VVLead Documentarian Project Case Study Report

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although the issue is now gaining more public attention in light of the Syrian refugee crisis. She feels that in order to increase awareness about the issue, the UNHCR needs to change its strategies and utilize social media and the voices of popular celebrities in order to highlight what is happening. She is now using the confidence that she has gained at VVLead to advocate for these changes to the organization’s leadership. Outcomes of the VVLead Fellowship The connections and support network that Jenny has developed through the VVLead program are the greatest benefit of the fellowship for her. One of the connections who has been a great mentor for Jenny is Rashmi Tiwari, a 2013 fellow from India. Jenny highlights that she has found a friend and sister in Rashmi, who inspires her and supports her ideas. Jenny was introduced to Rashmi at the 2014 South-South Exchange Program where Rashmi offered to help Jenny work on her networking project. Rashmi pushed Jenny to focus her project on one particular group, such as social entrepreneurs, and to organize her ideas and set deadlines. At the South-South Exchange, Jenny also connected with a group of fellows from Latin America who decided to form a WhatsApp group called “VVLead Latina” that allows women to stay in contact with one another on a regular basis to share knowledge and resources and offer each other both personal and professional support. Further, through consultant Allison Shapira’s training on how to pitch yourself and your ideas at the 2014 South-South Exchange, VVLead has fortified Jenny’s public speaking skills, which are important for the presentations that she gives at the UNHCR. Moreover, through consultant Liz Ngonzi’s 2014 online Fundraising course, Jenny has developed effective fundraising skills, particularly for her work with Mujeres en Igualidad. Jenny’s leadership trajectory has changed since beginning the VVLead Program, as she moved from achieving her long-time goal of working for the UN to deciding that working for a large international organization was not for her; but instead, that her true passion is working directly with people. Through meeting other VVLead fellows that had left work that they were unhappy with to pursue their passions, Jenny was inspired to do the same. She states, I believe I’m in this… search, because of Vital Voices. It’s not that I’m like, ‘Okay, I’m happy with what I have, I work at the UN, and I have a good salary…’ I want to improve myself every time to achieve my goals and when I achieve them, I want to have new goals. Maybe that’s because of


Jenny Schwartz