Our Grant Advisors
We believe that the best people to review grant applications are those who have personal experience working on similar initiatives. Our grant review team includes Pollination Project grantees and other trusted individuals working on many different issues around the world. A minimum of 3 people on this team reviews each qualified application. Together, they use the breadth of their experience to make the funding decisions for our grants
Ajayi Oluwole Olakunle
Kunle is the co-founder of THE EDUCATE AFRICA PROJECT, a social enterprise that makes learning the STEM subjects’ fun in Nigeria and Africa. He recently launched a Mathematics fun club for more than 60 pupils in government underfunded and underserved communities in Ondo state. He is also the co-founder of Enterprise Innovation Laboratory, where he has trained over 1000 young people between the ages of 18-35 and placed about 5% of them in jobs. He is a fellow of the President Obama Young African leaders Initiative (YALI), The Tony Elumelu foundation and the Social and Inclusive Business Camp under the Agence Française de Développement AFD, France. He is a sought after conference speaker in Nigeria and other parts of the world.
Alisha Golden is the founder of Do Something Epic Agency. A lifestyle, brand strategy, marketing, and management firm for conscious people, brands, and organizations. Alisha’s passion for people, combined with her keen marketing sense and love for business, has catapulted her into a world of entrepreneurial service. She is aimed at creating lasting change by working to unify societal divisions, dis-connected business practices, and hearts and minds of people everywhere.
As the founder of Do Something Epic Agency she is bridging the gap by helping people and brands connect to purposeful action and introducing new platforms for socially conscious brands and professionals that reach wider audiences. Alisha is forging a global revolution that has the power to help the whole world heal by broadening awareness of the power of purposeful, conscious, and healthy living.
Check out Alisha’s blog at KIND.
Amy is a social justice advocate. She strives to be a locavore and delights in climbing coconut trees and sharing food from her garden. Amy is continually inspired by TPP applicants and is honored to collaborate with the Matungu Community Development Charity, in rural western Kenya, to plan public health and community empowerment programs.
Amy has a Master’s in Public Health, focusing on Health Policy and Management, a BA in Anthropology, a minor in Occupational Safety & Health and is a licensed massage therapist. She passionately teaches introductory massage therapy courses at Kalani Honua, in Puna and provides medical massage for Big Island residents and guests.
Anna Farquhar has worked as an Elementary teacher for the last 23 years. During this time she has taught a variety of subjects including French and Science. Five years ago, she moved to a new school named after Lt. General Roméo Dallaire and was fortunate enough to meet her hero. The school motto is “Making a difference in our school, our community and in our world”. This Social Justice motto became the force behind the community projects Anna and her students have undertaken.
In 2014 she was inspired by Cole Galloway, the founder of Go Baby Go, to have her students adapt motorized ride on cars for children with mobility issues. The Seed Grant from the Pollination Project made Go Baby Go Canadian version a reality. The difference this grant has made for her students as well as the recipients of the cars cannot be measured.
Ayla Schlosser is the founder and Executive Director of Resonate, an organization that empowers women and girls through storytelling, working with them to build confidence, agency, and leadership for change. Ayla is based in Kigali, Rwanda and leads Resonate’s strategy, builds partnerships, and oversees curriculum development and training. Ayla’s work draws on her expertise as a coach and trainer, as well as her deep understanding of creating lasting change through engendering local leadership.
Ayla has a background in community organizing and leadership development with staff, volunteers, and community members. Through her work at Groundswell, a grassroots non-profit based in Washington, DC, she designed and ran various campaigns, working closely with partner organizations, faith and community leaders, and government agencies. Her projects ranged from supporting local leaders in neighborhood clean energy initiatives, to planning and launching a citywide residential energy efficiency program. She has also worked on community development projects in Nicaragua, El Salvador, and Ecuador. Prior to her work as a community organizer she was a strategic communications consultant and specialized in stakeholder engagement, coaching, and facilitation. She was a Mary Maples Dunn scholar at Smith College, where she graduated with honors with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Spanish Language. Ayla was awarded the 2014 Brimstone Award for Applied Storytelling for her work with Resonate, and was a featured speaker at the 2014 SXSW Innovators + Social Good Summit.
Batale Fred graduated as a visual artist from university, where he acquired various knowledge, skills and experience in working with different creative methods. His artistic practices deals with themes of disability empowerment, rights, and advocacy. Given the challenges he faces in Uganda living as a person with disability, he knows that he is not the only individual with such
challenges. That is why he works to empower others like himself and educate the greater
community that any one person is capable of pursuing their dreams through Disability
Art Project Uganda.
