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By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. April 28, 2023: Caribbean and Latin American students are among the 2023 recipients of The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, a merit-based graduate school program for immigrants and children of immigrants.

The 2023 Fellows from Jamaica, Colombia, Honduras and Mexico as well as two with roots in El Salvador and Jamaica were selected from nearly 2,000 applicants as part of the 30 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows for 2023.

They each will receive up to $90,000 in funding to support their graduate studies at institutions such as Harvard University, MIT, Stanford University, and Yale University. 

From the Caribbean and Jamaica is:

Jamaican Desmond Edwards is the lone Caribbean immigrant and 2023 recipient of The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans
Jamaican Desmond Edwards is the lone Caribbean immigrant and 2023 recipient of The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans

Desmond Edwards who is pursuing a PhD in microbiology & immunology at Stanford University. Edwards migrated from Jamaica at age 18 and is a MIT graduate interested in human disease and developing novel therapeutic options for their treatment and prevention.

Jermaine Anthony Richards, a child of immigrants from Jamaica is also among the 2023 Fellows. He is pursuing a PhD in communication at the University of Southern California. A graduate of CUNY York College graduate, Richards is an award-winning social impact producer; researching how transmedia storytelling animates human security politics.

From Honduras is:

Cinthia Zavala Ramos, a DREAMER (DACA) recipient and Yale graduate who aims to use her education and platform to place undocumented perspectives at the center of the immigration conversation. She is now pursuing a JD at New York University.

From Colombia is:

Daniela Veloza, a Harvard graduate and 18-time Colombian swimming national medalist who hopes to lead a consumer brand that is focused on serving the US Latinx community. She is pursuing a MBA at Harvard University.

El Salvador

Janel Pineda is a child of immigrants from El Salvador, a Dickinson graduate; poet, organizer, and author of Lineage of Rain; researching poetry’s liberatory capacities for migrant families. She is pursuing a PhD in Chicana/o & Central American studies at UC Los Angeles.

From Mexico

Silvia Huerta Lopez emigrated from Mexico at age 6 and is an Essex County College and Penn graduate. She co-founded Quetzales de Salud, an organization focusing on medical care for undocumented immigrants and is now pursuing a MD/PhD in biological sciences at Harvard University.

Ricardo Guajardo emigrated from Mexico at age 8 and is a Stanford graduate; studying how the brain stores and processes memories to better understand neurodegenerative and psychiatric conditions. He is now pursuing a MD/PhD in neuroscience at UC San Francisco.


Yehimi Cambrón Álvarez is a DACA recipient from Mexico and Agnes Scott College graduate. She is also a Teach For America Metro-Atlanta corps member; artist and public speaker based in Atlanta and working nationally. She is pursuing a MFA in print media at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

In addition to receiving up to $90,000 in funding for the graduate program of their choice, the2023 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellows join a distinguished community of past recipients. The alumni network includes US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, who is the first surgeon general of Indian descent and helped lead the national response to Ebola, Zika, and the coronavirus; lawyer Julissa Reynoso, who serves as the US ambassador to Spain and Andorra; Damian Williams, who is the first Black US attorney for the southern district of New York and serves as chair of the attorney general’s advisory committee; and composer Paola Prestini, who was named by NPR as one of the “Top 100 Composers in the World” and plays on major stages across the world.

Founded by Hungarian immigrants Daisy M. Soros and her late husband Paul Soros (1926-2013), The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans program honors the contributions of continuing generations of immigrants in the United States.

Since the Fellowship’s founding 25 years ago, the program has provided more than $80 million in funding, and recipients have studied a range of fields from medicine and the arts to law and business.

“My and Paul’s experiences as immigrants informed our desire to give back by investing in the accomplishments of New Americans,” said Co-Founder Daisy Soros. “It has been a joy to see how our Fellows leverage their education over the years to make a deep impact across communities. I’m delighted to welcome this year’s Fellowship class. As we commemorate the 10th anniversary of Paul’s passing, it is beautiful to see how his legacy lives on through every Fellow.”

“Immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees have and continue to make our nation stronger,” said Fellowship Director Craig Harwood. “The diverse perspectives and approaches that each Fellow this year, and the many who have come before them, brings to their fields and our society is remarkable and inspiring.”

2024 Application Now Open

The application for the 2024-25 academic year is now open and is due in October of 2023. Selection criteria focuses on accomplishments that show creativity, originality, and initiative and is open to college seniors, students applying to graduate school, and those who are in the early stages of graduate school. All applicants must be planning to be enrolled full-time in an accredited graduate program in the US in the 2024-25 academic year. In addition, applicants must be 30 or younger as of the application deadline.

Eligible New Americans include green card holders, naturalized citizens, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, individuals born abroad who graduated from both high

school and college in the United States, and the US-born children of two immigrants. Applicants can find full eligibility requirements here.

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