Co-Founder & President / July 2014 - Present
I've led tech nonprofit AsylumConnect for the past 4.5 years in establishing the first online resource catalog for LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S. The AsylumConnect catalog currently helps LGBTQ asylum seekers find safe, high-quality resources during the U.S. asylum process. Nonprofits and lawyers also use the catalog to gather verified resource referrals for LGBTQ clients. We're now partnering with Y Combinator-backed tech nonprofit One Degree to improve and expand our catalog across the U.S. and to Canada. When AsylumConnect reaches scale, there should never be a moment when someone does not know where it is safe to go for help due to their LGBTQ identity or immigration status.
In my role as co-founder and president, I’ve built a diverse volunteer team and advisory board, established key partnerships, secured coverage in major media outlets, won numerous social impact awards, raised seed funding, piloted four iterations of the first online resource catalog for LGBTQ asylum seekers in the U.S. culminating in the release of the national U.S. catalog powered by One Degree, and grown the number of active AsylumConnect catalog users to over 9,000.
For my work on AsylumConnect, I was selected as the winner of MCC15’s Millennium Peace Prize at the UN and the Business Today Impact Challenge (2015), a finalist for the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference Pitch Competition (2017), named to the Clinton Foundation’s CGI U Alumni Honor Roll of social innovators (2017), a Mogul Influencer (2017), a Roddenberry Fellow (2019), and others.
Major Awards Won for AsylumConnect
Winner of 2018 Awesome Without Borders grant supported by the Awesome Foundation & the Harnisch Foundation
Named to Clinton Foundation's inaugural 2017 Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) Alumni Honor Roll of social innovators
Finalist for 2017 Harvard Social Enterprise Conference (SECON) Pitch Competition
Commitment to Action featured at the 2016 Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meeting at University of California, Berkeley
Winning Team of the 2015 Business Today Impact Challenge at the BT International Conference
Winner of the 2015 Millennium Peace Prize at the 7th Annual Millennium Campus Conference (MCC15) at the United Nations
Fellow for the 2015 Penn Social Impact House (22 Penn and Columbia student and alumni leaders in social impact)
Winner of the 2015 Global Hesselbein Student Leadership Award (1 of 50 global student recipients)
Co-Founder & Board Member / July 2016 - Present
In July 2016, I co-founded a second tech nonprofit, UPchieve. UPchieve is an ed-tech nonprofit providing free, on-demand STEM tutoring and college counseling to underserved high school students in the U.S. UPchieve focuses on helping students who fall into at least one of the following at-risk categories: low-income, racial/ethnic minorities, LGBTQ, immigrants, and/or first-generation college students.
In my role as co-founder, I helped to assemble a team, draft advertising and web copy, launch a social media presence, secure a student enrollment partner, and obtain pro bono legal support for incorporation and fiscal sponsorship. As a current member of UPchieve's board, I advise on nonprofit development (PR/media, marketing, partnerships, fundraising, recruiting, pilot and scaling strategy).