“I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world.” – Margaret Mead
our fellowship program
For nearly a decade, the Strongheart Fellows Program facilitated extraordinary opportunity and intensive education for people with exceptional promise from difficult life circumstances such as refugees, targets of extremism, and survivors of war, poverty, or disaster.
These resourceful individuals were scouted from refugee camps, war or post-conflict zones, or areas of extreme poverty and had suffered tremendous loss or deprivation in their lives while at the same time living with enormous resilience and wisdom.
As writer Isaac Marion put it,
“The Strongheart Fellows Program is R&D for brilliance in unlikely places.”
Once they were chosen for the program, each Fellow was connected with resources to further their individual path towards excellence. This included placement and scholarships at top-rated academic institutions, field-of-interest training, critical thinking study, intensive therapy, and emotional intelligence learning. We strived to expose our Fellows to new ideas and information to give them a greater field of possibility and resources with which to shape their own paths and meet challenges in their lives, their communities, and our collective world.
We supported our Fellows to become influencers and advocates; to “become part of the conversation” in the media and in the larger world on issues in which they had personal experience and a strong stake in representing clearly. Our Fellows frequently had very important and pertinent perspectives on issues that were in the media or discussed on the global stage – but these perspectives weren’t always accurately represented by the voices dominating the debate. Strongheart will always believe wholeheartedly in the absolute value of including the voices of actual experience in the conversations on poverty, conflict, refugees, girls education, violence, and child rights among others.
As of 2015, Strongheart has supported seventeen Fellows on their journey, from countries as diverse as Uganda, Afghanistan, and Liberia. They’ve studied under top educators and professionals in fields as diverse as entrepreneurship, international development, music production, gender studies, robotics, fashion, agriculture, aquaculture, photography, and sustainable surf tourism. They’ve spoken at TEDx, The Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival, on CNN, BBC, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. As they move into their bright futures, their work is our legacy.
Strongheart Fellows are supported through generous individuals, academic institutions, and organizations.