Ashoka’s flagship program, Venture & Fellowship, provides the search, selection and support of leading social entrepreneurs in the United States. Ashoka US elects Fellows at various stages of their lifecycle as social entrepreneurs, from early-launch Fellows that are just getting an innovative idea off the ground to Senior Fellows that have achieved national or global impact and have made a “scratch on history” with their idea.
Currently, there are approximately 220 Fellows in the United States working to solve the most significant social and economic issues of our time.
Our Fellows are:
- Building entirely new fields — like Participatory Defense — to give communities most affected by mass incarceration the avenues to influence the criminal justice process and build a strong legal foundation for more local, sustainable economic activity;
- Leveling the educational playing field via organizations like Donors Choose, Beyond 12 and the New Teacher Centre;
- Drafting legislation and changing policy at the state level — like the groundbreaking Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights in New York and California — and at the federal level, too. Paul Reickhoff and his Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America were instrumental in the US Senate’s unanimous passing of the Clay Hunt Bill in 2015 to provide better help for veterans with serious mental health issues.
“I have been constantly blown away by the generosity and vision of Ashoka. They have been unmatched as a thought partner, helping me and my organization to see connections in our work that transcend geographic boundaries and the usual discipline silos. And they have been unparalleled as a connector. My own experience as an Ashoka Fellow has been nothing short of transformational.” -Jill Vialet, Ashoka Fellow and founder of Playworks