Meet the 2022 Civic Influencers™
Civic Influencers are committed to ensuring young voices and votes matter in our democracy. We use real-time data to draw attention to democracy power outages on campuses and in communities and fight for youth voting rights and the policies that impact immigrants, and Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, Disabled Youth of Color (BIHDYoC) for a more equitable and inclusive democracy.
Every Civic Influencers member is a valued part of our community. Our newly formed Alumni Association allows us to stay in touch with previous Civic Influencers Fellows. To see our 2021 Civic Influencers click here and to see Civic Influencers from 2016 through 2020 click here.
Shanaya Daughtrey is a senior political science major with a minor in journalism. As an undergraduate she is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Public Administration through the Accelerated Master’s Program that is offered by University of Alabama; she is a voting rights activist, president of IGNITE NATIONAL UA—an organization that encourages women to actively engage in the political process—past president of the Lambda Zeta chapter of Delta Sigma Theta-currently serves as the NPHC delegate—she is an assistant team leader for the Education, Advocacy, and Training Team for the Center of Service and Leadership at UA, and an opinion contributor for the Crimson White newspaper on campus. She is interested in joining the Civics Influencers team because she is passionate about igniting the fire that is within all young people who are actively seeking to engage in good trouble for the betterment of our democracy.
Jamaria Hill is a senior at The University of Alabama majoring in Criminology/Criminal Justice and double minoring in Cyber Criminology and Psychology. She is the 2nd vice president of the Legendary Lambda Zeta chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority, Inc., the Parliamentarian of the UA National Pan-Hellenic Council, and a Samsung Mobile USA college program Influencer.
Kylie Reese is a senior at the University of Alaska. She was born and raised in Eugene, OR. She attended Seattle Pacific University for 3 years in which at the same time she worked in the King County Prosecuting attorney’s office. Last year she transferred to the University of Alaska Anchorage where she studies Economics and Political Science and is a member of the gymnastics team. She is excited to be a Civic Influencer fellow because it will allow her to engage with students on campus and open the arena at UAA and in Alaska for more civic engagement in the future.
Fatima Altaee is enrolled in Glendale Community College and her area of study is health sciences. She is excited to being part of the Civic Influencers team to help people feel more comfortable with who or how they are and create a positive impact.
Lynz Baxter is a second semester student at Cochise College in Sierra Vista, Arizona pursuing a degree in Social and Behavioral Science with a concentration in Political Science. She is currently the Vice President of Public Relations for the Student Government. Lynz wanted to join Civic Influencers to help educate others in her community about voting and democracy.
Katherine Bewley is currently enrolled as a social work graduate student at Arizona State University. Katherine graduated from Northern Arizona University Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s of Social Work degree and as a member of the Social Work Phi Alpha Honors Society. She works at the Arizona Department of Health Services in the Newborn Screening Program. In the past, she completed a training with Organizing Corps 2020 regarding community organizing. Katherine cares deeply about the issues in her community and would love the opportunity to increase young people’s civic power. Katherine is especially passionate about empowering her peers to vote and getting them involved in the democratic process.
Angel Guerrero currently attends the University of Arizona (U of A) majoring in chemical engineering. He first transferred from Phoenix College where he was the first graduate from their MESA program which is a program dedicated to helping community college students transfer to universities. He was a part of the esports team at his campus as well as U of A, not only that but he decided to minor in Esports at U of A. His reason for being a part of the Civic Influencers team is the passion and the knowledge of knowing that engineers always do better as a team.
Jordian Hicks is currently work in the field of neuropsychology and is working on getting his Master’s degree in Social Work. Jordian has past experience as a collegiate athlete, a Peace Corps Volunteer, and a specialist with the Department of Child Safety. He is passionate about strengthening communities through providing opportunities and resources to make connections such as through sports or clubs.
Epiphany Jones is from Yuma Arizona and recently graduated with a Bachelors in Social Work and minor in Public Service and Public Policy. She attends Arizona State University as a graduate student in the Social Work Advanced Standing Program in the Downtown Phoenix Campus. Her main interest for being a part of the Civic Influencers team is to help make a change within the community.
Mariah Kempf is currently enrolled in the online MSW program at Arizona State University. She is looking to become a clinically licensed social worker after she graduates. She is passionate about being part of the Civic Influencers team because she is looking to develop her skills around allyship and engage in social work on the macro level.
Emily Klinger is currently enrolled at Northern Arizona University in the Master of Arts in Applied Sociology Program. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate career, she has focused on the role of socio-political and socio-legal studies in relation to voter behavior and voting processes. Over the summer, Emily completed an internship in South Africa with the civil society organization ‘African Monitor’. Throughout the program she directly worked with various civil society entities, government institutions, and non-governmental organizations to address the development and implementation of a new social compact that seeks to fulfill the promises made in the ratification of South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution in 1994. Being a part of a team that strives to emphasize the imperative role that civic engagement plays in not only democracy, but society, is something that Emily believes will be an enriching and insightful opportunity as Civic Influencers reach out to young people across the country.
Azeria McIntosh attends Northern Arizona University and her major is Early Childhood and Special Education. She is joining a sorority and being a part of the Spanish club and Educators Rising club. She loves trying new things and meeting new people which is one reason she is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team. Another reason is her belief that diversity and equity are important not only in this country but all around the world and she wants to influence other young people to be just as passionate about our political system and bettering it as she is.
Habigail Nonthe is a first generation college student who attends Mesa Community College. Her advocacy for her community has given her opportunities to learn and grow in which is why she’s part of Civic Influencers. She is part of her colleges entrepreneur club and sits in the Housing and Community for her city as a vice chair. The young generation is the future which critics for young people to be in seats like these.
Nicholas Quatraro is a native Arizonan, born and raised in Tucson. He chose to continue his commitment to his state by attending the University of Arizona, where I’m currently a senior majoring in Biomedical Engineering with minors in Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mathematics, and Spanish. He has a strong passion for the law and litigation, and has participated in a variety of on-campus clubs that reflect that (such as Mock Trial and Phi Alpha Delta).
Samantha Renteria is a sophomore at Cochise Community College in Douglas, Arizona. She is a motivated student who believes it’s important for students to know about voting and how to use their voices to make a difference.
Elaina Richards is a Gen Z committed to building a future livable world for all people. With degrees in Sociology and Advocacy & Social Change, she hopes to be able to encourage more collective care in the United States. As an Arizonan, the issues most important to her are climate change, public education, reproductive rights, mobility. Elaina hopes to help people see voting and participatory democracy as a social contract.
Kyla Still is currently attending Mesa Community College on the Southern campus. Her current area of study in social work isn’t a member of any organizations. She became interested in Civic Influences because she thought it would provide her a chance to gain working experience as well as speak up on important matters.
Sam Varriano has a Masters Degree in Political Science from Southern New Hampshire University. He has worked in many elections before including as a volunteer for Clinton in 2016 and working with a political organization called CADC-LLC as a field organizer in 2020. Sam is very interested in community organization and creating equitable outcomes in my community.
Christian Watson is currently enrolled in his last semester of my undergrad as ASU and will begin my Master’s of Social Work in August at ASU Online. He is largely interested in Macro level social work and influencing public policy and advocating for worker’s rights. Christian is currently working full time at MAT facility and is engaged in serving in a diverse and disadvantaged population. His hope in joining the Civic Influencers team is to use his inherent privilege to continue to serve underrepresented communities in establishing unity and a voice.
Fernanda Yanez is senior at University of Arizona studying Law, Psychology, and Political Science. She is part of her school’s mock trial program, Phi Alpha Delta, a College of Social and Behavioral Science Ambassador, and an Honors College Ambassador. She is excited to be a part of the Civic Influencers team because she believes that voting and becoming political aware are crucial to improving the country. She wants to make sure that all young people are doing this to shape the United States into a country they are proud to be a part of.
Andrew Lewis is a first-generation Angeleno, and UCLA Student living in Westwood Village, Los Angeles. His mom is an immigrant from Lima, Peru and his father is an African-American. It is his current passion to civically empower the young voters in my neighborhood.
Yesenia Maya is a graduate student from California State University of Fresno. She is also a mother of two toddlers a girl and a boy. Yesenia graduated in 2020 with a Bachelors Degree in Women studies and Chicano studies. She decided to continue her education and graduated with a Masters in Multilingual and Multicultural Education in May 2022. She is now a substitute teacher for Fresno Unified School District. She enjoys working with students of different backgrounds as she is a first generation Mexican-American daughter and mother.
Thi, or rather known as Debbie Tran to peers, family, and professors, is currently enrolled in Vanguard University of Southern California. They are studying History. They are also formerly part of the VU Forum (a non-bipartisan political club on campus) as the Vice President during their first and second years. She is interested being part of the Civic Influencers team through the aims and wanting to further the aims as someone who is passionate about foreign policy and international politics.
Rawan Abhari is a third-year student from Fort Myers, Florida originally born in Missouri, studying economics and Middle Eastern studies while minoring in Political Science. She is currently a legislative intern at the Florida Senate and is heavily involved in campus leadership across many different offices from being the students top lobbyist in the Student Government Association to the administrative realm of the former President’s Anti-Racism Task Force. By being present in many corners of campus around students, faculty, and staff, Rawan focuses on unifying students across identity and community lines in order to best advocate for progressive and equitable university policies. After graduation, she hopes to enroll in law school pursuing a joint JD and MA in Economics in order to utilize economic expertise with legal knowledge to engage in international climate crisis negotiations and deal-making.
Alexandra Ackebo is a senior from Côte d’iVoire majoring in international relations at Barry University. She fluently speaks both English and French, and is currently finishing a United Nations internship. She has a strong interest for history, politics, and international affairs.
Andres Acosta is a queer Colombian immigrant, and US Navy veteran. He is a graduate of Valencia College and the University of Central Florida where he studied Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Andres was diagnosed HIV positive at 23 and is now devoted to the fight for HIV justice. He serves on the Central Florida HIV planning council and as the Chair of the community advisory board for the Phase 3 HIV vaccine trials in Orlando. He works as the community relations manager for the Contigo Fund which is the largest funder of LGBTQ+ issues in Central Florida. He has lived experience with the mental health system and is diagnosed bi-polar II, struggles with depression, and has lived with bulimia since he was 14. He is now the Director of Respite Operations for Peer Support Space where he is now working to build Central Florida’s first peer-led respite and the only LGBTQ+ focused peer-led respite in the country.
Kaan Akdogan is enrolled in Florida State University College of Social Sciences and Public Policy studying political science as a pre-law. He is the Vice President of the Turkish Student Association, also used to work in Democratic Primaries in the Outreach Team and head of the language translation team. He can speak Turkish, English, Azerbaijani and Spanish and Mandarin on intermediate level. Kaan wants to be a part of the Civic Influencers team because he wants young people to be more active in the community.
Jaedyn Amaro was born in Manhattan, New York and raised in Miami, FL. Growing up in Miami allowed him to discover his passion for nature when visiting the Everglades National Park. That passion led him to attend Barry University which led him to participate in Barry’s Environmental Leadership Experience. Which transformed into Jaedyn’s position, as Barry Green Team Organization’s president, who’s role was to engage students in environmental issues the world is facing and provides sustainability resources to the Barry community. This later grow into a 2 year AmeriCorps Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) position with the Office of Mission Engagement dedicated to increasing the University’s capacity to impact community issues by cultivating and strengthening new and existing campus-community partnerships. Through several mentoring programs grounded in educational opportunities, Jaedyn provides experiential, student-centered encounters related to sustainability and STEM initiatives all while continuing to pursue his undergraduate degree in Comminutions. As he ended his last year as a Vista he still strives to continue any service he can do for a community and with Civic Influences he sees that as an opportunity to make that happen.
Coro Angola is a freshman in New World School of the Arts, in the dance division, she’s interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because she’d like to promote voting and democracy.
Carlos D. Blanquicett is an ambitious businessman and a highly motivated student of Miami Dade College! He is pursuing credentials in the Business and administration field while proudly attending as a Member of TRIO, an SGA ambassador and the soon to be president of MSI the renovated BMI. While he already creates a productive bubble of peers around him he is looking forward to reaching many more like minded people in the community, He wants to leave a mark and truly believes the Civic Influencer Team will contribute to his goals.
Matthew Boudreau is currently a first year at Florida State University and intends to study Political Science. Currently, he is involved with Spirit Force on campus, and is a part of their outreach committee. Matthew is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team because he wants to be able to help make a change throughout the community and get involved with helping spread awareness to his peers and further their involvement in government.
Creanne Butler is a Senior studying Aeronautical Science at Florida Memorial University. Creanne is ecstatic to be a Civic Influencers Fellow this year because this allows her to shed light on the importance of voting and how one vote can make the change. She believes that it is imperative that first-time voters, such as herself obtain access to the resources and knowledge needed to cast a vote.
Aidan Cameron attends Florida State University in Tallahassee and is studying political science with the intention of pursuing a career in public policy. While currently a first-year student, he has the intention of attending law school to further his career aspirations. He hopes to gain the invaluable experience that the Civic Influencers team will equip him with and give back to his own community in an area he is interested in.
Tammy Cao is a junior at the University of North Florida majoring in International Studies and minoring in Food System and Sustainability. Tammy is a member of the Hicks Honors College while taking part in various honor societies. Tammy is interested in being part of Civic Influencers in order to help gain skills and knowledge of being a better world citizen while educating on the importance of being an active voter in politics and community service projects.
Sofie Cohen is a political science major but her minor is women studies at Florida State University and she loves working with others and learning from others.
Josvell Cuervo is an aspiring pre-nursing student currently enrolled in Miami Dade College. This student has taken an interest in the Civic Influencers program because this student considering his concern of the severity of all types of demographics to seek an equal voter’s engagement.
Anthony Delvalle is a student enrolled at MDC(Miami Dade College) with a major of nursing to become an R.N, is aspiring to push forward and support movements such as LGBTQ+ and make social acceptance normality regarding identity or preference. The goal of joining the Civic Influencers team is to advocate for peaceful causes and make an impact.
Rood Eugene is a pre-law major at Miami Dade College north campus, he currently works for the single stop office at MDC and volunteers for the Trio office and other departments, he loves helping and giving back to his community.
Hillary Harbauer is a Venezuelan immigrant who aspires to bring her community the resources they need to succeed in the long-term. She is attending Florida State University in order to get her degree in Political Science and Psychology to later on attend Law School. Hillary is a member of the non-profit organization MindFULLme, The Justice Project of South Florida and the Boys and Girls Club. She is excited to be a part of the Civic Influencers team because she recognizes the lack of awareness and understanding about the importance of being involved in our society through taking action, hence why she wants to be a part of the movement that encourages that positive change!
