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Catalytic Changemakers: William J. White Fellow Negina Habibi

Joining a new industry is challenging, and the greatest learning resource I’ve found here at Pyxera Global has been my wonderful colleagues. That’s why I was so happy to sit down with Negina Habibi to learn about her experience as the recipient of the William J. White Fellowship for Solvable Problems, which gives young people in underserved communities exposure to careers in social impact on a global scale.

Pack Your Backpack! We’re Doing Systems Change.

“As soon as I walked in and saw the organization, my first goal was to bring something here that is unique to me,” said Negina, “like a backpack full of knowledge to share with everyone.”

“I was so excited to bring everything, but especially my IT background!” (Negina is studying information technology at George Mason University.) “I wanted to contribute my IT knowledge and see how it could help the organization as part of my fellowship. I wanted to be resourceful and helpful to you, and to have your support just as you have mine.”

That kind of support is exactly what William J. White, in whose honor the fellowship was established, provided to young people throughout his own life and career in public health.

The work in global engagement is demanding, but Pyxera Global’s approach stands out as truly exceptional. Our vision is to build a world where equitable, regenerative systems enable all communities to thrive, so we had to ask ourselves, “Are we building equitable access to this sector, too?” We created the William J. White Fellowship for Solvable Problems to help bridge the gap.

I was scared of failing, but those failures taught me valuable lessons.

Negina Habibi, William J. White Fellow

A Fellowship in Review: Lessons Learned

After four months at Pyxera Global, Negina was honest about her fellowship experience! “I made so many mistakes, but I learned from each one… all because I had so much support [from] all these amazing people. I was really fortunate to work with them and have their support system and mentorship.”

“Every day I walked in with a smile, and every day I walked out with a smile. There was never a bad day. …I always learned something new that I could apply at home, at school—everywhere.”

Reflecting on this time at Pyxera Global, Negina shared some great advice for anyone else interested in pursuing a career in global engagement. “I was scared of failing, but those failures taught me valuable lessons: keep going, keep moving, and never stop; don’t be afraid to ask for help.”

Community-Centric Solutions to Pressing Problems

Asking questions is undoubtedly a cornerstone of what makes our work here at Pyxera Global so effective. There’s a humility in our approach—a kind of gentle leadership that recognizes the best solutions are rooted in collaboration across sectors, in adapting to challenges, and in listening to the communities we serve. It’s amazing to see future leaders like Negina developing that mindset, too.

“It was such an amazing organization, an amazing fellowship. It’s such a great blessing.”

We’re grateful to Negina as well for her contributions to our community, and we’re excited to hear what she will do next!

“I have knowledge now that I can use in other spaces, whether it’s for my own company one day, school, work, events, anything—for helping people,” said Negina. “That’s what I’m really grateful for!”

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