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Green Our Planet’s Ciara Byrne Selected for Obama Foundation Fellowship

Today, Green Our Planet’s Co-Founder Ciara Byrne was selected by the Obama Foundation to join the second-ever Fellows class. Selected as one of twenty leaders from a pool of 5,000 applicants from around the world, Ciara will join a two-year, non-residential program that brings together 20 leaders representing 10 countries and five continents. The goal of the fellowship is to help these leaders continue their work on helping to alleviate some of the world’s most pressing problems. The Obama Foundation selected Ciara to continue Green Our Planet’s work bringing school gardens and hydroponic systems to schools across Nevada and beyond as a way to improve student academic achievement in science, engineering, math and entrepreneurship as well as improve student nutritional choices and educate the next generation of conservationists.  

“I am honored to be a part of the 2019 Obama Foundation Fellows class and am excited to join such a diverse and talented class of community-minded civic innovators,” Ciara Byrne said. “With the support of the Obama Foundation, Green Our Planet will be able to continue to strengthen our work as a leader in the school garden movement in Nevada and across the country.”

From re-investing in homegrown agriculture in rural areas, to strengthening black and native communities’ role in combating the effects of climate change, these civic innovators will work with the Obama Foundation on ways to scale their work and inspire others to engage in their communities. The Fellowship offers hands-on training, leadership development, and a powerful platform for Fellows to amplify the impact of their work and inspire a wave of civic innovation. These rising leaders join the current class of 20 Obama Fellows selected in 2018.

“The 2019 Obama Foundation Fellows are tackling big, complex issues in unique and inspiring ways but all share the common practice of making positive change in their communities,” said David Simas, CEO of the Obama Foundation. “After welcoming a historic inaugural Fellows class last year, we are excited to bring together a new group of civic innovators and amplify their work. These leaders are taking off, and I look forward to working with this remarkable group and watching them transform the world for the better.”

Over the course of the two-year program, Obama Foundation Fellows will participate in four multi-day gatherings to develop key skills, connect with thought leaders and potential partners, and collaborate with one another. The first Fellows gathering will be in Washington, D.C., in May and will also include the members of the 2018 inaugural Fellows cohort.

Ciara Byrne (right) with VI’ance Easter and his daughter Shiori Easter from Cynthia Cunningham Elementary at the Giant Student Farmers Market on April 12, 2019.

Each Fellow will develop and pursue with the Foundation a personalized plan to leverage the Fellowship and Obama Foundation resources to take their work to the next level. As Fellows put their plans into action, the Obama Foundation will assist with access to mentors, coaches, and additional resources and opportunities. These offerings have helped the first Fellows class build their organizational capacity, overcome leadership challenges, and work with new partners to deepen their impact.

The work of the 2019 Fellows will support the Obama Foundation’s broader mission to inspire, empower, and connect the next generation of civic leaders. Geographic location, community engagement, commitment to the Obama Foundation’s values, and proven impact all factored into the selection process.

To learn more about the Obama Foundation Fellowship and the 2019 Fellows, please visit A list of 2019 Obama Foundation Fellows can be found below.

Bella Alexandrov

Dedo Baranshamaje

Colette Pichon Battle

Derrick Braziel

Ciara Byrne

Johnny Chatterton

Tarun Cherukuri

Charles Daniels

Shari Davis

Aimée Eubanks Davis

Mario Fedelin

Seema Gajwani

Brent Hutchinson

Joseph Kunkel

John Leong

Esther Mwaniki

Hue Thu Nguyen

Alessandra Orofino

Tania Rosas

Ayman Sabae

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Green Our Planet is a creative, entrepreneurial, non-profit conservation organization that operates a free environmental crowdfunding platform and also runs the largest school garden program in the United States.

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