Fellowship Program

Mission Statement

To expose students and graduates of undergraduate and graduate programs to the day-to-day operations of a nonprofit humanitarian organization that started in California's Antelope Valley and is expanding globally. To prepare them for careers in the health and nonprofit fields. To teach compassion for people who need the most help and have the greatest potential to benefit, such as students experiencing homelessness.

Overview of Fellowship Programs

The Margarita Humanitarian Foundation Fellowship Programs are opportunities to build leadership experience through charity work that benefits those in need. Fellows receive mentorship and coaching as they create or improve a humanitarian project of their choice.

Our 2021-2022 Fellowship Programs are 9-month programs, beginning on September 15, 2021 and ending on April 30, 2022.

Our Summer 2022 Fellowship Programs are accelerated 8-week programs from July 1, 2022 to August 31, 2022.

At this time, all fellowship programs are unpaid due to limited funding, but we are applying for funding for these programs. If funds later permit, we will offer stipends to fellows. Fellowship grants can be tax-free if used for study, research, and other educational purposes, in compliance with IRS Topic No. 421 Scholarships, Fellowship Grants, and Other Grants and IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education.

All fellowships involve:

  • Charitable humanitarian work to benefit people truly in need

  • Coaching and development of leadership skills:

    • Learning to break down a project into tiny, unintimidating, beginner-friendly tasks

    • Learning how to delegate tasks to peers and volunteers in friendly ways that make them feel included and involved

    • Learning constructive criticism strategies

    • Learning iterative processes for rapid project development

  • Mentorship: Fellows will work closely with mentors, receiving guidance and mentorship over weekly video calls, screenshares, and ongoing check-ins as they develop their leadership skills.

  • Deep thinking, consideration, kindness, and warmth toward the underprivileged and underserved

Fellows who build their leadership skills and deliver their humanitarian projects successfully are eligible to receive:

  • Priority consideration for paid leadership positions at Margarita Humanitarian Foundation.

  • Letters of recommendation for medical school, graduate school, and/or job applications.

  • Nominations to award programs, especially those for humanitarian community service.

Leaders in Humanitarian Health Fellowships

Leaders in Humanitarian Health is a fellowship program designed to help public health and medical students become more active advocates and leaders in the community and in healthcare.

The program has various components: learn to work in a nonprofit organization, network, provide community health education and social services, and participate in local humanitarian events and projects. Our fellows are responsible for proposing and developing a program to serve the community including mental health, health fairs, community development and trainings, social services, support groups, and community-based research. During the fellowship, fellows receive guidance in working in nonprofit organization through a series of workshops and team mentorship.

We provide the opportunity for students to enhance their education and continue learning skills through active leadership roles in our nonprofit organization and within the community. We meet daily to discuss current issues within the community to ensure we provide the needed programs for our community.

The program accepts an average of 2-3 students per cohort.

Eligibility

Applicants must be students or graduates of:

  • A MD, DO, or PA degree program

  • A public health degree program (undergraduate or graduate)

  • A psychology, psychiatry, or other mental health degree program (undergraduate or graduate)

  • Any other undergraduate or graduate degree program in fields related to biology, biochemistry, health, or medicine

  • Anyone else with plans to go into health-related careers

Project Criteria and Examples

Projects must be:

  • Available to low-income individuals for free or for an optional small donation.

  • Charitable either directly or as part of a larger charitable project.

  • Created with inclusiveness to those most in need.

Possible fellowship projects include but are not limited to:

  • Collaborate with a MHF Program Coordinator to create a physical or mental health-related meetup series for an underserved group, such as teens with disabilities.

  • Choose a well-defined area of the MHF Humanitarian Clinic project and collaborate with MHF staff members and fellows to build it out.

Leaders in Humanitarian Tech Fellowships

Leaders in Humanitarian Tech is a fellowship program designed to help engineers and engineering managers develop leadership experience at the intersection of tech and charitable humanitarian work.

Fellows will work closely with mentors, receiving guidance and mentorship over weekly video calls, screenshares, and ongoing check-ins as they develop their open-source leadership skills.

This fellowship is a good fit for:

  • Engineers who wish to transition into more senior engineering roles but need additional leadership experience

  • Engineering team leads or engineering managers who seek coaching and practice to become better leaders

  • Hands-on software architects with a passion for coding who are looking to build resume experience to level up to Senior Architect, Solutions Architect, Director of Engineering, VP of Engineering, or other similar positions in their industry

Eligibility

Applicants must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  1. Undergraduate or graduate degree in computer science, engineering, or another technical field

  2. Five or more years of professional industry experience in software engineering, hardware engineering, or another technical field

Project Criteria and Examples

Projects must be:

  • Free to anyone to use

  • Open-source software and/or hardware

  • Charitable either directly or as a dependency of a charitable project

Possible fellowship projects include but are not limited to:

  • Create a custom Linux disk image for donated laptops. Start with a free, user-friendly operating system such as Ubuntu and add apps that are useful for students doing homework, and/or educational apps/games for children.

