Back in January, Lindsay Marcal from our membership team made it over to Social Tables in Washington, DC for the Atlas Corps Class 28 Welcome Event.
Atlas Corps is an IS member, and its founder, Scott Beale, was one of the members of our earliest classes of American Express NGen Fellows. That’s to say, our ties with Atlas Corps run deep, and we always look forward for opportunities to show our support for the awesome work they do to strengthen our sector’s leadership and capacity through their fellowship programs and impressive global network-building.
The purpose of this Class 28 Welcome Event was two-fold. The first purpose—one self-evident in its name—was to recognize the newest class of Atlas Corps Fellows as they begin a service year at dynamic organizations in Washington, DC and elsewhere in the country. However, Atlas Corps also used the event to recognize winners of the Atlas Corps Partnerships Award—a three-award suite that honors a distinguished partner, supporter, and volunteer in global service.
Atlas Corps is in its 12th year of fellowships. Scott recently noted the remarkable growth of their fellowships in that timespan for a roundup of short Q&As with several of our NGen Fellows program alums. During his NGen program year (2009) Scott said that Atlas Corps was supporting 18 leaders in three countries. Less than ten years later, the 2018 Atlas Corps Fellows enter an Atlas Corps alumni network of 600 leaders in 88 countries.
This year’s fellows had met each just ten days before the welcome event, and in that time were tasked with identifying one among their ranks to offer some early remarks on the class’s behalf. They selected Maria Bevza from Russia, who will serve her fellowship term at host organization Public Square, Inc. Maria offered up the poignant perspective from the brief time afforded her and her peers to get acquainted: They all came from disparate backgrounds and lives, and all possessed different strengths and knowledge of nonprofits. It seems unlikely that such a mixed bag of global leaders could be brought together with a shared desire to make change, if not for a program like Atlas Corps’s. Maria said, “We are adventurous, being here is an adventure for us. We see ourselves as movers and shakers…who can make a change.”
The event concluded with remarks from Scott. “We know by reaching across countries we can grow this organization, grow these fellows, grow this community across the world.” He added, “Talent in this world is universally distributed, but opportunity is not…the work of Atlas Corps is more important every day.”
Scott also made a point to share that Atlas Corps is committed to focusing this year especially on empowering women globally, and to support the most dynamic female leaders in the world. With much work ahead on gender equity and other issues, Scott took the opportunity to encourage attendees to keep up with what Class 28 is doing throughout the year. One way to do so is to follow regular contributions by the current fellows to Atlas Corps’s blog.
Special thanks to Lindsay Marcal for making it out to this member event, and for sharing photos and highlights to help us bring you this installment of IS on the Road!