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I’m an Obama Fellow – I am because you ARE


Today, I am honored. I’m honored to be one of the 2019 Obama Foundation Fellows. And, I’m honored to join the diverse and powerful 2019 class of community-minded civic leaders.

The Obama Foundation Fellowship will allow me to continue and strengthen my work elevating youth leadership and breaking down barriers between people and  government across the United States.

I  say, “I am because YOU ARE.”

Today, I’m thinking about all the folks who support me, who collaborate with me, and who inspire me. Will you check out my story and share it? I’d love for you to celebrate with me because this is your story, too. This is OUR win.

I applied to be an Obama Foundation Fellow because I believe in the Foundation’s mission to inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world through civic engagement. That mission is rooted in my everyday life, where I have been empowering people to decide together how to spend public money and have seen marginalized communities build power and reshape our democracy.

I hope to work with the Obama Foundation and members of my Fellows class to scale this work and develop new and effective methods to further the impact of participatory budgeting (PB), while  learning from and with other inspiring civic leaders.

The Fellowship program is an opportunity to be a key member of the Obama Foundation network of changemakers, and I can’t wait to get started, continuing all this work with you.

Will you celebrate 10 years of the Participatory Budgeting Project with me in NYC on May 23rd? Or, if you can’t join in person, celebrate virtually by becoming a PB amplifier!


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Shari oversees PBP’s advocacy work, technical assistance, and operations. She joined PBP staff after nearly 15 years of service and leadership in local government. As Director of Youth Engagement and Employment for the City of Boston she launched Youth Lead the Change, the first youth participatory budgeting process in the US, which won the US Conference of Mayors’ City Livability Award. Shari first got involved in city government in high school, serving as the Citywide Neighborhood Safety Coordinator on the Boston Mayor’s Youth Council and working at the Mayor’s Youthline. Shari is a graduate of Boston University’s Sargent College for Health and Rehabilitation Sciences and holds a master’s degree in anatomy and physiology.

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