Amalia Herrera was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Her college is Miami Dade College West Campus. She is the President of the YES! Club and is part of Dialogues for Democracy and the Nothing Club. Amalia is interested in Civic Influencers because the knowledge of how to secure your vote is essential.
Roy Higgins is an International student, born in Jamaica. Enrolled in Nursing program at Miami Dade College. Interested to be a part of the Civic Influencers team because the youth of a country should be more involved in the selection of policies and laws.
Rita Jacobs is a returning Civic Influencer at the University of North Florida. She is majoring in Criminology with a minor in Film. Rita is an officer in The Film Making Club, The Criminal Justice Club, We The People, and a member of The Talon Review student-led journal. Working at Civic Influencers has allowed Rita to have greater involvement and connection to her campus. For Rita, being able to organize opportunities for stronger civic and community engagement and having a lasting impact on campus through systemic changes is incredibly fulfilling. Being a part of Civic Influencers has helped her become a better leader and allowed her to make a lasting impact as a student. This has helped Rita to see that we can all change more things than we realize.
Johana Karbanova is enrolled as a full-time student at Florida Memorial University, Miami, FL.Johana is a student athlete that lives on campus. She cis interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team to make a difference in her community. Playing a role in society and being involved in political and social incentives is essential to promote inclusion.
Makayla Kennedy is currently enrolled at Texas A&M University-Central Texas. She is a senior approaching graduation for a Bachelors of Social Work. She is also a part of The National Association of Black Social Workers. Makayla is interested in being a Civil Influencer team member because she has been personally affected by laws in place to keep black and LGBTQ+ communities at a disadvantage.
Chanmi Kim is currently working towards her bachelors in nursing at Miami Dade College in the Honors program. She serves as student government Vice-President and as President for the Health & Wellness Club. She is passionate about affordable health care, addressing red-lining against African-American communities and student mental and physical health.
Delaney Lento is currently enrolled in her first year at Florida State University’s Honors Program, studying Political Science and History on a Pre-Law track. As a freshman, she was accepted into the university’s Honors Legal Scholars Program, helping her to connect with lawyers improving the democratic systems within Florida. Currently, she is involved with the Women in Pre-Law Society and Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law fraternity, where she plans to mobilize the community around her to participate more in political affairs. As a former individual with severe social anxiety due to medical issues, Delaney yearns to give back to her community by providing an open platform to give confidence to those who were just like her.
Paola Linares grew up in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and moved to Miami, Florida, in 2016. In 2021, she graduated Cum laude from International Studies Charter High School. At ISCHS, Paola learned a third language, Italian, and discovered her passion for human diversity. Also, she volunteered as a camp counselor at Allegria, where she learned to work with children. Paola started attending Miami Dade College in August 2021 and is currently majoring in Foreign Language. She is part of four clubs: MDC Queer Collective, Japanese Manga and Culture Club, Psyche Force, and Meraki Youth. Paola is involved in the community by volunteering in events such as clean-ups, canvassing, researching, and more. Her interests outside of school include watching anime, reading manga, and hanging out with friends. Soon, she plans to transfer to FIU and pursue her Bachelor’s degree in either Spanish or Sociology.
For Camila Marino, Miami Dade West Campus is her second home. She is part of the American Scholarship students and a PTK member. Majoring in Political Science to follow pathway of greatness and service our nation. Camila admires ICED mission of engaging young people in politics. She believes being part of us is an excellent way to experience and raise awareness about civic life’s importance.
Samuel Morales is an immigrant from Venezuela who is currently majoring in Biology with a pre-med track at Miami Dade College. He not only focuses his time on studying and preparing to become one of the most outstanding doctors, but he also provides for his community as he was part of When We All Vote throughout 2020 to 2021, to later co-found alongside many students their own Non-profit/Non-partisan organization around the United States to focus on building a better youth by providing them with the tools to a lifelong of leadership and civic engagement. He is one of the co-founders of Rhizome.
Juan Martinez graduated from Immaculata La Salle and won awards in both the fields of Finance and Economics. That said, he is currently enrolled for the Fall Term of the Miami Dade Honors College and has a tremendous passion for politics. Therefore, he is interested in the Civics Influencers position because he aspires to promote what is best for America and the values installed by the Founding Fathers of this great nation.
Ke’Shawn NeSmith majors in Political Science and minor is in Social Entrepreneurship at the main campus of Florida State University. He is member of The Politics, Philosophy, and Economics reading group. He has served in the United States Army and earned the rank of Sergeant. Ke’Shawn is interested in joining Civic Influences team to learn the skills and knowledge needed for civic engagement then to teach others in the community.
Halimah Olabisi is currently enrolled as a freshman in Miami Dade College and has chosen to major in computer science. When the Fall semester begins, she hopes to be a part of organizations such as Student Government and Student Publications. Halimah was born and raised in Nigeria but moved to Miami, Florida about 4 years ago. She is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencer’s team because she believes in strengthening the democracy in the sense that diversity, integrity and unity are always considered when choosing our future leaders.
Alonso Ochoa is a full-time student at Miami Dade College; Homestead Campus. His major is Computer Science, and he is a very active student on campus and in his community. He is the Vice President for Phi Theta Kappa and Phi Beta Lambda chapters at his campus. He is the President Pro-Tempore for the Student Government Association of his campus. He is also Florida College System Activities Association (FCSSGA) Region’s 4 Legislative Liaison. He is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because the way he wants to help his community in every way he can, and by gaining knowledge from this fellowship he can be extremely effective later with his own team.
Arturo Ortiz is currently pursuing an Associate in Science in Nursing (ASN). He is the Student Government Association President for Hialeah Campus. He is an MDC Alumni and have earned an AA Pathway in Biology (with Honors) and AS Crime Scene Tech Forensic Science (with Highest Honors) from MDC. One of his biggest motivations is assisting, developing, and aiding others, as well as helping others find their potential through their impact on others.
Eileen Paz is a current sophomore at Miami Dade College studying Law. She is a member of many organizations like SGA, PTK, M.U.N., and She the People. She is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because it would allow her to spread awareness on issues she is passionate about on a larger scale. It would also allow her to be more involved in her community.
Raquel Perrey is a psychology major and dance minor at the Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, FL. She is currently a member of the Black Student Union, Community Service Club, Students for Peace, and March for Our Lives. Raquel is also a spoken word poet and likes to use her talent to bring awareness to global issues. She is interested in joining the Civic Influencers team because she is a huge advocate for social justice and human rights.
Arquimedes Rivero is a first year at the Honors College at Wolfson Campus majoring in History and Economics. As the child of Venezuelan immigrants, the intersection between politics and community were always at the forefront of Arquimedes’s upbringing. From an early age, Arquimedes could recognize the influence that political and economic histories of immigrants can have on the voting patterns, social or economic interactions, and cultural distinction of their chosen communities. His high school career consisted of political engagement as a Campaign fellow for the Biden Campaign, concentrating on outreach to predominantly Hispanic bureaus of Miami Dade County, and as a Supervisor for Vote the Future’s Summer Youth Internship program in which Arquimedes mentored a group of high school-and-college students in civic literacy. He wishes to further the extent of his community involvement through the Civic Influencers Fellowship because he believes his nascent passion for community will be fostered through collaboration with like-minded peers and faculty at the Wolfson Campus.
Elizabeth Rodriguez is a First-Generation college student currently enrolled in Miami Dade College pursing a B.A.S in Crime Scene Investigation. She first got involved on campus as a senator for the Student Government Association. After graduating MDC with an A.A degree in Criminal Justice Administration she continued to organize through Campus Vote Project as a Redistricting Fellow and Democracy Fellow. She is currently a student organizer on campus with the Florida Student Power Network. She joined the Civic Influencers team to increase youth voter engagement by ensuring young voters know they’re being heard and that their voices matter today, tomorrow, and in the future.
Felipe Rosas is a freshman at Miami Dade College, with a passion for social work and making a difference. He is interested in this opportunity, because of its focus on community outreach and young civic engagement.
Jenna Ruiz is currently enrolled in Miami Dade Honors College at Wolfson. She is pursuing an undergraduate degree in Political Science with the hopes of venturing into either law or business school. Jenna is the Student Government President at my campus, a leader in a student mentorship program called WIT at my Honor’s College, a Changemaking Ambassador for my campus, and a member of Phi Theta Kappa. She is interested in participating in the Civic Influencers team because she wants to become a more politically active citizen and value civic engagement.
Thaymiluz Santos is from Panama City, Panama. She got a scholarship by playing flag football and she is a freshman at Florida Memorial University in Miami Gardens. Thaymiluz is studying aviation management. Her main reason to be and to keep going is her angel “mom”. She sees this opportunity as a way to contribute to an exciting/forward-thinking/fast-moving company.
Recently, Bobby Sena worked with the City of Winter Park’s Sustainability Program to advocate for a political topic that he is extremely passionate about — climate action. Bobby’s love for change making is a large part of his everyday life. Bobby hopes to run for public office sometime in the near future so that he can make a positive impact in the world.
Nora Snider is passionate filled advocate for positive social change at Florida State University through her study of Political Science. Whether it’s through a clash of ideas in Forensics Intercollegiate Debate or collaborative resolutions in Model United Nations, Nora has been continuously pursuing equitable solutions to the current problems facing our world. She now hopes that leadership education alongside the Civic Influencer team can open a path to empower likeminded individuals with the same passion for change to do the same.
Jack Taks was born and raised in Miami Florida and is now attending school at Miami Dade College, the Honors program at the Homestead campus. Jack’s interests are helping his community through simple ideas such as promoting different conservation practices and providing acceptance for the unaccepted. Altogether, he just loves advocating for simple ideas. His area of study is environmental sciences. He is a frequent and known volunteer at a non-profit organization called Friendship Circle, which provides acceptance and help to children and teenagers with special needs issues. He was also part of Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) back in high school. In this organization, he took part in a community awareness project that helped provide advocacy across the Miami Dade community about the detrimental effects of ultra processed foods on human health. He extremely interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because he loves using his intuitive ideas to impact his community in fantastic ways.
Sarah Toole is a Junior at Florida State University (FSU) majoring in Political Science and double minoring in African American Studies and Women’s Studies. At FSU, she is a member of the Honors Program, the Honors Legal Scholars Program, and the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. She currently mentors three international students with the Global Noles Mentoring Program and is participating in a public service internship with Wakulla Springs State Park. With past volunteering experience with the Democratic Party of Georgia and a long passion for using her privilege to do good, she is excited to take on a 2022-2023 Civic Influencer role!
Selene Ulloa is a 20 year-old business student. She is currently the President of the Rotaract Club of Miami Dade College. She is passionate about community service and helping others. Her goal is to make a positive change in her community and the people around her.
Javier Vazquez is a first-year student attending Miami Dade Honors College at the Padron Campus. He will be studying Political Science in order to enhance his perspective on the various political processes that take place at every level of government. His goal is to apply this knowledge at a regional and local level to advance and facilitate the political operations involving his hometown, Miami.
Domini’que Allen is a graduate student at the University of North Georgia. She is president of the HSDA Organization and V.O.T.E. Domini’que has been part of Civic Influencers since her first semester of graduate school. She is passionate about voting rights and ensuring equity in the polls for all citizens. She is also passionate about educating young adults about voting rights and about the power of their voice.
Tsar Blanchard is majoring in Political Science/Sociology as a Jr at Morehouse College. They are interested in the Civic Influencers team to reinforce their interpretation of responsibility for social causes and community building.
Waun Brown is a military veteran from Savannah, GA.
Kennedy Crawford is a current sophomore, who is a Law & Society major at Georgia State University. She is always looking to get involved in her school and community in any way she can. Her interest in being involved with the Civic Influencers team is due to her beliefs that youth should be more knowledgeable and involved throughout the electoral process and voting.
Ira Eidle is an autistic self-advocate from Decatur, Georgia. He participated in an Autistic Self-Advocacy Network’s Autism Campus Inclusion program in 2020. He has interned at The Hirsch Academy where he presented to students about the Neurodiversity Movement and is the curator for the site Autistic Archive. Ira recently was a canvasser for the Democratic Party of Georgia. He is interested in being a Civic Influencer because Georgia is in a dire situation politically and he wants to do everything he can to inform his community on the issues and make sure that the disability community in Georgia votes in the upcoming election.
Jala Everett is a junior at Spelman College. As an English Major, she believes in the power of words and the connections and monumental impacts they can make in the world. As someone who is passionate about using words to create a better world, her school activities resemble this as she is a member of the Editorial Collective of Aunt Chloe Literary Journal, a JBG Spelman College Social Justice Fellow, Chairman Liasion of Utopia Atlanta Organization, and a Spelman Ambassador.
Lorenna C. Garcia-Bochas is a graduate of Fayetteville State University and Kennesaw State University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a master’s degree in Integrative Biology. She is an incoming graduate student to Duke University’s master’s in Global Health program. She would like to become a Civic Influencer to give her the opportunity to perfect and refine her skills for her ultimate goal of becoming a Global Health Ambassador for the United States.
Aylon Gipson is a native of Montgomery, Alabama, the birthplace of the civil rights movement. Gipson graduated from Booker T. Washington Magnet High School in Montgomery, Alabama, receiving awards in communications and law. Gipson received a full-ride servant leadership at Morehouse College, where he studies Economics. Aylon has a passion for service and is dedicated to helping his community. He currently serves as the Political Participation Coordinator for the Morehouse College Bonner Office of Community Service.
Abigail Glaize is a high-performing, strategic-thinking professional with 5+ years of experience creating data-driven solutions in education. She is highly skilled at relationship building with clients and across organizations and teams; exceptional writing, presenting, and interpersonal communication skills. Additionally, she is adept at assessing needs, generating options, and implementing solutions. She is passionate about youth, education and financial literacy. Being part of the Civic Influencers team will equip her with the knowledge and support necessary to help create change for youth worldwide.
Auriel Goodall is currently a senior at Clark Atlanta University, who is majoring in Criminal Justice and double minoring in English and Political Science. Auriel remains active in her community through her organization, Girls Around the World and several others on campus including, the National Association for Blacks In Criminal Justice, IGNITE, CAU Votes, The Mighty Marching Panthers, The Orientation Guides Corp., Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, International, NSLS, and more. Auriel is interested in becoming a part of Civic Influencers because of her passion to serve and inform her community of their Civic rights.
