Welcoming the YTFG Fellowship Class of 2023-2025!
The YTFG Fellowship Program is open to young adults between ages 21 and 29 with interest in learning about philanthropy and in improving the public systems which impact young people – notably housing, education, employment, child welfare, and youth justice systems. Our Fellows have direct knowledge, expertise, and experience with those systems and are willing and able to actively share their perspectives and ideas with our network.
By serving as a Fellow, young leaders gain insight into the issues and challenges that funders are trying to address and the frameworks that guide their investment decisions. Exposure to the world of philanthropy is a unique opportunity that benefits Fellows whether they may want to pursue a career in philanthropy or envision working with philanthropy in professional roles in nonprofit and/or governmental sectors. Fellows also benefit from ongoing professional learning from funders, speakers at network meetings and discussions held during and between meetings. They also have access to personal coaching and mentorship and peer-to-peer connections through the YTFG network. YTFG offers up to nine Fellowships in each 3-year cohort.
We are absolutely thrilled to have such an incredible cohort of YTFG Fellows here in New York, NY at our annual spring network meeting and we look forward to sharing about the innovative work we will do together.
St. Paul, MN
Social innovator, Youth Justice Strategist and Multi-Disciplinary Artist from St. Paul Minnesota, Aazia-Marie Ross focuses on ending youth incarceration and creating effective alternative programs, authentic youth engagement and leadership, probation transformation and community peace enforcement. Her creative disciplines include painting, graphic design, sewing, and interior design. Many of her pieces are personal, created for the joy and therapeutic benefits the arts brings. However, aligned with her advocacy she strongly encourages the youth she partners with to also find creative outlets. Currently, Aazia-Marie sits on Minnesota’s Governor appointed State Advisory Group and is the founder of Cynosure Consulting LLC. She is also an alumna of Annie E. Casey’s Youth Advisory Council, Coalition of Juvenile Justice’ Emerging Leaders Committee as well as former chair of Dakota County’s Youth Advisory Council.
Amanda Majail-Blanco, a first-generation daughter, mother of twin boys, an artist, and a part-time student at CSU East Bay, supports impacted families in Oakland, California. Amanda’s brother, Erik Salgado, was murdered by Highway Patrol in June of 2020. Since then, through a terrible tragedy, she and her family have fought and continue to fight for justice till this day. Amanda has naturally organized around her brother’s death and soon became connected to organizations in Oakland doing movement work. With her personal life’s experiences and having experienced a huge loss in her life committed by state violence, Amanda felt aligned in raising awareness around Police Terrorism. Amanda now works as an Organizer Coordinator at Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice (CURYJ). She grew up in San Leandro and Oakland California throughout her life. Since she was 15, she was impacted by the juvenile injustice system. Growing up fast had its pros and cons but Amanda always continued to advocate for herself and rise above the challenges. Working with young people, young mothers and families has been a long-time career path, as well as passion for Amanda which she does with a lot of humility, compassion and grace. Being first handedly impacted by many systems at a young age, has shaped her and is still learning every day. The journey to healing is never ending, but with the wisdom thus far, Amanda will continue to make an impact in her community and family. Amanda looks forward to continuing to make an impact in the world, paving the way for her children and herself.
New York, NY
Tony spent seven years in New York’s foster care system and is an excellent advocate and voice for foster youth and other youth who are involved with various child serving systems. Tony is a graduate of Columbia University and also a Consultant with Center for Fair Futures. He has written articles for the New York Times and Huffington Post, and was formerly a Journalist for Youth Communication Represent – a magazine for and by foster youth, a Board Member at YP!, and former president of the New Yorker’s for Children Youth Advisory Board. Tony’s main career goal is to become Commissioner of New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services. When not being a Superhero for youth in need Tony spends his time reading classic literature, listening to music, working on his podcast and blog, traveling across the country and meeting new people.
Los Angeles, CA
Daniel Bisuano is an actor, writer, poet, and advocate. He continues to pursue his dream and goals to pursue his creative goals while also empowering his community through his advocacy work. Daniel has been an advocate for over ten years and has worked with and been a part of organizations like Homeboys Industries, Anti-Recidivism Coalition, California Justice Leaders, Youth Commission and Inside Out Writers. Daniel continues to strive to not only better himself but also his community around him. Having spent seven years in the justice system as a youth he has a strong passion for the empowerment and advocacy of the formerly incarcerated community. Living as a former foster youth Daniel believes that many different communities intertwine and has a strong passion for creating awareness and change amongst each one. Currently Daniel is on the board and committees of different community advocacy organizations like Reproductive Health and Equity Project for Foster youth, ACLU serving on the Arts Justice Council and served as a Youth Commissioner for District 3. As well as his different engagements with advocacy, Daniel is a part time student at Los Angeles Trade Technical Community College majoring in English. Daniel continues to explore different ways to help the community through his work as well as different ways to share the stories of people impacted by the various barriers associated with being involved within the system.
