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DSM Fellow's Capstone Project Helps Immigrants Maintain Culture Through Food

Global Greens Capstone Project

Josh Hilliard, a member of the DSM Fellowship Program, discussed its benefits during a virtual interview with the program’s director, Ann Block. Hilliard, a UNI graduate, is now a development technology associate with Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Downtown Des Moines (DSM) and part of the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus.

About the DSM Fellowship Program

The DSM Fellowship Program is a two-year professional development initiative designed by the Greater Des Moines Partnership to develop and train a diverse group of top-tier talent and help accelerate their professional track. Fellows complete a professional development curriculum, receive mentoring, work on a capstone project and more so they can become future leaders for the region. Hilliard reflects on his favorite learning moments, including learning more about lobbying thanks to The Partnership’s public policy team. He’s also excited to get to know more about diversity organizations in DSM, such as Capital City Pride and the Iowa Asian Alliance.

Global Greens Capstone Project

While working with the Lutheran Services in Iowa (LSI) Global Greens project, Hilliard says he’s learned that a large part of what builds culture is food. When immigrants move somewhere new, having access to foods that they know how to cook with is very important. What drew Hilliard to the LSI Global Greens project is that by helping farmers grow the types of foods they normally would cook with, Global Greens is helping them to maintain their own culture through food.

Get to know more about Hilliard by watching the entire interview below:


The DSM Fellowship program is the preeminent professional development initiative attracting, developing and retaining a diverse community of top-tier graduates to Greater Des Moines (DSM).

Greater Des Moines Partnership

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is the economic and community development organization that serves Greater Des Moines (DSM), Iowa. Together with 24 Affiliate Chambers of Commerce, more than 6,500 Regional Business Members and more than 365 Investors, The Partnership drives economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region. Through innovation, strategic planning and global collaboration, The Partnership grows opportunity, helps create jobs and promotes DSM as the best place to build a business, a career and a future. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com.