Meet the folks who make up the YI team! See below for our staff bios, and for a full directory list, please click here.

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    Kristin McGuire

    Executive Director
    She/Her/Hers

    Kristin McGuire is the Executive Director for Young Invincibles. Kristin assumes this role having most recently served as YI West Regional Director, where she has spent the last five years empowering young adults to advocate for higher education, health care, and economic policies.

    Kristin brings years of community organizing and policy change expertise to her role as Executive Director. As a first-generation college student from a single-parent household – she is driven by a deep understanding of the needs of under-resourced communities and has helped shift power to young adults from these communities over the last decade.

    Kristin’s recent successes include shaping policies that will protect the financial health of young Californians as they enter adulthood such as the California Student Borrowers’ Bill of Rights 2019 (AB 376), the Student Civic and Voter Empowerment Act of 2019, and the College Student Hunger Relief Act 2016 (AB 1747). But her most prized accomplishment is not her own, it is her mother’s, who integrated her school at the age of seven.

    Previously, through her work with the LA County Department of Public Health’s Project TRUST, Kristin organized residents to demand that the City Council mandate smoke-free housing and curb secondhand smoke at parks in communities like Compton, California. She’s also worked to reduce recidivism of young parolees in Los Angeles.

    An active member of her community, Kristin is the first Black American elected to her local school board (November 2020). Her upbringing, family values, and commitment to the community ensure educational success for youth at every level and from diverse backgrounds.

    “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for those who blazed the trail before me. Unsung heroes like my mom truly inspire me to continue to work for generations who will come after me.”

    Kristin is the wife of a military veteran and mother to two daughters – a 14 year old aspiring chemical engineer and a 19 year old rising Sophomore at UCLA who studies neuroscience – dog mom to Blue, and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., the best sorority in the world.

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    Dy Brown

    Deputy Director
    She/Her/Hers

    Dyonicia "Dy" Brown is a nonprofit executive and connector who is currently the Deputy Executive Director at Young Invincibles. Her expertise encompasses non-profit management, partnerships, program creation & implementation, community outreach, employee experience, and organizational engagement. Prior to her promotion, she served as the Sr. Director of Regional Strategy, where she was instrumental in partnering with the management team to create sustainable virtual programming, regional employment growth and implementing organizational culture, and staff engagement initiatives. She pioneered the launch of Mental Health Mondays among other significant for the company.

    Dy has also served in numerous capacities including National Executive Director for Jack and Jill of America, Inc. with over 252 chapters nationwide and has worked in multiple roles in DC government. Her background is embedded in a commitment to civic engagement, philanthropy, celebrating the arts, and encouraging purposeful travel. Ms. Brown received an MSA in Organizational Development from Trinity University and BBA in Marketing from Howard University. She currently serves on Step Afrika!, Krewe of Pyros Foundation, Inc. and Walker’s Legacy Board of Directors. Dy is a Sephora Equity Advisor, an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and a lifetime member of Leadership Greater Washington.

    Dy originally hails from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and continues to keep strong ties with that community. You can find her in the evenings and weekends cheering on her beloved New Orleans Saints and Washington Nationals, volunteering, and watching movies.

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    Troy Alim

    Engagement Manager
    He/Him/His

    Troy Alim is the Engagement Manager in the Midwest regional office, where he leads the regions’ engagement efforts including the Young Advocates Program and Youth Advisory Board. After living in Atlanta, Georgia for four years working in the music industry, Troy returned home to Chicago and dedicated himself to fighting for social justice. Since then, he has worked with a number of organizations, including the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, BYP100, and Chicago Votes. In addition to nearly 8 years as a community organizer and activist, he also is the founder of Podlab Studios, an innovative podcast network and media consulting business.

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    Jorge Arteaga

    Midwest Program Manager
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    Jorge Arteaga is the Midwest Program Manager for Young Invincibles, based in Chicago where he leads YI’s Illinois workforce development portfolio and projects. As a first-generation immigrant, Jorge is passionate about uplifting and fighting for the rights of underserved communities through direct advocacy and community organizing.

    Jorge previously worked as the US Programs Manager for Common Purpose, a global organization based out of the UK dedicated to developing the next generation of culturally intelligent leaders. Jorge led initiatives in Chicago and Boston that brought young adults together to reimagine their respective city and collaborate towards community solutions to reach an equitable society for all. Jorge has also served as the Programs and Operations manager for Mind+Hand, a local learning center in the southwest side of Chicago geared towards providing resources to create opportunities for development and learning outside of traditional educational pathways.

