Meet our 2024 Civic Influencers

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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 2022-2023 Civic Influencers click here.

Civic Influencers Video 2022

Malea Benjamin is a senior at The University of Alabama, double majoring in Communication Studies and Political Science on the Pre-Law track. She is actively involved on campus and within her community, holding multiple leadership roles such as Director of Engagement for the Student Government Association, 2023 Organizing Fellow for Woke Vote, Greek Ambassador, Director of Campus Outreach for UA Student Homecoming Board, member of Blackburn Institute, member of Vote Everywhere UA, and Leadership Fellow for her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She is also a member of several honors societies including The XXXI, Anderson Society, Blue Key, and Mortar Board. Malea is interested in joining the Civic Influencers team because of her passion for empowering and mobilizing voters, and her desire to make a positive impact on the electoral process.

Kaila Pouncy recently graduated from The University of Alabama, Summa Cum Laude, with a B.A. in Criminal Justice and Political Science. While at the university, she held leadership positions across several organizations that promote civic engagement, such as the Blackburn Institute, Student Government Association, the Women and Gender Resource Center, IGNITE National, and the Lambda Zeta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. A trailblazer and a community leader, Kaila has a wide range of experience serving in the community, especially through the founding of her organization, Tide Against Time. Kaila has gained experience through fellowships and internships with several highly esteemed social action organizations including the ACLU of Alabama, Alabama Appleseed, IGNITE, Southern Black Girls, Woke Vote and Congresswoman Terri Sewell. She has been referenced by a number of media outlets including The Birmingham Times, The Guardian and USA Today. Her plans for post-graduation include exploring criminal justice reform opportunities through the nonprofit sector and progressing on to law school.

Leopoldo Beltran is a construction management junior at Northern Arizona University. Being involved in his community and making a change is something that drives him, reason to become involved in civic engagement organizations.

Valeria Garcia is a first-generation student and American. She attends Cochise College, works in the financial aid office at campus and is a member of PTK honor society. English is her second language; school was difficult for her, but she still manages and is currently studying psychology. She is passionate about democracy and the idea of youth raising their voices in an inclusive place where everyone is welcome.

Daniel Kocian attended Scottsdale Community College. He is passionate about online safety and climate change. He is interested in being a part of Civil Influencers team to get the younger audience more invested and involved in politics.

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.

Yudidt Nonthe Sanchez served as our Civic Influencer at Arizona State University (ASU) She is a transfer student from Mesa Community College to ASU. Yudidt has been civically engaged with many local and national political campaigns since high school. She has volunteered over 500 hundred hours in her community to support efforts and organizations she believes in, including voter registration to service at the local hospital. Yudidt plans to run for office in Arizona to represents Latinas in political office. Her dream is to be on the City of Mesa Council and prepare herself to be the first Latina Mayor of her city. Through Civic Influencer, she dreams of bringing young people to get out to vote. She is pursuing a degree in Public Service and Public Policy. She is alumni of the Andrew Goodman Fellowship, IGNITE National and Poder LATINX.

She is interested in being part of the team because she has seen the policy affect her community. She wants to vote in every election because many people from her community can’t vote.

Jessica Quesada

Jessica Quesada is a Senior majoring in Business Administration at Arizona State University. She will be pursuing her Master of Business Administration in the Fall of 2023. She is interested in pursuing this role because she cares deeply about enhancing the lives of those around her and aims to make a positive contribution to her community.

Maria Villalobos

Maria Villalobos attends Gateway Community College as a full-time student majoring in philosophy. She has a passion for helping her community and spend her free-time volunteering at non-profits around her city. Maria also passionate about social change and leadership, which is why she serves as club president at my club’s Hispanic Student Organization.

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.


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.

Miles Parker is enrolled at Vanguard University and studies History and Political science and is currently part of the Peacemakers club at Vanguard. Miles is also planning to intern in Washington D.C as well in the spring semester at Vanguard. Miles is passionate about the Civic Influencers team because he is interested in diversifying the campus.

