The Karabelle Pizzigati Initiative in Advocacy for Children Youth and Families builds a pipeline of informed, effective advocates to ensure all children are healthy, safe, learning and joyful. The late Karabelle Pizzigati spent her career striving to change that reality by empowering champions for children with the policy skills to make a lasting impact. In her name, the Karabelle Pizzigati Initiative Fellowship, at the School of Public Policy and the School of Public Health, inspires the best and brightest students to pursue careers in children's advocacy.
Through fellowships, students gain experience and insight into the field by working in organizations who make a real difference in the lives of children. Students are empowered to use their voice as a powerful force for change, now and into the future.
Throughout the fellowship, students learn from recognized experts in a paid internship. In addition to the required coursework and internship, students will be coached and mentored, preparing them to enter a career in children's advocacy.
This year’s fellows include:
JUNIOR, JOINT PUBLIC POLICY UNDERGRADUATE AND MASTERS PROGRAM
Megan Condon is a Junior in the School of Public Policy 4+1 Bachelor and Masters Program. She intends to graduate with her undergraduate degree in December of 2023, followed by her Master’s in 2024. She is originally from Nanuet, New York where she was raised on the principles of compassion and empathy. She was always taught the importance of helping others and being a voice for those who can not speak up for themselves. Condon was an intern in the Maryland House of Delegates during the 2022 legislative session and will be continuing her passion for advocacy in the Karabelle Pizzigati Fellowship Program in 2023. She is passionate about making a difference in this world, one person at a time. Condon’s goal is to work for the Department of Education to help enhance the lives of the youth in America.
JUNIOR, PUBLIC POLICY MAJOR
Malachi Gaines is a junior Public Policy major at the University of Maryland, College Park. His areas of interest include infrastructural policy, transportation policy, and housing policy. He is dedicated to advancing policies and programs that promote more efficient ways of living, the elimination of societal barriers, and more equitable access to resources for children and families. Upon completion of his undergraduate degree, Gaines intends to work in a policy organization before pursuing a law degree.
JUNIOR, CRIMINAL JUSTICE MAJOR
Brittanie Reed is a junior at the University of Maryland School of Behavioral and Social Sciences where she is pursuing a degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. As a job to fund her studies, she has worked with children at a school in her hometown of Bowie, Maryland as well as an art studio in Laurel, Maryland. Due to her own past experiences, she is passionate about helping children receive the mental health treatment that they need as well as advocating for better protections regarding domestic violence. Upon the completion of her undergraduate studies, Reed intends to go to law school and possibly start a career in family law.
JUNIOR, DOUBLE MAJOR IN PSYCHOLOGY AND PUBLIC POLICY
Emily Scott is a passionate advocate for children’s issues, with a focused interest in education and foster care reform. Working in her hometown’s elementary school taught her how important funding and resources are to a child’s capacity to learn, develop, and feel safe. Scott believes that providing children with an equitable education can ultimately contribute to addressing the numerous problems that plague our country, such as crime, homelessness, and poverty.
Yonathan Gonzalez Villatoro
SOPHOMORE, PUBLIC POLICY MAJOR
Yonathan Gonzalez Villatoro is incredibly passionate about child welfare. He believes that innovations from the next generation of policy leaders will be crucial to ensuring a thriving future for all our children. As a tutor with the Latino Student Fund and a legislative intern for the Maryland General Assembly, Villatoro mentored students from underserved schools and refined his policy writing skills. This year, he is exploring the intersectionality of child welfare and immigration through his fellowship with the Child Welfare League of America. Villatoro’s career goal is to work for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to advance policies that will unlock opportunities for every family.
SENIOR, SOCIOLOGY MAJOR
Dax White is a senior who will graduate in the fall of 2023. She is working towards her bachelor’s degree in Sociology with a minor in Nonprofit Leadership and Social Innovation. White is interested in social work, and passionate about foster care and underprivileged youth. Upon completion of her undergraduate studies, White plans to work with non-profit organizations that are focused on helping the lives of disadvantaged children.
- Social Policy