s School of International and Public Affairs.

  • Colorado State University System
    Fundraising Denver, Colorado

    Challenge: Design a fundraising strategy for Colorado State University (CSU) Spur, opening in Denver this January, that builds on existing work with their campuses, creates clear processes and policies, and identifies potential funding sources for their various public-facing outreach and educational programs.

    Gimme More: The fundraising plan will create long-term strategies and structure, will help align development efforts across all three CSU campuses (CSU, CSU Pueblo, and CSU Global) to maximize efficiency, will put transparent policies and procedures in place, and will leverage this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engage with donors for the Spur campus. Funding will ultimately support programs designed to engage young people in topics and careers in STEM and the arts, and inspire Spur visitors to apply their talents to global challenges in food, water, health, and sustainability.

    Jocelyn-Hittle

    Mentor

    Jocelyn Hittle

    Jocelyn Hittle is the assistant vice chancellor for the Colorado State University System’s emerging Spur campus, part of the north Denver redevelopment of the National Western Center. She oversees the design, construction, and program development of the new campus, which focuses on inspiring life-long learners around topics of food, water, health, and sustainability. Previously, Jocelyn worked as the associate director of PlaceMatters and with the Orton Family Foundation. Jocelyn sits on the board of Groundwork Denver and on the Coors Western Art Advisory Committee, and she is part of the Urban Land Institute Sustainable Development Council and Colorado ULI Women’s Leadership Initiative. She has a degree in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton, an MBA from Colorado State University, and a master’s in environmental management from Yale’s Environment School.

    Fellow

    Allison Quintanilla Plattsmier

    Dr. Allison Quintanilla Plattsmier has over ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector and has raised a total of $4 million for over 50 organizations. Currently, she is the Executive Director of Edgehill Neighborhood Partnership and runs a nonprofit consulting firm, AQP Consulting. A Nashville native, she has been at the forefront of issues such as the affordable housing crisis, transit referendum and the city’s urban planning and infrastructure design through the creation of Nashville’s first art park. A sought-after DEI practitioner, she is a vocal advocate for gender parity, closing the wage gap, and ending the motherhood penalty. She has earned accolades such as Nashville’s Top 30 Under 30, NBJ’s 40 Under 40, Diversity MBA’s Top 100 Under 50 Executive Leaders, and the National Association of Female Executives’ 2019 Rising Star. 

  • Getting Out Staying Out
    Program Strategy New York, New York

    Challenge:  Propose recruitment and retention strategies for Getting Out Staying Out that are informed by the lived experience of young people who have been impacted by the criminal justice system in New York City.

    Gimme More: Getting Out Staying Out offers programming on an individual therapeutic model administered by licensed social workers, which has made expansion to serve more participants difficult to design. They have also found that their participants’ needs may not be entirely met in their current model. By better understanding the experience of the population they serve, they will be able to expand their offerings to reach more young people who have been impacted by the criminal justice system in New York City.

    Jocelynne-Rainey

    Mentor

    Dr. Jocelynne Rainey

    As president & CEO of Getting Out and Staying Out, Dr. Jocelynne Rainey oversees programming that has helped more than 10,000 young men access education, achieve and secure meaningful employment since its advent over 16 years ago. Before GOSO, Dr. Rainey was executive vice president and chief administrative officer for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC). A graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, Dr. Rainey holds a master’s in administration from Metropolitan College and a doctorate in leadership from St. John Fisher College. She is a member of the New York City Workforce Development Board, a trustee of the New York College of Technology Foundation Board and trustee of the Mark Morris Dance Group.

    Fellow

    Nicole Jones

    Born and raised in the Mile High City, Nicole Jones is a program administrator for youth and family services with the DEDO NEST division of the City and County of Denver. Previously, she spent seven years as a secondary science educator, team lead for culture and equity, a multiple sports coach and school counselor with Denver Public Schools. Nicole balances organizational objectives and productive relationships, strategizing and recommending ways in which to achieve a thriving community for all. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Lane College and her master’s degree in Psychology from New York University with a focus in school counseling and mental health/trauma. She currently serves on the Denver Mayor’s Youth Commission as a commissioner for youth violence prevention. Nicole is a wife and the mother of 2 beautiful daughters and 2 awesome bonus sons.

  • Institute for Science & Policy at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science
    Policy Denver, Colorado

    Challenge: Create a framework to evaluate the scientific merit of policy issues that a legislator could use to make better informed decisions.

