Berkeley Board Fellows Celebrate Board Service at Finale Event

By Mary Harty, BBF Program Fellow & MBA ‘18

Last Wednesday April 25th, saw the Berkeley Board Fellows gather for a celebration of all they’ve achieved in the program over the past eight months. Over sixty students participated in the program this year, serving a host of nonprofits across the San Francisco Bay Area. Fellows help nonprofits further their social mission through service (attending board meetings and events) and by completing a strategically significant project, with the support of social impact faculty, staff, and coaches. From organizations focused on education to those in health and wellness, Fellows had the opportunity to make a mark across a wide range of industries this year.

During the Finale event, Fellows and program staff came together to reflect on and share their experiences. The Finale also served as an opportunity for Fellows to share board presentation tips and tricks, as many either recently presented, or have yet to present, their project findings to their board. It was wonderful to hear how many of our Fellows became deeply involved with the nonprofits they served over the past year. In addition to participating in board meetings and completing their strategic project, two current Fellows, Joanna Lyons (MBA/MPH ’19) and Aja Heisler (MDP ‘18), took the time to visit nutritional education classes run by their nonprofit Fresh Approach, while Antoine Orard (FTMBA ’19) even volunteered his time as a waiter during a comedy night fundraiser for the International Institute of the Bay Area.

Surabhi Yadav (MDP ’19) participates in the Berkeley Board Fellows Finale.

The Finale event culminated with a fireside chat with Berkeley Board Fellow Alum, Lydia Kearney (FTMBA ‘17). Lydia graduated from Haas in 2017 and has since transitioned from board fellow, to full-fledged board member with Peninsula College Fund. Lydia acknowledged that while becoming a board member was a truly rewarding experience, there are a host of board service alternatives for Fellows graduating from the program to pursue, including serving on one-off projects, or participating as junior board members or in committees.

Once more, a huge congratulations to all of our 2017–18 Berkeley Board Fellows for their service, and thank you to the nonprofit organizations who hosted them! We are excited to see the incredible positive social impact that our Fellows contributed to this year in the wider San Francisco Bay Area community.