Fred is the founder and director of Disability Art Project Uganda (DAPU) for which he received a Pollination Project grant. DAPU is a community of people with disabilities who come together with an aim of empowering other fellow with disabilities to develop practical skills, confidence and fulfill creative potential.
DAPU was established to offer art and design skills to people with disabilities living on streets and slums to create unique products which in turn provide economic stability and lift people with disabilities off the streets and to lobby and advocate for disability rights through art projects.
Beatrice Achieng Nas
Beatrice Achieng Nas is the Founder and Director of the Pearl Community Empowerment Foundation (PCE Foundation), a grassroots NGO founded in 2011. Their work focuses on supporting the most vulnerable people (especially children, girls and women) and communities in rural Eastern Uganda.
PCE Foundation currently supports 301 students and children (girls and boys) in nursery, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions (technical,colleges, and universities). Other projects they execute include farming, savings, advocacy, health support services, and library and school(s) construction projects.
Beatrice was also a Community Solutions Program Fellow (2013) through the International Research & Exchanges (IREX) Board and a Visiting Scholar at the Wellesley Centers for Women, USTTI Fellow (2010) and is also a global voice for grassroots women and girls at World Pulse (2010 to-date).
Beatrice believes that everybody has the potential to live a better life; given the Opportunity, Education and Motivation, anyone can become someone admirable. Nobody is a nobody, everybody is somebody.
I was born in Kiambu, Kirenga village in a family of 5 children: 3 brothers and 1 sister. Both of my parents were, and still are, farmers. Even if we didn’t have a lot, my parents believed that education is very important to everyone. After attending a local primary and secondary school, I received a government sponsorship to study community development at university. During my campus life i got to interact with many people, and I did a research in eastern Kenya on water borne diseases.
I learned that in Kenya 56% of the population do not have access to clean water, and that 80% of all diagnosed diseases are water borne. During my fourth year i started Aqua Klean Initiative, an organization that provides the undeserved communities in Kenya with affordable filters.
In 2014 I received a grant from the Pollination Project to support my work to provide water filters to communities who do not have access to clean water. Today we supplied filters to over 500 households.
An ethical vegan, Catherine Perry teaches French and Francophone literatures, cultures, and film at the University of Notre Dame, where she also serves as advisor to the fledgling student club VegND, created in 2015. Passionate about social justice, human rights, animal rights, and environmental rights, she integrates these values in her courses. She is also keen on teaching materials that promote intercultural dialogue and understanding. In the Michiana region where she lives, she has been organizing Meetups for veg*ns, not only to provide mutual encouragement but also to raise awareness of their presence in the community. Having lived in both Switzerland and Morocco for many years, Catherine has extensive international experience. It is a joy and an honor for her to work for an association that advocates peace and compassion and that supports people who dedicate their energy to these great causes.
Clement Awanfe Ngueto
Clement is the Founder-President of Global Compassion, a non-profit based organization in Douala, Cameroon. Global Compassion has worked with an international and local team of volunteers/interns (including visitors from UK, Cameroon and USA) to create and develop projects that will help the Santchou community to be self-sufficient in the near future (Potable water project, Computer lab center, empowering rural women and peace education for youth). Global Compassion received a Pollination Project grant in early 2015.
Clement’s passion is to contribute his skills and experience to community initiatives, and to grow small businesses managed by women and youth in rural areas. His aim is to transform rural communities by putting youth and women in the center of social development using small financial resources to create big impact on the ground.
Clement is an independent consultant at Top Tier Liaison and Conflict Resolution Services LLC in Arizona, USA; the President of Mabé Youth Association since 2015; and a consultant for project development in Nlate Ban San-Nzock cultural association in Santchou.
Additionally, Clement has experience in peacebuilding (conflict management and negotiation) through distance learning with USIP (www.usip.org), the University of Amsterdam through a scholarship from the European Commission, and the North South Centre for The Council of Europe. He is also among the 100 youth fellows selected for an interfaith co-existence, intercultural and peacebuilding program called “A Common Word Among the Youth” that includes several trainings and conferences in Africa, Europe and America. […]
David graduated with a BSc. Medical Biochemistry Degree of the University of Nairobi and returned to his community of Obunga Slum where he founded Riley Orton Foundation Org (ROF), a Kenyan nonprofit supporting underprivileged girls to break the cycle of poverty by implementing sustainable education programs.
