NEW YORK, April 19, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, a graduate school fellowship for outstanding immigrants and children of immigrants in the United States, announced their 2017 recipients. Selected from 1,775 applicants, each of the recipients was chosen for their potential to make significant contributions to US society, culture, or their academic fields and will receive up to $90,000 in funding for the graduate program of their choice.
The new Fellows join the prestigious community of recipients from past years, which includes individuals such as US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, Chief Scientist of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning at GoogleCloud Fei-Fei Li, pharmaceutical CEO Vivek Ramaswamy, Lieutenant Governor of Washington Cyrus Habib, leading American Civil Liberties Union attorney Nusrat Choudhury, award-winning writer Kao Kalia Yang, and nearly 600 other New American leaders.
"At a time when the national conversation seems to be on what immigrants are taking away, we are putting the spotlight on what immigrants from diverse backgrounds contribute to the United States," said Craig Harwood, who directs the Fellowship program.
A sampling of their stories:
- Javier Galvan grew up in the grips of poverty moving between California and Mexico. A civics class in high school motivated him to join the US Marine Corps, which gave him the stability he needed to find his passion: medicine. He deployed to Iraq in 2008 and Afghanistan in 2009. He is now pursuing his MD at University of California, San Francisco.
- Ellora Israni was born and raised in the Bay Area and frequently returned to Poona, India, where her grandparents lived. Ellora studied computer science at Stanford and cofounded she++, a nonprofit that supports chapters of young women in engineering around the world. After working as a software engineer at Facebook, Ellora began her JD at Harvard Law School.
- Peter Hong is the child of South Korean immigrants who worked to ensure that Peter, who grew up in Michigan, was fluent in Korean and had a strong understanding of Korean culture. As a software engineer, Peter built and will continue to develop products that benefit society and contribute to policy. He is currently pursuing an MBA at Harvard Business School.
- Maria Vertkin was born in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia and immigrated to the United States at age 11. Maria gained first-hand experience with poverty and marginalization, and their effects in every facet of life, from housing to workforce to health. After graduating from Regis College, Maria founded a nonprofit that provides medical interpreter training and job placement to low-income and homeless bilingual women. She is an Echoing Green Fellow.
The 2017 Fellows, who are 30 or younger, come from a wide range of socioeconomic backgrounds, and are all naturalized citizens, green card holders, or the children of immigrants. Their backgrounds reflect much of the diversity of recent immigrants and refugees in the United States. The 2017 class has heritage in Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Colombia, Guyana, India, Iran, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Suriname, Taiwan, Venezuela, and Vietnam.
Hungarian immigrants Daisy M. Soros and Paul Soros (1926-2013) founded the program in 1997.
To meet the full Paul & Daisy Soros Class of 2017, please visit: www.pdsoros.org.
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SOURCE The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans