Chicago, IL – President Obama announced the first cohort of 100 emerging changemakers selected to participate in the Obama Foundation's Leaders USA program. Chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants, these exceptional leaders are actively driving change across geographies, sectors, and issues and are ready to expand their impact and play a role in strengthening our democratic culture. SparkWheel board member Tasha Fridia, J.D., was selected.
The inaugural cohort of the United States "Obama Leaders" is composed of values-driven changemakers from every corner of the country. Hailing from 37 states, Washington, D.C., American Samoa, Guam, and five tribal nations, these Obama Leaders are united by their passion for building a stronger, more sustainable, and more inclusive world.
"I'm inspired by this talented group of young leaders from across the United States who are working on the most pressing issues facing our world," said President Obama.
Tasha R. Fridia, Pejuta Cangleska Win (Sacred Medicine Circle Woman) is an enrolled member of the Wichita and Affiliated Tribes and is Kiowa, Caddo, and Hunka Oglala Lakota. Tasha is the legacy of many generations of activists and advocates dedicated to political, policy, and systems change. She strives to make her ancestors proud in everything she undertakes. Tasha mentors many others and is dedicated to the strength and wellness of future generations. With every opportunity and position, Tasha seeks to find ways to share what she has learned for the betterment of all Native people.
SparkWheel, a Midwest-based nonprofit, serves over 35,000 students annually throughout Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Iowa. For more than 25 years, SparkWheel has been inspiring students and engaging families in ways that remove barriers and help them to thrive. Through the National Integrated Student Supports framework, the organization helps support students' academic and non-academic needs, resulting in increased well-being and greater success in school. Learn more at SparkWheel.org.
About Obama Foundation Leaders USA Program
Launched in 2018, the Obama Foundation Leaders program seeks to empower emerging leaders to accelerate positive and lasting change in their communities, regions, and across the globe. The Leaders USA program offers participants a unique and comprehensive experience, including a values-driven leadership curriculum, action labs focused on strengthening democratic institutions and culture in the U.S., community groups for fostering constructive dialogue in a polarized environment, and one-on-one support to help tackle some of the most pressing issues of our time. Throughout the program, participants will have the opportunity to engage with President Obama, leadership coaches, subject matter experts, and each other to deepen their leadership practice.