Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service
Master of Public Administration, May 2013
Public and Nonprofit Management and Policy
Cosmo Fujiyama is passionate about convening, activating and ensuring confident leaders capable of leading social change in their communities. She spent her first year of graduate school working with Ashoka, where she managed strategy development for the global recruitment team, identified strategic partnerships, and spearheaded the Ashoka Youth Venture Dream It, Do It Challenge. As the NYU Program Director, she helped high school students in three states develop programs which addressed health needs in their communities.
In 2012, Cosmo designed and led the inaugural Dell Social Innovation Challenge (DSIC) summer institute, a three week program focused on training and supporting the next generation of social entrepreneurs. Top students from 14 countries came together to grow their ideas with the help of a team of mentors, expert coaches, and in-residence entrepreneurs. Along with developing the institute’s curriculum, Cosmo organized a series of community engagement events to provide a platform for connections and network building. In conjunction with ListenIn Productions, she is co-producing 21 short films that narrate the summer scholars’ journeys.
Previously, Cosmo served as the president of Students Helping Honduras (SHH), a non-profit organization dedicated to building a movement of youth across the US and Honduras to combat extreme poverty. She co-founded SHH when she was a sophomore in college and engaged hundreds of students on her campus, raising over $1.2M in the first three years of operation. After finishing her undergraduate degree, Cosmo received a generous start-up grant from Doris Buffett of the Sunshine Lady Foundation and relocated to Honduras to build her nonprofit on a fulltime basis. For three and a half years, she designed and developed projects that, through local and global partnerships, generated human and financial capital to build necessary infrastructure for community development. She spearheaded a village reconstruction project called Villa Soleada, a village complete with land titles, clean water, safe sanitation, electricity, recreational and agricultural space, a community leadership board, and an educational facility that provides a library, technology center, educational classes and job training for the community and surrounding towns. In addition to helping communities pursue opportunities and create change, Cosmo met and led over 1,300 college students in service learning opportunities in Honduras to transform how youth engage in issues of development.
Cosmo joined the NYU Wagner School of Public Service to broaden her perspective on the intersection of policy, strategic and financial management and social innovation. In addition to the Reynolds Fellowship, she was awarded a two-year Wagner Merit Scholarship. In her second year, she served as the president of Bridge, Wagner's student organization focused on fostering social innovation throughout NYU.