Isaiah Jackson is from Decatur, Georgia and is a senior at Valdosta State University where they major in Political Science. They are also a Leadership Fellow and the vice president of VSU Rugby Club. This amazing opportunity as a Civic Influencer is a wonderful chance to give back to their community by encouraging them to use their voice by voting. They are excited to be a Civic Influencer and all the wonderful things this year will bring.
Imari Jeter-Wilson is a Junior Political Science Major at Morehouse College. They aspire to attend Law School with the goal to earn their L.L.M degree, in effort to become a litigation attorney. They are highly interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers Team simply because they are confident that they will learn necessary skills that will be applicable to future endeavors. They are excited for the opportunity to be a part of a team that will serve as a catalyst to change in various communities.
Nadya Lopez is a graduating senior at Spelman College majoring in Political Science and minoring in English from South Jersey. Nadya is very passionate about civic engagement and accessibility to political culture for all communities. She is a member of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, Spelman College Student Government Association, Spelman’s Chapter of the National Action Network, Spelman College Glee Club, and the Spelman College Ethel Wadell Githii Honors Program.
Azola Martin is a sophomore at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Currently studying Computer Science and Chinese Studies as a double major. He is also a member of the football team, rugby club, Howard Thurman Honors program, Codehouse Scholars Initiative, AUC NBSE, AUC Data Science Club and AUC CHILL. His interest in joining the Civic Influencers team is to empower others in a positive way.
Anayla McClendon is a sophomore English major, Japan Studies minor at Spelman College. As a first-year, they were appointed to leadership positions in clubs such as the AUC Japan Club, Spelman URGE, and Spelman’s Alpha Lambda Delta Chapter. They are also working towards establishing a Korea Peace Now chapter at Spelman College in the Spring. Since childhood, Anayla has had a passion for political, particularly feminist, philosophy. This passion has motivated Anayla to work with programs such as Civic Influencers in order to increase the understanding of political issues among individuals in their age group.
Chrystopher Moultrie, most known as Chrys is a First-Generation from Mobile, Alabama. He is currently a Sophomore at Morehouse College, where he studies Political Science with a minor in Education Studies. At Morehouse College, he serves as Sophomore Class Council Vice President. After his successful matriculation through Morehouse College, he plans to attend law school with an emphasis on Education Policy and Law. Back in his hometown, Mobile, Chrys has organized several Voter Registration drives and worked closely a several local and statewide campaigns. Chrys’s greatest passion is working on policy for Education and fighting for the disenfranchised right to vote. In his spare time, Chrys enjoys cooking, watching the Real Housewives franchise, eating seafood, and working on his podcast titled “The Chrys Show”.
Samia Park is an exemplary student at the Unsinkable Albany State University. She is a senior, double majoring in psychology and health and human performance. On campus she serves as the Academic Affairs Senator in the Student Government Association, President of the Psychology Club, and the Health Chair of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Samia is a scholar-activist who seeks to improve the importance of voting in underrepresented communities, which is why she became a Civic Influencers Fellow. She plans to utilize her platform to encourage her peers to be more civically engaged, as well as teaching the importance of voting.
Christian Parks is a sophomore majoring in Political Science at Valdosta State University. She is the President of Young Democrats VSU, and the Political Action Chairman for the Valdosta State collegiate chapter of NAACP. She is excited to be a civic influencer because she wants to share her passion for active involvement in government and politics as a civilian.
Nyla Rahman is a Junior International Studies major with minors in History and Asian Studies at Spelman College. She is the Vice President of the Chinese Cultural Club, a member of Spelman’s Social Justice Program, Georgia Women’s Policy Institute, and the Environmental Task Force at Spelman College. Nyla is interested in the Civic Influencers team because she wants to extend this program’s outreach to younger black voters in Georgia and raise awareness for Climate Change, Environmental Racism, and Reproductive rights in the black community.
Armani Ross is currently an incoming freshman at North Carolina A&T. Armani is majoring in mass communications specifically mass media.
Pamela Russell is enrolled as a junior at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. Her major is sociology and anthropology on a pre-law concentration track. She interns for our NAACP Political Action Committee, a member of NAN, Pauline E. Drake Scholas (adult organization), and a social justice fellow in partnership with Spelman’s departmental program. Pamela’s interest in Civic Influencers’ program is for the opportunity for educational, as well as, vocational training purposes.
David Smith is currently a Sophomore, Political Science Major on the Pre-Law track at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. He is committed to servant leadership and community activism and has shown that in his involvement in his community and on campus. On campus David serves as the Vice-President of the Morehouse College Democrats and former President of the Freshman Class. He would love to be a part of the Civic Influencers team because David is committed to making change both through activism and exercising the electoral process.
Abigail Waldron is a recent graduate from the University of Georgia. Through her undergraduate work, Abigail has worked on historical research of American political polarization in 20th century. She’s an artist and climate researcher in the evenings. Abigail wants to help bring about systemic change in the election system, specifically wanting to fight voter apathy and increase youth participation in voting, especially in more rural areas of Georgia.
Melina Watson is a senior at Spelman College, obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy. Melina has been accepted into Columbia Law School via the LEAD Fellowship Program and will begin working towards her Juris Doctor (JD) degree in 2025. She is an active student leader on Spelman’s campus, serving her second term in Spelman Student Government Association and Vice President of the Mu Pi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Additionally, Melina volunteers throughout Atlanta to support marginalized communities to overcome voter disenfranchisement, housing inequalities, and mass incarceration. She is incredibly passionate about legal advocacy and is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because of the convergence of law, voting, and government responsiveness.
Jared Williams is currently a sophomore Political Science Major and Journalism Minor at Morehouse College in downtown Atlanta, Georgia. This is his first term as a Civic Influencer. He’s interested in participating, because of the opportunities and resources the program provides to help increase civic engagement on college campuses across America. Furthermore, when he’s not reading or doing schoolwork at the library, he’s in his room watching movies, the news, or listening to music. Additionally, his other hobbies are playing Ultimate Frisbee, hiking, and photo editing.
KyAsia Williams was born and raised in Akron, Ohio. She’s a first-generation student, a rising senior at Clark Atlanta University, majoring in Political Science. Ky’Asia is a campus leader serving as a Resident Assistant, member of the Political Science and Pre-Law Association, Pi Gamma Mu Honors Society, Isabelle T. Jenkins Honors Program and is the current Chapter President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Ky’Asia finds civic engagement and democracy as key factors in our countries development. She believes that becoming a Civic Influencer will grant her the opportunity to engage the community to participate politically and to focus on the engagement of the youth to increase voting.
Kayden Wilson attends Morehouse College as an English major with a concentration in writing. He is a member of the poetry club and volunteers locally. Service work and community outreach have always been interests of his. Being a part of Civic Influencers helps build a stronger understanding of what it takes to make meaningful change in the world.
Matthew Delatte wants to be a Civic Influencer because he knows that his passion and tenacity for civic engagement will not only increase voter turn out, but it will also inspire people to have those tough conversations and create an everlasting change on our democracy.
Cole Tilley is a junior political science major at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Transferring from University of Louisiana at Lafayette, he became involved with non-partisan civic engagement organization Geaux Vote LSU. This led him to find a passion in voting rights and civic engagement. Currently, he serves as Social Media Director for Geaux Vote; although, most of his time is spent working within the LSU Student Government as a member of the Communications Department. When he is not spending his time serving the LSU community, he can probably be found at one of the many coffee shops or plant nurseries in Baton Rouge. In the future, he hopes to pursue a law degree and a career in government.
Originally from southern Virginia, Imani Brooks is a third-year law student at American University Washington College of Law. On campus, Imani leads the If When How Lawyering for Reproductive Justice chapter, represents a range of clients in the Gender Justice Clinic, and works with alumni to enhance the student experience at her law school and her high school. Imani fiercely believes in young people having agency over their civil rights and taught Know Your Rights curriculum to D.C. high school students for the 2021-2022 school year. Imani looks forward to cultivating a community with Civic Influencers through mentoring and content creation that balances today’s civil rights fight with radical self-care.
John F. Akwetey, MSc., is an Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation student and Doctoral Research Assistant & Organizer, Evaluation Café at The Evaluation Center, Western Michigan University (WMU). John is committed to serving in various leadership and organizing roles, including as a Senator within the Western Student Association, a commissioner of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion with the Western Student Association Allocations Commission at Western Michigan University, a member of the American Evaluation Association (AEA), and a member of the Forward for Food Security, Agriculture & Rural Development, the United Nations (EvalForward). John prides himself on being a youth-centered and multilingual experienced voter advocate with a strong data-driven background. He believes all his leadership experiences and skills in inclusive and diverse youth mobilization will help Civic Influencers build a passionate, representative, and inclusive movement.
Mounahinde (Terry) Almame is currently attending Aquinas College (AQ) in Grand Rapids, Michigan, pursuing a degree in Political Science and a Minor in legal studies. He also aims to further his education to become a lawyer after graduation from AQ college. Some of the activities Terry is involved in while still in college include Aquinas men’s soccer program, Aquinas Multicultural Club, and Fostering Success Michigan. So he wants to learn and help his community to become more engaged in the local, state, and national political processes to make their voices heard by the political parties’ policymakers and hold them accountable. Terry believes that a well-educated civil society would result in electing great leaders that care about their constituents.
Sarah Altvater is no stranger to adversity. As a first-generation graduate, she has overcome many hardships in pursuit of her education.
As a non-traditional, thirty-year-old student, Sarah completed her Bachelor of Social Work at Spring Arbor University. She graduated while her spouse was deployed, raising her three children, and single handedly managing a household.
She offers a unique perspective of being a full-time student and full-time parent; and has proven that it’s never too late to pursue your education.
Sarah is passionate about building meaningful relationships with others. She understands the challenges of being born into a broken home and has chosen a different path for herself. As a cycle breaker in her own family, she wants to empower others to find their calling and pursue it wholeheartedly. She says, “I want to serve others with humility and learn from their experiences. I believe that building relationships and finding humanity in every situation is the only way to successfully advocate for change.”
In her freetime, she enjoys spending time with her family, going on nature walks, and dancing. She especially enjoys her ability to embarrass her children with her cool dance moves.
Sarah is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work at Spring Arbor University and will graduate in January 2023. She is a member of the Phi Alpha Society and the National Association of Social Workers. She is grateful for the opportunity to intern at Fostering Success Michigan and is eager to advocate on behalf of youth with foster care experience.
Diana Antonio is currently a third-year student at Northern Michigan University. She is majoring in Biochemistry and Spanish, in hopes to attend medical school to become a family medicine physician. Diana is part of the Latinx Student Union, the Student Leadership Fellowship Program, and the McNair Scholars Program.
Brea Buchan is a Junior at Grand Valley State University (GVSU), pursuing her Bachelor’s in Social Work. Brea aspires to work in the foster care system to make a difference in the lives of at-risk children, and break the cycle of abuse and neglect in their lives. She is currently a mentor at GVSU through Educate Tomorrow. She has conquered several obstacles along the way including being a ward of the state, a child in foster care, and an adopted child. Those obstacles did not stop her from achieving many of her goals and dreams. To Brea’s knowledge she is the first in her biological family to attend college. When she is not attending college she is a full-time server at Northside Pub in North Muskegon during the Fall and Winter or The Gate House on Mackinac Island in the summers. Brea believes hard work and dedication is the key to success and will ultimately help her achieve her goals. In her free time, Brea enjoys spending time with her family, camping, traveling, and experiencing new cultures.
Abigail Carson is a dog lover and hiker. Abigail is online in graduate school at Arizona State University, studying to become a BCBA. Abigail is passionate about civic engagement and is joining Civic Influencers to encourage other young individuals to vote.
Ja’Von L. Fields is currently attending Grand Valley State University, where he is studying Political Science with a concentration in Legal Studies. After undergrad, Ja’Von plans to attend Law School. Ja’Von currently serves as the President of the NAACP Greater Grand Rapids Branch Youth Council. At the same time, he is also a certified Civic Engagement Trainer for the National NAACP Youth & College Division. Ja’Von views the Civic Influencer position as an opportunity to further engage students on campus by educating and demonstrating how to effectively use their political powers within our country’s democratic System.
Ethan Gerds is a junior at Michigan Technological University Majoring in Social Sciences with a concentration in Policy, Law, and Society. Ethan is the Vice President of the Undergraduate Student Government as well as the Liaison to the University Senate. Ethan is also an Eagle Scout as well as an active member of the ultimate frisbee team and member of an undergraduate research team. Ethan was interested in Civic Influencers due to the political nature and encouraging students to be more politically engaged.
Cat Hadley is a senior studying Political Science at the University of Michigan. Cat is a research assistant at Turn Up Turn Out and Vice President of the Michigan Caregivers and Student Parents. Cat is passionate about engaging new voters and getting people excited about the democratic process.
Annie Heitmeier is an honors student at Michigan State majoring in International Relations with minors in Korean and Asian Studies. She is president of students demand action at her school which aims to advocate for gun sense legislation. Annie is a go-getter, a public servant, and wants to serve others in her career. She wants to be a role model and resource for students looking to get involved in activism but do not know where to start.
Caitlin Houde is a third-year Political Science major at Saginaw Valley State University. Caitlin is a member of Phi Sigma Sigma, Alpha Phi Omega, Alternative Breaks, and an RA on the SVSU’s campus. Caitlin loves being part of Civic Influencers because she loves to help others become civically engaged on campus.
Noah Karcher is a recent graduate from Michigan State University with a degree in Philosophy and Global Studies. They plan to go into working with non-profits in the Chicago area moving forward with a focus on social change. For now, they’re interested in being a Civic Influencer because it’s the best way to get people involved in the civic process and enacting change.
Taylor (Wyllo) Kremer is an Art student at the Mt. Pleasant, Mid Michigan College Campus, as well as a member of Phi Theta Kappa. Wyllo is a 2022 Youth Ambassador with the World Literacy Foundation, whose goal to end illiteracy in the world. Wyllo is also a local coordinator with CETUSA, whose mission is to find host families for High School Exchange Students. Wyllo is a Non-Binary Lesbian, who has 2 cats and loves helping out in the community. Wyllo has helped out at Karma Kat Cafe, as well as Central Cat Coalition a local TNR in Mount pleasant. Wyllo is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team, as they want to branch out and expand more into their community impact, as well as get more engaged with the population at their College and in towns around them.
