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Selena McKenzie Earns Impact100 Founders Fellowship

September 25, 2020

Selena McKenzie, a graduate academic advisor in Drexel’s School of Education and a student in Goodwin’s Master of Science (MS) in Nonprofit Management was recently awarded an Impact 100 Founders Fellowship. Impact100 is a women’s collective that is focused on promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in philanthropy and grant-making. Since 2008, Impact 100 has given more than $3.6 million local nonprofits. The Founders Fellowship opens access to the organization to women ages 25 – 35 who demonstrate a commitment to philanthropy and service.

“I was really motivated by Impact100’s mission of engaging women in philanthropy to collectively provide high-impact grants to the Philadelphia area,” Selena shared. To earn the competitive Fellowship, Selena had to complete an essay-based application and interview where, “everyone was very welcoming right from the start…They also demonstrated an interest in me and wanted to learn more about my personal, professional goals and how this program could help me engage in philanthropy by making a positive impact within our communities.”

Being a part of the MS in Nonprofit Management program helped Selena prepare for the selection process by providing deep insight into how change is made in communities through the work of nonprofits. Selena noted, “By far, the nonprofit consulting courses within this program have prepared me the most to participate in the Fellowship. Both nonprofit consulting courses were taught by Dr. Jen Kebea, Executive Director for the Lindy Center of Civic Engagement…we worked with the Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement to complete unique consulting projects each term. Having this experience of learning the needs of our community, identifying challenges and barriers and developing creative solutions to how to address these challenges was a major benefit. It also provided me with a unique perspective to contribute to the overall mission of the Impact100 organization.”

When Selena isn’t advising students, earning her master’s or working to improve her community, she enjoys creative outlets like puzzling, crafting and baking. According to Selena, “I appreciate the sense of accomplishment that comes with creating something on your own.”

Looking ahead, Selena added, “My goals are to learn more specifically about the vital needs of our community, work that is currently being done by local nonprofits, and the challenges they encounter. I also aspire to grow personally and professionally to become a leader within our community to help continue these efforts and drive positive change. I am excited to be a part of an organization and fellowship that values Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) within our communities. Beyond valuing DEI, they are passionate about creating a brave space to have these conversations and motivated to take action to address these challenges within our community.”