    Gimme More: Established in 2018, the Institute for Science & Policy at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science aims for science to become a second-nature consideration in public discourse and policy making. To do this, there is a need to create practical yet ambitious solutions that break down science barriers for legislative decision makers. By creating a framework to evaluate the scientific merit of policy issues, it will be possible to elevate the role of the Institute in bringing solutions to policymakers and create the foundation for better informed decisions in Colorado and beyond.

    Mentor

    Kristan Uhlenbrock

    Kristan Uhlenbrock is the director for the Institute for Science & Policy, where her objective is to ensure science has a respected role in public discourse and policy making. Before joining the Institute, she spent a decade in Washington, D.C., in the nonprofit, think tank, and government sectors engaging in a range of science and policy challenges. She currently serves on various boards and committees, including the American Meteorological Society, United Nations Environment Program, and Science Writers Association of the Rocky Mountains, among other leadership positions. Her writing has appeared in news outlets, books, and peer-reviewed publications. She received a Master of Arts in science writing, a Master of Science in marine science, and a Bachelor of Science in chemistry.

    Fellow

    Giselle Schmitz

    Giselle Schmitz is delighted by the ocean, and as such, focused her education, career, and hobbies on water-related topics. She currently works as a Policy Fellow for the Bronx Borough President’s Office researching the impacts of water quality and pollution on ecosystems and communities in the Bronx. She attended the University of Oregon School of Law where she studied Ocean and Coastal Law. Following law school, Giselle worked as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching at the Gansu University of Political Science and Law. She currently studies International Political Economy and Development at Fordham University with a concentration on Global Environmental and Resources Economics. In the upcoming year, she will gain additional experience in marine policy as a Knauss Fellow through the New York Sea Grant. In her spare time, Giselle is an avid scuba diver.

  • Shedd Aquarium
    Digital Programming Chicago, Illinois

    Challenge: Provide Shedd Aquarium with a range of blue ocean strategies that can significantly scale the organization’s impact and revenue digitally, expanding its reach and learning engagements far beyond the organization’s traditional geographic reach.

    Gimme More:  In 2020, a penguin named Wellington made a huge impact, exponentially increasing Shedd Aquarium’s reach, engagement and awareness while the aquarium was closed due to COVID-19. Shedd Aquarium pivoted quickly to paid virtual programming, implementing virtual summer camps, encounters and even hosting virtual overnights. While paid digital programming has long been a part of the organization’s strategic roadmap, those efforts accelerated and shifted in the last two years. Finding effective and efficient business models to meaningfully scale similar digital programming could have a dramatic impact on the aquarium’s ability to spark compassion, curiosity, and conservation for our blue planet.

    Meghan-Curran

    Mentor

    Meghan Curran

    Meghan Curran is responsible for delivering Shedd Aquarium’s strategic plan and ambitious vision, shaping what Shedd will look like well into the future. With a proven track record for assessing and leveraging audience insight to drive brand and experience, she has played a prominent role in building and advancing Shedd’s brand and reputation over the last 20 years. Before joining Shedd, Meghan worked with the Chicago Creative Partnership. She is a past chair of the Trends Committee and a past member of the Marketing Committee for the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). She holds a Bachelor of Science in advertising from the University of Illinois.

    Fellow

    Megan McClendon

    Megan McClendon lives to challenge the status quo. As the Lead of Innovation at Stoked, she guides others in exploring new ideas, concepts and futures while creating boundary-pushing experiences. Previously, she led work for government, for-profit and nonprofit agencies focused on innovation for positive social impact through equity-centered design. Her work includes a design project for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Reinvent the Toilet” Challenge, reimagining the test ride for Trek Bicycles’ retail experience and designing exhibits for Chicago’s Harold Washington Public Library. Megan graduated from Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design and studied service and systems innovation at Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design. Outside of work, her interests include art, baking, female entrepreneurship and being a dog mom.

  • Baucus Institute at the University of Montana
    Strategic Communications Missoula, Montana

    Challenge: Position the Baucus Institute as a unique, rapidly growing, and equity-focused law and policy center that engages a diverse array of stakeholders in solving real-world challenges.

    Gimme More: While the Baucus Institute has several established programs, it is relatively new and is still working to articulate their impact. The Institute has grown rapidly over the past three years and is poised for major milestones, including the creation of a 501(c)(3) and building out a physical space at the University of Montana’s School of Law. Having an inclusive and strategic communication plan will engage potential students, donors, and other partners in their work. Articulating what they do, why it matters, and their plans for the future will also help guide the Baucus Institute to even more success for years to come.