Brooke Liberto is a first year student at the University of Michigan. She has previously decided to dedicate her life to studying and practicing medicine. However, she has recently discovered a new passion: political science and public health. Why such a radical change? The answer is simple. Anyone who has taken a political science class knows that you cannot just hope policy is just going to change. Instead, one needs to learn to find their voice and advocate for what they believe in. Brooke believes that that could be her. She is stubborn, innovative, and determined. She fights for what she believes in. She is currently taking communications classes in order to hone in on her public speaking skills. After all, how can one expect to enact change if no one is listening. The reason she hopes to minor in public health originates from her passion in healthcare. But healthcare doesn’t have to mean being a doctor, or a physician, or even a nurse. Brooke wants to enact political change in health care policies. For example, Roe V Wade was a legal precedent involving reproductive rights. Even though this case has been overturned, Brooke believes there are other ways to ensure reproductive rights for all. In essence, she hopes to pursue political action and fight for individual civil liberties in healthcare. The Civic Influencers team provides the perfect opportunity to explore political policies and to enact change, whether that be locally or on a much bigger scale.
Tyler “Mack” MacAvoy is a third year student at Grand Valley State University studying biomedical engineering. He is a first generation college student who decided to take advantage of financial aid resources due to his experience in homelessness and housing instability. Due to this experience, he is a part of the pilot Changemakers program with Fostering Success Michigan and hopes to utilize this position to advocate for change for students with similar experience. He is interested in the Civic Influencers position because it would extend his opportunities to advocate for others who share his experiences.
Jordi Nsiaka is enthusiastic about assisting others; when Jordi first arrived in America, many individuals helped him; assisting others was his way of giving back. He came to the United States knowing no English, but making progress in this milestone has given him hope for the future. Jordi is interested in civics because voting comes with many policies that are often unjust to the minority. People need to vote to stop the minority from suffering because other people profit.
Sadye Rasmussen attends Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She is studying for a major in Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy and Urban Affairs, along with a minor in Mathematics. She is a member of the K Votes and Women for Reproductive Freedom Clubs at her university. She is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team as she is passionate about the necessity of youth voters, especially in low income and minority households.
Shaqyna Ross is a psychology major at Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan with a minor in public health. After undergrad She has plans on going to nursing school with hopes of becoming either a psych nurse or a neonatal nurse. She is interested in becoming a Civic Influencer because she wants to gain knowledge of working with different types of people and cultures.
Dahlia Terry is an independent hard worker who is enrolled in Saginaw Valley State University. She is a second-year Political Science Major and History Minor on the Pre-law track. She is the Vice President of the College Republicans, an active member of the law Club, and legal scholars on campus. She is very interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team because she strives to try and actively engage her fellow peers to participate in the political process.
Maddie Thomas is currently a senior studying Political Science and Cultural Studies at Central Michigan University. She is passionate about public policies that address government transparency and accountability — this includes expanding and simplifying access to voting and implementing civics learning curriculum within K-12 and colleges and universities. She plans on attending graduate school to study education, civic engagement, and political behavior.
Brina Williams is a graduate student at Western Michigan University, pursuing their Master’s in Social Work, and is the Project Assistant for Fostering Success Michigan’s & Educate Tomorrow’s Changemakers Pilot Project in Kent County. They are a recent BSW graduate from WMU and are also a graduate of Lansing Community College with an Associate degree in General Studies. Brina is the President of Ingham County’s Michigan Youth Opportunities Initiative and is a part of the Continuous Quality Improvement Focus Group for Foster Care in Ingham County. They have served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Children’s Mental Health for almost three years, are a member of Michigan’s Statewide Youth Advisory Board for foster care, are a member of the Leadership Corp for the National Foster Youth Institute Michigan Chapter and have served as an FSM Ambassador for almost three years. Brina is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team to learn how to engage young people, especially those with experience in foster care, in democracy and aid them in using their voice to create competent and equitable change.
JJ Briscoe is a sophomore pursuing a B.A. in Global Liberal Studies with a concentration in Politics, Rights, and Human Development at New York University. He is the lead of his school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee, organizing his local county’s Young Democrats club, and is volunteering for the New York State Democratic Committee. JJ is passionate about ensuring that our votes are as effective and powerful as possible through democratic reforms. This is why JJ has joined the Civic Influencer program as he plans to dedicate his life to public service and seeing that the United States finally exists as a true multiracial democracy.
Erika Exum is a human service student at Herkimer college, she is an online student. She is an only child and grew up helping her grandparents and having a care taker role for them. Erika also has several family members with autism and really enjoys helping them meet milestones and over all help guide them so they can rise to their greatest potential. She believes in advocating for those with special needs to assure their voices are heard and they are included as demonstrated in her volunteer work at Community Youth Child Services. Erika is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because she is always open to learn new things and she is always willing to advocate for others especially those who are unable to advocate for themselves.
Owen Ledebur is studying Psychology as a junior at St. John’s University. Owen has been actively involved within civic engagement and political activism growing up, witnessing the importance of activism firsthand. He believes that it is of the utmost importance to let people’s opinions and voices be heard to inspire change from local to national levels.
Saddaf Menhaji is a rising third-year honors political science student at Hofstra University, located in Long Island, New York. Her academic interests include public policy, sustainability, climate change, and social inequities; she plans on attending law school to apply these interests and work in environmental law and public advocacy. Her hobbies include playing the viola/violin, crocheting, and gardening. Saddaf wants to join the Civic Influences team because she recognizes the importance of community engagement and local advocacy on issues that require diverse solutions and understands that in order to create significant change, it is essential to mobilize the voices of those who have been historically silenced, including young voters, Black, Indigenous, and people of color, low-income individuals, people with disabilities, and women.
Francisca Aravena is currently a student at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, majoring in Strategic Communication and double minoring in English and Political Science. She is an alumni of the organization ThreeSixty Journalism which is focused on introducing high school students from diverse backgrounds and regularly volunteers with them throughout the year. She also works at the Innovation and Creativity Center, a space with a variety of resources and tools that help people’s creativity shine.
Skye Schultz is a co-major in Social Work and Psychology at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Minnesota. She is involved on campus in advocacy with the Global Justice Movement through Catholic Relief Services, and as a leader in the Feminist Community club. She is currently working on a research project through a university grant on resiliency programming for survivors of domestic minor sex trafficking in the Midwest region. As someone who is passionate about a number of social issues, Skye understands that the key to solving these problems on a macro level is having citizens be well represented in politics through high voter turnout. Skye is excited about being a part of the Civic Influencers team as an opportunity to increase voter turnout at her school and encourage students to be actively involved in the political process.
Tamara Favors currently works as a community organizer in southern Nevada and she is a mom to a teenager. She works with working-class people and helps provide education to strengthen their upward mobility. She is interested in Civic Influencers because she understands that most young get their news from social media. Moreover, she knows that’s another way that young people are able to be plugged into social issues and sometimes international news.
Erika Exum is a human service student at Herkimer college, she is an online student. She is an only child and grew up helping her grandparents and having a care taker role for them. Erika also has several family members with autism and really enjoys helping them meet milestones and over all help guide them so they can rise to their greatest potential. She believes in advocating for those with special needs to assure their voices are heard and they are included as demonstrated in her volunteer work at Community Youth Child Services. Erika is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because she is always open to learn new things and she is always willing to advocate for others especially those who are unable to advocate for themselves.
Kaira Pacheco is currently in her last semester at The King’s College in New York City. She is on track to graduate with a bachelors degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics. Throughout her time at King’s, she has been engaged in political activism through political campaign internships and an internship for a United Nations NGO. She is committed to the getting youth engaged and passionate about our current political climate in the United States.
Jasmine Amaniampong is an honors sophomore studying Economics at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Jasmine currently has the pleasure of serving as Sophomore Class President for the 2021-2022 academic school year. Jasmine is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team so she can help her fellow students learn how to impact the community they all live in, Greensboro, North Carolina!
Cameron Barton is a senior psychology student from Chicago, IL at North Carolina A&T State University. I’m a member of Midwest Aggies and the Blue & Gold Marching Machine. He is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because he wants to be a positive figure in the community and be someone who people can reach out to for their civic needs.
Iyana Beachem studies Race and Economics at the illustrious Fayetteville State University and is an avid member of the Pre-Law and Entrepreneurship Society. After graduation, Iyana wants to attend law school but, in the meantime, Iyana is an active juvenile, education, and women’s rights activist both on and off-campus. Iyana wants to be part of the Civic Influencers team because she knows that membership in this team would allow her to expand upon her current activism work while learning new ways to impact and educate her community.
Tiyana Boyce is a senior Business Administration major with a concentration in Marketing at Elizabeth City State University. Tiyana is part of the Honors Program, Chancellor’s Ambassadors, and many more organizations on campus. Tiyana is interested in being a Civic Influencer because she wants to inform and influence others to provoke positive change.
Brentavius Boyd is a first generation college student from Birmingham, Alabama. He attends North Carolina A&T State University where he studies both Journalism and Mass Communications and Criminal justice ( a double major). As an active participant in the Aggie Success Leadership program and Couture Productions he is very devoted to the campus. Being a part of the Civic Influencer Team provides him with the opportunity to learn and teach. Experiencing this opportunity gives him a chance to implement real change within his community and himself through civic leadership and political activism.
Hezekiah Bryant is from Fayetteville, NC, Hezekiah is currently a freshman at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Hezekiah is double majoring in Professional Theatre and Political Science and is a part of the Honors Program. Hezekiah is an outgoing and positive person, and would love to join the Civic Influencers to become a voice in his community and learn how to be a part of a civic organization.
Daisja Burke is a junior studying Social Work at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Daisja is a third-year marcher for the Blue and Gold Marching Machine. Daisja is grateful to be part of the Civic Influencers team because it gives her the opportunity to engage and educate her community and peers on the voting process.
Michael Corey Cartwright and I am from Salisbury, North Carolina. He is an honors Junior Economics student at North Carolina A&T State University. Michael is a leader and an advocate, who is passionate about education, leadership and service. These matters show with present and previous roles he has held, such as being the Speaker Pro Temp senate for North Carolina A&T’s 2021-2022 Student Government Association, being a 2022-2023 delegate for the University of North Carolina’s Association of Student Governments, and a Summer 2022 Human Resources: Early Talent intern for TIAA Financial Services. He wants to be a Civic Influencer because he can assure that with his leadership, education on civic matters, and his social media presence, he will be able to educate others and amplify civic power amongst other young adults.
Darian Cathion is a first-year student at UNC Pembroke, who studies Psychology and Business. He is a member of InterVarsity which is a group that centers around the Christian religion. Darian’s reasoning for becoming an influencer is to educate young people and encourage more young people to take a political stance.
Nisha Clemons is a current sophomore at Elizabeth City State University. She is currently studying Business Administration with a focus in Digital Marketing. Nisha is new to Elizabeth City, and is excited to be a part of the community. She is interested in becoming a Civic Influencer because she believes that our voices have power and deserve to be heard.
Kymora Darcuiel is currently a 2nd-semester freshman at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP or UNC Pembroke). She is majoring in nursing but is also interested in early childhood development. Her interest in being a part of the Civic Influencers program is to be physically involved with her community to spread the importance of voting.
Trevor Elliott is a second year student at NCAT, majoring in supply chain management. Being a Civic Influencer will allow him to help serve others and his community here at NCAT. Trevor wants to advocate for rights & spread the awareness of how important they are.
Edwards De Leon Garcia is a current student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Edwards is a double majoring in Political Science with a concentration in Pre-Law and also Spanish. He is an involved student off and on his university: ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America, Ritmo Latino, and Casa Azul de Wilson. Edwards is interested in joining due to him being a passionate driven first-generation, gay, and Mexican-American who looks forward to proudly represent this new generation of change.
Shaina Dudley is a student at North Carolina A&T. Shaina is majoring in Mass Communications/Journalism with Public Relations as her main focus. Shaina is interested in being part of Civic Influencers to actively be involved around campus, especially in regards to concerns and opinions about voter registration. Shaina believes this experience will help strengthen her as a Public Relations major since she has to be aware of the public concerns on her campus.
Rayquon Edwards is a sophomore at North Carolina Central University, who is a passionate first-generation college student studying Criminal Justice. He plans to utilize his degree to advance into law school and become a criminal defense attorney. Rayquon decided to participate and be a part of the Civic Influencers to help others express their opinions and to allow their voices to be heard.
Abby Florek is a rising star at the University of North Carolina in Asheville and is pursuing a degree as a political science major. Abby became interested in being a CEEP Fellow after seeing the turnout in the 2020 election, and she wanted to be a part of helping young voters understand the importance of all elections.
Joe Franco is from Calais, Vermont, and is a sophomore at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. He is majoring in Political Science with a minor in Environmental Studies. Joe is a dedicated member of his University hub of the Sunrise Movement and is passionate about climate justice. In his free time, Joe is a member of the ultimate frisbee team at his school and likes to play tennis, ping pong, and enjoy the outdoors. Joe is excited about being part of the Civic Influencer team to keep up amazing voter engagement on his campus.
Alexi’s Gillard attends North Carolina A&T State University as a junior mathematics secondary education student. She is a proud member of the National Society of Leadership & Success, where she serves as treasurer, Phi Sigma Pi, where she serves as Vice president, Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society, Kingdom of youth, the SciTech Scholar program, and the North Carolina A&T Blue and Gold Marching Machine. For the past seven years, Alexi’s has found the value of using her voice for issues that she cares about the most. She has also grown to understand that influencing others to do so, is just as important. Since she has been able to vote, Alexi’s has made sure to share all valuable and important information about voting with her peers so that they understand why they should always vote and what they are precisely voting for. Alexi’s is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because not alone will she be allowed to spread more awareness about voting and issues imperative to her and others, but she will also be given the opportunity to learn new things and move closer to her goal of being an activist.
Hannah Goldfarb is a student at the University of North Carolina at Asheville with double majors in Political Science and Management and minors in Human Rights Studies, Spanish, and International Studies. She currently serves as the Co-President of the UNCA College Democrats and as Associate Editor for the UNC System’s publication of Dignity: An Undergraduate Human Rights Journal. She is also an intern at Inclusive Development International. Hannah’s particularly interested in the field of human rights. She believes the work Civic Influencers does is essential to the democratic process.
Victoria Griffin is an honors Junior Political Science student at North Carolina A&T State University. She serves on her campus as an Aggie Success Leader, National Black Law Student Association E-Board member, and Community Relations Chair with The Village Mentoring Inc. Victoria is an educational equity advocate, and is very passionate about all inequities that affect people of color in the United States. Victoria is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team because she enjoys opportunities to advocate for those who cannot do for themselves and wants to encourage people her age to become advocates as well.
