Alumni

Responding in Times of Crisis: Schwarzman Scholars Alumni Impact

August 4, 2021

Schwarzman Scholars are committed to the shared goals of creating a more peaceful and prosperous world. Since the start of the pandemic, Schwarzman Scholars Alumni have contributed in ways big and small to support their communities. Read more about how our Alumni are making a difference.

Connect for COVID-19 – Jacob Cannon, United States of America, 2018

“Being able to connect with one’s family while ill is very important and should be accessible to all regardless of different factors.” Connect for COVID-19 provides smart devices at hospitals, allowing patients to remain in contact with their loved ones while adhering to the no-visitor policies implemented in response to the pandemic. Its founder, Scholar Jacob Cannon (2018) has coordinated the donation of more than 2,500 devices to hospitals across the United States, each supporting 15 patients per day.

Young African Business Booster – Norman Mugisha, Rwanda, 2020

Founded by Scholar Norman Mugisha (2020), Young African Business Booster (YABB) helps rural youth in Sub-Saharan Africa overcome unemployment by empowering them through agriculture skills trainings and financial support to prevent poverty and forced migration. YABB now includes more than 830 young women and men in addition to the Afri-Farmers Market, a platform which connects local farmers with consumers to sell their produce. This platform has particularly been important during the pandemic as farmers were unable to access markets due to the sanitary measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

Estimulo 2020 – Eduardo Batista and Isabela Christo, Brazil, 2020

Estimulo 2020 is a Brazilian relief fund supporting small entrepreneurs facing hardships due to the coronavirus across the country. Scholars Isabela Christo and Eduardo Batista (2020), have worked together to support Estimulo 2020, helping over 400 small businesses. As Scholars, Isabela and Eduardo were able to see firsthand the power that positive leadership can have on the lives of people in need and were motivated to develop and implement policies that will support people affected by the pandemic.

COVID-19 Treatment Development – Suman Kumar, Nepal, 2021

Suman Kumar (2021) worked with Nepal’s National Innovation Center to build ventilators and other PPE for health care workers. He has also been working with Arnold Howitt, Schwarzman Scholars’ Johnson and Johnson Professor of Leadership, on the development of a federal agency to protect and promote public health in Nepal. It would primarily regulate and approve medical devices built in the country.

Chadari Projects – Sveto Muhammad Ishoq, Afghanistan, 2019

Founded by Scholar Sveto Muhammad Ishoq (2019), Chadari Projects is an organization that runs different programs to empower Afghan women by teaching leadership skills and sharing their stories with the world. While it initially began as a platform to for storytelling it has expanded to support more and more women, including supporting fundraisers in the fight against COVID-19.