As a way to promote the incredible work our Host Organizations are doing and to spread word of the substantial impact Atlas Corps Fellows have on their teams, we are sharing a short feature on BroadFutures and their experience with Atlas Corps.

Host Organization: BroadFutures

BroadFutures seeks to enhance the inherent potential of young adults with learning disabilities through partnerships that foster independence, self-advocacy and successful employment.

Fellow: Nyasha Frank (Class 23, Zimbabwe)

Originally from Zimbabwe, Nyasha has a Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing Management from the Management College of Southern Africa. Through his experiences with Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator’s Management team and his position as an IT Coordinator at Media Works, Nyasha helped facilitate employment opportunities for South Africa’s unemployed youth and utilized technology to improve the literacy and numeracy skills among marginalized groups. He has acquired strong leadership, community engagement, project coordination and management skills, and has developed a passion for promoting youth economic empowerment.

Nyasha’s View on Serving BroadFutures:

“My perception of non-profit startups has changed dramatically from working closely with Carolyn. The entrepreneurial approach in which she applies to running the organization has placed BroadFutures in a ‘ready to scale’ position to fill the gap in the disability space. She has a willingness to listen to different perspectives, and her conviction and courage to invest in bringing an Atlas Corps Fellow from another country is a true testament to that growth mindset.

BroadFutures has also expanded my understanding of youth transitions, positive youth development, and disability inclusion in the workforce. The organization has taught me the value in taking a holistic approach to youth development, and that the physical and emotional well-being of young adults is as important as the skills that they need to succeed in the workforce. I am going to employ these skills and lessons that I gained towards my work in facilitating youth transitions into the workforce in Sub-Saharan Africa. I believe the networks that I developed during my stay in the United States coupled with best practices on disability inclusion will be drawn upon as I pursue my goals in the future.”

Supervisor:  Carolyn Jeppsen, Co-Founder/CEO/President

At Atlas Corps, we have a tradition of stating our “Five Facts” when introducing ourselves to new people. Please state the following facts:

  •       Name: Carolyn Jeppsen
  •       Hometown: Princeton, NJ
  •       Role at Organization: President/CEO/Co-Founder
  •       Social Issue/Interest Area: Employment of youth
  •       Fun Fact: I lived in Tokyo where I gave birth to twins and my great-grandmother was a suffragette.

Why did you decide to host an Atlas Corps Fellow and how has hosting one influenced your team?

We were looking for talent to accommodate our growing young non-profit, and we wanted someone with experience who brought a diverse perspective and culture to our organization. Nyasha has provided us with new perspectives and skills sets, and has allowed us to look at ourselves from the outside and understand how our organization may be viewed from a different viewpoint. In addition to hosting Nyasha, we decided to hire the South African data management team that Nyasha had been connected with prior to coming to BroadFutures. It has enlarged our small team by more than just numbers; we have added a whole team from overseas by bringing Nyasha over to join us here in DC, which has made us feel complete.

How has your Fellow’s contributions and insights impacted your organization? Will they advance your organization’s mission in the long run?

Yes, they absolutely have.  Nyasha has helped significantly in implementing our new data management systems, as well as providing critical support as we look to overhaul our marketing and messaging. He has also served as a peer mentor to help support the youth that we serve.

BroadFutures is not only hosting an Atlas Corps Fellow, but Atlas Corps is also hosting a BroadFutures intern. Can you give more background on the BroadFutures internship program?

We are a training, mentoring and paid internship program for young adults with learning disabilities.  We are always looking for employers to partner with who understand our mission and can provide a variety of professional office experiences.  Since coming to know Atlas Corps through the vetting process of becoming a Host Organization, I thought they would be the perfect partner due to their commitment to cultural diversity, employment and professional development.  Upon further discussion, I came to find out that Atlas Corps wanted to expand their diversity to include disability, so it was a perfect fit for Atlas Corps to become a BroadFutures employer partner. While we hosted an Atlas Corps Fellow, Atlas Corps hosted and supervised a BroadFutures intern, which entailed participating in our weekly check ins and final presentations.

What has your Fellow taught you?

I have learned a lot about patience. As a young non-profit, we always operate at 100 mph, and Nyasha has taught me personally to take the time to consider all options. He pointed out that sometimes we need to take the time to be evaluate, vet, and review a situation in order to reach the best decision.

More about Atlas Corps

Atlas Corps partners with mission-driven organizations (nonprofit, private, and government) to facilitate a professional exchange program for the world’s best emerging social change leaders to live and serve in the United States for a 12-month Fellowship. The Atlas Corps network currently includes more than 600 professionals from 87 countries who have served at 220 organizations.

Interested in becoming a Host Organization for an Atlas Corps Fellow? Fill out Host Interest Form.