Raucous cheering emanated through Kiva HQ on Friday afternoon as the newest class of Kiva Fellows received their diplomas. Kiva Board Chair, Julie Hanna; Co-Founder and CEO, Matt Flannery; President, Premal Shah, and dozens of Kiva staff and volunteers were on hand to celebrate the completion of an intensive 5-day training program, which marks the beginning of a 4-month volunteer commitment for the 23 impressive individuals who make up the 16th class of Kiva Fellows (KF16).

[top row, from left to right] Jacob Schultz (KFP Manager), Emmanuel von Arx, Marcus Berkowitz, Rob Gradoville, Abhinab Basnyat, DJ Forza, Jim Burke, Whitney Webb, Andrea Ramirez, Laurie Young, Sandra Pina, Dave Weber, Kim Strathearn, and Matt Flannery (Kiva CEO); [middle row] Charlotte Makoff, Lauren Barra, Chris Paci, Alba Castillo, Julie Kerr, Allison Moomey, Jill Hall, Claire Markham, Tejal Desai, and Andrew Huelsenbeck; [in front] Eric Brandt and Dave Koken (KFP Coordinators)

Following in the footsteps of 384 past Kiva Fellows, KF16 will play a critical role in expanding Kiva’s global reach and ensuring the integrity of the Kiva lending experience. Each individual in the class will serve with one or more of Kiva’s microfinance institution field partners in order to strengthen relationships, build capacity and gather insights, pictures and stories from the field. These individuals will contribute their incredible energy and diverse professional skills to Kiva as self-funded volunteers. They will travel thousands of miles, often immersing themselves in unfamiliar cultures, and overcoming challenges for the opportunity to further Kiva’s work. “I know I speak for the entire community at Kiva when I say we are both excited for you and jealous of the amazing experiences that lay ahead for each and every one of you,” said Matt Flannery, Kiva’s Co-Founder and CEO. “More than anything, I want to thank you for choosing to serve Kiva.”

Kiva Co-Founder and CEO, Matt Flannery, presenting at KF16 training

Their commitment is nothing short of amazing, and, as the Kiva Fellows Program Manager, I feel honored and privileged to be associated with such remarkable people.
Without further ado, please help us to welcome these new fellows to the Kiva community! And an extra special thanks to the following fellows who will be returning for a 2nd placement! To learn more about the Kiva Fellows Program, please visit our information page. We are currently accepting applications for the 17th class of Kiva Fellows who will begin their fellowships in January 2012. Apply today!
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