    In 2019, Jorge was selected to participate in the Obama Foundation Community Leadership Corps initiative where he collaborated and developed programming to address the mental health of high school students across Chicago Public Schools.

    In his spare time, Jorge stays very active through running, cycling, and playing in a men’s baseball league. You can regularly find Jorge at local art shows, music events, or exploring new coffee shops!

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    Stanley Augustin

    Content Strategy Program Manager
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    Stanley Augustin serves as the Content Strategy Program Manager with the Young Invincibles. Previously, he was the Digital Media Manager at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, working across the organization’s programs to support efforts and initiatives through digital content. A graduate of Howard University, Stanley Augustin comes to the Young Invincibles with a rich past of developing effective digital strategy and producing digital content across mediums. At the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, Stanley served as the Training & Outreach Program Specialist for the organization. Stanley managed the Pro Bono Center’s various legal trainings for volunteer attorneys, producing corresponding content like training videos, podcasts, and graphics to support the Center’s programs.

    Stanley has also spent time working on affordable housing and banking policies for a local affordable housing developer in the District, and on Capitol Hill working with the Committee on Homeland Security.

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    Emma Bittner

    Regional Media Coordinator
    She/Her/Hers

    Emma is the Regional Media Coordinator based out of Austin, Texas. Previously, she was a Texas Young Advocate and Policy Fellow focusing on healthcare and workforce. She recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in Journalism and Communication & Leadership. With a strong passion for making a positive change, she wants to help amplify youth voices in any way she can. In her spare time, she loves to read, flex her creative writing skills and be outdoors. She is a self-proclaimed Rom-Com fanatic and coffee connoisseur with a little bit of "I wanna save the world" in her.

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    Sarah Bouabibsa

    West Advocacy Manager
    She/Her/Hers

    Sarah Bouabibsa is the West Advocacy Manager and is based out of Sacramento, where she looks to continue serving the needs of and empowering young adults through substantive policy and advocacy efforts. Having immigrated to San Francisco in the early 2000s, Sarah’s passion for advocacy stemmed from growing up in a severely underserved community in the Tenderloin neighborhood. Additionally, her experience as a visibly Muslim woman has been a catalyst in her journey towards the advocacy world. Sarah graduated from San Francisco State University with a B.A. and M.A. in Political Science where she researched the effects of systemic racism and color blindness on minority youth’s political empowerment.

    In her spare time, Sarah enjoys going to the beach, traveling, and everything pasta. She is excited to be an instrumental part in carrying YI's mission forward.

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    Tonia Brown

    Finance and Operations Manager
    She/Her/Hers

    Tonia is the Finance & Operations Manager. She leads day-to-day financial management including but not limited to YI’s contract and invoicing processes, accounting systems, operational policies, and compliance.

    Prior to Young Invincibles, she worked at the College Board for five years in various capacities. Her experience includes office and facility management, budgeting, operational systems, procurement, and advocacy. In her previous position, she also helped support the Advanced Placement (AP) Advocates Program, which works with teachers to champion equitable access and diversification for AP students, in addition to securing legislative funding.

    She is a proud HBCU alum from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) and received her B.A. in English Language and Literature. Tonia enjoys reading, watching documentaries, and curating new music playlists in her spare time.

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    Jennifer Cardenas

    California COVID Outreach Specialist
    She/Hers/Ella

    Jennifer Cardenas is the Outreach Coordinator located in Fontana, California. She understands how racial and economic disparities make it almost impossible to access higher education. She graduated from Columbia University in 2021 with a BA in Anthropology and a concentration in Ethnicity and Race Studies. As a non-traditional, first-generation Chicana student who graduated from a predominately white institution, Jennifer focused on advancing racial equity, anti-racist strategies, and reminding students that white supremacy culture will not stop us from reaching our goals. During her time at Columbia, Jennifer was a student leader in the Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging, Community Citizenship Initiative, and Students of Color Community Connection, and served as Vice President in the GS Alliance Club. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she became a Student Ambassador who received specialized training on Columbia University's Health compact, Covid-19 prevention, bystander intervention methods, and worked to develop peer-to-peer support. She is using the knowledge and experience she gained to educate young adults on the importance of getting vaccinated. In her free time, she volunteers in her community to bring awareness to environmental issues affecting low-income communities in the Inland Empire and hangs out with her pug Frank.