Daniel Placencia is a rising figure in the new leftist movement, determined to effect change that benefits the working man. He attends Concordia University Irvine as a Political Science student. As a young and accomplished political activist, Daniel has become a part of the Orange County Democratic Socialists’ board, supporting labor unions, leftist political candidates, and protests. He is also a founding member of the Santa Ana Guys For Good, an organization that funds public projects in the local community. Daniel’s aspiration is to join the Civic Influencers team, aiming to gain more experience working within the system and network with other politically-minded individuals.


Alyssa Hollos is a student at Colorado Mesa University, majoring in Sociology, with minors in Psychology and Women and Gender Studies. She is passionate about bettering the world we live in, and making the world a more inclusive place for all.

William Navarrete Moreno is a Public Health student at the University of Colorado Denver, passionately advocating for healthcare equity and policy reform. Born to undocumented immigrants from Guerrero, Mexico, his personal experiences inspire his commitment to transforming the American healthcare system. As the founder of the student organization, Coalition for Health Advancement and Narrowing Gaps in Equity, a member of the Youth Advisory Board at Young Invisibles, and as a student researcher examing the impacts of anti-immigrant rhetoric on cardiovascular health, William actively works towards uplifting marginalized communities. Joining the Civic Influencers team, he seeks to empower others and create meaningful change in healthcare access for all, leveraging his unique perspective to build an inclusive, representative, and passionate movement.

As a first-gen Chicano student currently attending FRCC, Jose Perez Alonzo has hopes of being successful and able to not only provide for his family but his community as well. Currently he is studying to become a social worker, but as he is not 100% certain it will allow his goals to become a reality, he still considering his options and external sources that he could take in order to become successful. Due to this and his passion for giving back, he has joined several organizations such as TRIO, LEIA/LEADS, SGA (at FRCC), and has conducted independent research and outreach in order to better understand and address the issues surrounding his community properly. He is passionate and recognizes the only way to make things better is to become active in the civic landscape and encourage others to do the same. Gota por Gota

After completing his associates alongside his high school diploma, Dionisio Samora transferred to Colorado State University of Pueblo with plans to complete a bachelors in Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. His interest in policy and advocacy began with the non-profit organization, Young Invincibles, where he gained the knowledge and tools for proper advocacy. Learning the importance of getting young adults involved with politics has inspired him to get others his age involved, especially those who are historically underrepresented. By educating young adults, he believes we can see the change we want come to fruition.


Parcel Stevens is a 21-year-old college student currently enrolled at Aims Community College, they also work at Aims part-time as part of the student ambassador team in the advising office. They love being a part of community projects and events, they helped paint a public piano mural at the Aims campus and volunteer regularly with different political organizations. Parcel wants to be a part of the Civic Influencers team because they believe it’s important for people to get involved in the world around them and fight for the world they want to see, young people especially, and they want to do their part to get their friends and peers educated and active.


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.

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.


Christopher Ashman is an active member of the National Federation of the Blind since 2018 who strives to raise the expectations of blind people. After graduating from the Louisiana Center for the Blind, he has always had the passion of working with blind and visually impaired youth to increase their independence. He has volunteered with several independence training programs for blind children such as the NFB Bell Academy, Camp Ability and also worked with young adults who are blind and visually impaired, helping them to be an active member of society. Christopher has been involved with a number of community service groups since 2016, and is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team because he is committed to making Young voices matter.


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.

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.

Linnette Jones is a Swiss Army Knife of skills. From being an Ordained Minister, a Notary and thensome to learning how to build a small business. Just like when she crochets, Linnette likes to take her time on what she’s creating for people while giving her all. She always wants to help and aid others in the hopes of making the world a better place to exist and being a Civic Influencer matches that dream in many ways.

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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.

Anne O’Brien is a first year student at the University of Michigan. She is interested in studying Political Science or Public Policy. She is involved in several clubs, including: Turn Up Turn Out and Students for Democracy. Annie hopes to work as a lawyer or run for public office after college, and hopes to get more youth voter engagement through Civic Influencers.

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.


