2023 Fellows Use Their Stories to Drive Change
Meet Eight Fellows from NLC’s Nationwide Chapters
New Leaders Council trains the people who change the world. Our next class of Institute Fellows – our 2023 cohort – are the entrepreneurs, non-profit executives, and elected officials of the future. They are a new kind of leader on the front lines of the issues impacting their communities and, with NLC’s network and training, they’ll be equipped to solve their communities’ problems by centering equity, collaboration, and cross-sector connections.
NLC creates new ways of leading at the local level. We believe that to solve local problems, we need local problem-solvers. Below are just a few of the amazing 2023 Fellows we are welcoming to the NLC Family. While all our Fellows have shown exemplary leadership qualities and a passion for progress, the below folks have used their stories to uplift their communities. Read more about these Fellows and our 400 other Fellows on your local chapter’s webpage!
Joanne is a primary Care Nurse Practitioner and volunteers with multiple community organizations. In 2019, her life was forever changed when her baby brother was brutally killed by local police during a mental health emergency. This experience shattered her world as an emergency-trained medical provider and led her on a path to organize community efforts for awareness and demand for change in the local justice system.
Kyle is the Senior Manager of Grassroots Organizing in Texas for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. After 3 rounds of chemotherapy, Kyle survived stage II testicular cancer – the same cancer that took the life of his grandfather. He proudly draws upon his experience as a survivor to advocate for other cancer patients and their families.
Samrawit is a black Tigrayan immigrant. She helps organize peaceful protests throughout the US and trips to visit Tigrayan refugees in Sudan, continuously raising awareness of the Tigray genocide that impacts her family. She is also the Organizing Director for Black Lives Matter Seacoast.
Jess Weltha-Bales, Washington D.C.
Jess served seven years as an active-duty army officer and has extensive experience advocating for survivors of military sexual trauma and teaching bystander intervention techniques to fellow soldiers. In her current role as a Congressional Fellow with the Women’s Congressional Policy Institute, Jess is working to develop and pass legislation that supports women and the veteran community. Jess continues to serve as an army reserve public affairs officer and volunteers with her local domestic violence shelter and Veterans of Foreign Wars organization.
Imran is a public interest attorney who is passionate about assisting small business owners in New York City. His interest in small businesses started in law school, where he was part of an award-winning clinic that counseled small business owners who could not afford legal services. Currently, Imran is a Staff Attorney with the Volunteers of Legal Services (VOLS) where he advises small business owners who traditionally lack access to legal representation. At VOLS, Imran also works with grass-roots organizations on informational clinics for local small business owners and has testified at City Hall regarding progressive policy reform and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small business owners.
Noëlle Rábago Boesenberg, Silicon Valley
Noëlleis a Filipino American immigrant and single mom. In 2020, when the pandemic halted her career in business, Noëlle did what she always did in times of crisis: baked cinnamon rolls. As Noëlle baked, she realized it wasn’t just therapeutic for her but was a way to reconnect with her community during difficult times. In July 2020, Noëlle founded TherapyBaking LLC, and raised funds for local non-profit and mutual aid organizations.
Consuela is an urban ecologist, artist, community organizer, and founding co-president of People Matter (PM), a community-based organization whose mission is to uplift, unearth and untether people in different Chicago communities. A 4th generation Chicago native, she has worked for over a decade to improve race relations between Black/ Latine /Asian communities. Consuela founded PM’s Community Language Program, one of the world’s only dual-immersion Cantonese and English classes taught through a social justice lens.
Jean is a trilingual humanitarian from Haiti and is the creative director and curator of Portraits of Pride, a large-scale portraiture exhibition of LGBTQ people in the city of Boston that he launched in 2022. In 2021, he founded Rainbow Tales, a multimedia production initiative to tell LGBTQ stories through various creative mediums.
Our chapters across the U.S. adapt NLC’s national curriculum to fit their local lenses, sharing the mindsets and skillsets needed to succeed in business, public service, and/or non-profit leadership, including communications, community organizing, fundraising and finance, goal setting, and public policy.
NLC Institute is the foundational experience for all NLC Fellows, creating a shared experience that deepens their relationships within the cohort. It is these relationships that are the cornerstone of leadership development both in our chapter cohorts and for the new kind of leadership model we are building on a national scale.
When we invest in one Fellow, one cohort, one chapter, progress multiplies not just in local communities, but collectively across the country. As our 2023 Fellows join the NLC Family in January, we encourage you to learn more about our new Fellows, connect with our chapters on social media, and make a gift that sustains progress and equity one leader at a time.