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    Elio Cruz

    Technology and Outreach Manager
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    Elio Cruz is the Technology and Outreach Manager, located in his hometown of Santa Barbara, CA. Hailing from Teocaltiche, Jalisco, Elio has long been fascinated by technology and the role it continues to play in our daily lives. After working for Apple for five years, Elio transferred to a company called Payjunction where he led in defining the company’s culture by organizing training, gatherings, and events. Though he loves and works with tech, Elio’s heart resides in the kitchen of his soul. In his free time, he’s on a journey hunting for the perfect salsa recipe. If you give him a fridge, he’ll give you a meal. Elio loves his family, the oldest brother of three, and the uncle to two nephews.

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    Naomi Cruz Ojeda

    Southern Peer Policy Fellow
    She/Her/Ella

    Naomi is originally from Jalisco, Mexico, but she grew up in San Antonio, Texas. She currently lives in Austin where she recently graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. At UT, she majored in Health & Society and Latinx Studies with a minor in Portuguese. Most of her passion points are centered around social justice, racial and educational equity, pathways to self-determination, and prioritization and restorative justice practices. In short [or not], she is committed to helping build a world that recognizes everyone’s humanity and operates to serve everyone in it with compassion, love, and real accountability. In her free time, she loves to pretend she's on a cooking show like Chopped, and she also likes to go thrifting!

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    Kyra deGruy Kennedy

    Rocky Mountain Director
    She/Hers/Ella

    Kyra deGruy Kennedy is the Rocky Mountain Director of Young Invincibles, based in Lakewood, Colorado. With over a decade working in health policy, higher education policy and local and statewide politics, Kyra has dedicated herself to public service. She joined the YI team in April of 2020, after having run the government affairs department of MSU Denver – a university dedicated to access and equity. She's run for office twice, serves on several local organization's Board of Directors, and has mentored close to one hundred young women in the past ten years. She's incredibly proud of the work the Rocky Mountain team has been able to do under her leadership, including working on the passage of over 30 pieces of state legislation, developing a mental health advocacy tool for young adults, and graduating almost 100 young adults furthest from power and privilege through the Young Advocates leadership program. In her free time, she plays with her perfect daughter, Lennon, practices yoga, gets outside to ski, climb, and bike, and talks politics with her husband, Chris. They live in Lakewood with their dogs, cats, goats and chickens.

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    Matthew Eckel

    Director of Policy Research
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    Matt is a skilled qualitative and quantitative researcher with experience in econometrics, public policy, polling, survey research, quantitative modeling, regression social science experiments, and qualitative political and policy analysis. In addition to extensive teaching experience- where he translated quantitative analysis to non-specialist audiences, Matt has also conducted policy/political research for She the People and the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality, among others.

    In his spare time, he skis, designs board games, and, like Sisyphus with an oven, pursues the ever-unattainable perfectly-baked puff pastry.

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    Benicia Garcia

    Digital Communications Coordinator
    She/Her/Hers

    Benicia Garcia is a Seattlite making her mark in Long Beach, California and across the country. She graduated from Washington State University with two degrees in communications; one in public relations, and one in risk and crisis management alongside a minor in psychology. She has been working in the professional marketing world in many different spaces for a little over five years; mostly focused on social media management, digital campaign and content creation, and brand awareness. She has a passion for helping others; especially the underserved and underrepresented. As well as a passion for health and fitness. She is a single dog mom, so wherever she goes her emotional support dog Stevie Nicks follows in a strut.

