SDWF Philanthropy Fellowship Program

The SDWF Philanthropy Fellowship Program helps us develop deeper relationships with the nonprofit community by providing two-year membership scholarships to outstanding staff from local nonprofit organizations. Fellowship participants are selected through a competitive application process and bring valuable skills and perspectives to our membership and grantmaking process. Fellowship participants receive mentorship and professional development opportunities, including learning about grantmaking from the grant maker’s perspective.

In March we will begin accepting applications for our 2025 – 2026 Fellowship.

Cohort 8 | July 2023 – June 2025

Mariela Brambila

Empower Language Academy

Marketing & Grants Specialist

Advancing nonprofits’ missions through fundraising & communication strategies. | Certified Nonprofit Professional by Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.

Sofia Cardenas

Alpha Project for the Homeless

Data & Compliance Manager

Bio coming soon

Emily Davis

Father Joe's Villages

Manager of Special Events

Enthusiastic events and engagement manager with a passion for values-driven work. Demonstrated experience in project management, event planning, supervision, managing facilities and budgets. Committed to employee engagement and experienced in training and facilitation, DEI initiatives, resource group support, and culture enhancement. Dedicated to creating spaces that are accessible and inclusive for diverse audiences. Excellent organizational and communication skills to collaborate effectively.

Yadira Ruiz

San Diego Workforce Partnership

Supervisor of Workforce Development

Bridging the gap between skills and employment – Workforce Development – Justice Impacted – Restorative Justice Advocate

Cohort 9 | July 2024 – June 2026

Emily Bell

Rady Children's Hospital

Project Specialist

Passionate and results-focused public health professional with effective verbal and written communication skills and proven record of managing projects from concept to completion. Skilled in program planning and evaluation, demonstrating exceptional organizational skills and the ability to problem solve. Adaptable leader with the ability to successfully collaborate with others and work directly with diverse and vulnerable populations.

Ana Magdaleno

Annual Giving Manager


Bio coming soon.

Jena Ralls

Development Director

The Moonlight

An experienced marketing and fundraising leader with a background in design and a deep love of the arts, Jena leads marketing and development initiatives within arts organizations and institutions.

Ruth Teseyem Tadesse

Research Analyst

UCSD Center for Community Health, Refugee Health Unit

Ruth uses data to identify community needs prior to planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating programs designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, policies, and environments. She supports evaluation efforts by creating community needs assessments, program pre and post surveys, and facilitating focus group sessions. She contributes to community based participatory research by working with various stakeholders, such as the San Diego Refugees Communities Coalition (SDRCC), to support community led data collection and data desegregation efforts to improve barriers to understanding refugees’ behavioral health and health care needs.

Zhenxi Zhong

Development Manager

Urban Corps of San Diego

Bio coming soon.