Welcome 2018-2019 Work First Fellows
The Work First Foundation welcomes the 2018-2019 Work First Fellows to the start of their service year run in collaboration with America Works. This cohort includes high-achieving recent graduates from colleges and universities across the country. This impressive group of young professionals held internships with government offices and officials, advocated for various causes, and did significant work abroad. This year each Fellow will have the opportunity to help adults living in poverty gain meaningful employment. Additionally, each Fellow will complete a research project aimed at finding creative solutions to complex problems in the areas of workforce development and urban poverty. Meet our Fellows below!
Manhattan, NY fellow
Originally from Arlington, Virginia, Sarah Angell is a recent graduate of Harvard College with a B.A. in History, a minor in Ethnicity, Migration and Rights, and a citation in French. During her time at Harvard, she worked on issues of employment among migrants in France with the Harvard School of Public Health, interned with Senator Ed Markey in Washington, D.C., and taught civic education to Boston 5th-graders. She is passionate about domestic welfare policy, international development, and women’s rights, and hopes to combine all of these interests with a degree in law or public policy in the near future. In her free time, she enjoys running, yoga, surfing, and creative writing.
Brooklyn, NY Fellow
Ramsey Daniels grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school, he spent a year as a Corps Member with City Year in Miami, Florida, where he served as a tutor and mentor at a high needs middle school. He attended Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, and he graduated with a B.A. in English in 2016. He spent his summers in college serving as a Teaching Fellow with the Breakthrough Collaborative, teaching enrichment lessons to high-achieving students from low-income communities in order to help them prepare for college. Ramsey is excited to move to Brooklyn to serve as a Work First Fellow and to work towards alleviating the challenges facing low-income urban communities.
Brooklyn, NY Fellow
Ilana Fitzpatrick recently graduated from Elon University, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in Political Economy and a minor in Human Services. As a freshman, interning at a local hospice ignited her passion for enacting social justice. Later, she interned at Senator Markey’s office and at a free legal services clinic assisting with domestic abuse cases. At Elon, Ilana combined academics with advocacy and direct action through undergraduate research on campus sexual assault. Through her research, she co-created, deployed, and measured the effectiveness the “iAct” active bystander program. Her commitment to combating gender and economic inequalities was reinforced after taking a class in Ghana. From there, she wrote her senior thesis on the lack of policy protections for migrant domestic workers. In her spare time, Ilana is an avid equestrian and reader. She looks forward to this fellowship as an opportunity to make a direct impact on urban poverty in New York City.
Staten Island, Ny fellow
Originally from the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York City, Ben Harker graduated from Middlebury College in 2016 with a BA in International & Global Studies that included concentrations in Political Science and Spanish language. During his time as a student, Ben held an internship with the Policy & Planning Division of the NYC Department of Homeless Services, and after graduating he moved to Washington, DC to work as a Research & Administrative Assistant with The Foreign Policy Group. At Foreign Policy, Ben had the opportunity to study and evaluate government programs in several countries around the world geared towards providing members of disadvantaged communities with employable skills, and he is very excited to bring this experience back to the city that raised him with the Work Frist Foundation. He is looking forward to working directly with clients as a Work First Fellow and learning more about how effective education and public policy research can reduce urban poverty in New York and nationwide.
Washington, DC Fellow
Tabitha Krondorfer is originally from southern Maryland and a recent graduate of Skidmore College, with a double major in International Affairs and Anthropology. She is bilingual having grown up in Germany and the United States. Tabitha studied abroad in Uganda in 2017, where she completed a six-week independent research project in a refugee settlement. She continued to explore this topic during a six-week internship in a refugee camp in Germany. Tabitha’s senior thesis used comparative analysis of Germany and Uganda to understand differential forms of refugee discrimination in labor markets. She is excited about her move to Washington D.C., where she hopes to combine ethnographic research with public policy.
Washington, DC Fellow
Matt Propper recently graduated from Cornell University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations. Throughout his college career, Matt gained substantial government experience: he interned for New York City, New York State, and most recently the Federal Government, with the U.S. Department of State. Later in his career, Matt hopes to advance policies that mitigate income inequality, reduce poverty, and create good-paying jobs. Whether he’s helping to shape policy on Capitol Hill, with a government agency, or with a non-profit organization, the goal will be the same: fighting for communities and families that have been left behind as wages continue to stagnate and the gap between the 1% and the bottom 50% widens. Matt is originally from Manhattan, New York and is an avid Yankees, Rangers, Giants and Knicks fan. He hopes to see the Rangers and Knicks win at least one championship during his lifetime.