    Mentor

    Mel Brittner Wells

    Mel Brittner Wells has over a decade of experience in building and sustaining nonprofit programming. She has a master’s in publishing and began her career at Literary Arts in Portland, Oregon. She primarily worked in youth programs and events, engaging thousands of people annually in literary experiences. In 2017, she Kickstarted an online apparel company, Beefcake Swimwear, which has since been featured in Forbes, BuzzFeed, Cosmopolitan, and Mashable. Now at the Baucus Institute, Wells is deploying her full Swiss Army Knife of skills to establish and grow programming that engages their current and next generation of government and nonprofit leaders.

    Fellow

    Ami Scherson

    Ami (ah-mee) Scherson (she/her/hers), is a Queens, NY-based Project Manager at Arts Business Collaborative, a research and technical support nonprofit with a mission to improve quality of life for people of color through the arts and STEM. Prior to that, she was the Equity in Arts Leadership Program Coordinator at Americans for the Arts, where she assisted in the development and implementation of programs to enhance the skills of emerging arts administrators underrepresented in arts leadership. In 2020, Ami co-founded mixt collective, an arts collaborative for mixed identifying individuals to celebrate, elevate, and create amongst mixed race communities and other groups. She graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor’s degree in Music and a minor in Business. In her freetime, Ami takes walks in her neighborhood, cooks tasty meals and cares for her 30+ plants.

  • TGR Foundation
    Scale Strategy Irvine, California

    Challenge: Provide insight into where social impact is heading in the next twenty-five years to further embolden and enhance TGR Foundation in having generational impact through education.

    Gimme More: For 25 years, TGR Foundation (TGRF) has provided access and equity in education, closed opportunity gaps, and empowered underrepresented students through education. The hardships brought on by the global pandemic and ongoing social unrest have pushed TGRF to expand their thinking and enhance their offerings to better ensure they are meeting the needs of the whole student. By focusing on job readiness, career certification, and college access, TGRF is setting out to ensure that students from marginalized communities are given access and opportunity to build for themselves a meaningful, impactful career and life. How can TGRF best prepare themselves to have generational and transformational impact for the next 25 years during these uncertain, volatile, complex and ambiguous times?

     

    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.

    Fellow

    Kimaya Karnawat

    Kimaya is a Product Specialist at Instagram, where she analyzes user feedback to inform product roadmaps for the Feed and Relevance teams. Before that, she was a Product Development Specialist for Facebook Reality Labs where she managed beta testing programs and pre-release quality efforts for new devices. She spent six months managing operations for the New Product Experimentation team during the launch of an app for crowdsourced predictions, Forecast. Prior to Facebook, Kimaya worked at a consulting firm providing market research for pharmaceutical and biotech companies. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a major in Business Administration. Outside of work, she teaches at CorePower Yoga and hosts tea times through Tea with Strangers. A recent transplant in New York City, she enjoys exploring different cuisines and live music events.

  • Jane Goodall Institute USA
    Storytelling Washington, D.C.

    Challenge: Help the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) define and articulate a thematic framework for strategic storytelling, and identify core competencies of effective storytellers.

    Gimme More: Storytelling has been a part of the DNA of Dr. Goodall’s career from the very beginning, and has been instrumental to how she and the JGI have inspired global audiences, constituents, and donors for decades. As a new global brand is launched publicly, and the institute proactively aims to align media with core brand messages, there is an opportunity for more powerful storytelling than ever before. The new brand roll out offers an opportunity to increase staff competency and confidence in their communications representing the institute.

    Shawn-Sweeney

    Mentor

    Shawn Sweeney

    Shawn Sweeney serves the Jane Goodall Institute USA (JGI) as associate vice president of communications and policy. Having worked for the organization since 2007, Shawn has worn many hats from youth outreach and engagement to community engagement to his current position. He’s enjoyed working with colleagues and partners around the world to help elevate the vision and impact of Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of JGI & UN Messenger of Peace, and JGI’s programs through strategic storytelling and activation with all of the organization’s audiences. Shawn graduated from the Institute for Humane Education with a master’s of education in humane education and from the College of Wooster with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.

