Two NYU Law graduates are recipients of Echoing Green’s 2014 Global Fellowships. Established in 1989, the fellowship supports emerging social entrepreneurs around the world who are working to disrupt the status quo. Fellows receive a two-year stipend, as well as access to leadership development and networking gatherings, technical support and pro bono partnerships, and a community of like-minded social entrepreneurs and public service leaders.
Lauren Burke ’09 is the founder of Atlas: DIY (Developing Immigrant Youth), a cooperative empowerment center for immigrant youth and their allies. Founded in 2012 and located in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, Atlas: DIY provides free legal services, language classes, college preparation programs, and more for immigrant youth. In the past year alone, Atlas: DIY has served over 200 individuals. (Burke’s work with Atlas:DIY was also the subject of a 2013 NYU Law Magazine profile).
Burke notes that that this fellowship is particularly timely, given the media attention to unaccompanied child immigrants and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) renewals. “It’s really exciting that large organizations are starting to see undocumented immigrants as a part of the population in the United States that’s here and that needs assistance—not just a fringe group, but accepted into the general population,” says Burke.
Burke’s goal for the future of Atlas:DIY is to eventually open branches in other cities around the country. "Undocumented people and the services they need are not just confined to New York City,” says Burke. “At the end of this fellowship, I’m hoping to be able to open our second Atlas office in San Francisco or Chicago.”
Michael Lwin ’09 is the co-founder and managing director of Koe Koe Tech, a company based in Yangon, Myanmar that trains local people in computer programming and develops software for the country's health sector. “What we’re trying to do is to collect data, and consolidate it for doctors making healthcare decisions,” says Lwin. The company’s long-term goal is the development of a nationwide health information exchange.
Lwin has been awarded the fellowship jointly with Yar Zar Minn Htoo, who is the co-founder and chief technical officer for Koe Koe—and is also Lwin’s cousin. Lwin, who has previously worked as a research fellow at Georgetown University and as an antitrust lawyer at Arnold & Porter, had never met his cousin until 2009, when he took a trip to Myanmar. “It’s a labor of love for me and my cousin,” says Lwin about their work at Koe Koe Tech. “My cousin is from here and he’s lived here his whole life. And for me, as a Myanmar-American, I feel really lucky to be able to give back in some way.”
Burke and Lwin join a number of NYU Law graduates who have received fellowships from Echoing Green in the past. Previous recipients have included Rafiq Kalam Id-Din ’00, Priti Radhakrishnan ’02, and Reuben Teague ’05.
Posted June 30, 2014