The Karel Fellowship has been around since 2012. There have been nine classes of Fellows so far, and we’re so excited to welcome our tenth class of Fellows this summer!

Andrea Ronquillo Mendez (She/Her/Hers) is a rising junior at Wellesley College majoring in Political Science.  
 
Last summer, Andrea collaborated with Students Demand Action and led the Everytown for Gun Safety Summer Leadership Academy in South Los Angeles. She provided students with the skills necessary to advocate for the reduction of gun violence in their communities.  
 
On campus, Andrea is also involved in her school’s student government and was a Teaching Assistant for Introduction to American Politics in Fall 2021. Both experiences have helped her grow as a leader and communicator.  
 
This summer, Andrea is interning at the Food Recovery Network,  a student movement fighting food waste and working to end hunger in America.


Falisha Hola (She/Her/Hers) is a rising senior at the University of Rochester, studying Political Science and Anthropology. As a Pasifika Woman with roots in Tonga, she is passionate about climate change and equipping island nations with the tools they need to survive in the event of natural disasters. As a Rainier Scholar and as a first-generation low-income college student, Falisha has become more confident in knowing that there is a place for her in this world. As a result, she would like to reimagine a better place and challenge the structures and institutions that are in place. 

As a workforce development intern and operations assistant with the Washington Association of Sewer & Water Districts, Falisha identified and created partnerships between local schools, communities, and other water districts. Here, she learned the impact the role of these districts and organizations plays in providing services and goods to the communities they serve. 

This summer, Falisha is interning at the National Wildlife Federation, a nonprofit whose mission is to unite Americans from all walks of life in giving wildlife a voice. 
 


Fatma ElRefaei (She/Her/Hers) is a rising junior at Franklin & Marshall College, majoring in government and environmental studies. She is passionate about the intersection of environmental change and social justice issues. As a research assistant in her school’s Earth and Environment Department, Fatma has been working on advocacy and research on tackling the food desert crisis in Lancaster, PA, especially as it affects low-income women of color communities.  
 
Off-campus, Fatma is a fierce advocate for women’s rights and empowerment. She co-founded an organization called Together Foundation, which utilizes social media as a platform for advocating for women’s right to sexual health and against domestic abuse as a part of the Women2Women program’s action plan. Furthermore, she has developed programs for women all around the world to learn about various social justice issues, peaceful demonstrations, and how they can implement these action items back at home.   

This summer, Fatma is interning at Greenpeace, a nonprofit whose mission is to use non-violent creative action to pave the way towards a greener and more peaceful world.


Kaytlin Brown (She/Her/Hers) is a rising junior at Morgan State University, majoring in strategic communications. In addition to being a full-time student, she is a mother to a beautiful seven-year-old boy named Kayden. Her experience raising a young African American man in today’s society has influenced her to want to build a better future for not only him but also for African American men overall. Moreover, Kaytlin is passionate about building support systems for young mothers and combatting inequalities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This summer, Kaytlin is interning at the National League of Cities, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to being a resource and advocate for the nation’s cities and their leaders.


Maria (Mary) Sailale (She/Her/Hers) is a rising senior and a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar at the University of Texas at Austin, majoring in international relations and global studies with a minor in philosophy. She is passionate about access to quality education, especially as it pertains to young Black women and the school-to-prison pipeline, and strives to build support networks for them. As a communications intern at the First-Generation Low-Income Partnership (FLIP), Maria utilized social media to provide support for first-generation low-income college students across the country. Through this, she helped FLIP with its fundraising and grant research initiatives.  

This summer, Maria is interning at the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program, a nonprofit that aims to advance higher education practices and leadership that improves student learning, completion, and employment after college.


Mateo Latorraca Rodrigo (He/Him/His) is a rising senior and a Posse Miami Scholar at Franklin & Marshall College, studying Business Development and Government Relations. As a first-generation low-income student, he knows firsthand how access to equitable resources can make a difference in individual and community lives.  
 
As Co-President of I.M.P.A.C.T. (Intelligent. Men. Purposefully. Accomplishing. College. Together.), Mateo strived to create a safe and productive space for students who identify as male and emphasized the importance of having a brotherhood. Through this organization, he led a school-wide Gentlemen’s Conference and community fundraisers for local non-profits centered around the unhoused community and impoverished in Lancaster, PA.  

This summer, Mateo is interning at the Milken Institute for Advancing the American Dream, a nonprofit supporting people in acheving the American Dream through good health, good education, and an economic system that works for all.


Millena Prather (She/Her/Hers) is a rising senior at the University of Maryland Baltimore County at the Universities at Shady Grove, majoring in social work and psychology. She is an advocate for women, Black women, and older adults seeing as those populations are most neglected and need the help of social workers and psychologists. Millena is passionate about eradicating the maternal death rate experienced among Black women, which is at an all-time high today.  
  
This summer, Millena is interning at Mary’s Center, a community health center serving nearly 60,000 people of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds in the greater Washington, DC metro area in areas of health care, education, and social services.