    Fellow

    Jessica Chriesman

    Jessica Chriesman is a nonprofit communications professional based in Birmingham, Alabama. Currently, she is the Manager of Programs and Engagement at Opportunity Alabama where she shares the stories of communities across the state. Previously, Jessica worked at Impact America as the creative lead for communications and production across the organization’s programs and locations. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Filmmaking and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and in 2020 obtained an Executive Certificate in Arts and Culture Strategy from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice and National Arts Strategies. Jessica uses filmmaking to tell Southern stories through the lenses of food and culture, social justice and history, and more. Since 2015, she has had the privilege of screening in film festivals across the United States.

Program Highlights

From October 2021 through March 2022, MAP Fellows commit to opportunities that foster community, personal and professional growth, as well as leadership development. They’ll bring the lessons they learn and relationships they build back to their full-time positions, sharing the knowledge and networks they gain with their primary employer and colleagues.

Challenge

Mentors identify a specific challenge facing their organization that fellows commit to solving over six months. Each fellow pledges approximately 10 hours a month to solve the problem at hand. Along the way, mentors provide hands-on guidance and knowledge.

Challenge Fund

Up to $4,000, generously underwritten by The Rieschel Family Foundation, is available for each organization to test, explore, and further innovate their challenge solution with their fellow. Proposals for the funds must be received by November 15, 2021 and will be approved pending challenge relevance.

Kick-Off Event

The kick-off event, hosted in-part by MindSpark Learning, is designed to be immersive, hands-on, and fun, challenging fellows to grow leadership skills and develop the strategies needed for their solutions to thrive. Mentors join to discuss their challenges in-depth and build community with their cohort. The kick-off event will take place in Denver, Colorado, in early October 2021, pending CDC recommendations.

Coaching

Fellows work with an executive coach to develop and achieve their personal and professional goals in the program. They will also work with a public-speaking coach to prepare for their culmination event presentations.

Mind Melds

Fellows meet monthly for a virtual brainstorming session that mines the collective thought of their peers. Each fellow will host a Mind Meld to pose questions they are navigating while solving their challenge. The diverse perspectives and experiences of the cohort drive dialogue that inspires an innovative course of action.

Cohort Convenings

Fellows and mentors participate in two virtual events that facilitate community-building. In the past, these events have included speed networking wine-tastings and challenging conversations sparked by a behind-the-scenes tour with the Denver Art Museum.

Nonprofit Site Visit

Fellows visit their mentors for two days to allow fellows and mentors to work together on-site, as well as to provide the fellow an opportunity to shadow and observe their mentor in action. The site visit will take place according to CDC recommendations. Fellows and mentors must schedule their site visit by November 1, 2021, and complete their site visit by February 15, 2022.

Culmination Event

The program culminates with an event where each fellow presents to an audience of public, private, and social sector leaders, providing them a platform to share their MAP experience. The culmination event will take place in Washington, D.C. in late March 2022, pending CDC recommendations.

Alumni Access

Upon completion of the MAP Fellowship, all Fellows and Mentors join a thriving and continuously growing community. The alumni ecosystem is a space for networking, sharing ideas, asking questions, and supporting each other’s growth and success. This lasting community is one of the MAP Fellowship’s greatest strengths.

The Qualities of a MAP Fellow

The MAP Fellowship focuses on unlocking and unleashing the potential of the next generation of social sector leadership. Fellows have demonstrated remarkable accomplishments early in their careers and crave opportunity for collaboration and coaching from esteemed leaders in their field. They exhibit a few key characteristics:

 

Imagination

They are emerging social impact leaders with the skills to tactically and creatively solve their MAP Challenge.

Initiative

They have a track record of being the driver on a foggy road: navigating the uncertain, understanding when to ask for directions, and ultimately finding their way.

Integrity

They do the right thing and rise to commitments of the fellowship.

 

Want even more details? The program’s founder wrote more about the qualities of a MAP Fellow on the blog. And, meet the 2020 cohort here.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why did MFF create the MAP Fellowship?

    MFF has long believed in the power of fresh perspectives to innovate stagnant systems. In 2020, the Foundation recognized an opportunity to usher in the next generation of social sector trailblazers by connecting them with vetted, impactful executives—and each other. What would it look like for the nonprofit leaders of tomorrow to collaborate directly with the nonprofit leaders of today? The MAP Fellowship was born.

  • What was the impact of last year’s MAP Fellows?

    The impact of last year’s MAP Fellowship was unprecedented. Fellows reimagined fundraising efforts, cracked the code for rebranding age-old Institutions, and drove strategic plans that transformed entire organizations. Learn more about their impact by reading their case studies and diving into this Forbes article.

  • What is the timeline for the MAP Fellowship?

