John Gardner Fellowship

2023 Gardner Fellows: Public Impact with Private Philanthropy

March 29, 2024

Community engagement has always been a passion of mine. There is a sense of altruism and belonging when collaborating with community members to promote collective impact. Coming from a lived experience with minimal resources (homelessness, food insecurity, poverty), I believe in the power of public involvement, investment, and empowerment. I am an Urban Planner with experience working for public agencies and capacity building for local organizations. Having worked for Alameda County and creating a nonprofit organization, I understand the limitations of funding.

With the...

John Gardner Fellowship

The John Gardner Public Service Fellowship Program

This Fellowship program selects six Fellows during the spring semester from among the graduating classes at UC Berkeley and Stanford University and provides each a $50,000 stipend to work in the governmental or nonprofit organization that matches their public service interests for ten months. Past fellows have been placed at such organizations as the White House Office of Science and Technology, the State Department, and Governor Newsom's office. During their Fellowship, fellows are...

Tatiana Butte

Class of 2023
2024 John Gardner Fellowship
2022 Democracy Camp in DC
2023 Democracy Camp DC Student Director

Tatiana Butte, a Geography Major with a Minor in Public Policy, is dedicated to empowering individuals and amplifying the voices of underrepresented communities in environmental justice. A first-generation Afro-Latina, Tatiana grew up in Southeast San Diego in a single-parent, Caribbean-immigrant household under challenging circumstances. Throughout her life, Tatiana has shown her exemplary leadership talents: from heading her high school JROTC battalion to advocating for outdoor equity and environmental education programs for Black and Brown youth to being a student leader...

2023 Gardner Fellows: Insights into Advocacy with the ACLU

February 15, 2024

As a Political Science major passionate about LGBTQ+ and reproductive rights, I entered my Gardner Fellowship with two main goals: to explore how I can make the most meaningful impact on the issues I care about, and to build a strong relationship with a mentor who could help guide me through that journey. I am currently placed at the ACLU’s National Political Advocacy Department in Washington D.C., where I work on reproductive freedom campaigns and policy. Four months into my fellowship, I am happy to report that my placement has afforded me ample opportunities to realize...

2022 Gardner Fellows: Equal Pay and its Implications on Health

March 27, 2023

As an undergraduate, I was drawn to public health due to the breadth of topics that play a pivotal role in community health. When selected to be a John Gardner Fellow, I knew I wanted to pursue health policy and continue advocating for traditionally marginalized communities. I am currently serving my placement at the California Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS). My short time at CalHHS has reinforced the idea that in order to support community health, we must support a myriad of policy issue areas including affordable housing, criminal justice reform, immigrant...

John W. Gardner

Having earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in psychology from Stanford University and his doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, John William Gardner launched a truly exceptional career in public service. He ultimately served under six presidents, most prominently as Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare under President Lyndon Baines Johnson between 1965 and 1968.

As Secretary of HEW, Gardner successfully implemented a wide range of Great Society programs targeting the elimination of poverty and racial injustice. He upheld the Civil Rights Act of 1964...

Jon Dena

Class of 2023
2023 John Gardner Fellowship

Jonathan (Jon) Dena would like to help disadvantaged individuals learn the financial skills to secure stable housing. Jon’s devotion to affordable housing comes from personal experience. As a child, he often lived in crowded conditions, often with multiple families in a single house. The other experience that shaped Jon’s public service was becoming homeless as a teenager, which led ultimately to a nine-year prison sentence starting at the age of 16. Since then, Jon has tried to rebuild his life. As soon as he was released from prison, he enrolled at Cosumnes River College...

Maya Sapienza

Class of 2023
2023 John Gardner Fellowship

In May 2023, Maya graduated from UC Berkeley withan Urban Studies major and a minor in Sustainable Design. Taking undergraduate and graduate courses in urban design, sustainability, landscape architecture, city planning, and U.S. housing policy, Maya explored how cultural, political, and economic processes structure the urban landscape through an interdisciplinary lens. She focused on issues of gentrification, geographies of urban justice, and struggles over public (and private) space.

In addition to her coursework, Maya served as an...