Written by The Patterson Foundation
The Patterson Foundation is excited to welcome Alexa Carr, Avery Crews Prado de Lima and Andrew Spector of the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI as the newest members of its Fellows Program. The incoming fifth cohort of TPF Fellows will apply their learnings from the school’s Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies degree program during a year-long engagement designed to connect aspiring philanthropic leaders with opportunities to gain experience and learn innovative philanthropic principles while contributing to initiatives strengthening people, organizations and communities.
The Patterson Foundation, a fully endowed charitable entity in Sarasota, Florida, created the Fellows Program in partnership with the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy — the world’s first school dedicated solely to the study and teaching of philanthropy. Through the Fellows Program, graduates of the school’s master’s degree program can apply to work with The Patterson Foundation across several diverse initiatives while gaining the knowledge and insights that will help mold the next generation of community, corporate and private foundation leaders. Previous Fellows have launched careers with charitable foundations and nonprofit networks nationwide in leadership roles following their time with The Patterson Foundation.
“The Lilly Family School of Philanthropy graduates who have become Fellows with The Patterson Foundation have soared beyond our expectations — a testament to their individual gifts as well as the school’s robust coursework and expert faculty,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “The Patterson Foundation is stronger for the contributions of the Fellows we have had the good fortune to nurture since the Program’s inception. We welcome Alexa, Avery and Andrew with excitement for the possibilities ahead.”
Here’s some background on each incoming TPF Fellow and their thoughts on the journey ahead:
Alexa Carr will be graduating in May with her Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies degree from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Carr completed her undergraduate years at IUPUI as well, majoring in Biology and Philanthropic Studies. She also had the opportunity to complete her Certificate in Fund Raising Management this year through The Fund Raising School, the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s renowned professional development program.
Carr is currently the Community Programs Graduate Assistant for the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, primarily working with Community Action Agencies throughout the state. During her years on the Executive Board of Jagathon, IUPUI’s Dance Marathon, over $2 million was raised for pediatric research. Carr was also named a Bepko Scholar and Fellow, one of IUPUI’s top 10 undergraduate students in 2020, one of IUPUI’s top 100 undergraduate students in 2021, and was selected as a 2021 William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion recipient.
“I am looking forward to being a part of The Patterson Foundation team because it is so clear how important making equitable and intentional impact is to the Foundation,” said Carr. “Over the next year, I am so excited to be a member of such a passionate team that listens to the community and strategically responds in a wholistic way. I am also looking forward to growing and developing as an innovative leader in the nonprofit sector.”
Avery Crews Prado de Lima
Avery Crews Prado de Lima will also graduate with her Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies degree in May. She is a first-generation college student from Louisville, Kentucky, and earned English and Women’s and Gender Studies degrees from Lindsey Wilson College. Crews Prado de Lima currently interns with the Lumina Foundation on the Strategic Impact team and worked with the Steuben County Community Foundation prior to that.
She served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Age-Friendly Louisville during the pandemic and has engaged in the nonprofit sector as a volunteer throughout the world with The Bonner Scholar Program. She earned her Executive Certificate in Religious Fundraising in November 2021 from the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and a Certificate in Fundraising Management in November 2022 from The Fund Raising School. She has served as the graduate assistant for the Lake Institute for the last two years. Before applying to the Fellows Program, she engaged with The Patterson Foundation through its Nonprofit Internship Program for Lilly Family School of Philanthropy students, where she interned with Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s and the Lemur Conservation Foundation.
“I am excited for the opportunity to learn from such incredible individuals and look forward to strengthening and shaping myself as a professional in the next year,” said Crews Prado de Lima. “I look forward to taking the experiences that I have had and creating new ones by engaging in conversations to really build those meaningful connections through the work that I participate in.”
Andrew Spector holds a Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies degree from the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the Honors College at College of Charleston. Originally from Bedford, Massachusetts, Spector joins The Patterson Foundation after eight years in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he was Co-Founder and Program Director of Tulsa Changemakers, a youth leadership development and action organization. He started Tulsa Changemakers as a sixth-grade teacher and Teach For America corps member and incubated it under the nonprofit umbrella of Leadership Tulsa, working there as a Program Manager.
Spector has a values-based approach to leadership that is rooted in training from URJ Eisner Camp, Interfaith America, the Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality and the Asset Based Community Development Institute. He serves as Board Member for the Jewish Federation of Tulsa and was a Germanacos Fellow with Interfaith America in 2016. In 2018, Spector was honored with ionOklahoma’s NextGen Under 30 Award.
“I’ve been inspired by The Patterson Foundation’s trust-based, joyful and collaborative approach to philanthropy since I first learned about it during one of my courses at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy,” said Spector. “I couldn’t be more excited to support TPF in driving positive impact while also growing as a philanthropic leader and receiving top-notch mentorship from the incredible TPF team. I’m looking forward to taking what I learn at TPF to support the philanthropic sector in driving more impact.”
For more than three decades, Indiana University and the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy have prepared students and practitioners to become thoughtful, skillful leaders who inspire change. Students enrolled in its Master of Arts in Philanthropic Studies degree program learn through a combination of in-depth research, study of the history, culture and values of philanthropy, and hands-on professional practice in areas such as fundraising, volunteering and civil society.
“The Patterson Foundation’s Fellows Program and the Foundation’s innovative approach enable our graduates to gain additional expertise that prepares them for next-level leadership. We are excited that Alexa, Avery and Andrew will enjoy this unique opportunity,” said Amir Pasic, Ph.D., the Eugene R. Tempel Dean of the school. “We are delighted to continue our partnership with The Patterson Foundation, which affords our students multiple ways to expand their education and experience through engagement with the Foundation’s leaders and community organizations.”
The Fellows Program is one of several educational programs made possible through The Patterson Foundation’s Advancing Philanthropic Leadership initiative. In collaboration with the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, the initiative provides the school’s students with opportunities such as elective courses, paid internships and others to strengthen emerging philanthropic leaders.
The fifth Fellows cohort is the largest since the Program started in 2018. All three incoming Fellows will have opportunities to connect with Fellows who have come before them through the TPF Beyond alumni network, which gives Fellows a platform to learn from and share with one another throughout their careers.
The new Fellows will begin their experience with The Patterson Foundation in Sarasota, Florida this summer. Future graduates of the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy’s master’s degree program will be eligible to apply for future cohorts of the Fellows Program.