• Social Innovation Fellowship

Award Year 


CO-Fund is a nonprofit organization that will improve college access by facilitating micro-donations for scholarships for college-ready, low-income students.  By connecting students directly to donors through an online “face-to-face” model, CO-Fund empowers an entirely new demographic of donors to be able to give college scholarships: individuals and companies from students’ own communities and nationwide.  Donors can make online, tax-deductible donations as little as $20, helping deserving students close the gap in paying for their college tuition.  We strongly believe that helping a student attend college provides an essential benefit not only to the student, but also to society as a whole.  A student who attends and completes a four-year college has a huge potential to contribute to society. One donor’s small investment has the ability to grow exponentially in its impact– twenty dollars could be all it takes to launch a future leader on his or her path to success!

Personal Statement

The challenges of educational access first struck me in anunlikely place: while I was dancing. The ballet company with which I danced for twelve years had a unique outreach program in which company dancers performed excerpts of The Nutcracker for children at public libraries, creating a little bit of holiday magic for those who couldn’t afford to experience it otherwise.  Financial ability was the only factor preventing some of the most enthusiastic, passionate children I’d ever seen from pursuing their dancing dreams.

As I got older and approached college, my educational philosophy solidified and extended into the academic world beyond dance.  I believe that an education (whether balletic or academic) is an incredible asset that every student deserves to possess. An education should be available to all students, regardless of socioeconomic background.  I was immediately drawn to the CO-Fund project for its determination to address inequality in educational access; its goals resonated with me as soon as I heard about the organization.  I am excited by the opportunity to become involved in the nonprofit startup world,and hope to learn much from the Starr Fellowship that will ensure CO-Fund’s effectiveness and sustainability.