When former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama revealed the Obama Foundation's inaugural batch of Fellows on Instagram last April, the country was thrilled for Teach for the Philippines CEO and founder Clarissa Delgado, who was chosen from over 20,000 from 191 countries.
The organization pooled together 20 community leaders, who have an extraordinary background of civic work, and whom the foundation hopes to provide further opportunities for. Individuals from 11 countries who are involved with empowering parents, improving their community’s education system, aiding and schooling the disabled, and treating addiction were recognized as Fellows.
Michelle Obama congratulated the Fellows on her post, saying, "You all give me so much hope. You represent the continuation of the possibilities for change around the world. Barack and I believe in you, and we couldn’t be more excited to watch your work continue to grow."
Today, the @ObamaFoundation welcomes the first class of Obama Foundation Fellows. You all give me so much hope. You represent the continuation of the possibilities for change around the world. Barack and I believe in you, and we couldn’t be more excited to watch your work continue to grow. Congratulations!
Yesterday, through a Facebook post, Delgado shared photographs with her fellow Obama Foundation Fellows and former U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.
Barack Obama, Clarissa Delgado, Michelle Obama
"Beyond grateful to be part of the Obama Foundation’s inaugural class of 20 Fellows—joining 19 other community-minded allies and now, dear friends," she wrote. "Yet I represent but one face of so many. Staff and our forever Fellows, our student leaders, co-teachers and government Ambassadors—their 2 a.m. mornings, brownouts, sticky heat and long commutes on tricycles, jeepneys, boats and on foot. For the most part, the Teach for the Philippines family is content to do our work behind the scenes. The wages of our love are to represent East Asia in opportunities like this, but most of all, seeing more of our trained teachers pursue lifelong paths towards social justice—aligned around a singular vision of a more equitable Philippines."
Delgado with other Obama Foundation Fellows
Delgado was handpicked for her work with Teach for the Philippines, which she co-founded in 2012 with her mother, Margarita Delgado, and Lizzie Zobel. For the last six years, the non-profit organization has championed accessible education for Filipino children by training young leaders to teach in public schools for a two-year period. This program aims to fill the gap of 40,000 teachers needed in the public school system.
When the announcement first came out, Delgado took to Twitter to express her excitement about the opportunity: “Everything @TeachForThePH does, and all our partners and kababayans do, is always #ParaSaBata #ParaSaBayan.”
A truly amazing morning to wake up to ?? Grateful to the @ObamaFoundation for the chance to represent the Philippines and honor her the way she deserves - everything @TeachForThePH does, and all our partners and kababayans do, is always #ParaSaBata #ParaSaBayan #ObamaFellows pic.twitter.com/GJ1DX8mo38— Clarissa Delgado (@clarissadelgado) April 16, 2018
The Obama Foundation was founded by former U.S. President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama. The foundation’s mission is to breed a whole new generation of civic leaders, who will inspire and lead their communities into the future. The foundation offers programs open to both established change-makers and those looking to get involved. Apart from the fellowship, the organization hosts summits, gives training sessions, and provides scholarships to empower its members.