Introducing the Fund II Foundation Roots & Shoots National Fellows!


In order to achieve our vision of a more compassionate world, filled with compassionate citizens making compassionate decisions, we must actively pursue investing in inclusion at every level of our daily lives and work. This has always been the Jane Goodall Institute and Roots & Shoots model, and it is in fact central to the aim of the program: to foster respect and compassion for all living things, to promote understanding of all cultures and beliefs, and to inspire each individual to take action to make the world a better place for people, other animals, and the environment. To that end, we are proud to introduce the Fund II Foundation Roots & Shoots National Fellowship Program, a 10-month program dedicated to fostering the holistic and professional development of U.S. – based young people of color alongside those with a commitment to serving youth of color in underserved communities. This fellowship program is made possible by the Fund II Foundation.

According to Dr. Jane Goodall, “The greatest threat to our future is apathy.” Thankfully, through partnerships like this, JGI’s Roots & Shoots and Fund II Foundation are combating apathy through a shared vision of a future with compassion for all and diverse voices taking action to build a better world. Our driven fellows each have their own vision of ways they can create solutions and exemplify the compassionate competencies as individuals, as representatives in their communities, and around the country. In our application process, we asked the fellows to share why they were applying and what they hoped to take away from the experience. Fund II Foundation Roots & Shoots Fellow Anjana Murali expressed,

Through the Roots & Shoots network, I want to share my story and experiences with advocacy and learn new leadership styles and methods of community building from other youth change makers from around the country. Enacting change is never easy, but the journey is made easier when shared with people who hold similar values, and I hope to find my people in the Roots & Shoots community.

Introducing the 2018 Fund II Foundation Roots & Shoots Fellows:

Susette Oñate (Gainesville, Florida)
Alexandria Brady-Mine (Gainesville, Florida)
Brooke Palmer (Houston, Texas)
Billal Mabizari (Baltimore, Maryland)
Madison McCall (Lithonia, Georgia)
Sierra Bentley (Saint Clair Shores, Michigan)
Jeremiah Steen (Grosse Pointe, Michigan)
Mariah Lin (Los Angeles, California)
Angela Shields (Boston, Massachusetts)
Victor Davila (New York, New York)
Nathan Carpenter (Portland, Oregon)
Anjana Murali (Glendale, Wisconsin)
Brandon Jones (Baltimore, Maryland)
Danya AbdelHameid (Alexandria, Virginia)

Offered for the first time this year, the program is comprised of young people (18-24) from across the U.S. including, Florida, Texas, Michigan, Georgia, California, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Wisconsin, Maryland and Virginia. The group possesses varied skill sets and expertise, bringing with them an already impressive career in social activism. Their unique and varied backgrounds will enable them to inspire their own communities to take action and spread Dr. Jane Goodall’s message of hope, reinforcing that we each have a role to play, every single day. The fellows will address significant issues in their own communities ranging from advocating for women’s rights and health equity, tackling issues of cultural identity through the lens of race and gender, encouraging technological innovation, literacy program implementation, developing tools for educational enhancement, exploring intersectional feminism, promoting habitat conservation and climate change, to name a few.

To assist in growing their projects, the fellows will receive training from the Jane Goodall Institute, attend professional development seminars, public lectures and complete a free five week online-course through Coursera. Each fellow will also be awarded a $3,000 stipend to design and implement a community-centered service learning project using the Roots & Shoots four-step model for service learning. The projects will target an audience of 100 youth community members, and aim to engage with them in an impactful way. Each fellow will also have $200 mini-grants available to them to distribute towards community projects they identify.

These compassionate citizens are already working to inspire those in their communities to take action. Through participation in the fellowship, fellows will be given the resources, support and training they need to take their vision for a more equitable, kind, sustainable world to new heights. We can’t wait to share what they create! To start your own Roots & Shoots project, learn more here.

More about Fund II Foundation:

Fund II Foundation’s mission is to preserve the African-American experience; safeguard human rights; provide music education; preserve the environment while promoting the benefits of the outdoors; and sustain critical American values such as entrepreneurship. Fund II Foundation is committed to exposing vulnerable and minority populations to the benefits of outdoor experiences. Learn more at


The Jane Goodall Institute is a global community conservation organization that advances the vision and work of Dr. Jane Goodall. By protecting chimpanzees and inspiring people to conserve the natural world we all share, we improve the lives of people, animals and the environment. Everything is connected—everyone can make a difference.

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About Author

Shelby Dye is the Community Engagement Associate at the Jane Goodall Institute for Roots & Shoots, where she works to connect young people to Dr. Jane Goodall's vision and the JGI mission. Shelby graduated from the University of Arkansas with a B.A. in Physical Anthropology and a B.A. in Journalism with a focus on advertising and public relations. Shelby is experienced in influencer marketing and public relations for non-profits. When she's not busy exploring the wonderful world of media, she likes learning new dance moves and reciting Disney movies word-for-word.