Fellowship Capstone Projects: NLC’s “Social Impact Incubator” Changes Communities Nationwide

NLC Fellows are civic, social, and business entrepreneurs who lead the charge on the ground to solve the most critical challenges facing our communities.  NLC’s Capstone Project, a cornerstone of our institutes, challenges Fellows to identify a project that captures their passion, fills a need in the community, and leverages the skills NLC provides through the Fellowship in order to come up with a plan to address it head on.

This is where NLC’s training effectively comes to life. Each year hundreds of progressive impact concepts are incubated inside the organization as we turn skills based training directly into new progressive capacity to improve communities and grow the movement. The organization leverages the networks, talents, skills, and experiences of local boards, alumni, and advisors to help Fellows drive these ideas into action and impact.

Here are just a few examples of how NLC’s Capstone Projects are changing communities:


"My capstone was about relaunching my business making greeting cards for the LGBTQ community, and ensuring it is centered on progressive principles. gaygreetings. was borne out of a successful Kickstarter campaign, and I wanted to relaunch the business after a 3-year hiatus. In my capstone presentation, I focused on what it would take to establish a business that was socially conscious and grounded in equity for all. 

The support and encouragement I received from my NLC cohort was integral to the relaunch of gaygreetings. Additionally, the framework in which the Institute was conducted helped me to ensure my progressive values informed the how and with whom I do business. NLC will always be an instrumental part of gaygreetings.com success."

Visit www.gaygreetings.com for more.



"Housing Rights Initiative (HRI) is a non-profit organization that uses a data driven to approach to identify fraudulent real estate practices and organizes class action lawsuits against predatory landlords. The largest affordable housing program in New York City, rent stabilization, is rife with systematic fraud and abuse. HRI’s mission is to get back affordability that has been stolen from the families of New York City. 

Founded less than two years ago, HRI has orchestrated close to 30 class action lawsuits against predatory landlords, two of which are against Kushner Companies.

HRI raised close to $250,000 in 2017, including a recent grant of $180,000 from the Robin Hood Foundation.

Learn more about HRI at www.housingrightsny.org.


"I started One Stock One Future ("OSOF") to plant seeds of wealth with ONE MILLION under-resourced and economically disadvantaged youth by turning them into public company shareholders.  We conduct basic classes about money, saving, spending, and investing.  We then have a preliminary discussion about stock ownership.  After completing this initial class, OSOF donates shares of stock to each student in the class.  WGN-TV did a segment on OSOF which can be viewed here.  Since launching OSOF in June 2016, I have raised over $30,000, conducted ten OSOF workshops, and turned over 200 students into public company shareholders.  With additional funding, resources, and publicity, OSOF will impact even more students by providing a sense of Hope, Inspiration, Empowerment, and Opportunity. 

NLC encouraged me to think bigger than my original Capstone vision.  The Institutes provided some key lessons around fundraising and life entrepreneurship while my Fellows offered tremendous support leading up to the launch of One Stock One Future.  I have three NLC alumni serving on the Advisory Council for OSOF, and I also have a Board Member that I met through the NLC Network."

Visit www.onestockonefuture.org for more information or check out our social media on FB, IG, and Twitter @1stock1future.



"The Politics and Spice Podcast is a project within the New Jersey Leadership Program, a 501(c)3 non-profit that seeks to enable South Asian youth to gain exposure to politics and government. Through the podcast, we speak with successful members of the South Asian community from various background including politics, government, media, business, non-profit sector and more. The Politics and Spice Podcast seeks to showcase South Asian Americans in non-traditional roles and hopes to present the general community with insight on their journey, motivation and challenges overcome. Guests have included local elected officials, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, News Director of TV Asia, as well as unreleased episodes with senior advisers to Hillary Clinton and former Vice President Dick Cheney along with Congressman Frank Pallone. 

The New Leaders Council and Institute Training allowed me to see what was possible in starting our podcast. I had a fellow in my class who launched his own podcast about the City of Newark, and through the NLC Alumni Listserv, I saw that other alums were doing the same throughout the country on various topics. These projects by other fellows gave us the confidence of launching our own podcast and disseminating our content to listeners across the spectrum and throughout the world. Thanks in part to the NLC, we've embarked on a fun project that further allows us to build upon our non-profit's mission, while educating the general community at large."

Politics and Spice is available on all major podcast mediums including Stitcher, Google Play and iTunes at https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/id1217622200.


"Millennial Rhode Island is a generational network inspiring millennials to #ChooseRI. Rhode Island is home to some of the best universities in the world. Our culinary scene is unmatched. Our coastlines and beaches are breathtakingly beautiful. And Providence, our state’s capital, is quickly becoming a cradle for creativity and risk-takers.Yet, for millennials, choosing RI isn’t easy. Millennials have experienced some of the worst financial hardships in recent history. We are burdened with student debt, we deal with underemployment, and many of us are dissatisfied working a job we didn’t aspire to do. So many millennials leave RI and hit the reset button. We roll the dice hoping that our dreams are somewhere beyond the borders of our state.Millennial RI was created to reverse that trend. Millennial RI is dedicated to increasing the number of millennials who #ChooseRI after college. We do this together by providing: A network of friendly professionals that want to see you succeed, Professional and personal development workshops, and A voice for creating millennial-friendly policies from our local and state governments.

NLC gave me a support network to successfully make my Capstone a reality. Many NLC alumni in Rhode Island have either become a member or actively engaged in a committee or board position. Without NLC, creating Millennial RI would have been far more difficult. "

Learn more about Millennial RI at www.millennialri.com.