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.
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.
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.
Kelly Hashiro attends Arizona State University, double majoring in Global Health and Family & Human Development. She is a part of Changemaker, a student-led initiative dedicated to promoting positive social change on campus. Sitting on both the Civic Engagement and Marketing committees, she has planned and attended several events promoting student civic engagement, while also developing a passion for digital marketing. Recently, she was selected for the Tillman Scholars Leadership Through Action program, in which students take action for the change they wish to see. The disillusionment of 2020 and realization of how deep social issues run has pushed her passion to make a difference to a new level, which is why Kelly wanted to join the Civic Influencer team.
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.
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.
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 studentʼs 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 everyway he can, and by gaining knowledge from this fellowship he can be extremely effective later with his own team.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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, whenhe’s not reading or doing schoolwork at the library, he’s in his room watching movies, the news, or listening to music. Additionally, hisother hobbies are playing Ultimate Frisbee, hiking, and photo editing.
Matthew Delatte wants to be a Civic Influencer because he knows that his passion and tenacity for civic engagement will not only increase voter turnout, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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 were 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 apart 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 apart 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 wont 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Joshua McVey works towards his goal of progressive campaign finance reform by combining experience in marketing small businesses and campaign management.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jules Koehl is a senior at the University of Pittsburgh studying History and Political Science. She has been with this team for four semesters and has enjoyed every minute!
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).
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Daphne Plantner is a student at the University of Pittsburgh pursuing an Ecology and Evolution Major, a Spanish Minor, and a Certificate of Sustainability. At Pitt, she is a Pitt Votes fellow, the Engineers Without Borders student chapter secretary, and an avid volunteer. She also loves painting, hiking, and playing board games with her friends. Daphne is excited to continue civically engaging and educating first-year students on Pittsburgh’s campus with the Civic Influencers team.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 poltiical groups, the Model EU, and is soon to become a Politcal 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 became 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 to 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 non profits, 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 whom believe 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 apart 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 pursing 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 apart 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 apart 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 apassionate 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 poltical 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 an 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 kickoff 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 persons 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.