Having been raised in Obunga slum and seeing women and children struggle to survive and break free from poverty, He has always been determined to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the less privileged in his community.
He started Akili Library and Information Technology center in fall of 2010, and Akili Preparatory School for Girls in Jan 2012. He has seen the growth of the library and the school over the years into a center of excellence supporting 85 underprivileged girls and adding 15 more every year.
As the Founder/Director of Operations at ROF, he is involved in managing the Akili library and preparatory School, Akili sustainable farm, recruiting teachers, researching and writing grants, partnership development and organizing training for staff as well as coordinating volunteer activities. David received a TPP grant in support of Akili School in 2014.
David says that he is driven by an innate desire to create sustainable change from the inside with the local community as the development experts.
Dejah Powell is a senior at Cornell University studying Environmental & Sustainability Science, minoring in Business and Community Food Systems. Nearly two years ago, she founded Get Them to the Green (G2G), an organization that aims to foster love for the environment amongst Chicago youth, particularly youth of color.
Powell’s first project with G2G was to organize a summer camp, through which she engaged 14 young people from across the city on issues like environmental justice, sustainability, and food and agriculture. G2G has since partnered with the non-profit Gardeneers to build a school garden at Powell’s elementary school to provide hands-on, outdoor environmental education opportunities for students. After graduation, alongside working full time at Civic Consulting Alliance, she hopes to continue this work, taking an intersectional approach to conversations about the environment, food and racial justice with young people.
DeJuana Golden, MS, EJD is a single mother of three children including her 13-year-old son CJ who has a dual diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism. She is the founder and director of Special Shades of Color, where she aims to provide a real look inside of the lives of parents raising special needs children via the power of video blogs.
A graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, Golden Gate University (Master’s degree), and Concord Law School (Executive Juris Doctorate); DeJuana has over 13 years of experience in marketing, advocacy, and community service. She is currently enrolled in a Special Education Advocacy Training program through COPAA (Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates), with the goal of improving access to services in order to enhance the lives of children, parents, and families in the special needs community.
DeJuana has been honored as a Rising Star by the Orange County Global Women’s Conference for her work with Special Shades of Color. Additionally, Special Shades of Color has been awarded the Pollination Project Grant (2013), LIFE Ministries Grant (2013), Impact Grant through the Pollination Project (2014), and featured on KTLA’s Helpful Honda commercial highlighting those who make a difference in their communities (2014).
Derek Young is a veteran CSR/Sustainability and communications professional with nearly 17 years of experience. He is recognized as a thought leader capable of working across industries, analyzing and determining needs and opportunities for value creation and building and delivering strategic CSR/Sustainability programs, messaging and branding campaigns, and community and stakeholder engagement efforts.
Derek has worked in the public policy, non-profit, for profit and consulting sectors and has developed deep experience in the areas of strategic analysis, corporate sustainability, communications, message development and branding, energy and water efficiency, corporate responsibility, non-profit partnerships, charitable giving, and community and stakeholder engagement.
Derek has helped to start and lead CSR and Sustainability programs at several corporations and most recently developed and lead the Responsible Business function globally for TGI Fridays restaurant chain. In 2014 Derek joined Edelman Public Relations as a contract employee providing council and support to the Dallas offices corporate and consumer practice areas as well as providing subject matter expertise on Business and Social Purpose issues. He supports clients ranging from an innovative biosciences company to an international non-profit focused on reducing food waste and alleviating childhood hunger.
Derek is part of several boards including the Grant Advisory Board for The Pollination Project, the Steering Committee for the Dallas Corporate Citizenship Network the Food Advisory Council for the North Texas Food Bank and has served as a past Advisory Council member for Sustainable Brands.
Desire Johnson-Forte is an Oakland native who received her B.A in English from Mills College (Creative Writing) and minor in Ethnic Studies. Between her full time work and passion oriented consulting: she uses shared narrative to transform the possibilities society & culture have outlined for black youth;a budding innovator of pilot-program participatory implementation & monitoring. She works full-time as the Downtown TAY Program Manager, and is a youth co-facilitator at Oakland’s Youth Impact Hub. In between time she runs her (3) social enterprises: the BIZ Stoop (educational consulting, life style curation, and youth development); Damn Good Teas (natural ready-made herbal tea beverage); and Luv Euphor (crafts & artisan goods).