  • Create a custom version of Ubuntu Touch, LineageOS, or another OS for tablets and smartphones, with the goal of installing it on all donated tablets and smartphones. Include useful educational apps and games such as those provided by Elimu.ai.

  • Choose an area of the Help-a-Family project to lead and build out, such as forms and process workflow for laptop/device donations.

  • Lead a team building out the foundations of a simple, modern electronic medical records system, for use in the MHF Humanitarian Clinic.

  • Develop a prototype for a minimally-invasive open-source medical device, such as a new design for a blood pressure cuff.

  • Build out a React/DaisyUI/Next.js Cookiecutter project template that makes it easy for MHF to build out new projects quickly, following best practices.

  • Build out a program for getting underserved high school or college students (e.g. girls/women of color) into open source software development. Mentor those students by coming up with easy open-source GitHub issues for them, such as small documentation tasks on a high-visibility open-source project.

  • Develop a website as a public health awareness campaign for COVID-19, in collaboration with designers and developers. See Corona: Assisted for a successful example of this type of project.

Leaders in Humanitarian Service Fellowships

Leaders in Humanitarian Service is a fellowship program for all others who wish to develop their leadership skills in any area of expertise. Opportunities for community service exist for almost any imaginable industry and field, including interior design, art, sociology, linguistics, finance, accounting, fundraising, computer repair, electronics, and more. Eligibility criteria are flexible, and we encourage all to apply.

Possible fellowship projects include but are not limited to:

  • Develop a fun and engaging workshop series for at-promise youth or families of incarcerated individuals.

  • Create a rotating art show program for our Palmdale community space, curating artwork that helps underprivileged families feel welcome, relaxed, and included.

  • Lead the creation of a community computer room for families in need, setting up donated computers for youth, parents, seniors, and others in need to use for free.

  • Collaborate with a program coordinator on grant-writing for their outreach initiatives.

Program Applications

Our online applications open at the end of Summer and at the start of spring for the Fall and Summer cohort, respectively. Applications are currently open on a rolling basis.

The application will be posted here shortly or please contact our executive director, Audrey Roy Greenfeld at audrey.roy.greenfeld@margaritahumanitarian.org.

"I hope to bring in my knowledge and experiences working with underserved youth in order to further develop our mentorship program and provide a space to support our youth so they can not only survive in today’s world, but so they can thrive as well. Growing up in the AV, I want to give back to the same community that helped raise me and my hope is to encourage others to do the same and be the change they want to see in the world."

Veronica Cruz, BA Sociology and Language, Culture, & Society

Fall Cohort of 2021

"Physical and mental health are two things I am passionate about in helping improve for everyone. Through the Margarita Humanitarian Foundation, I plan on making this a reality by providing the resources needed for anyone who seeks help to receive aid."

Zi Rivas, BS Biochemistry

Fall Cohort of 2021

"Volunteering with MHF has been an amazing experience so far. What I love most about MHF is our focus on serving the local community. I am a firm believer in starting small to reach big. As a fellow, I look forward to working closely with the community that I attended high school in and to building new programs and initiatives that will help build an even greater community."

Atira Shenoy, BS Health Sciences

Fall Cohort of 2021

"Being a part of the organization has furthered my strive to be a humanitarian leader, and has given me the opportunity to lend a helping hand to the individuals in the community most in need."

Andrew Arellano, BA Psychology, MHFA

Fall Cohort of 2020

"Having been born and raised in the Antelope Valley, I take pride in being a part of an organization that strives to bring kindness and care to individuals in our community regardless of their disabilities, race, gender, or socioeconomic status."

Angela Chahine, BS Biology

Fall Cohort of 2020

"Working at Margarita Humanitarian Foundation has inspired my drive, commitment, dedication, and advocacy that has transpired my willingness to improve the community."

Rosalyn Bowen, BS Public Health

Summer Cohort of 2021

"I believe the Margarita Humanitarian Foundation Fellowship Program not only creates leaders and advocates for the most vulnerable individuals in the community, but it also teaches individuals to lead with humility and devotion."

Alondra Cortes, BS Biochemistry, MS1, MHFA

Summer Cohort of 2021