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    Heidi Gider

    Senior Director of Development
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    Experienced, articulate, and highly motivated, Heidi has worked in all areas of resource development and nonprofit management. She directs YI's fundraising and manages relationships with our philanthropic partners. Heidi previously held the position of Director of Development at numerous local and national nonprofit organizations, including Alliance for Justice. She is a long-time champion of individual rights, equitable access, and social justice, and currently serves on the DC Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law. She has chosen to work with organizations that help her pursue her personal and professional goal: advocating for the underserved. Heidi also worked at the National Women’s Health Network as their Director of Advancement, Equal Rights Advocates in San Francisco, as well as the Society for Women’s Health Research and the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, where she served as their first Director of Development. She previously served on the board of Responsive Law and Metro-DC PFLAG. She is a Senior Consultant with The Rainmakers Group, a DC-based firm, providing development services to small-to-mid-size nonprofit organizations. Through the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) Golden Gate Chapter Mentor Program, she advised a fellow, and more recently, through the AFP Women's Impact Initiative. She has been active in Washington Women Leaders; Development Executives Roundtable (DER); and Young Nonprofit Professionals Network (YNPN), both in DC and San Francisco. An adept and enthusiastic public speaker, she has presented at the Bridge Conference, Center for Nonprofit Success, Direct Marketing Association, and Merrill Lynch. Heidi is a graduate of Bard College and studied abroad as part of St. Clare’s Oxford Liberal Arts Semester programme. She is a Notary Public in DC.

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    Aurora Harris

    Southern Regional Director
    She/Her/Hers

    Aurora Harris is the Southern Regional Director for Young Invincibles. Based in Houston, Texas she leads the strategic direction, programming, and policy priorities on health care, higher education, workforce/finances, and civic engagement for the region.

    Aurora is an influential leader with a wealth of experience in community outreach and project management. Prior to working at Young Invincibles, Aurora served as Executive Director of the Lesbian Health Initiative (LHI). During her tenure, she formalized collaborative partnerships and increased the diversity of board leadership, volunteers, and clients served while simultaneously solidifying LHI’s sustainability for years to come. Aurora also served as Community Outreach Manager for the Preservation Society of Charleston, where she convened the City’s first coalition of African American preservationist and established the City of Charleston’s Modern Civil Rights Era Historic Marker Trail.

    Aurora is part of New Leaders Council Class of 2017 and she currently sits on the City of Houston’s first ever Mayoral LGBTQ Advisory board. Aurora received her B.A. in English and African-American Studies from the College of Charleston. She has roots in the Gullah Geechee culture of the Southeast and enjoys reading, volunteering, and cooking.

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    Samer Hassan

    Storytelling and Engagement Manager
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    Storytelling and Engagement Manager Samer Hassan grew up in Chicago and decided that community college was the most equitable way to begin his journey in higher education. As a formerly undocumented immigrant born in Venezuela but ethnically Palestinian, he was acutely aware of the realities marginalized communities faced. After noticing rampant inequalities among the segregated neighborhoods of Chicago, he began a mentorship pipeline from Chicago’s underrepresented communities to the community colleges in order to provide children with marketable skills and self-growth. After gaining the Student Government President position, he advocated for fellow community college students where they worked in tandem to push administrators toward tuition reform and accept student voices in their decision-making processes. Partnering with numerous organizations such as Chicago Votes in order to help register voters, Chicago Council on Global Affairs which provided politicians and diplomats direct access to college students, and Young Invincibles where he was able to provide an immigrant perspective to Bill Gates, who eventually began lobbying Congress to reform the FAFSA application process. Samer graduated from Columbia University in 2020 and is a current Evening Master's Student at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy where he also represents Harris on the UChicago Diversity Advisory Board.

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    Ashly Huerta

    Policy Coordinator
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    Ashly Huerta serves as the Policy Coordinator for the New York office. Ashly joined Young Invincibles as a Young Advocate in Fall 2020 and led a campaign advocating for increased investment in mental health resources. She also represented YI as a member of our Young Ambassador’s board the following semester and supported other advocates in their campaigns for more diverse and effective mental health support.

    Prior to joining YI, Ashly was a Writing Across the Curriculum Fellow at Lehman College, where she guided students from underserved backgrounds to submit applications for highly competitive fellowships, scholarships, and internships. She believes in the importance of mentorship and representation, having helped students who were also first-generation and of Hispanic/Latinx descent. She is also a passionate community advocate and researcher. At the Lehman Lab for Social Analysis, she led research on how COVID-19 exacerbated long-standing structural and historical inequities in the Bronx. Working with POC-led organizations, she helped evaluate local efforts to address food insecurity. As an intern at the New York Immigration Coalition, she researched the importance of adult education programs and COVID-19’s impact on them.

    Ashly holds a bachelor’s degree from Lehman College in English Professional Writing and Political Science. She is a proud Queens resident and dog mom to her Yorkie-Poo, Bella. In her spare time, she likes to explore the NYC food scene and listen to K-pop.