Kamaria Harris-Woodson is currently a sophomore double majoring in Criminal justice and Sociology at the Fayetteville State University. Kamaria is a member of the United States Air Force, National Society of Leadership and Success, NAACP, Pre-law Society, Paralegal Club, and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She wants to be a part of the Civic Influencers teams to help educate and help her local community.
Haywood Hayes is a supporter of peace and equity. He exemplifies this character as a student ambassador for his college— Rowan-Cabarrus Community College— while completing his Associates of Arts degree. Haywood seeks to join the Civic Influencers team to remind himself, and bring remembrance to the American people, that America is still a republic and we have a say in how our country should be run, and it starts with the power of our vote.
Sam Hiner is a first year at UNC Chapel Hill who is passionate about political advocacy and organizing. Sam is the Founder and President of the NC Young People’s Alliance (formerly NC for Better Government), an organization dedicated to empowering young people to advocate for political change. The NCYPA uses phone banks, paid canvassing, and direct advocacy to get college students out to vote and provide opportunities for students to advocate for policies important to young people. Outside of advocacy, Sam is on UNC-CH’s Mock Trial team, volunteers for political campaigns, and maintains an interest in the law by helping student-run nonprofits obtain 501(c)(3) status. Sam is a Civic Influencer so he can learn from and collaborate with other students who care about civic engagement across North Carolina.
Kelsey Jenkins is a new graduate student at NC State university studying Higher Education Administration (M.Ed.) with a graduate certification in Public Policy. Kelsey hopes to someday write higher education policies that will ensure all students feel safe on all college campuses safe from discrimination and bullying. She is excited about being a part of the Civic Influencers team because we need to encourage more students and young adults to get out and vote to amplify their voices and to push for policies that help everyone.
Adia Johnson is a third-year industrial and systems engineering student at North Carolina A&T State University. On campus she’s part of two community service organizations, verge modeling troupe, and the core technical officer for the google student developer club. She is interested in becoming a part of this team to get more educated on civic matters and voting as well as being a voice for her peers.
Emma Johnson is a first-year at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill studying environmental science, and looking forward to getting involved with organizations around campus. She has been involved in sustainability planning, research, and improving access to inclusive art education. She is looking forward to increasing students’ connections with their community and empowering youth to vote.
Annabeth Jones is a first year Levine Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she is double majoring in Political Science and Philosophy. She plans to attend law school after college. Annabeth is from Durham, North Carolina, where she attended Jordan High School and worked with the climate advocacy group the Sunrise Movement for three years. She is passionate about justice, the environment, and voting rights.
Antanise Jones is a sophomore at North Carolina A&T studying International Management. She is a hard worker and a very goal driven individual. Nothing goes incomplete with her, success is her number one goal and she will not stop until she is on the path she wishes to be on. Antanise is involved in multiple community service organizations such as ; A.S.C.E.N.D and Alpha Lamda Delta Honor Society as well as NCAT’s Florida Aggies. She aspires to be a Marketing Manager and by joining several organizations and networking she is very close to that goal.
Sara Luber is a third-year student at North Carolina State University, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Environmental Science. She serves as the Student Government Chief Justice at her college, as well the Associate Vice President of Government Outreach for the UNC Association of Student Governments. As part of the Civic Influencers Team, Sara hopes to promote civic engagement on college campuses, as well as making voting accessible for all communities.
Katie Aguilar Manueles is majoring in Political Science: International Studies and Criminal Justice at UNC Pembroke. Katie is interested in being part of Civic Influencers because she wants to be part of the solution for voting struggles.
Joe Maronski is a journalism and political science major at High Point University originally from Long Island, NY who has been involved and interested in politics, especially nonpartisan engagement movements, for numerous years now. He is a member of numerous organizations including the National Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, Public Relations Student Society of America, Society of Professional Journalists, and the National Society of Leadership and Success. As a former two term Vice President of External Communications for High Point University’s Student Government Association who oversaw a 450% growth in its social media presence and numerous successful campaigns including a Mental Health awareness campaign which reached people on six continents (He is still trying to get to Antarctica!), Joe is excited to bring his experience and the lessons he learned to the Civic Influencers team. He hopes to engage and educate potential voters so they can be more informed voters who are prepared to vote this year and in the years to come!
Ashanti Marshall is a 2021 graduate of the illustrious Winston-Salem State University. She previously served as the Political Action Committee chair and Campus Vote Project fellow while in undergrad. She is excited to serve as a Civic Influencer for Forsyth County because she recognizes the need to keep her community informed and confident in their right to vote.
Ju’Quanna McCallum is a wonderful, amazing young lady. She is very shy and once she has the chance to seek great opportunities she takes it! The campus she is enrolled in is the GREAT University of Fayetteville State. Her major of study is Criminal Justice, with a concentration in Pre-Law. Not at the moment, but she plans on joining the Student Government Association & A.U.T.O.S for Commuters. Ju’Quanna is interested in the Civic Influencers team because she very passionate about voicing her rights as a Black young lady. She wants to get a chance to actually make a change within her community removing any barriers or issues that’s holding rising youth down.
Issiah McLean is a highly motivated Leading ambassador for Fayetteville State University. One of which has handled projects in service, as well his own personal projects. He has transportation coordinator experience with the US Army. He is seeking to utilize his effective business operations, research analysis, project management, communication, data entry, social media marketing, leadership, and problem-solving skills to better assist any company. He plans to do so by using his strategies to progress and accomplish the Civic Influencers’ mission.
Zaire McMican is an ambitious and resilient business administration major at UNC Greensboro. Originally hailing from Newark, New Jersey, he moved to North Carolina in 2020 and has consistently sought to help improve his community as well as the lives of those around him. From volunteering to assisting individuals as a financial advisor, he aspires to be an equitable business leader in his community with the goal of connecting with and inspiring others. Because of this goal he has decided to join the Civic Influencer team in the hopes of empowering the youth to take control of their lives through voting and social engagement.
Jaheim McRae is a first year Business Information Systems student from Greensboro, NC by way of Bronx, NY. As a freshman at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, he is a member of the NAACP as well as a Student Center Employee; not to mention he serves as a member of the North Carolina Army National Guard. He expressed that his interests of being a Civic Influencer is driven by his passion for poetry as he writes in efforts of educating people of their options and being one of the many resources needed to see change among young people.
Emily Moshinski is a senior at UNCC majoring in Political Science. Emily is a member of the College Republicans club. She was interested in becoming part of a nonpartisan organization and found that Civic Influencers was a great fit.
Jada Muhammad is a freshman psychology student studying at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. She has served as freshman class vice president this year and continues to explore her passion for political advocacy and racial injustice on her campus as well. She is passionate about social issues in her community and wants to take further steps to be the change she seeks. Jada is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencer team because she wants to be a part of the political change in her community and emphasize the need to get involved in social justice and voter registration.
Nasharra Ortiz is enrolled at Saint Augustine University. She is in school studying computer science. She is interested in being a part of the Civil Influencers team because she loves helping those around her and those in her community. She believes everyone could learn from someone they are around. She was in the foster care system and she aged out at 18 and joined another program for adult youth, She joined her local Sayso board group so that she could advocate for the youth age. She wants to be able to come up with the solutions to the problems we have now so that the future of the youth behind us won’t face what youth in the system are facing now. I believe the Civic Influencers team will help me develop more experience but also give me the chance to meet other leaders of different communities.
Haley Pender is a freshman at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University and is majoring in Multimedia Journalism. This school year, she plans on participating in Student Government, the NAACP, the School Newspaper, and growing her following on Tik-Tok where she currently has over 12,000 followers and discusses black related topics. She is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team because, she recently turned 18 and was able to participate in the election cycle in her local community. She was deeply troubled by how unenthused many of her classmates are with finally being able to participate in this important exercise, especially after complaining for so long about the decisions of current politicians. Haley wants to help encourage her peers to vote at a greater degree than she was able to before!
Justice Perry is a sophomore at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical state University. Justice is majoring in Mass Communications. She is interested in being part of Civic Influencers because she wants to be able to learn more about voting and also motivate other students to vote on her HBCU campus.
Abria Reid is a 2nd-year student at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, who is majoring in Psychology. She enjoys being involved in her community and plans to grow as a leader by getting involved in many different activities and organizations to aspire, serve, care for, and network daily. Abria is interested and being a Civic Influencer because she wants to encourage others to push themselves and contribute to the community by helping others express themselves, and allowing them to use their voices to make a change.
Kylie Rice is a sophomore honors, political science student at NC A&T. Having a passion for civil rights and law, Kylie is a member of the Student Government Association and serves on the Student Judicial Council committee. Dedicated to service and advocacy, she is a proud Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc and many other notable organizations. Kylie wishes to be a Civic Influencer since she is dedicated to serving her community and encouraging her peers to participate in activities centered around civic engagement.
David Rodriguez is a full-time student at UNC Charlotte, majoring in Public Health and minoring in Sociology. He is currently interning at Camino Research Institute as a research assistant. This organization aims at addressing the strengths and needs of the Latinx community in North Carolina by gathering data across the state to provide information for partnering organizations and legislators to better serve this community. In addition to this he participated as a fellow with Student Success Innovations Lab through Novant Health, UNC Charlotte, and Johnson C. Smith University to research and develop ways to improve student engagement among both campuses. David’s overall interest is finding ways to positively impact my community and touch lives for the better.
Eleanor Sullivan was born and raised in Flagstaff Arizona but moved out to the east coast for college. She did her first couple of years of her bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland but transferred to the University of North Carolina-Asheville (UNCA) during quarantine. She is currently a political science major and is pursuing a computer science minor. She is also a Resident Assistant (RA) on campus and is the secretary for the UNCA Political Science Club. She is particularly interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team because of their bi-partisan approach to encouraging individuals to participate in their political system.
Zhani Swailes is a full-time undergraduate rising junior at North Carolina A&T State University majoring in Sociology. She has interned at North Carolina Peace Action Inc, bringing awareness to the housing crisis and poverty in North Carolina through campaigning for marches and writing about current events. The Civic Influencers team brings awareness to economic and political events which is why Swailes is a perfect candidate for the team. She has involvement in the advocation for voter’s rights attending campus events to get students to vote. She has helped with political campaigns by going door-to-door canvassing, phone banking, and standing at the polls encouraging her peers to vote.
Levi Sweat is a freshman at Western Carolina University majoring in Computer Science and Math with a concentration in Data Science. He enjoys playing and watching soccer along with hiking in his free time. He actively participates in the Student Democracy Coalition at WCU and loves civil discourse and increasing voting rights and voter education. He is interested in being a Civic Influencer because it supports him in combining his passions in Math and Computer Science with his passion for voting rights.
Aigné Taylor is a fourth-year dual-degree Political Science and Sociology student from Havelock, North Carolina. She has been advocating for equal rights and fair elections since March 2019. Her passion for voting rights developed after realizing North Carolina A&T was split into two GOP congressional districts (also known as, “gerrymandering” or “cracking”). She is eager to join the Civic Influencers team to promote civic engagement through programming and community building.
Joana Tellez-Flores was born and raised in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She is very passionate about helping and advocating for marginalized communities. She has been involved with organizations in North Carolina advocating for immigrant, voter, and farmworker rights. She is currently a senior at Appalachian State University majoring in political science with a concentration in comparative politics and a minor in Spanish. Her goals after graduation are to attend law school and be able to continue serving my community.
Mick Tobin is a rising sophomore at Duke University passionate about positively impacting the world through social entrepreneurship and political advocacy. Mick is the Co-Founder and Operations Director of The NC Young People’s Alliance, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit fighting for youth representation in North Carolina politics. During Spring 2022, Mick mobilized students and advocated to administrators toward a University Election Day Holiday, estimated to increase voter turnout by 12%, and is currently leading Election Day Holiday initiatives at 6 other North Carolina Universities. Additionally, Mick works towards campus change as a recycling startup founder, member of Scale & Coin Business Society, and Duke Student Government Senator. Mick is excited by Civic Influencer’s opportunities to learn from educational events, gain mentorship from civic leaders, and collaborate with students across NC to build a state-wide coalition of young people empowered by democracy.
Re’Onna Vines is a second year Journalism student at North Carolina A&T. Originally from Atlanta, GA, she was raised under the influence of historical civil rights leaders and black excellence all around her. She is the owner of a clothing brand, Flier Attire, which inspires personal elevation. She also uses her poetic talents and social media platforms to promote social justice and equality. Re’Onna is interested in being a Civic Influencer because she is a passionate, educated, amplified advocate for civic engagement, especially for rising black leaders.
Aaliyah Williams is a senior at the illustrious Fayetteville State University majoring in Healthcare Administration with a minor in Healthcare Information Technology. Since she has been a Bronco, she has been a member of the Marching Bronco Express and also a Spring 19 initiate of the Theta Alpha chapter of Tau Beta Sigma National Honorary Band Sorority, Incorporated. Aaliyah would love to be a member of the Civic Influencers establishment so that she can be a part of like-minded people who seek to bring forth joy, change and awareness amongst all humankind. She is really big on making a difference in the community and advocating equality while also educating people along the way so that they understand that throughout all things, their voice matters!
Mollie Duffy is a current first-year student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She is studying Public Administration with a co-major in Sustainability. On campus, she is involved with the Wilks Institute for Leadership and Service as a Civic Engagement Fellow, the President of her Residence Hall, and is about to start her two year term as an at-large member on the Armstrong Student Center Board. Her interest in being a part of the Civic Influencers team stems from her desire to empower her community through intentional action as well as to help her generation become more informed decision-makers.
Joel Howe is a senior International Studies major at the University of Dayton. Joel is also studying Political Science and Spanish and is from the Cleveland area. Joel decided to become a Civic Influencers because of his interest in serving as a leader both on campus and in the community. Through his fellowship, Joel hopes to engage students on campus, specifically first-year students, by encouraging them to register and vote in local and national elections.
Katherine Lage-Michael is enrolled at the University of Cincinnati. She is a psychology major on her pre-law track. Already in her freshman year she is a member of the Young Socialist Democratic Association (YSDA) and one of the vice presidents for The Bearcat Food Recovery Network (BFRN). She one day hopes to make bills to protect children’s rights, but she can’t do that with the way our country is going with less and less people voting.
Jakob Lucas is a sophomore at Denison University studying Communication and Politics & Public Affairs. He strives to foster more awareness and participation in local elections on his campus. He believes that showing up can make all the difference and wants everyone to cast their ballot. Jakob also hopes to use his role as a class senator to engage more students in campus governance.
