Palmer Award: Finalists (Part 3)

A highlight of our work at LeaderShape is learning about the contributions that LeaderShapers are making in their communities and for the world. Each year, when reviewing the applications for the annual Palmer Award, we have the privilege of doing just that.

We recently announced Felix Hartmann as this year’s recipientand shared the work of some of the award finalists. Now we’d like to introduce to the final two Palmer Award finalists:

Phoebe Lockhart imagines “a world in which all women are legally, socially, and phoebe-lockhart-mv-pictureeducationally empowered and free from the snares of human trafficking.” And she has been working to understand and fight against the issues of human trafficking through her time as a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, volunteer opportunities, and a social justice fellowship.

Through Phoebe’s research, which examined sex trafficking in North Dakota specifically, she has come to learn more about socioeconomic and political factors that contribute to the demand for prostitution and supply of trafficking victims. She has also created “policy suggestions for legislators in North Dakota to combat the influx of sex trafficking” and “identified three statutory reforms that would increase penalties for purchasers of sex and provide support and protection for victims.” Phoebe has also given presentations and has been published in her university’s Women and Gender Studies Journal.

Beyond spending her time on research, Phoebe is a volunteer with the YWCA Lincoln, planning events that empower women and serving as the organization’s student board member. She participated in the Mount Vernon Leadership Fellows program, developing a social just capstone focusing on “increasing women’s access to the civil justice system by improving the state’s pro-bono infrastructure.” Phoebe also volunteers at the Nebraska State Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project.


danielle-oreilly-visionDanielle O’Reilly, and Institute graduate from the San Francisco Bay Consortium session of the Institute, is working to raise awareness about dating violence and provide resources to survivors. This cause is particularly important to Danielle because it is personal. You can learn more about her story in an interview conducted by a peer from the Institute.

Through a campus organization she founded, Penguins for Peace (the school mascot in a penguin), Danielle has been able to introduce the campus community to issues related to dating violence through efforts such as a Sexual Assault Awareness Week and a viewing of “The Hunting Ground”, a film which discusses the mishandling of sexual assault cases. A partnership with the Center for Domestic Peace was also crucial to her efforts.

Danielle writes that attending the Institute helped her to regain her “passion for raising awareness about healthy relationships.” The experience also gave her to the tools to turn her dream and vision into a reality “in the form of Penguins for Peace.”

Learn more about our other Palmer Award finalists here:
Finalists Part 2
Finalists Part 1
Award Recipient

Palmer Award: Finalists (Part 2)

A highlight of our work at LeaderShape is learning about the contributions that LeaderShapers are making in their communities and for the world. Each year, when reviewing the applications for the annual Palmer Award, we have the privilege of doing just that.

We recently announced Felix Hartmann as this year’s recipient and shared the work of some of the award finalists. We’re excited to share the work of two more of the six Palmer Award finalists:

Noble Dwarika, Institute graduate from the University of California-San Diego, wants to “stretch the parameter of self-expression and beauty”, imagining a world where people can see “beauty in a wide spectrum antithetical to a mainstream perspective.” Through Noble’s vision young black and brown kids, as well as adults, would be empowered to see themselves as equally beautiful.fb_img_1475868488180

In response to this call, Noble has created his own small business, Noble Expressions, designing clothing with elements from the African Diaspora and his experiences with fashion abroad. Noble shares that the most gratifying part of Noble Expressions is that his friends and community members can see themselves represented in his work.

You can be inspired yourself by checking out some of Noble’s designs on Instagram.

From Florida State University, Rayne Alicia Neunie is committed to access to safe and healthy environments for women delivering children, specifically in low-income countries, with the ultimate goal of decreasing infant and maternal mortality rates.

In the year since Rayne participated in the Institute, she has kept active seeking hands-on learning opportunities to support her vision. In the Spring, she volunteered at a hospital, gaining valuable first-hand experience of what it is like to work in a health-care facility. After receiving Florida State University’s Global Scholars Program, she traveled to Kenya to work with the Kuria Development Community for the Marginalized (KDCM). Rayne was able to understand more thoroughly about the resources and training needed at the health facilities she visited. This knowledge, combined with her hospital volunteer experience, helped Rayne to develop the “Mother’s Care Program.” This program trained tradition birth attendants and provided them with kits containing basic medical supplies needed for emergency deliveries.

Rayne has goals of becoming a registered midwife and to continue to support KDCM by donating supplies to their health facilities.


2016 Palmer Award Recipient

The time has come for us to announce the recipient of the 2016 Palmer Award!
Please join us in congratulating this year’s winner, Felix Hartmann, 2015 Institute graduate from Florida Atlantic University and member of Alpha Tau Omega.


11894185_892970774089904_5017184054857582784_oIn reading Felix’s application, it was clear that he believes in the ATO creed and is particularly inspired and motivated by the part of the statement that reads, “to have no narrower limits within which to work together for the elevation of man that the outlines of the world.”

Indeed, Felix is working to elevate others through his vision and day-to-day work.

The Vision
To create a world in which people define their own destiny and reach their full potential by pursuing their passions.

The Work
One vision-related project Felix wrote about in his application is the Next Gen Summit, which he helped to establish. Through conference experiences, Next Gen is able to help build a supportive community of millennial leaders who want to do big things that better the world. Since Felix attended the Institute in 2015, the Summit has “brought together over a thousand driven millennials from around the world that are changing society in all areas from politics to science, and entrepreneurship.”


Felix has also used social media as a way to connect with motivated people who want to make society a better place. He partly credits this on-line presence and experience with the opportunity to serve as CEO for, a crowdfunding platform. Crowdfunding helps people share their message, enroll others in their work, and build capital -all ways to support people pursue their passions. Felix and are currently working to prepare the company for its official launch, but he has already had a glimpse into the impact that the platform can make through its beta testing phase.

Destiny and Passion
Felix believes “defining one’s own destiny and pursuing one’s passions is the best way to live life.” And he believes living in this way is possible. We are excited to follow Felix’s story and see his vision continue to be put into action, helping to contribute to the just, caring, and thriving world we’re working towards.

You can learn more about and follow Felix’s work on Twitter and Instagram.

The Palmer Award is provided each year to a LeaderShape graduate who participated in a national or campus based session of the Institute the previous year. The award is given to recognize the achievements of those individuals who have demonstrated their commitment to bringing their vision to reality after attending a session of LeaderShape’s Institute program.

The Palmer Award is possible through an endowment gift donated to the Alpha Tau Omega Foundation by Dr. Edmund Palmer, Jr.