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    Tremayne Jackson

    Senior Director of Finance & Operations
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    In his position as Sr. Director of Finance & Operations, Tremayne plays a key role in providing leadership and strategic oversight into the Finance/HR/Operations function areas at Young Invincibles. Tremayne also serves as Board Member and CFO for YI Advisors, YI’s for profit subsidiary.

    Tremayne brings to the YI team a diversified educational and professional background that displays his business/finance/operations acumen. Before serving in his current role, Tremayne spent 4 years in other finance/operations related roles leading the effort for innovating and re-designing the operations department. The contributions have led to tremendous improvements in efficiency and effectiveness for YI as well as the Operations Department. In his previous position prior to YI as the Accounts Receivable Accountant for Crown Agents USA Inc., Tremayne oversaw government contract compliance as it relates to billing/collection, managed the A/R process, collaborated with various project managers for budget/profit-loss analysis and account reconciliations, presented monthly aging report analysis, assisted in generating monthly forecasts, as well as sat on the Knowledge Management Team as a representative of the finance department. Tremayne implemented a great number of new management tools, policies, and procedures during his time at CAUSA. He also was in charge of facility management in his earlier role as a Logistics/Operations Coordinator for CAUSA. Prior to his time at CAUSA, Tremayne worked as a Judicial Security Intern for the U.S Marshals.

    Tremayne holds multiple higher education degrees and certificates from Kansas Wesleyan University and American University. The areas of focus consist of Business/Management (MBA), Finance, Accounting, Forensic Accounting, Criminal Justice, Sociology, and Psychology. He desires to continue his educational journey by achieving his PHD next along with other professional credentials!

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    Noah Johnson

    Senior Finance and Operations Coordinator
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    Noah Johnson is the Senior Finance and Operations Coordinator for Young Invincibles- where he supports the day-to-day financial and operational processes as well as growing operations structures. Originally from Atlanta, Noah comes to YI with a wide range of experience including research, community organizing, and direct advocacy. Before joining YI, he was the staff assistant at the Jewish Social Justice Roundtable, a network of over 75 organizations fighting for justice on many fronts through a Jewish lens, during their strategic planning process. Noah has seen the profound things which are possible when communities of aligned changemakers work together and have the infrastructure of support they need to build lasting sustainable positive growth. Noah is a proud alumnus of Avodah, the Jewish service corps, and a graduate of Georgia State University. He believes in the essential nature of robust systems, a good book, and a great meal ideally shared.

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    Hannah Keller

    Midwest Policy Manager
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    Hannah Keller is the Midwest Policy Manager. Previously, Hannah served for three years as a Research & Appropriations Analyst for the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. Her focus in this role was in K-12 education and bridges to higher education. She helped pass comprehensive sexual health education standards and a bill to require instruction on Asian American history in public schools. She also staffed the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus in passing their education reforms through the Illinois General Assembly. After briefly teaching A.P. U.S. History, Hannah became passionate about education policy reform. She aims to smooth the pipeline from school to career, from a student to a civically engaged adult.

    In her spare time, Hannah enjoys exploring the culinary world, whether it be trying a new recipe at home or a new restaurant.

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    Emily Kong

    Digital Communications Manager
    She/Her/Hers

    Emily Kong is part writer, part foodie, and wholehearted believer in the Oxford Comma. She lives and breathes social media after five years of tweeting, posting, and curating the perfect Instagram photo. Most recently she worked at Let America Vote, an organization leading the fight to protect voting rights. When politicians make it harder to vote, they make it harder for them to get re-elected by supporting voting rights champions. Other previous experiences include an online women's magazine, Active Minds, a mental health non-profit, D.C. fashion week, and a D.C.-based e-commerce site.

    When she isn’t reading the latest contemporary romance novel, she’s watching a cooking tutorial, going on a hike, finding the latest brunch spot, and submersing herself in all things digital. Born and raised in Maryland and a proud University of Maryland terrapin, she loves summers on the beach, crabs, and Old Bay. After working in the fashion, mental health, and women’s magazine industries, she’s learned the importance and power of people and amplifying every person’s voice to create change.

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    Chynna Lloyd

    West Program Coordinator
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    Chynna Lloyd is based in Los Angeles and serves as the West Program Coordinator for Young Invincibles. She recently graduated from California State University, Northridge with a bachelor's degree in Public Health with a minor in Civic and Community Engagement. Chynna is passionate about racial and health equity in low income communities.