    Fellow applications launch on June 8, 2021. Fellows will be selected by August 17th. The six-month program will officially start on October 1, 2021 and run through the end of March 2022.

  • How many MAP Mentors and MAP Fellows are selected?

    For the second year of the MAP Fellowship, MFF will select twelve mentors and twelve fellows, which will be broken into two cohorts of six pairs. We will shape each cohort to encourage an intimate, diverse learning community that brings new perspectives and thought to each challenge.

  • Is the MAP Fellowship a full-time job?

    Being a fellow is not a full-time job. It is a rigorous professional development opportunity to be completed with concurrent employment or education. Each fellow pledges to dedicate approximately 10 hours a month, or 60 hours through the duration of the program, toward tackling their challenge. Each fellow commits additional time to events and opportunities throughout the program (please see “Fellow Requirements” here.)

  • What are the Fellow commitment expectations?

    We’re glad you asked! Click this link to view the full fellow expectation document.

  • Is there a fee to participate in the MAP Fellowship?

    No, there is not a fee associated with the program. MFF funds all travel, meals, and accommodation expenses associated with the program for fellows and mentors. Each nonprofit will have access to up to $4,000, generously underwritten by The Rieschel Family Foundation, to allow their selected fellow to test, explore, and further innovate their work.

  • How are MAP Fellows selected?

    Successful candidates will advance through two rounds of screening, with the final selection made by each mentor. As part of the application, candidates are required to provide a letter of support from their current supervisor, who agrees to their participation in the program. Due to the high volume of applicants to the program, we are unable to interview everyone who applies.

  • How are MAP Mentors selected?

    MFF invites esteemed, diverse nonprofit executives to apply for a limited number of openings. In order to be selected, candidates must submit a compelling challenge their organization is facing and make the case for how a fellow can solve that problem during the six-month program.

  • Do MAP Fellows need to live in the same city as their mentor?

    Fellows do not need to live in the same city as their mentor. Fellows will work remotely for the majority of their time with the program, traveling to three events throughout the program, pending CDC recommendations.

  • Do MAP Fellows need to live in the United States in order to apply?

    All MAP Fellows must live in the United States and be able to travel domestically as outlined by the program.

  • Is there an age requirement to be a MAP Fellow?

    In the past, fellows’ ages have ranged from 24-36. That being said, the admissions team is looking for the strongest candidates possible, no matter their age.

  • I’m a student in graduate school, am I eligible to apply?

    Absolutely! Graduate students are encouraged to apply for the MAP Fellowship.

  • How does the MAP Fellowship accommodate individuals with disabilities?

    MFF will provide reasonable accommodations deemed necessary to participate both in the selection process and in the program. For accommodations or feedback, please contact MFF’s Program Manager, Ash Gallegos at ash.gallegos@thinkmff.org.

  • What role does MFF play throughout the program?

    The Morgridge Family Foundation will:

    • Cover all travel, meals, and accommodation expenses for mentors and fellows.
    • Provide each nonprofit up to $4,000, generously underwritten by The Rieschel Family Foundation, for their Fellow to test, explore, and further innovate their work.
    • Oversee all programming and logistics of the fellowship with the exception of the fellow site visits. While MFF funds the site visits, scheduling and logistics are the responsibility of the fellow and mentor.
    • MFF’s Program Manager will work closely with program participants throughout their collaboration, acting as a thought partner, coach, and facilitator, as necessary. 
    • MFF’s Communications Team will amplify the work of the cohort and is available to publish content as interested by each fellow and mentor. 
    • MFF’s Impact Analyst leads measurement and evaluation of the program and the impact of each Fellow.
  • What happens to the MAP Mentors and MAP Fellows after the conclusion of the program?

    Fellows and mentors are life-long members of the growing MAP community. Annual convenings, virtual get-togethers, and meaningful friendships will keep the network alive. The solutions generated by each fellow are designed to be sustainable and self-sufficient, impacting their mentor’s organization long after the program concludes.

  • I’m another Foundation or a nonprofit organization who is interested in learning more about the MAP Fellowship. What should I do?

    We’re glad you’re excited about the program! After you’ve read through the materials on our website, if you have additional questions or would like to have a deeper conversation please contact Ash Gallegos: ash.gallegos@thinkmff.org

Follow Along

If you have additional questions about the MAP Fellowship, please reach out to Ash Gallegos at ash.gallegos@thinkmff.org. For all the latest news on the 2021 Fellows, stories of impact, and updates on future application cycles, subscribe to The Reach