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24 Bush Fellows will work to increase their leadership abilities

The fellowships last one or two years, and provide from $50,000 to $100,000 for expenses and tuition.

Twenty-four Bush Fellows have been named for 2014 and will receive funding to pursue education or other learning activities that will increase their leadership abilities.

The fellowships last one or two years, and provide from $50,000 to $100,000 for expenses and tuition.

The Bush Foundation has had 2,200 fellows in its program since 1965.

Bush Foundation President Jennifer Ford Reedy said:

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“Some have used their Fellowship to pursue doctorate degrees, others to obtain bachelor’s degrees. Some have used it to travel across the country and build connections with thought leaders on topics important to their community, others to build stronger networks within their community. What Fellows do during their Fellowship is unique to their individual needs, but the impact is often the same: an experience that leaves them better equipped and better networked to be a more effective leader for their community.”

The 2014 fellows, who were selected from Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and 23 Native Nations are:

  • Andriana Abariotes, St. Paul; executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corp., Twin Cities, which directs investments to challenged neighborhoods.
  • Jamal Adam, Minneapolis; he fled Somalia at age 13 and works as a counselor and instructor at Minneapolis Technical and Community College.
  • Sylvia Bartley, Eden Prairie; works for Medtronic’s Deep Brain Stimulation Therapy and wants to address disparities in education between African-American and Caucasian children.
  • Jacquie Berglund, Minneapolis; social entrepreneur and founder of FINNEGAN’S, the brewery that gives 100 percent of its profits back to the community.
  • Tawanna Black, Brooklyn Park; the director of Northside Funder Groups will seek to strengthen community partnerships in North Minneapolis.
  • Tane Danger, Minneapolis; co-founder and host of the Theater of Public Policy; he will pursue a degree at the U’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
  • Makram El-Amin, Minneapolis; the imam of Masjid An-Nur will study how other cultural groups, such as African Americans, Catholics, Jews and the Irish were once viewed as “others.”
  • Nimo Farah, Minneapolis; an artist who wants to empower young Somalis through stories of their tradition and culture.
  • Sue Hakes, Grand Marais; the Cook County commissioner and former Grand Marais mayor will work to build leadership in northeastern Minnesota.
  • Richard Iron Cloud, Porcupine, S.D., who works for the Oglala Sioux Tribe on its natural resource code. He’ll focus his dissertation on indigenous peace-making systems.
  • Jessica Jackson, Minneapolis; she will work to develop a community-based program to increase hope, engagement and well-being among African American youth in the region.
  • Syl Jones, Minnetonka; the journalist, corporate PR manager and consultant will pursue a master’s degree in narrative medicine at Columbia University to further his work on creating a more equitable health care system.
  • Megan Laudenschlager, Surrey, N..D; she works at the Minot Area Community Foundation and wants to help engage residents there in crafting the future of the community.
  • Sherman Patterson, Minneapolis; the ommunity liaison for Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau and former aide to R.T. Rybak wants to work to end the culture of gun violence.
  • Maureen Ramirez, St. Paul;  the former University of Minnesota Regent wants to continue restoring public institutions by working from within. She’s the Growth & Justice director of policy and research.
  • Christina Sambor, Bismarck, N.D.; an attorney fighting human trafficking in North Dakota works with legislators and survivors to address this “modern-day slavery.”
  • Lori Saroya, Blaine; the co-founder of the Council on American Islamic Relations, Minnesota, will pursue a master’s in nonprofit management.
  • Marvin Sims, Andover; the dean of students at Irondale High School has worked to create a safety net for students.
  • Malini Srivastava, Fargo, N.D.; the architect works on fuel cost-savings programs in North Dakota.
  • Chris Stewart, St. Cloud; the former Minneapolis School Board member and founding director of the African American Leadership Forum will work on a new model for the black leadership community.
  • Michael Strand, Fargo, N.D.; the assistant professor and department head of visual arts at North Dakota State University will work to learn more about rhetoric and communication.
  • Charlie Thayer, Minneapolis; he has worked with farmers and landowners for the Indian Land Tenure Foundation and wants to make it easier for stories about Native culture to be told in the voice of the Native people.
  • Jennifer Waltman, Maple Grove; she has worked for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe as commissioner of community development and wants to develop integrated mental health and medical services.
  • Laura Zabel, St. Paul; the executive director of Springboard for the Arts wants communities to use artists to find creative solutions to complex challenges.