Kristina Aleksanyan is a Political Science student at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She is involved in the Pre-Law Women Association and the Dean’s Student Advisory Council at UNLV. She is interested in this position as teaching others about civic education is so important to her. Her parents are immigrants so she didn’t understand the importance of civic participation and education. Now, her goal is to help educate others who are in a similar position as her.

AmiDayne Nelsen is a 22 year old Native American woman enrolled in University of Nevada Las Vegas‘s Philosophy major with a law and justice concentration. She grew up in rural Nevada and have dedicated her life to giving back to her community. She decided to attend University to spread knowledge, support, and awareness to those in her community about the experiences women of color endure throughout their adult life, professional careers, and schooling. As a pre-law student she has taken it upon herself to become more involved in voting on campus, community outreach, and volunteering for events. She is extremely interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team and be able to further the spread and outreach of awareness and positivity for students of color.

As Jesus Villanueva heads into his third year as an undergraduate student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas – he hopes to continue his pursuit in attaining a bachelor’s degree in political science. Currently, Jesus is an intern at the Intersection which is UNLV’s multicultural resource center where he is tasked with researching and planning events that will serve their diverse student population with workshops, handouts, and 1-on-1 conversations. Additionally, Jesus is an intern at Higbee and Associates where he assist with liaison work between the courts, district attorney’s office, and his legal team to best represent their client with post-conviction relief. As if that were not enough, Jesus also took on the role of being a senator for his college with the Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada Las Vegas to ensure that his perspective is of use to addressing needs and resource gaps on campus. Being someone with such a diverse background , Jesus understands the hardship that his intersectionality entails which is why he is passionate about creating change for his community. Jesus hopes to attain a role as a civic influencer because he is well-aware of the impact his state has during election cycles and understands the voters that need to be targeted to increase voter turnout in Nevada.

Felisha Wells is currently enrolled in Graduate school at UNLV , one of the most diverse universities. She is interested in the Civic Influencers team because she can see the direction this country and world is going . She wants to be the change that is needed ; everyone should be able to voice their opinions and concerns . she fears that if this country continues to go in the direction of hate and fear mongering , we won’t have democracy. History is being erased , hate is spreading , lies and covering the truth , and certain individuals are attempting to destroy democracy, and this cannot happen .

New york

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.

Nyla Brotherson is a recent college graduate looking to gain more experience advocating for services within marginalized communities.

Raised in the foothills of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Khamkay Inthavong (She/Her) is currently a senior at Adelphi University. She is studying International Business and Spanish in hopes of providing aid to immigrants and reducing poverty in under-developing countries. She currently serves as the Public Relations Officer in the Levermore Global Scholars program, a media specialist for the Adelphi Athletics Department, a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, and an Admissions Ambassador for the University. Her passion for community outreach, social progress, and cross-cultural experiences align with Civic Influencers’ goals of empowering young people to center their collective voices and alter the landscape of opportunities to be equal for everyone. She aims to increase people’s engagement in the community and strengthen their voices in the public forum. Outside of work and school, Khamkay is a yogini, soft-boiled egg connoisseur, and comedy-film enthusiast.

Joe Sawma is an international student from Lebanon and is the first in his family to pursue a college degree. He attends Adelphi University on Long Island in New York. He is part of the Levermore Global Scholars Program which is a unique program at his school concerned with global problem solving and civic engagement. Joe is also representing his college this academic year in Boston as their Newman Civic Fellow winner. He is very excited to join the Civic Influencers team so he could share his perspective on how to tackle societal issues on an individual level.

North carolina

Rejoice Awute is a freshman in College at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. Her area of study is International and Global Studies. She hopes to one day become a Human Right Attorney. This year she joined Global Solutions which is a program where she holds conversations and debate with student from the Middle East. She also joined the North Carolina Coalition For Africans. It’s a refugee resettlement agency.

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.

Heaven Brown is a senior Psychology and Criminal Justice major from Anson County, NC attending Elizabeth City State University. Heaven is very active on campus participating in organizations like psychology club, and 1704 media production (a student lead media team), along with being a study abroad ambassador and tour ambassador for ECSU. Heaven is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencer Team because she believes everyone’s voice is valuable and important, she understands why many young have lost their will to vote or care about important issues being decided for us every day. She hopes that being a Civic Influencer will give her the resources she needs to help the youth find their passion for democracy.

