2018 Inaugural Fellows Announced

2018 Inaugural Fellows Announced

For Immediate Release

December 27, 2017


Media Contact

Ashten Hughes





OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – New Leaders Council Oklahoma, the local chapter of the nation’s leading organization for progressive Millennial thought leadership and skills-based training announced today the selection of 16 Fellows to the 2018 NLC Institute.  Throughout the winter and spring, 2018 Fellows will attend skills-based trainings, be provided with a mentor and develop a Capstone Project in Oklahoma to prepare them to be the changemakers of the future.

“New Leaders Council Oklahoma is very excited to begin training our next generation of leaders in Oklahoma. We have a top-notch inaugural class and expect great things over the next six months,” said Bailey Perkins, Co-Director of NLC OK.

“We’re so thankful for all the donors, volunteers, national staff, and friends of NLC OK,” says Ashten Hughes, Co-Director, “Without their support, we would not be able to provide such an amazing experience for our first cohort of NLC Fellows.”

The 2018 NLC Oklahoma fellows are:

  • James Connaughton - Courier Wizard LLC, Owner/Operator
  • Anna Facci - Council on American-Islamic Relations Oklahoma,Government Affairs Director
  • Chaunte' Gilmore - Valir PACE, Physical Therapy Assistant-Staff Therapist
  • Lani Habrock - Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, Program Director
  • Chantel Hartman - Oklahoma State Dept. of Health- Center for the Advancement of Wellness,
  • Tobacco Use Prevention Program Coordinator
  • Cicely Johnson - Oklahoma Department of Human Service, Child Welfare Assistant III
  • Samantha Johnson - Youth Services of Tulsa, Health Education Specialist
  • Candace Liger – Self,  Physical Fitness Consultant
  • Nicole McAfee - ACLU of Oklahoma, Smart Justice Campaign Manager
  • Bansari Mehta - Retina Vitreous Center, Medical Practice Administrator
  • Rylee Sivertsen - Pearson Public Affairs, Project Coordinator
  • Mary Smith - Pratt & Whitney, HR Specialist
  • Jonathan Still - Last Frontier Council, District Executive
  • Charise Walker - Helping Women Win Inc., CEO/Founder
  • Bradley Ward - University of Central Oklahoma, VetHERO Coordinator
  • Aaron Wilder - Planned Parenthood Great Plains, Media Officer

Read more about the 2018 NLC OK fellows class here:  http://www.newleaderscouncil.org/oklahoma_2018_fellows

These fellows join the national class of nearly 900 fellows in 50 NLC chapters across the country.  Nationally, the new Fellows class self identified as is the most diverse in the organization’s history with 63 percent non-white, 61 percent female, and 17 percent LGBTQ+.  

“NLC is proud to announce its largest and most diverse cohort yet.  In 50 cities and states, our fellows will be driving change in their communities and their workplaces,” said Mark Riddle, President, New Leaders Council. “These nearly 900 individuals are the future of our country, ensuring a more progressive and prosperous future.”  

The NLC Institute is a six-month training program focused on skills transfer for each cohort on issues such as entrepreneurial goal setting, strategic communications and digital outreach, economics, finance and fundraising, management and coalition building, progressive policy, and diversity and inclusion.

Chosen fellows went through a rigorous, locally-driven selections process including an application with an essay component and an in-person interview.  Roughly 25 percent of those who applied to the Institute were accepted nationally.

NLC Fellows are paired with a mentor who is a professional in their field. Through the mentorship program, Fellows are exposed to successful individuals who are committed to supporting the next generation of progressive leaders. 

NLC Fellows are civic, social, and business entrepreneurs who lead the charge on the ground to solve the most critical challenges facing our communities.  NLC’s Capstone Project, a cornerstone of our Institutes, challenges Fellows to identify a project that captures their passion, fills a need in the community, and leverages the skills NLC provides through the Fellowship in order to come up with a plan to address it head on. This is where NLC’s training effectively comes to life.

Once this class of fellows completes the Institute in June 2018, they will join NLC’s robust alumni network of nearly 6,000 changemakers nationwide.

NLC Oklahoma will be holding a reception to meet our 2018 Fellows cohort on January 20, 2018, at 6:00pm, at the MassMutual 3rd Floor Balcony - 1300 N. Walker Ave. Oklahoma City. Donations of any size are welcomed, but not required to attend.


New Leaders Council (NLC) is a 501(c)(3) and is the leading training program for progressive Millennials. NLC equips our leaders with the skills to run for office, manage campaigns, create starts ups and networks of thought leaders.  NLC leaders take their activism back into their communities and workplaces to impact progressive change. 

NLC has 50 chapters across the country in red and blue states with nearly 6,000 alumni. NLC is a true reflection of the Millennial generation with 57 percent of our NLC community as non-white and 53 percent women.  NLC is one of the few organizations focused on building a new governing coalition.

Follow New Leaders Council on Facebook and on Twitter.  To learn more about the NLC, visit www.newleaderscouncil.org.


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