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Meet the 2022 Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellow Cohort

Learn about what these five National Geographic Explorers will undertake in the next year

The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the National Geographic Society announced today the selection of the 2022 Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellows.

Chosen through a merit-based and highly competitive process, these U.S. Fulbright Students and National Geographic Explorers will travel overseas and undertake an in-depth exploration of globally relevant issues using a variety of digital storytelling tools and media — including blogs, photography, video, and social media — with support and mentorship from National Geographic Society staff and its global community of National Geographic Explorers. These individuals will craft stories to be shared and amplified through National Geographic’s digital platforms, and act as a powerful resource in building lasting ties across cultures. 

This year’s Explorers include:

Sierra Garcia, Honduras

Sierra Garcia is an environmental writer, science educator, and interdisciplinary social-marine scientist. She will travel to Roatán, a Caribbean island off the coast of Honduras, to write in-depth articles about coral reef restoration efforts on the island. Through this work, she hopes to capture the motivations and strategies of the island’s residents who devote themselves to these efforts.

Alexandra Lenore Ashworth, Philippines 

Alexandra Ashworth (she/they) is a filmmaker and writer exploring community, belonging, and identity from a communal lens. They plan to work alongside local researchers and community leaders in the Philippines’ Cagayan Valley to help preserve Ibanag and Itawit cultures. They will produce a collection of short documentary films as a record for future generations and an antithesis to monolithic perceptions of Filipino-ness and Asian-ness. 

DeAnna Boyer, Ireland

DeAnna Boyer will travel to Ireland where she will explore interdisciplinary methods of land preservation and learn how the history of Ireland’s culture is currently affecting and shifting the ecological biodiversity of its unique landscapes. As a visual development artist, she will use illustrations, paintings, writings, and videos to document this relationship between people and their environment.

Sophie Dia Pegrum, Kyrgyzstan

Sophie Dia Pegrum plans to capture and contextualize the experiences of a group of young women scientists aiming to launch Kyrgyzstan’s first satellite. Exploring a creative register to evocatively document their hard-won ingenuity, Sophie’s final film hopes to ignite questions around the valorization of the androcentric body in technology, while underscoring the inspiring deeds of this diverse group as they forge toward a unique moment of their own accomplishment.

Natachi Onwuamaegbu, Kenya

Natachi Onwuamaegbu is a journalist who plans to interview hair braiders of Nairobi’s Kenyatta market who make their living doing the hair of tourists and locals. She is interested in exploring the intersection of Black womanhood and survival, specifically in Kenyatta market — a place for Kenyan women to find economic liberation and economic entrapment. Her work will shed light on these women’s impossibly low wages, lack of health care, and no job security. 

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ABOUT THE FULBRIGHT PROGRAM

The Fulbright Program, the U.S. Department of State’s flagship international exchange program, celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2021. Since its inception in 1946, the Fulbright Program has provided over 400,000 talented and accomplished students, scholars, artists, and professionals of all backgrounds and fields the opportunity to study, teach, and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to complex global challenges. The Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship launched in 2013 as a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society. For further information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State, please visit http://eca.state.gov/fulbright or contact the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs Press Office by e-mail: ECA-Press@state.gov.

About National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society is a global nonprofit organization that uses the power of science, exploration, education and storytelling to illuminate and protect the wonder of our world. Since 1888, National Geographic has pushed the boundaries of exploration, investing in bold people and transformative ideas, providing more than 15,000 grants for work across all seven continents, reaching 3 million students each year through education offerings, and engaging audiences around the globe through signature experiences, stories and content. To learn more, visit www.nationalgeographic.org or follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.