Wendy de la Rosa named a 2018 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow

Born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Wendy De La Rosa is the daughter of an inspiring political activist who fought for the working class.

Amidst economic uncertainty, Wendy immigrated to the United States in hopes of a better life and settled in a small apartment in the Bronx with her large, extended family. It was in that apartment that Wendy’s interest in financial decision-making began. She entertained herself by observing how her family managed their limited finances.

Wendy graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 with a finance and management concentration. After graduation, she became a private equity investor, working for Goldman Sachs and Centerbridge Partners. Wendy then pursued her love for research, working as a research assistant for Professors Adam Grant and Dan Ariely. She also helped start Google’s behavioral economic research unit and cofounded Common Cents Lab, a research lab aimed at improving financial wellbeing. Her research has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, and Scientific American. She was recently included in theForbes’ 30 under 30 finance list for her work improving the financial lives of low to-moderate-income individuals.

Wendy studies consumer behavior and financial decision-making. She plans to become a professor and hopes that her research can influence public fiscal policy.

Today, The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans, a graduate school program for immigrants and children of immigrants, announced their 2018 Fellows. Selected from a pool of 1,766 applicants for their potential to make significant contributions to United States society, culture, or their academic fields, the 2018 Fellows are all the children of immigrants, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) recipients, green card holders, or naturalized citizens.

“Whether it is through scientific discovery, business, literature, medicine, or law, immigrants enrich our everyday lives in the United States in profound ways. As a country, we need to refocus our attention on immigrant contributions,” said Craig Harwood, who directs the Fellowship program, which is celebrating its 20-year anniversary.

In addition to receiving up to $90,000 in funding for the graduate program of their choice, the new Fellows join the prestigious community of recipients from past years, which includes individuals such as former US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy; Fei-Fei Li, chief scientist of artificial intelligence and machine learning at GoogleCloud; Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib of Washington; composer Paola Prestini; award-winning writer Kao Kalia Yang, and nearly600 other New American leaders.

The program also released new eligibility requirements for the 2019 Fellowship. While the Fellowship has been open to DACA recipients since 2014, it has now expanded its requirements to include former DACA recipients should the government program be rescinded.

“We wanted our eligibility requirements to reflect our continued support of DACA recipients, regardless of the politics that may play out in the coming months. We’ve seen firsthand how DACA recipients are achieving at the highest levels and giving back to this country. We want to help them do that,” explained Harwood.

Founded by Hungarian immigrants, Daisy M. Soros and her late husband Paul Soros (1926-2013), The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans program honors continuing generations of immigrant contributions to the United States.

“The Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowship liberated me from the traditional path I was expected to follow,” said 2009 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellow Shantanu Gaur, the cofounder and CEO at Allurion Technologies. “Unburdened from debt and energized by peers who were taking the road less traveled, I have been able to thrive.”

To read the full bios of the 2018 Fellows, visit www.pdsoros.org.

For more information on how to apply through Penn, check out the CURF resources on the subject.