Cooper Smith is a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati pursuing a major in cybersecurity, and minors in music and computer science. He is on the UC club golf team and also in the music club, with plans to join the DSA chapter on campus. He is interested in this opportunity because it will allow him to use the leadership skills he has obtained from group work in stem classes, and the first-hand experience/knowledge he gained from attending the National Student Leadership Conference summer program in Washington, DC. Cooper also would hope to use his artistic and music background to bring unique insight into the program. With the election this year, it’s more important than ever for him to be given the opportunity to make change on-campus to make sure that the voices and votes of those around him are heard to the fullest extent.
Elayna Storts is a sophomore at Wright State University, majoring in clinical psychology with a minor in German. She is very involved in a variety of different organizations at her college and finds this fellowship as another great opportunity to get more involved. She wants to help empower her fellow students through exercising their right to vote, this is what made her so passionate to become a Civic Influencers.
Victoria Villanueva is a junior business economics major at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, minoring in political science and history. She’s part of the University Honors Program and involved in the Associated Student Government, student-run credit union, and pre-law office. She hopes to pursue a law degree and go into intellectual property law. She is excited to continue to be part of the Civic Influencers to further the ties she has built and help make Civic Influencers’ mission more long-term on Miami’s campus.
Rosie Gurnee is a Sophomore at Lewis & Clark College earning her Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs. She is the founder of PiosVote! a student organization which increases access to voting for Lewis & Clark students. With regard to being a Civic Influencer she says, “Being connected to a nationwide network of young voter-advocates allows our small community to have a broader perspective on the importance of the vote, and is a valuable resource for keeping voter-awareness alive on our campus.”
Nya Grantham is from Jacksonville, Florida and attends the illustrious Claflin University located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She is a junior with a major in political science and a minor in business management. After graduation, she plans to attend law school. Nya is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencer team because her passion is centered towards the justice system, and making sure individual rights are being heard. She is excited to make a difference in the community and working with the team!
Wes Un’Sel Guyton is a young man of imagination and integrity. He is currently a Senior Business Administration Major attending the illustrious Claflin University located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. Wes had been raised in a home where his family are prominently known in their community. His parents and mentors worked to lay the foundation before me; as a result, Wes connects with figures who tackle political and social issues. As a writer and volunteer in community services, Wes intends to understand all aspects political engagement so that he can teach his peers the importance of Civic duties.
Payton Jackson is a sophomore at Claflin University, the oldest HBCU in South Carolina. She double majors in Political Science and Business Management and is a member of the Alice Carson Tisdale Honors College, the Political Engagement Chair of the Claflin University NAACP, and Peer Counselor for Student Support Services. She became a Civic Influencer because she wants to help combat voter suppression and she believes in the importance of voter education.
Amanda Johnson was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri and now attends the illustrious Claflin University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. She is a freshman with a double major in Psychology and Criminal Justice and a minor in Sociology. After graduation, Amanda plans to pursue her Ph.D. or attend law school. Amanda became a Civic Influencer because she is very passionate about voting rights and encouraging those around her to exercise their right to vote, especially individuals her age.
India Rice is a sophomore Political Science major, Spanish minor attending Claflin University. She is a member of the Claflin chapter of NAACP, M.I.S.S. Women’s group, and ACT honors council. She became a Civic Influencer because in her community there is a lack of government involvement. Many of her peers do not realize the necessity of voting and spreading knowledge about what is happening in American democracy. By being a Civic Influencer she can change that disparity.
Taliyah Stallworth is from Dayton, Ohio and attends Claflin University. She is a Sophomore with a major in Psychology. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school with hopes of opening her own practice in therapy/counseling. Taliyah became a Civic Influencer because she has a passion for voting rights and youth voter turnout.
Taylor Abrams is an extremely passionate and outgoing person who has a love for all things music, art, STEM, and activism. Throughout the last few years, she found herself interested in these subjects, after spending much time doing research in these fields during the ongoing pandemic. She was floating around for a while as far as finding what bests suits her, and now she knows that fighting for children and young adults’ rights and education is her calling. She is currently enrolled in Community College of Philadelphia, and recently switched her major to Math Education because her love for Mathematics has grown, and she wants to encourage more black girls and women to be interested in STEM majors. She is interested in the Civic Influencers team because she wants to not only become more educated in an activism team and field, but to be an ACTIVE guide and inspiration for black people like her to become motivated to fight in harmony for changes in our country.
David Babaian is a senior at Penn State University where he studies Political Science and Communication Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Presidential Leadership Academy, the student advisory board for the McCourtney Institute for Democracy, and also works as a public speaking mentor. He is excited to join the Civic Influencers team because he believes that when more people participate in democracy, there will be more consensus, cooperation, and appreciation for nuance.
Vivek Babu is a second-year student at Drexel University, where he majors in Biology (with a minor in Global Studies and Global Public Health) through the Guaranteed BS/MD Early Assurance program. He plans to pursue medical school in the future, and ultimately, hopes to promote equitable healthcare systems with a special focus on immigrant health. Vivek is excited to be part of Civic Influencers to not only work with other students to create more politically informed college voters state-wide, but also continue the fight for a university-wide day off on Election Day at Drexel.
Taylor Boyle is a graduate of Clarion University of Pennsylvania who currently resides in Western Pennsylvania. She spent four years registering students and educating voters through the CU Engaged Coalition at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Through her efforts, Clarion University of Pennsylvania was recognized as a Voter Friendly Campus. Taylor has previously served as a Civic Influencer.
Madeline Brown is a 2022 college graduate from Penn State- Schreyer Honors College where I earned honors in Social Justice in Education along with a B.S. in Psychology. She has experience in social psychology research, writing, leadership, and social engagement. She was involved in a lab, a college of education fellowship, Model UN, and an honors fraternity- PSP. She is passionate about creating a more equitable society, and believes that empowering people to be engaged in their society and communities is a vital part of that mission. She is honored to be a part of inspiring others and educating others to be engaged.
Alyssa Byrd is a team player! She previously played on the rugby team at Albright College. Since then Alyssa has joined some amazing Clubs on campus, such as high eboard roles on African American Society and Black Woman Leadership Association. She is also a prominent member of The Cue yearbook. Alyssa is very in tuned to social justice issues and she loves to bring awareness to it!
Angela Chen is currently attending Drexel University and in the Lebow College of Business. She is currently studying business and entrepreneurship at Drexel. On campus, Angela is engaged with organizations such as Global China Connection (GCC) Drexel Division, National Organization for Business & Engineering (NOBE) and Asian Students Association (ASA). Off campus, Angela is currently a Blood Donor Ambassador for Red Cross and a Development & Outreach Associate for GCC Global Department. Angela became a part of Civic Influencers because she wanted to empower young voices from diverse backgrounds to vote for an equal and rightful democracy.
Demont Davis goes to the California University of Pennsylvania. He is currently studying business finance with a minor in political science. He is a part of student government and many other originations on campus that will aid him in reaching people. He wanted to become a Civic Influencers fellow because throughout his time at CalU, he has noticed that many people don’t know or have any information on voting.
Jess Dougherty is a fourth-year student at Penn State University pursuing her BS in Political Science with a concentration in Data Analytics. She is an active member of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority where she has held various positions. Jess joined the Civic Influencer team to apply her passion for politics and data in a meaningful way. She hopes to show people how important data can be in making impactful decisions.
Brianna Duffin is a sophomore honors student at Rosemont College majoring in English with a minor in New Media Communication. She is involved with the on-campus feminist club and college literary magazine. She is an outspoken advocate for mental health, gender equality, and LGBTQ+ liberation with a lifelong passion for civic engagement in politics on all levels. She wants to work with Civic Influencers so she can work within her community to empower young people.
Alex Dutra is a first year student at the Community College of Philadelphia, majoring in International Studies. They are originally from Sacramento, CA, and relocated to the East Coast in 2018 to serve in Hurricane Sandy recovery through AmeriCorps. They are passionate about social justice and creating a government that represents every American. When they are done with their Associates Degree, they will transfer to an Undergraduate program in Global Studies before applying to law schools to study Immigration and International Law. They are excited to be a Civic Influencers fellow and help more youth get engaged with their community.
Amaris Felton is a first-year student at Drexel University. She is currently studying Culinary and is interested in picking up another major in Psychology. She is a new member of Civic Influencers and is super excited to dive in. Amaris is interested in this program to better the Philadelphia community and educate others about the importance of voting and how those issues stem from who is in office.
Lorraine Fischer is a senior at West Chester University majoring in Sustainable Food Systems Management and minoring in Applied Community and Environmental Sustainability. These majors and minors allow Lorraine to have a nuanced understanding into the intersectionality of human, urban, and environmental impacts of our current global food supply. As a result, Lorraine sees these areas as being in most urgent need of change, and her education allows her to analyze these issues of environmental, economic, and social impacts. Lorraine joined Civic Influencers to connect with the community around her, and encourage the power of voting to facilitate these necessary changes.
Robert Fleischauer is a current graduate student at the University of Pittsburgh, where he’ll pursue his Masters’s in Social Work with a Home/School Social Worker Certificate. He is a recent graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology with a minor in Psychology while also playing on the college football team for 4 years. He was president and treasurer of his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, which was a part of the Live Like Lou Foundation. That foundation allowed members to help families with loved ones living with ALS. Robert’s main interest in joining the Civic Influencers team is because “Voting is your civic duty”, and it can impact millions of families in many ways from economics to human rights.
Claire Gatz attends the University of Pittsburgh at the Pittsburgh campus. She’s pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a Bachelor of Arts in Public and Professional Writing. Claire is a member of the social sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma and the mentorship organization Strong Women and Strong Girls. She volunteers in Pittsburgh with JFCS, Allegheny Reproductive Health Center and SisterFriend. Claire wants to be a part of the Civic Influencers team because she wants to make participating in democracy as accessible as possible.
Sydney Gant is a senior at Millersville University majoring in English with a minor in Sociology. Sydney is interested in being part of Civic Influencers because Sydney believes that this current time in our lives has the makings of a new precedent. Sydney hopes to serve and inspire others in the community to take part in civic engagement as well.
Hannah Gowdy is a student at Penn State University Park and is studying Labor Employment Relations with a minor in Psychology. She is a member of the Sigma Sigma Sigma Sorority and also a THON Chair. She is set to graduate in the Fall of 2022 and plans to go to law school. She is a part of Civic Influencers to help spread voter education across her campus.
Adriana Jurado is a current second year master’s of social work at University of Pittsburgh specializing in Gender, Sexuality, and Women along with older adults and intergenerational issues and planning. She is a Hartford fellow and a longtime voter advocate!
Mason Kay was born in California and grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Living in a blue collar community had a deep impact on his outlook. With a background that includes art, business and writing, Mason Kay hopes to promote community engagement through media literacy with young people in his area.
Samnang Kim is a second-year, first-generation, low-income, Cambodian student at Bryn Mawr. Samnang is from Seattle, Washington but is currently studying in Pennsylvania. She is trilingual (English, Khmer, and Tieng Viet), and is learning Korean and Chinese. She is studying Biology, in hopes to be able to go to graduate school to get an MPH. I hope to be able to work in public health one day as a physician at a community hospital.
Liz Kittle is a senior sociology student at Penn State University. She is minoring in human development and family studies. She aims to be a middle school teacher! Liz is incredibly passionate about voting rights and ensuring that the youth get out to vote, and making sure that each voter is educated on candidates and has the resources to make a sound decision.
Julia Koehl is a student at University of Pittsburgh studying political science and history. She is super excited to be a part of CEEP this semester. Voting is very important to Julia and she wants to do whatever she can to engage other students on campus. Pennsylvania is a major state in this year’s election, so there is an extra emphasis to increase voter turnout, especially with students.
Nicole Kruse is a passionate third-year student majoring in History and Italian at Penn State University. Her professional and academic interests include public policy, civic engagement, advocacy, human rights, and political experience opportunities. Following the completion of Nicole’s undergraduate degrees, she plans to pursue law.
Ananda Lindsey is an undergraduate of the University of Bridgeport majoring in Nursing. Throughout her first year at school she has done nothing but thrive, by obtaining an on-campus job, making Dean’s List, becoming an Orentation Leader, praticipating in 3 clubs, and pledging Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. in the spring. Ananda is described to be fun, lovable, and always ready to lend a helping hand. The reason why Ananda is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team is because she thinks that it is a great way to connect with her community, and make an impact it.
Paulie Loscalzo was born in Riverhead, NY on Long Island. A freshman at Drexel University, he is majoring in Legal Studies and Sports Business. From a young age, Paulie has been passionate about civic engagement, and he is so excited to bring more awareness and accessibility to public participation in politics to University City.
Caroline MacDonald is a graduate student at Tufts University and Tufts Medical Center, completing her Master of Science in Nutrition and Dietetic Internship. She has a B.A. in Psychology and B.S. in Nutrition and is excited to continue her education in Nutrition. Caroline joined the Civic Influencers team because she is passionate about ensuring young voices and votes matter in American democracy, and fighting for youth voting rights and the policies that impact young people and Black, Indigenous, Youth of Color communities (BIYoC).
Olivia Maddox is a freshman Environmental Studies & Sustainability major at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. She is a member of the Pennoni Honors College and the club track team. She is passionate about equity in voting rights and is exciting to help promote this on campus!
Michael Martinez is enrolled in Kutztown University pursing a Bachelor’s in Political Science. He is part of the Model United Nations club on campus, and is one of two Founding Brothers of the Kutztown University Associate Chapter of Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity, Inc. As a Latino, Michael strives to correct political injustices amongst the community and is passionate about youth and minority political empowerment.
Kathryn McFarland is a first-year student at Drexel University majoring in environmental science. She loves the outdoors, loves to stay active, and loves to spend time with friends and family. She is currently in the process of joining Alpha Omega Epsilon, the sorority for underrepresented persons in STEM. As a new voter herself, she knows the difficulties that can come with voting, and she is looking forward to helping her community gain more knowledge about the voting process and encouraging more people to VOTE!
Kylie McGovern is a sophomore at La Salle University. She is majoring in political science and has minors in communications and leadership and global understanding. She is from the Philadelphia area and enjoys spending time outside, exercising, and trying new restaurants. Kylie was interested in being a Civic Influencers fellow because she thinks that young people have not only the opportunity but the duty to vote and be politically engaged for a better future for our country.
Jalen McNeely attends Kutztown University as a Public Administration major with a minor in political science. She is a part of the Pennsylvania National Guard; after the completion of college I plan to attend officer candidate school. I’m interested in being a Civic Influencer for one specific reason; that is people have a voice and they need to be heard. So many people don’t realize how powerful there voice can be or how much of a impact they can make on this world.