David Sunshine Hamburger
Brooklyn, NY Fellow
David Sunshine Hamburger grew up in New York City and attended Columbia University where he graduated magna cum laude with a B.A in Political Science. During his four years at Columbia, David devoted his time outside of the classroom to working with organizations seeking to strengthen the New York community: he led Columbia’s Habitat for Humanity chapter, held leadership positions in Columbia's Peer Health Exchange chapter, and interned for the housing services division of New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal. Upon graduating, David was awarded a Fulbright-Nehru English Teaching Fellowship and spent the next ten months teaching at Kailash Vidyamandir, an all-boys, government-funded middle school in Kolkata, India. David has recently returned from conducting a three-month research project in Chile at the Universidad Diego Portales where he investigated how Chilean public schools teach the history and cultures of Chile’s indigenous communities. He is overjoyed to join the Work First Foundation and to return to serving his fellow New Yorkers.
Queens, NY Fellow
Sharon Lam is a recent graduate of the Johns Hopkins University where she received a B.S. in Neuroscience and a minor in psychology. Her interest in social concern was sparked by her involvement in Financial Futures for Families, a startup organization that aims to integrate financial case management into primary health clinics. In one of the cities with the highest unemployment rate, she worked to empower Baltimore citizens with the financial tools to secure successful job placement. She then joined Health Leads as a patient advocate and employment specialist, working at the Harriet Lane Clinic to connect clients with medical, social welfare, and financial resources. As an aspiring physician, she finds that social determinants of health should be addressed within and outside of the clinic for an individual’s holistic health. She looks forward to using her knowledge and skills learned during her time at the Work First Fellowship on her journey in medical school.
Baltimore, MD Fellow
Anjali Menon grew up in Bangkok and most recently graduated from New York University with a dual degree in Applied Psychology and Global Public Health. During her time there, she fostered a deep interest for work that lies at the intersection of social work and legal/public policy. Most recently, she worked as a forensic social work intern at a law firm for children in foster care and high conflict custody cases, and as a research assistant at NYU’s Child & Family Policy Center. She is passionate about the multidirectional cycle of research, practice, and policy that impacts justice systems, and looks forward to engaging in this same framework through the Fellowship this coming year. In her free time, she likes to watch MasterChef Junior and find the perfect cappuccino.
Manhattan, NY Fellow
Patrick is a Buffalo, New York native and a recent graduate of Stony Brook University, receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. Patrick received his Bachelor’s in two and half years total, graduated summa cum laude as well as valedictorian of his major and class. Patrick became interested in the Work First Fellowship through experiences as a research intern in the Erie County Department of Social Services and through his classes at Stony Brook. Patrick’s research interests, relating to workforce development, include how changes in labor markets impact employment opportunities. Patrick is looking forward to observing and studying the impact of public assistance on its recipients, firsthand. Ultimately, Patrick hopes to become an academic in Political Science with a focus on Attitudes and Political Behavior and its relationship to new media.
Milwaukee, WI Fellow
Anne Mahoney is a recent graduate of Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. While there, she triple majored in Criminology & Law Studies, Sociology and Social Welfare & Justice. This has provided her with a well-rounded understanding of social justice issues and the criminal justice system. Anne has experienced different perspectives in the criminal justices system, interning for both the Wisconsin State Public Defender’s Office and the Wisconsin Department of Justice- Division of Criminal Investigation. She is interested in the collateral consequences formerly incarcerated persons experience and looking for new ways to improve aspects of reintegration. Anne is passionate about community development and will take any opportunity to get directly involved in the neighborhoods she’s working with. She hopes to one day attend law school and become a chief of police to assist in developing and improving law enforcement policies.
Memphis, TN Fellow
Courtney Thomas is a New York native and a recent graduate of Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. During her five years there, she completed a bachelor's degree in political science and a master’s in public administration. At Clark, Courtney served as the President of the Black Student Union and was involved in various diversity and advocacy initiatives on campus. Additionally, she has worked in several non-profit organizations both domestically and abroad, focused on improving the lives of people of color and low-income individuals. Courtney looks forward to the opportunity to have a direct impact on urban poverty in Memphis and produce policy research that can contribute to systemic change. At the end of this fellowship, Courtney plans to attend law school and begin a career in public service.