Kellogg announces and convenes 2022 Youn Impact Scholars
“When we say we change the world, it won’t be just one system,” says Dorri McWhorter ’09 MBA.
McWhorter sees sustainable change as the product of collaboration and innovation across multiple social systems. It’s that vision—and a track record of success to back it up—that made McWhorter one of 10 new members of the Kellogg Youn Impact Scholars, a program that recognizes, fosters, and supports graduating students and alumni who demonstrate exceptional commitment to making impact in the most critical social and environmental domains. Each Scholar joins a growing community of leaders who exemplify Kellogg’s commitment to meaningful, sustainable, and global social change.
Every year, Kellogg chooses five “Emerging Changemakers” and five “Impact Leaders” based on their impact to date and future vision and potential. Now in its ninth year, the program boasts a community of 90 Scholars, with years of graduation from Kellogg spanning ’81 to ’22.
Biannually (barring a global pandemic), the Kellogg Youn Impact Scholars meet at Kellogg’s Global Hub, sharing insights and advice on social impact with one another and with current students and faculty. This year’s Convening took place at the end of April, the first such event since 2018.
“Looking across a room full of the most impressive, impact-oriented, innovative, and collaborative alumni from decades of Kellogg graduating classes has to be my high point of this re-emergence from the isolation of these past pandemic years,” says Megan Kashner, professor and Director of Social Impact. “This year’s new Kellogg Youn Impact Scholars fit right in with the group, bringing expertise and experience in everything from development agriculture to workforce development innovation to sustainability.”
The 2022 Youn Impact Scholars are:
- Joi Freeman ’20 MBA (EMBA)
- Daniel Hayden ’01 MBA (Evening & Weekend)
- Bryan Lee ’12 MBA (2Y)
- Dorri McWhorter ’09 MBA (EMBA)
- Matt Saragih ’15 MBA (1Y)
- Ashley Abraham ’22 MBA (2Y)
- Sebastian Dominguez ’22 MBA (2Y)
- Sammy Goldstein ’22 MBA (2Y)
- Nathan Joo ’22 MBA (2Y)
- Megan Wenrich ’22 MBA (EMBA)
Leaders coming together to collaborate
In April the Kellogg School was thrilled to host an in-person Convening of Youn Impact Scholars, the first since the pandemic began. Among the attendees were 58 Scholars, Kellogg Dean Francesca Cornelli, and program donors Christopher and Christina Combe.
Newly named Scholars interacted with a broad range of past Scholars such as Thiago Pinto Carvhallo ’15 MBA, who launched Eureciclo in Brazil, his home country, to revolutionize handling of solid waste; Saumya Sahay ’17 MBA, who cofounded Kehyti, which provides low-cost technology solutions to improve the productivity of small Indian farmers; and Jorge Calderon ’03 MBA, Managing Director at Inicio, an impact fund that invests in and supports Latinx startup leaders.
Perhaps the event’s highlight was the gathering of Scholars in small groups to workshop solutions to a challenge brought by one of their peers, such as how to find partners to scale global health innovations, and how to design positive spaces in digital environments. It was a perfect example of the cross-disciplinary problem-solving new Scholar Nathan Joo ’22 MBA was hoping to experience with the group.
Joo, who worked in public policy prior to Kellogg and upon graduation joined the social impact consulting firm Camber Collective, believes the Youn Impact Scholars community will help him “foster ideas and action to scale ways to reduce food waste and improve food security for America’s families.” He’s excited to “learn from those with expertise about how to create more inclusive business models, how big corporations tackle reducing waste in supply chains, and how to customize tech solutions to scale program delivery.”
McWhorter, an Impact Leader in the program and the president and CEO of YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, is confident she’ll be inspired by fellow Youn Impact Scholars: “I’m curious about how people are looking at impact and achieving it. I’m eager to be surrounded by folks who are so impact-oriented and wanting to make and accelerate change.”
Chris and Christina Combe were with the Youn Impact Scholars for the April convening and reflected, “There is a power in the room when these changemakers come together. It’s an opportunity for them to network and counsel one another. Each year brings new alumni and graduating students into the group. We are pleased to make the group possible and feel privileged to learn about and get to know each one of them.”
The Youn Impact Scholars program at Kellogg was named after Andrew Youn ’06 MBA, cofounder of the nonprofit One Acre Fund, which provides smallholder farmers in developing economies with critical resources to grow crops and support their livelihoods.