Charity Carrasquillo is a first-gen sophomore honors political science/business administration student and she attends North Carolina A&T State University as a February One Scholar. She is part of the Fraternal Relations Committee at NCAT’s chapter of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. She is also engaged as a Secretary of Bridgeway Mentorship, which is an organization built for high school minorities to share similar resources to be successful in their transition from high school to college. She wants to be part of the Civil Influencers team due to her future pursuits of grassroots advocacy and in ensuring that minorities have a voice in all political occasions.

Aura Celeste moved to North Carolina from Florida to be closer to her family as she finishes her college degree. She is in the US Army Reserves and works part-time, however she describes her main occupations as being a full-time student and a full-time dog momma. Because of her fascination with science and nature, Aura is currently pursuing a degree in Biology. She attends Wake Tech Community College Southern Campus and is a member of the Spanish Club, Full Spectrum GSA, and the Philosophy Club. She wants to be a part of the Civic Influencers teams because as a young person, she wants to learn more about the current state of democracy of the country and her role in it.

Candace Fant is from South Carolina, and is currently a rising senior at Guilford College in Greensboro North Carolina, double majoring in Public Health and Community and Justice Studies. She is a Quaker Leadership Scholar, Multicultural Leadership Scholar, and member of the Guilford Christian Ministry. She has a desire to serve and be an advocate for communities who have been denied resources, service, and equal rights. She also wants to be more educated on processes that achieve this.

Diamond Faulcon is currently a Career Coach at Halifax Community College, where she assists local high school students with their post graduation endeavors. After graduating college, she moved back to her home county because she is passionate about fighting for equitable opportunities for minorities in her community. In her free time from trying to change the world, she enjoys caring for her puppy Dior and eating her way around the world through various travel excursions. She is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team because she is actively trying to find ways to create positive change and get a seat at the table.

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.

Aakilah Green is currently a rising junior enrolled at The Illustrious Elizabeth City State University. She serves as The Campus Activity Board President. Also is an Elementary Education major with a concentration in mathematics.

Charnice Horne is a newly graduated Political Science student looking to make change in North Carolina and the broader United States. She is the founder of the upcoming independent journalism organization Film Dork Productions, the organization that seeks to education Generation Z on the importance of civics education and getting involved not only nationally but also within local and state politics. In addition to this Charnice has also worked directly with the North Carolina Democratic Party as a Data Fellow and Charnice Horne wants to make a change in lives of people of color, in particular faith-based black communities who may not be as politically aware as they should be. Charnice’s work often centers Generation Z as well as people of color, in an attempt to create a more inclusive and affordable world for the people who are often considered at the bottom. Charnice Horne wants to be apart of Civic Influencers to help be apart of the change that the next generation will make happen in order to change not only America but the world at large.

Ahlanna Jackson is an undergraduate student currently attending Wake Forest University and pursuing a major in Politics and International Affairs. She is passionate about community organization and advocating for the representation, health, and safety of marginalized communities in the US. Gaining experience from her position on GLSEN’s National Student Council as well as various leadership positions she has held in the past, Ahlanna is an outspoken member of her community who is looking forward to encouraging her Gen Z peers to utilize their civic power. Finally, Ahlanna is excited to be a part of the Civic Influencers team so that she can show her community that we have the power to make change in society, and it starts with a vote!

Adia Johnson is a third-year industrial and systems engineering student at North Carolina A&T State University. On campus she’s apart of two community service organizations , verge modeling troupe, and the core technical officer for the google student developer club. She is interested in becoming apart of this team to get more educated on civic matters and voting as well as being a voice for my peers.

Mary Liu is a freshman student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is currently working towards her Political Science degree. She started her journey of advocacy in her high school career, where she focused on helping her school, local government agencies, and national organizations. She believes the voices of every individual are extremely important, and these ideas of diversity create a healthy democratic society. Mary was interested in joining the Civic Influencers team because she wanted to do her part in creating a diverse, inclusive, and equal society.

