Our Board of Directors is responsible for reviewing applications and awarding Friendly Scholar Sponsorships.


Trent Pohlman

Trent is a born and bred Chicagoan, excited to give back to the community that has been so impactful on his own life. He spent the first portion of his professional career as a management consultant driving finance and accounting transformations at Financial Services companies.  Recently, he traded in his corporate suit and frequent flyer miles to join a startup in Chicago working to make insurance more transparent and accessible.   


Trent is a Hoosier - he graduated from Indiana University with degrees in Finance and Accounting, obtained his CPA license, and a lifetime of memories along the way. Jokingly nicknamed "Herman" by his friends for the vast amount of time he spent at the Herman B. Wells library, he understands the power of education and the opportunities it provides.  That being said, he is a huge proponent of work life balance and spends his free time with family and friends, exploring the outdoors, enjoying sports, or on the couch reading or watching movies.  


Joshua Davis

Joshua is a social entrepreneur, consultant, and ex-line cook with a passion for building and scaling organizations that drive radical social change. Currently a Senior Consultant within Deloitte's US Innovation Group, Joshua leads efforts across an internal start-up, a corporate VC, and an applied R&D function that incubates breakthrough technologies and businesses. In previous roles at Deloitte, Joshua has advised a variety of organizations ranging from small non-profits to Fortune 500 companies and large Federal Government agencies. 


Joshua's experience working as a line cook at Jose Andres' Oyamel in Washington, DC inspired him to co-found Bloom, a Washington, DC-based startup that provided home delivery of restaurant-quality ingredients. As service workers were furloughed and laid off in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, Joshua led Bloom's pivot from a for-profit to a non-profit that donated over 20,000 lbs of food to hundreds of out-of-work food service workers. Prior to Bloom, Joshua has a history of nonprofit experience having both advised and worked for several organizations across the United States, Colombia, and Argentina. 


Malika Begum

Malika and her family moved to Atlanta, GA when she was 4 after her parents immigrated from Bangladesh. As soon as she learned to speak English, she was helping her parents pay bills, sign paperwork, and make important financial decisions. When her parents decided to settle into a Spanish neighborhood surrounded by Atlanta's affluent Buckhead, she was able to attend the best public schools in Georgia and take advantage of academic opportunities. She was later awarded a full ride as a Bill Gates Millennium Scholar.


Fast forward many years. Today, Malika is the CEO and Co-Founder of a FinTech startup, Ctrl+S, a platform that enables younger generations to start thinking about their money. She is also a Consultant in Deloitte's Government and Public Services sector. Prior to Deloitte, Malika developed her interest in FinTech at American Express, where she launched various payments products. Malika received her BA from Emory University and her MPP from the University of Michigan, where she worked as a research assistant in the Center for Finance, Law & Policy, drafting white papers on Central Banks' monetary policy to create a more inclusive financial system in emerging economies. She also has experience working to promote girls' education in Bangladesh. Malika attributes her professional success to having a quality education and to the networks of people that have helped her along the way.


Jason S. Ginsberg

Jason is on a mission to better the planet. He currently serves as Chief of Staff at AeroFarms, a vertical farming company and Certified B Corporation working to solve the biggest challenges in agriculture. Prior to AeroFarms, Jason began his career at Deloitte Consulting, where he used data — and lots of PowerPoint slides — to support strategy and operations for government agencies in Washington, DC. Jason is a US-UK Fulbright Recipient, studied international relations and politics at the University of Cambridge and Brown University, and thinks the weekend is incomplete without a long run and well-seasoned everything bagel.



Danaite Soquar

Danaite is a Senior Consultant at Deloitte Consulting and is passionate about empowering startups to execute their mission. She has experience leading cross-functional teams in product and strategy development for both domestic and international clients. At Deloitte, she started and scaled an accelerator that supports startups in emerging markets that bring critical services (ranging from clean water to primary health care) to end customers. Prior to Deloitte, Danaite worked with social enterprises in Colombia and Ghana.

While navigating the college application process as a first-generation immigrant, she discovered her passion for education equity and the importance of resources that help underrepresented minorities navigate higher education successfully. At the University of Virginia (UVA), she served as a mentor to first-year Black students to help them navigate both their personal and professional goals at UVA. In her free time, Danaite loves to travel, cook vegan meals, go to Beyoncé concerts and play tennis.


Erik Rosencrans

In between searching for bangers on Soundcloud and refreshing the price of Bitcoin, Erik spends his time selling software at an up-and-coming healthcare technology startup. Erik was a management consultant for the first few years of his career, where he drove business process transformations within the technology and healthcare space. Erik developed an interest in tackling business and socioeconomic challenges during his college years at Indiana University, where he studied Entrepreneurship and Corporate Innovation.

He lives by Mark Twain's words, "you should never let schooling interfere with your education."


Brian Holzer

Brian is a self-proclaimed “student of the internet.” He recently traded in his Chartered Financial Analyst books for YouTube videos on everything from graphic design to how to build a natural gas grill. Although a lifelong Chicago native, Brian took a four year hiatus to attend Indiana University where he studied finance and entrepreneurship, but more importantly made some lifelong friends. His career has been focused on strategy and finance within the healthcare and retail industries, working on projects like grocery delivery and more recently the U.S. COVID vaccine rollout. Outside of work Brian is quick to block off his weekends to travel or listen to live music, but he finds joy just as easily when he’s hunting for his next graphic tee or sharing new music with friends.


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