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Angelo Yoder, F12

Recipient: Fletcher Board of Overseers Scholarship

Angelo Yoder, F12, grew up separate from the world while also engaged in it. In the Amish Mennonite community in Kansas where his father is a senior pastor, he was raised with plain clothes, a tradition of nonparticipation in war, and no radio, television, or movies. “We had a sense we were a community apart,” he recalls.

At the same time, their branch of the Amish Mennonites had a strong missionary tradition. His parents served in El Salvador, where he was born. His father now travels often to India.

While no longer part of the community, he says, “I very much value—and always try to remember—where I came from.” His parents’ international work sparked a desire in him to experience the world beyond Kansas. After working for a time as a stone mason, he applied to community college—and then, successfully, to Yale.

He was working in South Sudan with an international relief organization when he met his future wife, Anna, a nurse. “She came looking for cholera and found me.” Expecting their first child, they hope eventually to return to East Africa.

“One of the things I love about Fletcher is that everyone has his or her own amazing tale,” he says. “I feel very fortunate to be here. A Board of Overseers scholarship covers 75 percent of my tuition. I was raised to be leery of too much debt, and thanks to this scholarship, I will leave with a relatively small amount. For that I am hugely grateful.”

Bernard Simonin, professor of marketing and international business at Fletcher, says, “If ‘change is the only constant,’ as is often said, Angelo is the solid constant in the act of change. His own transformation is methodic and inspired. I cannot wait to see him enter the international business arena; he will make his mark with brio.”