Leslie Ponce Diaz
Apr 2024

Alum named 2024 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow

Leslie Ponce-Díaz BArch 23 has been named a 2024 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow. Leslie was among the 30 New Americans who were selected from a pool of more than 2,300 applicants to join the class of 2024.

The child of Mexican immigrants, Leslie will receive funding towards her MArch II at Harvard where she is currently studying. At RISD, stemming from her personal experiences, Leslie founded her community-organization, First-Gen Chisme, to help support first-generation and low-income students across the US. By hosting online mentorship workshops and gifting school-supplies in an ice-cream cart in Kansas City, Leslie utilized her creativity to embark on adventures dedicated to empowering students in her community.

Leslie Ponce Diaz headshot
Leslie Ponce Diaz Graduation Photo

About the Fellowship

The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans supports outstanding immigrants and children of immigrants who are pursuing graduate education in the United States. Since 1998, we have awarded 805 Fellows from 103 countries Fellowships to pursue degrees of their choosing. This year, we selected 30 individuals out of over 2,300 applicants who will each receive up to $90,000 towards their graduate education. Our selection criteria focuses on a student’s drive, creativity, intellectual spirit, and their commitment to the values at the heart of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The 2024 Fellows will join an active PD Soros alumni network, which includes US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy; Olympians Amy Chow and Patricia Miranda; US Ambassador to Spain & Andorra Julissa Reynoso Pantaleón; Stanford AI leader Fei-Fei Li; computational biologist Pardis Sabeti; composer Paola Prestini; Open AI public policy leader Anna Makanju; award-winning writer Kao Kalia Yang, and more than 800 Fellows.