Arion Louallen attends South Piedmont community college. His major is Early Childhood Education, he is currently working with older 1 year olds. He is interested in being part of the Civic Influencers team for many reasons. He wants to learn more and grow as a person, he wants to be able to give back to his community. He wants to meet new people and learn their ideas on making the community better for everyone.

Niayah McFadden is a first-generation college student attending Fayetteville State University. She is a rising junior majoring in Political Science. She lost her mother her sophomore year of college due to cancer and while grieving with the significant loss of her mother, she found healthy ways to cope such as, joining organizations on campus. She is a part of the Student Conduct board, Political science club, NCNW (National Council of Negro Women), R.O.O.T.S mentoring, matriculation mentoring program, Air Force ROTC cadet, food pantry volunteer as well as serving as an executive board member in Bronco wellness. Not only do these organizations fulfil her soul with positivity, but this is also a way she can reach out and give back to her community. After graduating she plans to attend Law school and become an officer in the United States Air Force in hopes of becoming a Supreme Court Justice. Most importantly the reason why she wants to be a Civic Influencer is to emphasize the importance of voting in the community of young adults and making sure the needs of the students are taken care of. She believes this generation will be our future advocates and we must be knowledgeable ourselves to be able to obtain and pass on knowledge to generations to come. Her whole life she watched her family live up to societies standards on what a black family should live like in poverty, and it is her mission to change that narrative and make a change. Being a Civic Influencer would absolutely be a great start to a positive change within her community.

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.

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.

Angela Quintanilla-Capawana is currently an incoming freshman at Duke University, hoping to study Public Health and Biology. She plans to get involved in her campus cultural and queer organizations, as well as Define America, Wind Symphony, and DDR. They are passionate about equity for not only their own communities, but for all who are marginalized and find Civic Influencers to be a supportive community of others who want just that.

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.

Jordan Thorton is a Senior Psychology Student at the illustrious Elizabeth City State University. Jordan is a member of the University’s Honors Program, the Delta Chi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, the National Council of Negro Women, Incorporated, the Viking R.A.C.E. Program, the National Society of Leadership and Success, the TRIO Student Support Services Program, the Standford University Innovation Fellows Program, the Peer Wellness Ambassadors Program, and I currently serve as the 89th Miss Elizabeth City State University. She is interested in being a part of the Civic Influencers team is because she is passionate about educating her peers about civic engagement. In the Fall of 2022, she served as a civic engagement ambassador for her university. She had the pleasure of getting students registered to vote and educating them about voters’ education. Becoming a Civic Influencer will give her the platform to continuously do what she loves.


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.

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.


Kaia Eikenberry is a student at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Oregon, majoring in International Affairs and minoring in Political Science. They currently serve as the treasurer of the Palatine Hill Student Voters club, a civics and political awareness organization on campus, and have worked in the past for organizations such as My School Votes. Kaia is passionate about encouraging and supporting others in participating in our political system. They are interested in becoming a Civic Influencer Fellow so that they can better reach their community and be a part of a larger movement of young activists.

Julia Einaudi is a sophomore environmental studies student at Lewis & Clark College who is passionate about climate issues and political action. She is currently the social media director for the Palatine Hill Student Voters club, and has been working with her fellow members to encourage students to be politically active. She is also involved with Lewis & Clark’s student government, serving as a senator her freshman year, and currently as a member of cabinet. She is interested in being a Civic Influencer because she believes that encouraging youth to vote is one of the strongest ways to combat the threat of climate change.

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.”

Aidan Ringel is currently attending Lewis & Clark College and studying Political Science. He is a co-founder and Vice Chair of a civic education club on campus, he is also the founder of the Triathlon club and is a member of the swim team. Aidan is from central Washington and has worked on numerous campaigns and another voter advocacy club back home. Aidan wants to join the Civic Influencer team because he is already doing many things that are required and he also wants to have guidance and further grow his skills in order to become a better organizer.


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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Rhode Island

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!


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.