The Voqal Fellowship is a talent and technology accelerator for tomorrow’s social entrepreneurs. Voqal fellows are driven, tech-savvy social change agents who thrive under self-direction. They are creative thinkers with a track record of advancing social change and/or using innovative solutions to help communities.
On Twitter @MarquisCabrera
Marquis Cabrera is a tech entrepreneur pursuing a career in the health and human services field. He is passionate about technological social innovation. At 16 years old, he engineered a computer program that produced IDs used to increase school district security in Middletown, NY. At 24 years old, Marquis was the youngest to win Massachusetts Innovator of the Year (Boston Globe) and Massachusetts Young Nonprofit Professional of the Year (MNN).
Marquis is the Founder and CEO of Foster Skills, a social enterprise supported by Microsoft, AOL, and State Farm that develops innovations intended to help state governments improve the child welfare system. He is also the Co-Founder, Chairman and CTO of PhysioCare.io, an award-winning healthcare startup disrupting the $19B primary care industry.
Earlier in his career, Marquis worked at City Year, Massachusetts Appeals and Supreme Courts, and The White House. He also consulted in retail operations and corporate communications at Wayfair (NYSE: W) and worked for Wefunder – a Y-Combinator startup that championed the Startup Jobs Act. Marquis has coached Black Startup, Harper Lei and Krystal Board. Marquis was a plenary speaker at the Opportunity Nation Conference, Boston Children’s Hospital Management Forum, United Way Youth Venture Kick-Off and his TEDx talk at Columbia University on ‘How to Build a Social Enterprise’ received 20,000+ views.
Cabrera’s project, RateMyFosterHome.com, is a web-based tool for state governments—specifically, social workers and their supervisors—to enhance and support the foster-care process.
On Twitter @lenifaye
Andrea Hart is a multimedia journalist and interdisciplinary educator. She recently served as Free Spirit Media’s civic media program coordinator and new media curriculum developer. Since 2010 she has designed collaborative journalism programs for leading youth media organizations such as Young Chicago Authors and Radio Arte. She serves on the Hive Chicago Learning Network Advisory Committee and continues to freelance teach, produce, etc. She has presented her work at the Digital Media Learning 2014 and 2015 conferences, as well as Mozfest 2014. You can read more about her teaching pedagogy here and here. She has a dog named Studs, as in Terkel.
Hart’s City Bureau’s Community Data Project creates a workspace/pipeline for south and west side Chicago residents to identify and compile new data sets to conduct civic investigations.
On Twitter @Bhaviklathia
Bhavik is a campaign strategist and technologist. He got his start in the progressive netroots at MoveOn.org and has since worked at the SEIU, 350.org and ColorOfChange.org. Currently, he helps manage the campaigns team at Jhatkaa.org, which is an Indian rapid response, digital campaigning organization. The first of its kind in the country.
Bhavik’s project, People’s Relationship Management, is a mobile campaigning CRM which he has developed in close collaboration with Jhatkaa.
On Twitter @WilliamtonA
Hlee is a community based, globally minded storyteller in the Twin Cities. She is a photographer, communications professional and production specialist with a passion for telling community based stories with a global twist. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism from the University of St. Thomas and has more than ten years experience working with nonprofits and storytelling.
Hlee has never been the type of person to shy away from a challenge. When presented with a challenge or opportunity there are two things she always keeps this in mind: How does this align with my mission – to help and serve the community while doing what I love and enjoy?
Hlee’s project, Mix It Up:Diversity in the Workplace, is a collection of web tools that present real-life experiences in order to provide an in-depth understanding of what people of color face on a daily basis.
On Twitter @eshih
Eric Shih is the founder of Spendrise, an online platform where consumers create change wherever they spend money. Previously, Eric was the chief strategy officer at Groundswell, a nonprofit social enterprise utilizing community purchasing power to expand equity and access in the clean energy economy, and he was also a community organizer in the Bay Area improving environmental health and working conditions for low-income immigrant families. Eric received his B.A. from Stanford University and his M.A. from the University of Michigan; he currently sits on the board of the Chinese Progressive Association in San Francisco and resides in Washington, DC.
Eric’s project, Spendrise, is a platform for launching online petitions wherever people spend money using an all-or-nothing crowdfunding engine and user interface.
On Twitter @laurelwamsley
Laurel Wamsley is a journalist based in Washington, D.C., where she is a producer at National Public Radio. She previously worked and reported for Slate, Outside and the Prague Post. Before returning to NPR in late 2015, Laurel worked at technology companies in Austin and Chicago. Her interests include cities, design and soccer.
Laurel has a B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead Scholar, and an M.A. in Media Arts & Studies from Ohio University, where she was a Public Media Fellow. She has received fellowships from the Fulbright Commission, the Journalism & Women’s Symposium and the Center for Documentary Studies. She is a native of Athens, Ohio.
Laurel’s project, How to Save Your Own City, is a podcast that will empower citizens to discover and share what they can do to create the cities they want to live in.