Announcing the 2017 CA Fellows

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Today, New America CA announced its 2017 CA Fellows. This year’s fellows come from diverse backgrounds and industries.  From creating more inclusive pathways to college and careers to using virtual reality to activate more robust civic engagement, these visionary leaders are all working to tackle the important issues facing California and our nation.

“Our CA fellows transcend partisan politics and prove that real change starts locally,” stated Megan Garcia, Director of New America CA. “These innovative Californians are solving real problems that affect real Californians, right now.”

“California is leading the way on innovation and urban/rural renewal,” added Anne-Marie Slaughter, President and CEO of New America. “Our hope is that our second class of California fellows will serve as living examples of what’s possible when people get involved locally and inspire more people to do the same.”

Of the 80 applications that were submitted, half were from women and people of color. The new class of CA Fellows will be focused on three main issue areas: education, tech for good, and civic engagement. New America CA selected the following cutting edge social entrepreneurs whose names, projects, and affiliations are as follows:

  • Ann Ravel, encouraging civic engagement (former FEC Chair)

  • Erika Pinheiro, using mobile technology to connect immigrants to public services (Al Otro Lado)

  • Kyle Halle-Erby, creating pathways of success for vulnerable students in college and career (San Francisco International High School)

  • Michael Draskovic, virtual reality for good (Ovrture)

  • Tim Haydock, filling media deserts while empowering and educating disenfranchised youth to engage in the Central Valley (YouthWire)

  • Wayne Sutton, fostering inclusivity in tech (Change Catalyst)

Over the next year, New America CA will support its fellows by providing them a public platform through media partnerships and live events, the opportunity to engage with our national network of policy experts, and a $30,000 financial stipend. Given broad based frustration with the state of policy and politics in California and nationally, New America CA fellows’ stories will empower Californians to take action in their own communities.

New America CA is a civic startup working to amplify the reach of California change agents whose innovations solve public problems in bold new ways.


Leila Pedersen is the Associate Director New America California, where she runs a fellowship for social entrepreneurs using storytelling and communication as tools to create culture and policy change.