This fall, the Community Leaders Fellowship (CLF) is thrilled to welcome five stellar women into the program.
The CLF is supported by donations from neighbors like you! Together, we’re reaching individuals who usually get excluded from the fold of leadership and whose participation is critical to building the society we want and need. Help us ensure this program can continue into the future by donating today.
Meet Verónica, Sobeida, Valerie, Akiera, and Lucy:
Verónica was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She studied Psychology at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus. While culminating her studies, she decided to move to Orlando, Florida, to do her first year of national service as a City Year AmeriCorps Member tutoring and mentoring at a Title I school. This past summer, she completed her Senior AmeriCorps year with City Year’s Care Force, traveling across the country to lead volunteer events. Boston’s strong sense of civic engagement and appreciation for the arts convinced her to make this city her new home.
Veronica is working with the Time Exchange.
Sobeida Yanet Pena is originally from the Dominican Republic. She has been living in Jamaica Plain for 26 years. Sobeida has three children and enjoys dancing, walking, listening to music, and also cooking. The Community Leaders Fellowship is Sobeida’s first role engaging in community organizing and we are excited to have her.
Sobeida is working on producing Events for JP NET, bringing her Spanish language and organizational skills to this project.
Valerie Oorthuys is a community food systems planner, originally from Seattle. She recently completed a masters in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University and has a BA from Earlham College. Her past research and projects have focused on vacant land use in Boston, opportunities for entrepreneurship, and storytelling as a method of planning. Through this fellowship, she hopes to learn more about land use and community ownership as it pertains to the Boston Food Forest Coalition. A resident of Jamaica Plain, Valerie is often found tending her community garden plot.
Valerie is working with the Boston Food Forest.
Akiera Gilbert is a third year student at Northeastern University, and is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services with a concentration in Public Health. She has grown up with a passion for social justice endeavors, and was recently named to the Board of Directors of Shattuck Partners, a non-profit that works in conjunction with Lemuel Shattuck Hospital in Jamaica Plain. Upon coming to Boston in 2013, she found herself broadening her horizons into the world of community organizing and social enterprise. She recently completed her first co-op at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, MA, working in improvement capability. Akiera hopes that the Community Leaders Fellowship will shed light on what her future career plans will entail, however, she plans to pursue a Masters of Public Administration.
Akiera is working with the Boston Food Forest.
Originally from Kentucky, Lucy currently serves as an AmeriCorps Teaching Fellow for Citizen Schools at the Orchard Gardens School in Roxbury. She graduated from Yale University with degrees in Political Science and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration and she is always on the lookout for opportunities to learn and dance.
Lucy is working on Events.
Read more about the Community Leaders Fellowship.