Joshua McVey works towards his goal of progressive campaign finance reform by combining experience in marketing small businesses and campaign management.
Nina Mitchell is a senior attending Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania majoring in Marketing with a minor in Art. Once Nina graduates, she would like to attend grad school in Philadelphia and get her masters in Art History. Nina is very excited to be a part of the Civic Influencers team because she is passionate about educating young people on the importance of voting and politics. She would like to inspire students to take agency in their own communities.
Danielle O’Brien is a Junior at La Salle University where she majors in International Relations with a minor in Spanish. Danielle is the politics section editor for the La Salle Collegian, the school newsletter at La Salle University. Aside from the Collegian, Danielle works as a peer ESL tutor for the BUSCA program as well as being involved in the O.L.A.S club (organization of Latin American Students) on the La Salle University campus. She is an advisor to the honors program student council at La Salle. She was interested in becoming a part of the Civic Influencers organization as she recognized it to be one of the most effective programs of getting today’s youth educated and involved in the issues that impact them the most.
Gabriela Perez is a junior psychology major at Temple University. She also minors in criminal justice. Gabriela’s goal of becoming an attorney came from the ideas that everyone deserves an equal chance to have a voice and be heard. Gabriela wants to be a Civic Influencer because she wants to be informed about what is going on around her and be a voice for first-generation Mexican Americans.
Olivia Pinocci-Wrightsman is a first year at University of Pittsburgh and she plans to major in Politics and Philosophy. She is involved in Pitt Votes and diversity, equity, and inclusion advocacy, and she has worked on numerous political campaigns. She truly believes in the impact of individual’s voices and is excited to help empower community members through Civic Influencers.
Daphne Plantner attends the University of Pittsburgh where she is majoring in Ecology and Evolution with a Spanish Minor and Certificate of Sustainability. She is involved with Engineers Without Borders and Pitt Votes on her campus. Daphne is planning to use Civic Influencers’ resources and network to further her current work with Pitt Votes to register, educate, and engage first-year students.
Natalayna Purnell is a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. She is very involved in her community as the events coordinator for Penn Leads The Vote, fellow and multimedia staffer for The Daily Pennsylvanian, and Robeson Cooper Scholar. She joined the Civic Influencers team to help increase youth civic engagement, remove barriers many face to voting, and further develop herself as an advocate.
Yeismarie Rivera-Olivo is an undergraduate, native Puerto Rican living in the heart of North Philadelphia. Active in many communities in her College, Yeis is apart of life changing organizations such as #CCPVotes, the Women’s Advocacy Center, and Institute for Community Engagement and Civic Leadership, all which help, educate, and empower students from multiple backgrounds. Coming from a low-income background herself, Yeis understands the struggles students go through when learning about life long skills such as voting, housing, and healthcare. As a member of the Civic Influencers team, Yeis is able to help people from similar backgrounds to her own, giving other the same support she needed!
Maria Rovito is currently a doctoral candidate in American Studies at Penn State Harrisburg. Maria’s research includes a variety of fields, primarily disability studies, women’s studies, and medical humanities. She won the Graduate Student Writing Award this semester for her final paper from an independent study that she completed with Dr. John Haddad, her dissertation chair. Maria teaches courses at Penn State Harrisburg revolving around these fields, and she is excited to teach the brand-new class this upcoming fall—English 228: Introduction to Disability Studies in the Humanities. Maria’s previous students are greatly intrigued by disability studies thanks to her work, and her fall 2020 class is currently working on building a Disabled Students’ Organization here on campus with Maria as president, a place where disabled Penn State students can come together and organize for greater awareness of disabilities on campus. Maria is diagnosed with endometriosis, a chronic illness that affects one out of ten women, and is an endometriosis advocate online.
Daniel Scott is a senior at Lackawanna College in Scranton, PA. He is part of his school’s writing program to obtain his Bachelor’s Degree in Professional Studies. His interests are entering the field of journalism upon obtaining his Bachelor’s. Daniel joined the team because of his concern for voting rights across the country as well as the state of democracy.
Ruby Scupp is a freshman at the University of Pittsburgh, pursuing majors in Politics-Philosophy and Psychology, with a minor in Legal Studies. She is an ambassador for PittVotes, an active member of Women in Law and the Psychology Club, and a volunteer for the Harry Potter themed service organization Project Potter. Ruby is ecstatic to be part of the Civic Influencers team because she is passionate about facilitating a campus environment that makes voting more accessible, in hopes of uplifting the valuable and diverse voices of her peers.
Max Senlick is a freshmen Philosophy & Pre-Law major at Washington & Jefferson College in Washington, Pennsylvania. Max is involved in the Washington Fellows alongside being the secretary of the Student Voter Coalition. Through the Civic Influencers team, he hopes to fight voter suppression as well as unsafe drug use in Washington.
Daisy Shephard is a senior at Bryn Mawr College majoring in Environmental Studies with a focus on Land Use and Justice. They are currently serving as the Secretary of Bryn Mawr’s Self-Governing Association and work in the Civic Engagement Office as a student coordinator, running the community garden. She is passionate about community engagement, accountability, and open source data projects! Daisy joined Civic Influencers to help make his academic community more open to having difficult conversations and finding joy in civic participation!
Mike Shott, Jr. is a recent graduate of the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Communication Arts & Sciences, a minor in Civic & Community Engagement, and a Certificate in Social Justice. Mike has been making hip hop music since high school. Last summer, he started up a local organization called Reading Hip Hop Collective that aims to educate young artists about the music industry and provide a platform for support and community in and around the Reading Area. Mike is excited to be a part of the Civic Influencers team so that he can make a positive impact on his community and inspire other young leaders to see themselves as changemakers.
Sydney Smichnick is a third-year student at Penn State University majoring in political science and public relations. At school, she is the internal president of the League of Women Voters at Penn State and Primary THON Chair for the Public Relations Student Society of America. In addition to these two organizations, Sydney is also a member of Empowering Women in Law and the Association of Women in Sports Media, and she is a Strategic Communications Intern for Penn State Athletics. Sydney is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because she would like to continue educating people on voting rights and creating safe spaces to conduct civic discourse.
Sheyla Street is a student, activist, and soldier. From leading voter registration as a Pa Youth Vote Advisory Board Member to helping found the Philly Black Students Alliance to pushing her high school to implement Black students demands, Sheyla has worked to mobilize her peers in order to move forward their agenda of impact and change. As a cadet at West Point, Sheyla studies Cybersecurity and Diversity and Inclusion Studies. Through West Point’s Leadership Ethics and Diversity in STEM conferences and camps, Sheyla mentors and encourages middle and high school students. Sheyla is a member of the trailblazing tenacious tactful Tau Theta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Eli Vachaviolou currently attends Kutztown University of Pennsylvania is a political science major and work as a Spanish medical interpreter of Penn State Health St Josephs. Eli wishes to pursue a career either in diplomacy or working directly with migrant communities. Eli has worked on countless projects for get out the vote and make the road Pennsylvania. That team back in 2018 managed to get the first Latino mayor in the city of Pennsylvania elected as well as the reelection of Governor Tom Wolf.
Eli is interested in the Civic Influencers team because she loves to work with people especially educating people on their civic rights and advocacy.
Hailee Walker is a sophomore student at Drexel University and is studying Nursing with a certificate in Spanish for Healthcare Professionals. Currently, she is a member of the Asian Student Association, and Student Nurses Association, and is also a part of the Pennoni Honors College. Her future plan is to be a NICU travel nurse and eventually become a Nurse Practitioner with her own practice. She wants to be a Civic Influencer because she wants to make a difference in the Philadelphia community by assisting students on campus with registering to vote. She believes that more people will register to vote with the help of a friendly face because that is how she registered.
Jack Warlick is a freshman at Drexel University studying chemical engineering. He really enjoys playing sports and being active outside. Jack is also a member of the fraternity Lambda Chi Alpha. Jack would like to be a Civic Influencer because he never realized the importance of civic engagement until he was exposed to voter engagement through the Civic Influencers on his campus. Jack would like to promote this further since it has helped him become more civically engaged himself.
Meghan Williamson is a recent graduate of Kent State University with a degree in Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology and English. During the 2021-2022 academic year, Meghan served as the Honors College Senator for the Undergraduate Student Government. Meghan will be attending grad school for Speech-Language Pathology in the fall at George Washington University. She is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team because she believes everyone deserves a voice, both physically and figuratively, and civic engagement is a step towards allowing everyone to have a voice.
Aidan Winkler is currently a first-year student at Drexel University in the city of Philadelphia. He is a member of the Penonni Honors College and is studying Management Information Systems. While away from school, he likes to hike, distance run, and continue his hobby of woodworking. Aidan is super excited to begin working as a Civic Influencer and fight for youth civic power!
Regina Yeung is a sophomore political science major with a minor in biology. She is involved in many clubs/organizations on campus such as First Generation Student Alliance, Colleges Against Cancer, Student Ambassadors and many more. She is also part of the Wood Honors College, as she is co-chair of the Activities Committee, that hosts events for the Honors College. She is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team to raise awareness in communities that are not getting equitable representation.
Teddy Zhmut is a second-year student at Mongomery County Community College located in Blue Bell, PA. He is majoring in Business Administration, serving as the Vice President of Student Government, and is a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Teddy joined the Civic Influencers team is due to his strong passion for politics and being part of positive change. Last semester, this program gave him hands-on experience in increasing student voter tunrout and helped enlighten many students about the significance of the past election and why their votes truly matter.
Kylie Dykgraaf is a senior at Middle Tennessee State University studying exercise science and psychology. She is interested in the Civic Influencers program because she wants to make an impact on her community and promote civic engagement. She is the president of the American Democracy Project, Club Volleyball Team, and Rotaract Club at MTSU.
Miura Rempis is a Master of Public Policy and Administration student online at American University in Washington, DC but currently lives in and serves Nashville, Tennessee. She is also graduate of Middle Tennessee State University. In 2020, she published a children’s book titled “Smarticle Particles and Constitutional Articles: Understanding the Articles and Amendments to the US Constitution”, as part of her pageant platform titled, “The Power of Civic Engagement”. Miura is a two-time local pageant titleholder under the Miss Volunteer America Scholarship Pageant Organization, and serves Tennessee as Miss Midtown 2022. She is also host to the Smarticle Particles Podcast, which focuses on debate and civic engagement as an adult-oriented extension of her book series. Find her on all social media at @miuradorable!
Alyssa Acosta is currently 19 years old and attends Texas A&M International University in Laredo, TX. She is a first-generation college student and is doing her major in Political Science and minor in Communications. She participates on campus as a Co-President of the MOVE Texas organization at TAMIU, a member of the Campus Activity Board, and a member of the Student Philanthropy Ambassadors. After working with MOVE Texas as a volunteer and employee she saw the importance and the true influence in educating young voters on why their votes matter and on educating them on how to properly participate in the civic engagement process!
Angela Acosta currently attends UTRGV and is pursuing a biology degree as well as a teacher certification. She also spend my weekends volunteering for my local state park Resaca de la Palma.
Rakhi Agrawal (she/her/ella) is an educator, community organizer, data scientist, capacity-builder, and nonprofit consultant working at the intersections of equity, justice, and liberation for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC).
Currently, Rakhi organizes within the Community-Centric Fundraising movement, a global push to dismantle white supremacist structures within fundraising and philanthropy in order to fundamentally disrupt the nonprofit industrial complex.
She is guided by Kimberlé Crenshaw’s framework of intersectionality, bell hook’s ideas of revolutionary love, Audre Lorde’s poetry and notions of resilience, and Adrienne Marie Brown’s strategic dreaming.
This work has taken her from being a grassroots community organizer, advocate, and movement builder to a classroom teacher, coach, tutor, and curriculum writer to a nonprofit development director, interim ED, grant writer, program manager, and operations manager to a machine learning engineer and data scientist and beyond, always seeking mergers within these roles in order to create a world she has never seen.
She is committed to building community with people who share vision, values, frameworks, and joy, on work that radically redistributes power to intersectional BIPOC communities.
Ruby Alanis is a senior at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, TX, triple majoring in International Development, International Studies, and International Business with minors in Finance, Economics, and Latin American Studies. She is also pursuing a Masters’s Degree in Business Administration. Ruby is involved with a campus initiative which promotes sustainability and spirit, is a Study Abroad Global Ambassador, and mentors students who want to study abroad.
Trinity Altemeyer hails from the Rio Grande Valley and goes to school in Nacogdoches. She is majoring in Political Science with a minor in French, at Stephen F. Austin State University. Where she is also involved with campus political groups, the Model EU, and is soon to become a Political Science tutor. She firmly believes that while it may be disheartening to see the rise in voter suppression in Texas, encouragement and education will help overcome these hurdles.
Hermela Aregay is a sophomore at Abilene Christian University. She is majoring in Social Work with a Pre-Law concentration. She is an officer for a campus political organization and the African Students’ Association. Hermela is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because she wants a foundation she can build off of to begin her career in social justice.
Alma Arellano is a PR Specialist in a local magazine that embraces femininity, culture and her border city’s lifestyle. In addition, she is a social media manager with accounts that help uplift community voices through art and events. As a first generation Latina graduate, Alma always dreamed of making sure that her people’s voice was heard miles and miles away because she believes her community is unique and beautiful. Alma joined Civic Influencers to increase her knowledge and help her community become even more informed.
Vanessa Fernandez is a RGV native currently living in Austin, TX. She used to be an ELA middle school teacher in Donna, TX, but now she recruits people to be teachers through Teach For America remotely. Vanessa is also a full time Masters in Social Work student at UTRGV. She is interested in being part of the Civil Influencers team because she would love to make an impact in her new community in Austin. Vanessa has yet to have the opportunity to know the community networks here and how she can make a difference, therefore this would be a great opportunity to get involved.
Isaiah Franklin is currently a sales agent, jumping into the tech industry. Right now he is working on a Google UX certification as well as a coding bootcamp. Isaiah loves to learn so that’s why he excited to join Civic Influencers’ team.
Ana Fuentes is currently a second year student at The University of Texas at Austin, majoring in Government and attaining a certificate in Public Policy. Ana is active on her university campus, through her involvement in Hook the Vote, a student government agency, aiming to increase civic engagement on the UT Austin campus. Ana is excited to be a part of the Civic Influencers team, as she hopes to gain more knowledge in regard to increasing civic engagement!
Juan Andres (Andy) Garcia is a first-generation Mexican American, born and raised in Brownsville, TX. Andy holds a bachelor’s degree in emerging media and communications from The University of Texas at Dallas and is a firm believer in advocating for voter’s rights and limiting barriers to access for all disenfranchised voters.
