Philanthropists David and Linda Stein, in partnership with United Way of Northeast Florida, recently announced the 2020 class of the Stein Fellowship. This multi-generational mentorship program for young professionals promotes philanthropy, community engagement and student achievement across Northeast Florida.
Every year, 12-15 Stein Fellows are selected through a competitive interview process. The selected candidates are each paired with a local middle-school student to provide mentoring and additional support to those at risk of dropping out. This is a component of Achievers For Life, a community initiative founded in 2007 to help struggling students and families succeed. In turn, Stein Fellows are mentored by United Way Tocqueville Society members, Northeast Florida corporate, civic and philanthropic leaders.
The Stein Fellowship’s goal is to foster the next generation of community-minded leaders by providing a unique combination of professional mentorship and giving back. The Fellowship also builds a network of young professionals more informed about community challenges so they feel inspired and empowered to continue to make a difference in Northeast Florida.
“Nearly 13 years ago when we established the Stein Fellowship at United Way, our hope was to cultivate the next generation of leaders and changemakers committed to giving back in Northeast Florida,” said David and Linda Stein. “We are so pleased our classes over the years have reflected exactly that, and we are thrilled to congratulate the Class of 2020 on their selection.”
In addition to their mentoring experiences, Stein Fellows participate in exclusive educational forums, volunteer projects, networking events and social gatherings throughout their fellowship.
In alphabetical order, members of the Stein Fellowship Class of 2020 are:
Katie Boniface, Zimmer Biomet
Jacob Brinkley, Harden
Darren Brownlee, Mayo Clinic
Cameron Frazier, Becoming Collegiate Academy
David Johnson, JAX Chamber
Javon Knight, Fidelity Investments
Juan Ledesma, Enterprise Holdings
Matthew Little, U.S. Navy
Tara Oluwabiyi, Managed care professional
Desiree Parsley, Baptist Health
Derrick Richardson, Atkins Global
Leofric Thomas, Florida State College at Jacksonville
Thomas Vacca, Florida Blue
Marina Kay Wiatt, Johnson & Johnson Vision
Ashanta Williamson, Jacksonville Public Education Fund
“This year marks our 200th Stein Fellow, and we are extremely grateful for the Steins’ longstanding support of this program,” said Michelle Braun, president and CEO of United Way of Northeast Florida. “This milestone means the lives of more than 200 children were changed, and more than 200 young professionals have developed a deeper dedication to community change. Both will shape our community for years to come.”
Stein Fellows are also members of United Way’s young professionals group, Atlantic Circle. This affinity group consists of young professionals ages 21-40 who give $500 or more annually to United Way.