Class of 2024 Fuqua Impact Scholars in Social Impact

The social problems that we face as a global community are urgent and we need leaders with the skills, courage, and support to drive for a more just, equitable, and sustainable world.  This is why CASE was thrilled to partner with Fuqua’s Office of Admissions in 2021 to launch the Fuqua Impact Scholarship– a merit-based scholarship awarded to select admitted Fuqua Daytime MBA students with the experience, passion, and commitment to apply the skills honed at Fuqua to drive positive impact in their lives and careers. 

Ese Atakpu Ese is passionate about equality and the empowerment of underserved populations.  She is the co-founder of, a creative collective to promote art and support young artists in Nigeria, and SME Finance Hub, a social venture to help small businesses navigate affordable access to finance and regulatory compliance services. Prior to Fuqua, she also worked for the Development Bank of Nigeria PLC, a wholesale bank that provides financing and capacity building for small businesses in Nigeria, where she served as a Legal Officer. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Benin and the Nigerian Law School and hopes that Fuqua will help her achieve her goal of enabling the growth of creatives, small businesses and   women owned enterprises in emerging markets. 

Thomas Cheng Thomas is passionate about improving learning worldwide, which he believes requires innovative and collaborative approaches across sectors and cultures. After living and studying in the U.S. his entire life, he moved to China, where he spent six and a half years. He first joined the rural education nonprofit Teach For China, serving as a teacher, teacher trainer, and fundraiser. Afterwards, he pivoted into China’s education technology space, working in growth and partnerships at VIPKid and TAL Education Group. At Fuqua, Thomas is interested in learning how to “scale solutions to help people unlock opportunities and live better lives 

Annie Forrest As an 8th generation Appalachian, Annie is passionate about rural communities and creating educational and economic access within them. Annie holds a B.A. in Psychology and Women, Gender, & Sexuality from the University of Virginia and, prior to attending Fuqua, dedicated her career to relationship abuse and sexual assault prevention efforts. She spent the last six years at the One Love Foundation, leading strategic partnerships and policy initiatives to scale relationship health education nationally. She hopes to leverage her Fuqua education to develop social, educational, and economic accessibility solutions throughout the underserved Appalachian region.

Kandasi Griffiths (she/her) Kandasi is passionate about serving women of color in the social impact space. From Atlanta, Georgia, she attended Princeton University and has been chasing the root of the problem to enable communities to thrive rather than just survive. Coming from an international development and non-profit background, she has worked on national health policy through USAID contracts, breakthrough adaptive technology for safe surgery, and expanding community health access across rural Togo. Since founding SR Collaborative in 2018, she helps impact-driven for profit and nonprofit organizations scale across the US and West Africa offering coaching, strategy, and project management services. At Fuqua, she plans to build a toolkit for BIPOC women to start and scale community-based ventures empowering them to create their own definition of success. She also hopes to learn about VC and impact investing to increase funding to high-impact minority-led social enterprises in the long term. Fun Fact: Across a pitch-black Jordanian desert in the middle of the night, Kandasi learned how to drive a stick shift

Alyssa Laten (she/her) Alyssa began her post-undergraduate career in southern Thailand, where she taught English for one year at elementary and high schools in Hat Yai. After reflecting on her time in Southeast Asia, Alyssa landed at, a crowdfunded lending platform on a mission to help underserved communities thrive. Here, she became enthralled by the power of business to enact positive social change and economic growth. Working for QuickBooks Capital at Intuit cemented to her the importance of access to financial tools and services to help small businesses prosper. Alyssa earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan, and is eager to hone her financial and quantitative skillset at Fuqua. She strives to help socially-minded businesses increase their returns to grow sustainably while positively impacting their communities. 

Caitlin Mason Caitlin has spent the past six years of her career working in development in the nonprofit sector. Most recently, she was the Patron Program Associate at Carnegie Hall, where she cultivated relationships with mid- to high-level donors to raise funds for the Hall’s artistic, education, and social impact programming. Previously, she worked as the Development Associate for New Yorkers for Parks, an environmental nonprofit advocating for better access to parks and open spaces in New York City. Caitlin plans to use her education at Fuqua to gain a better understanding of the private sector and deepen her strategic and analytical skills in order to develop better sustainability initiatives and drive social and environmental impact in her future career. She has a BA in English and Theatre Arts from Boston College. 

Queen Nwokonneya Queen is passionate about building resilient infrastructure and financing social innovation to drive industrialization in Africa. After serving as an economist in PwC, Queen started her career in international development at Adam Smith International as a Program Manager where she led sustainable cities, trade and investment promotion initiatives in Nigeria, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Somalia. Queen has a BSc in Economics from the University of Nottingham and an MPA in Public and Economic Policy from London School of Economics. At Fuqua, she hopes to leverage impact investing and business solutions to foster regional competitiveness and achieve lasting change at a larger scale.