Scholar Spotlight: Cecile Schreidah

Posted May 10, 2024

A Young Philanthropist’s Journey to Starting Her Own Nonprofit     

In a world brimming with challenges, today’s youth are emerging as catalysts for change. The 2023 Youth Right Now survey reveals that 81% of youth feel they can make a difference. However, the path to effecting change isn’t always straightforward, and it can be tough to take a great idea and visualize it on a larger scale.  

 Enter Cecile Schreidah. Understanding firsthand the challenges faced by first-generation, low-income (FGLI) students in their pursuit of higher education, she began the journey to bridge that gap with her own nonprofit: Notable Narratives 

Cecile attends Brown University, where she and her co-founder Brandon Avendano founded Notable Narratives to provide college admissions mentorship. Within two weeks of the organization’s launch, the team had nearly 100 students enroll. As it grew, they wanted to provide workshops, mock interviews, scholarship support, and above all, forge a community where students could lean on each other during challenging times and support the next generations of FGLI students.  

In its third year, Notable Narratives became a nonprofit by applying for 501c(3) status. Cecile and Brandon had no experience managing nonprofits, so it took time, research, and leaning on mentors to help guide them. Cecile credits her partnership with Brandon and the Live Más Scholarship (LMS) as incremental factors that helped her build Notable Narratives despite a demanding school schedule as a pre-med student.  

LMS lifted the financial burden of school for Cecile, allowing her to dedicate her free time to Notable Narratives rather than another job. She has always wanted to do the same for others, so in 2024, Notable Narratives is hosting a scholarship contest with $1,000 on the line to be split amongst three students. 

One of Cecile’s proudest moments was winning $15,000 in funding through the Brown Venture Prize. “As two students that created this nonprofit out of passion, we were in disbelief and so grateful that the judges saw our vision and believed in us!” She also expressed how the LMS community has been an incredible support system. At Summer of Connection in 2023, she met so many passionate students, some of whom even became advisors.  

 Over the last four years, Notable Narratives has helped over 1,750 FGLI students worldwide, with ambitious goals to reach more students, expand the pool of advisors, grow their social media presence, and provide more financial assistance. On top of it all, Cecile is preparing to apply for med school and eventually would like to expand Notable Narratives to include graduate school admissions.  

When asked what her greatest piece of advice is for other aspiring changemakers, Cecile shares how the biggest barrier she’s encountered is her own fear and doubt. “If you don’t believe in yourself, or give yourself a chance to try, the chance of success is zero. I was always worried that I wouldn’t succeed, or that I’d embarrass myself trying, but then I began to think about things from the opposite perspective. What if I did succeed?” 


*The links contained in this post are provided for informational purposes only and dont constitute an endorsement by or an affiliate with The Taco Bell Foundation of any of the resources contained therein