The Experience

We've collected stories from the 2017 Fellowship here as a diary to share with you an inside look at what a year in the life of a Camelback Fellowship looks like. 




the application process

To apply to Camelback, entrepreneurs had to go through an intense three rounds of interviews and applications. We are thrilled to welcome these 12 leaders to the Camelback family.





Our announcement post features a welcome letter from Aaron along with a highlight of each Fellow.



summit 1 - new orleans



The Fellowship started off strong with the new cohort of 12 social impact and education entrepreneurs coming together in the Big Easy. The Camelback team loves getting to show off our home town, and we did it big with our most intense first Summit ever. Sessions included intensives on leadership styles, how to revamp hiring processes, marketing strategies, and proactively using metrics to guide growth. And of course, we had to celebrate with a crawfish boil -- we co-hosted with The Idea Village to share our entrepreneurs' pitches at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week. 


Discovering What Matters

Reflections on our spring Summit here in New Orleans from Camelback's CEO, Aaron




Fellows are hard at work implementing learnings from the first Summit and growing their orgs. They've attended Camelback Virtual Sessions on topics like social media strategy and building team culture. With the support of the NewSchools Venture Fund, Fellows were able to attend the NSVF Summit where they were able to have deep conversations on the future of education reform. With the generous support of the Gates Foundation and the Chan-Zuckerberg Initiative, Fellows were also able to attend the ASU GSV Summit and explore the ed tech industry. 


Finding My Tribe

James Kim, 2017 Camelback Fellow, shares his perspective on the impact of joining this community of diverse, ambitious entrepreneurs. 


summit 2 - new york



We really felt the warmth of the fam this week. We started our days in our Camelback Community House in Bed-Stuy, and spent our workshop days in Manhattan. We were #blessed to be hosted by our friends at R/GA through the Black Employee Network for Summit 2 in New York (they even threw our pics up on the big screen!). Our facilitators were a fantastic crew, including a few of the Camelback team members, Paul Perry, Trabian Shorters and Dr. Hudson of BMe Community, Amina Moreau of Stillmotion, and several funder guests who shared their expertise in an intimate lunch conversation. We had a cocktail party held with our friends at Leaders for Educational Equity, and later that night, Camelback Fellows went out to do karaoke. Cory even invited the crew to watch the NBA finals at one of H.O.L.L.A.!'s home offices. 

Your pitch coach is here

Morgan Ripski, one of the 2017 Entrepreneurial Engineers, shares what Fellows (and anyone pitching) needs to include to seal the deal. 


prep + summit 3 in oakland, ca

This is when it's time to really hustle - Fellows spent the weeks after Summit 2 honing in on their pitches for our big Showcase. At the suggestion of a Fellow, we did virtual "Royal Rumble" rehearsals where Fellows and team came together on video conversations to practice and give feedback. At Summit 3, we had an intensive session with _____ of ___ where Fellows learned a variety of tools for presenting and engaging the crowd. We also did a session on mindfulness, because pitching to 100 people can be stressful. We also had a great session with The Management Center's _____, hosted at the offices of NewSchools Venture Fund. Our Showcase, held at the Kapor Center for Social Impact, was the culminating Fellowship event. Leslie Miley was our guest speaker, ... Big shout-out to Chloe Jackman, our photographer for the event, based in the Bay area. 



family reunion

In 2017, we got to do something we've never done before -- we held our first "family reunion." Held in conjunction with a gathering we hosted for diverse leaders, our reunion provided the opportunity to our 33 alumni to connect cross-cohort. School leaders from different years bonded over the stages to get a charter approved in their different regions. Vincent and Larry connected over their approaches to bring more black male teachers to the classroom (nationally, only 2% of teachers are black men). The reunion gave team and alumni a chance to catch up, learn together through a few workshops, and discuss more ideas of how to build the community.  



As alumni, Camelback Fellows are part of a larger community of diverse social impact leaders. Some Fellows are pursuing their next opportunities, and will reach out to us for advice and recommendations (like with our partners at Echoing Green). Others are seeking ways to collaborate and support each others' organizations -- for example, 2017 Fellows Sage and Michelle attended a national convening for black male educators hosted by another of their cohort, Vincent. This is also the time of year when we start recruiting the next cohort, and alumni play an invaluable role -- Camelback Fellows send nominations for candidates they know in the field who could be a good fit, and they also evaluate and interview applicants. As entrepreneurs doing The Work, Fellows provide needed insight for what ideas have the most potential. In this way, they'll help us keep the fam going strong.