Élane Jones serves as a Youth Engagement Specialist at Project Everlast Omaha. Previously she worked as a paralegal specializing in Probate, Estate planning, and Incorporations however, Élane’s passion is to uplift communities by engaging Youth in leadership, education, and social opportunities as well as through understanding. Prior to Project Everlast Omaha, Élane began her journey in nonprofit work by volunteering in the community and through advocacy with organizations like; Douglas County Community Response (DCCR), YMCA of Greater Omaha, and Nebraska Children Parent Leadership Advisory Council. Élane’s motto is “Life is not a destination; it is a Journey. You can’t understand success without failure.”
Los Angeles, CA
Fatima Juarez was born in Mexico but immigrated with her family to Southern California at the age of three. In the years she spent living with her parents she experienced a lot of adversities and abuse that led her to advocate for herself at the age of fifteen. Speaking up meant she was going to enter the foster care system with all three of her siblings. Despite the obstacles she faced in foster care that was the spark that ignited her passion for advocacy and social justice. Fatima is now a single parent of two beautiful children and has her bachelor’s degree in human services and psychology. Throughout her undergraduate degree she was a Foster Youth Advocate for the Department of Education for Orange County and worked at different nonprofits that served at-risk youth. Fatima is also a Domestic Violence Advocate for the state of California as she is a survivor herself and has worked for the Women’s Transitional Living Center. Fatima is now a Consultant for LeSar Support Services, a firm that helps private and public entities with large-scale systems change focused on creating housing affordability and ending homelessness. On her free time, she likes to stay in touch with her creative side and models for clothing stores.
Farid’s daily and long life career goal’s motivation and aspirations are rooted in his upbringing and lived experience in his journey from a rural village of mountainous Afghanistan to foster care in the U.S. His advocacy for well-being and successful transitions of young people to adulthood began in refugee camps of Indonesia, where he and his friends undertook a variety of initiatives – mainly a social media network, which grew to reach 20,000 members, to centralize information, news, and everything concerning refugees in Indonesia. After resettlement to the U.S. as an Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM), he joined the Mockingbird Society and partnered with various stakeholders to transform foster care and end youth homelessness across Washington State through policy reform, community engagement, and youth leadership development. Currently, Farid works at Inatai Foundation as an Investment Operations Analyst, a Seattle, WA based organization working to transform the balance of power to ensure equity and racial justice. In this role, he advances the foundation’s mission by leveraging personal experience in day-to-day investment operations role. Farid is also a Fostering Scholar at Seattle University, where he is graduating in June of 2023 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Business Economics. In his free time, he enjoys soccer, being in nature, and cooking.
Los Angeles, CA
Growing up, Lupita Carballo got used to hearing police sirens and helicopters and seeing the police wait outside her school to hand out truancy tickets to kids running late. When her sister died of cancer, she fell behind in school and the school district failed to take any time to support her through the crisis. Then she joined the Youth Justice Coalition’s FREE LA High School and realized the power of organizing. She saw their team successfully push to decriminalize fare evasion at the county and then the state level. Five years later, now she organizes other youth, to fight police violence and the unjust laws targeting their community. (She the people,2021,’25 under 25:Women Of Color to Watch’MS.30-03)
Los Angeles, CA
My name is Vannesa Santos, I’m 28 years old, and I’m graduating from California State University Los Angeles in spring 2023. I’ve been in higher education for 7 years, while maintaining jobs and internship opportunities. My major is Speech-language Pathology however, I grew a passion for public policy because of my personal life in foster care, work and internship experiences in non-profit organizations. I’m known for being resourceful. I want others to have opportunities to succeed. As an aged-out former foster youth, I’ve encountered many setbacks but that doesn’t stop me from learning. I’m currently a Programs Associate in the grants and initiatives department for the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, a competitive one-year internship experience, where I will be working for the grants and initiatives department. I’m hoping to build a career in public policy by helping children and youth transition into adulthood in the best way possible by eliminating barriers to help them be successful adults.