Priscilla Garcia graduated from St. Edward’s University in 2021 with a bachelors in Social Work. Since then she has become a mother and worked at schools. She currently works with CIS to help students connect with the resources they need in order to stay in school. She loves advocating for women, parents, and her community and is very passionate to engage in real change for her Gente.
Rafael Garcia is a freelance videographer and designer living in Dallas, Tx. I mainly work with nonprofits, like big thought. I’m a huge advocate for voting.
Yailen Gomez is a first-generation junior at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley with a major in Biology and UTeach Certification (7th-12th). Yailen is the Vice-President of Community Engagement for the Civic Engagement Alliance under Student Activities at her university. Yailen acts as a bridge between her campus and community through the creation of various initiatives that arise. She hopes to make use of her experience as a civic leader on her campus to have a statewide impact. While staying true to her Mexican roots, Yailen hopes to increase her impact on a wide socio-economic scale.
Valerie Gonzalez is an active community organizer in the Valley, with ongoing projects including Laredo Sustainable, a coalition focusing on climate change on the border and the Laredo Community Fridge, the city’s first community fridge feeding folks through mutual aid. Gonzalez enjoys thrifting, spending time outdoors and engaging in community events.
Osvaldo Grimaldo is a student at the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley majoring in Sociology with a minor in Legal Studies. He is the President of UTRGV’s Civic Engagement Alliance, a state-wide ambassador as a Texas Civic Ambassador, and a member of his U.S. Congressman’s Youth Advisory Council. IOsvaldo became a Civic Influencer to have greater outreach in his community!
Carmen Hernandez comes from a family of teachers in México. She moved to Texas when she was 17 years old and became an American citizen when she was 26 years old. Carmen was a third grade social studies teacher who believes it is extremely important for Latinxs younger generations to understand how they can get involved in civic actions and represent our Hispanic community.
Isabel Herrera is a senior at St. Edwards University, where they are majoring in Global Studies and Political Science. Isabel has worked as a student leader with Texas Rising, as well as a fellow with Planned Parenthood, Jolt, and the Texas Tribune. Their goal is to increase civic engagement in their community and make both state and local governments more accessible for young people and people of color. Being a part of the Civic Influencers team will allow Isabel to continue spreading accurate information about issues that young people care about.
Jaida Johnson attends Trinity University, double majoring in International Studies and Art. She is an illustrator for the campus publication and participates in political activism on campus. Jaida joined Civic Influencer to become engaged with San Antonio’s local non-profit community as well as gain experience in helping with youth activism.
Esma Kurtlu was born in Istanbul, Turkey, where she developed her love for history as she was exposed to Ancient Greece, the Renaissance, and Ottoman remains. She moved to Texas in 2014 and is now attending the University of Houston as a Political Science Major. She is a current member of UNICEF, Student Tennis Club, Students in Justice for Palestine, and MSA. She considers her participation in diverse clubs and with diverse students reveal to her the problems facing society today and will inform her career in International Relations.
Erika Martinez is currently creating a magazine centered towards representing marginalized BIPOC folks through storytelling and art. Erika is passionate about change and she is not afraid to use her voice to stand up for what’s right. She is an avid protestor and budding member of the community. Erika just protested for the leaked draft opinion of Roe v Wade her image has been featured in the New York Times, Statesman, Wallstreet Journal and more.
Rogelio ( Rojo ) Meizueiro attends the University of Texas at Arlington and is a first generation Mexican-American immigrant from Oaxaca, Mexico. He is studying environmental science and sustainable development. Rojo joined the Civic Influencer team because he believe this is the time for young people to take control of their destiny by participating in democracy.
Misael Mendez is currently attending Dallas College with plans to transfer to a 4 year university to major in Public Policy. He currently works for the Democratic Party, interns with a state representative. Misael is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because he wants to encourage more young people and BIPOC to be more politically engaged because young people and BIPOC people can have a lot of influence on the trajectory of the country.
Sage Mitchell is a rising sophomore at Virginia Wesleyan University. She majors in biology and minors in psychology in order to achieve her career goal of becoming a pediatrician. She is a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success chapter on campus. She strives to uplift others and enjoys being active in her community. Sage would like to be a part of the Civic Influencers team because she enjoys being active in her community and she would like to help marginalized groups become more civically engaged.
Christian Ochoa enjoys traveling with his family and friends, going to the gym, and DJing for Quinceneras or Weddings.
Faith Osuji is a 20 year old full time student who loves politics, and is pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in Pre-Law at Virginia Wesleyan University. She very active on campus as she hold many leadership positions in various organizations such as Black Student Union, Alpha Phi Omega, Student Government Association, Marlin Gems and much more. She has dreamed of being a lawyer since her sophomore year of high school due to her love of discourse and meaning behind helping others who don’t have the ability to help themselves. We are currently living in a time where dedication, passion and love for others is strongly needed and this is why she wants to be a part of the Civic Influencers team.
Justin Parker is the Student Body President at Austin Community College majoring in Government. Justin is a Commissioner on the College Student Commission for the City of Austin, the former Vice President of the Student Veterans Association, a member of the PRIDE Club, Government and Political Science Initiative, and Philosophy Club. Justin is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team to get more members of his local community involved in every level of government and all policy decisions affecting our communities.
Mariana Pasillas is currently Palo Alto Community College in San Antonio, Texas. She is a member of various organizations including, Phi Theta Kappa and LeadHers. Miss Pasillas is a passionate about aiding her community through empowerment, outreach, and volunteer work. Joining the Civic Influencers allows Miss Pasillas to gain further knowledge on how to better serve her community and gain different perspectives on persisting issues in order to provide more concise solutions.
A. Ariana Pérez is an alumna of Eastern Connecticut State University and a nonprofit professional. Her mission is to continually gain the knowledge necessary to better serve and protect her community. She is a huge advocate for the rights of all marginalized individuals and strives to build a more equitable and equal future for all by taking a grassroots approach and building bonds within communities.
Aseneth Quintanilla is a Junior at Texas Tech studying Sociology with a Public Health background. She is hoping to help bridge the gap between behavioral health and well-being through community-based program planning and policy. They have always had a strong passion for engaging with the community to try to better their overall wellness—whether it be through policy, art programs, or health checks. As a Civic Influencer, Aseneth can become a brick in the never ending road to equality for all by spreading awareness to all.
Maham Qureshi is a Junior at the University of Houston where she is majoring in Strategic Communication and minoring in Biology. After graduation, she hopes to go into the law field. The reason she joined Civic Influencers is her belief in voting equity and increasing awareness of voting challenges faced by communities of color.
Sierra Rodriguez is a native-born Texan, and is a rising Junior at American University in Washington D.C. Sierra is a Political Science Major and will graduate with certificates in Advanced Leadership Studies, Women, Policy, and Political Leadership, Community-Based Research, and CITI Certificate for Social and Behavioral Research. Sierra has worked on numerous Texas political campaigns and, currently, is working with prominent former Presidential and Senate Candidate Beto O’Rourke. Sierra is volunteering on Beto’s new youth campaign for governor, Youth4Beto, as the Co-Chief Executive Officer. Sierra is interested in increasing civic engagement as she has been on the front lines fighting the battle against voter suppression through mobilization efforts, op-ed writing, and volunteering as a poll worker. She now wants to continue this work as a Civic Influencer where she hopes to help get more students and young people engaged in our democracy to preserve it for generations to come.
Johnny Ruffer is a Junior at the University of Texas at El Paso, where they major in Political Science and minor in Latin American Border Studies. At UTEP, Johnny serves as a Student Leader with Texas Rising, President of a campus political group, and Co-Chair of UTEP YDSA. Johnny is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencer’s team to engage young El Pasoans in the political process, as the community continues to experience the impacts of climate change, immigration policies, and voter suppression laws.
Sabrina Sha is a first-generation American and an accountant turned fundraiser. She was a staff auditor at KPMG before leaving to serve as Finance Director for James Talarico, the youngest representative in the Texas State Legislature. After working a legislative session, she joined People’s Community Clinic as a nonprofit fundraiser, while continuing her advocacy work as one of the key organizers of Austin’s Stop Asian Hate Rally, bringing thousands together to stand against Asian hate. Now, she works as a fundraiser for the Texas Freedom Network, fighting for progressive values in our state, education, and future leaders of tomorrow while serving as the Vice-Chair and Finance Co-Chair for the Travis County Democratic Party and the President of Asian Democrats Central Texas.
Jose Trevino is a 29 year old currently working in tech sales looking to find ways to help my community. Living in Austin he has always wanted to be a part of an organization like Civic Influencers to be able to help, even if a little.
Vianey Vásquez is 19 years old. She is a sophomore at Texas A&M International University at Laredo, Texas. Vianey is majoring in Business Administration, and a Co-President for the MOVE Texas organization at TAMIU. She would like the opportunity to learn better methods to get people civically engaged so she can apply that to her work at the organization to build more power working with the student engagement at TAMIU.
Jordan Vine is a 22 year old Sociology major at Sam Houston State University. Although she currently reside in Austin, TX, she is still an active member of Student Government Association, and also served as former Vice President of Sociology Club. For 7+ years Jodan has played an active role in my community, and would be honored to join the Civic Influencers team.
Tommy Wan (he/him) is a high school senior at The Village School in Houston Texas. His main areas of interest lie in engineering, civic engagement, urban politics, and music education. He is currently a youth organizing intern for OCA-Greater Houston, Council Member Tiffany Thomas’ office, and completed a voter education fellowship under Dr. Melissa Marschall at Rice University. Through organizing workshops, voter-registration drives, conferences, campaign events, and coalitions, Tommy has worked with the offices at the local level, state level, and federal level—such as Congressman Al Green’s office. He serves on the Mayor’s Youth Council, Youth Police Advisory Board Council, Mi Familia Vota’s environmental justice committee, and is a CFCI Ambassador. He is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because he hopes to mobilize voters in Alief.
Domonique Roy is a recent graduate from Prairie View A&M University where she received her B.A. in Political Science. Throughout college, she served her campus and community as a student leader and activist. She helped organize numerous demonstrations against voter suppression within Waller County. Domonique wants to continue her work as a public servant with Civic Influencers to ensure voting rights for all people and students.
Brandon Torres is a junior level student in Texas A&M International University. He is majoring in Psychology in order to gain a better understanding of society and its ongoing issues. Brandon is excited to be part of the Civic Influencers team to put this knowledge to use for the betterment of society.
Eric Velasquez is an Air Force veteran and currently a local podcaster in San Antonio, Texas. He interviews local candidates running for office in a livestream environment. He also previously ran for office, once in 2018 and again in 2020.
Priscilla Akpalu is a junior Political science Major at the illustrious Virginia State University. She is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because she wants to help educate and support students on her campus when it comes to voting. She hopes with her bright and bubbly personality she can encourage them to be more interested in voting and knowing their voting rights.
TaNiya Bellamy is a senior Political Science major at Virginia State University. She loves all things politics and considers herself an active agent of change! She is extremely excited to kick-off the semester as a Civic Influencer, sighting her love for content creation and politics as the reason she’s so passionate about her journey with this team.
Zoe Deckard is a senior at George Mason University majoring in Government and International Politics. She is a member of the Honors College here at Mason and is very passionate about voting rights; encouraging everyone, especially young people, to get out to vote and be involved in the democratic process.
Keegan Frederick is a senior studying Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Mary Washington. During her recent transfer to this institution, Keegan engaged with numerous campus organizations such as Political Organizations, the Office of Disability Resources, and UMW Votes. She was interested in being a Civic Influencers in order to expand civic engagement and knowledge on her undergraduate campus.
Jack Houston is a Junior studying Government and International Politics Student at George Mason University. After graduation, he’s interested in working for the State Department or in the Intelligence Community. Jack has volunteered with several other Elections Rights/Reforms groups in the past and has a passion for making Democracy work better for everyone.
Kaylah Lightfoot attends the University of Mary Washington. She is heavily involved with her university by working towards equality in progressive and positive ways. Being affiliated with countless clubs and organizations like NAACP, Student Government Association, and UMW Votes the bridge between student impact on and off campus closes in.
Preeti Pandey is a sophomore at Virginia Tech studying political science and legal studies on a pre-law track. Through her work with different political campaigns and learning about the electoral system of the United States, Preeti has noticed the lack of young, engaged voters. She is excited to work as a Civic Influencers and help provide young voters with the resources to recognize how essential their participation in national, state, and local elections is.
Chloe Vanderhoof is currently enrolled at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg VA. She is studying political science with hopes to go into public policy. She is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team because she cares deeply about voting and a person’s right to vote.
Sorin Caldararu is a high school senior who is dually enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Through his extensive participation in competitive debate, Sorin has developed a keen interest in politics, economics, and civic engagement; he hopes to double-major in Math and Economics in college. While working with an organization that advocates for reforms to welfare programs, Sorin realized that the disconnect between legislators and constituents isn’t as large as it seems to be, so he became a Civic Influencer because he hopes to teach other people how to better engage with their government.
Devin Heinz is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. Devin is majoring in Political Science and is interested in learning about the American government and campaigns. This is his first semester as a Civic Influencer and he is excited to help engage his fellow students in democracy.
Ashley Jordan was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI and obtained her Associate degree in Marketing Management and Bachelor’s Degree in Leadership. She is a creative, dedicated to the youth development and community work of Milwaukee and is grateful to continue her work in politics and with the community through Civic Influencers. Psalm 23.
Randi McMorrow is a student at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh studying Business Management and Marketing with a minor in Astronomy. She became a Civic Influencer because she wanted to grow as a person while helping others in the community grow as well.
Alannah Ray a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is pursuing an MS in anthropology and a certificate in museum studies. Alannah believes civic engagement is incredibly important because it directly affects the communities where we personally are invested. One way to be engaged is to vote. Alannah is excited to be a CEEP Fellow because voting is a way for the collective voice to be heard and create change. Addressing the challenges voters face in engagement, education, and accessibility ensures more voices can be considered for the decisions that affect our lives on both a local and national level.
Carly Swaney is a student at the University of Wisconsin Green- Bay majoring in Democracy and Justice Studies with an emphasis on Legal Studies. She is interested in attending law school after graduation. She became a Civic Influencer because she believes in the power of democracy and the strength of young voices.
Zachary Young, a freshman attending the University of Wisconsin: Stevens Point, is a double major in political science and in media studies. He chose to be involved in Civic Influencers to help college-aged students to get out and vote in our elections. Zack’s plans in the future are to join as a sitting member of our government.