    Chynna has recently gotten back from studying abroad in Accra, Ghana for a whole year. In Ghana, she was able to study and learn public health from a different perspective, mentor young school girls and create a school curriculum. She previously coordinated a mentorship program, called WISDOM, that was geared towards helping the retention rate of Black female students at CSUN. She was also a participant in the 2017 young advocates cohort where she was able to learn organizing skills and how to be a better advocate in her community.

    In her spare time, Chynna likes to read, travel, drink coffee and play with her puppy.

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    Kate Londen

    Communications Director
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    Kate oversees communications strategy at Young Invincibles. Kate brings 12 years of experience in using communications for progressive advocacy. In her previous position, she was the Communications Manager at URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, a national reproductive justice non-profit. Before joining the team at URGE, she worked as a Communications Associate for the global nonprofit, One Economy. Kate is a native of Charlottesville, Virginia and a graduate of the University of Southern California, where she studied documentary filmmaking.

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    Christina Long

    Senior Southern Policy Manager
    She/Her/Hers

    Christina specializes in research, policy, and advocacy across health care, higher education, and the workforce. Christina is excited by young adult leadership and voice in creating systemic policy change. As a partnership builder, she loves amplifying collaboration and creativity in policy initiatives. Most recently, she co-authored YI Texas’ latest research report, “Women and Parents in the Workforce: Building a Path to Apprenticeship”, which examines ways to create equity and young adult voice in the expansion of apprenticeship programs. Christina formerly created a service-learning curriculum training for Stanford Global Engineering Programs and brings experience in PK-12 and higher education policy. She holds a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in Public Affairs from UCLA, an M.A. in School Counseling, and an M.A. in Policy, Organizations, and Leadership from the Stanford Graduate School of Education. On weekends, you can find her cooking pasta and spending time with family.

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    Alexander Lundrigan

    Federal Workforce Development and Finance Policy Coordinator
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    Alex serves as the Federal Workforce Development and Finance Policy Coordinator at Young Invincibles. His previous experience in policy includes working on researching agendas for political campaigns and health policy as a member of the Generation Vaxxed team. Alex studied political science and composition in college and received his MA in policy analysis from Northwestern University. In addition to all the support Alex provides for the policy team at Young Invincibles, Alex is also an in-house Tik Tok star, going viral several times on our Social Media.

    Alex enjoys exploring Chicago restaurants, dive bars, museums, and thrift shops. When he's not exploring The Windy City, he's reading, binging his favorite TV shows, jogging, or hanging with his two cats.

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    Sean Miller

    Northeast Region Director
    He/Him/His

    Sean is a former teacher and swim coach. His interest in education began in high school, as a volunteer tutor for kids in Trenton, and later working with YaLa Young Leaders, a peace movement of nearly 1 million youth from the Middle East & North Africa who foster dialogue & change. He taught 5th-Grade English and Social Studies in Baltimore, where he became passionate about the transformative power of equity and inclusion in education and health care. Thereafter, he worked for four years in administration and communications at Princeton University; supporting undergraduate students, faculty, and research at the Department of East Asian Studies and the School of Public & International Affairs. Most recently, Sean worked for the Harlem Children’s Zone, where he co-led novel college and career success programs. He previously led research with Bellwether Education Partners and former Obama Administration advisors examining barriers and proposing recommendations for improving national postsecondary degree attainment rates among marginalized student groups. He served on Mayoral Committees for Education, Workforce Development, and Special Needs in Trenton and Montgomery, New Jersey, for Mayors Gusciora (Trenton’s first openly gay mayor) and Jaffer (the first Muslim woman to serve as a mayor in the United States). Sean served on Princeton’s municipal Civil Rights Commission and has been a guest lecturer for American University’s School of Education and the N.Y.C. D.O.E.’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion. He currently serves as a Community Liaison at the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, where he’s helped to advocate for policies and legislation throughout New Jersey and nationally on issues of education, human rights, and health care. He’s also a member of the Anti-Defamation League’s Glass Leadership Institute, which empowers young adults to fight hatred and bigotry in their communities and advocates nationally to address systemic bias and hate crimes. Sean holds a master’s degree in education policy and leadership from American University, a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Ursinus College, a certificate in management from Princeton University, and a campaign management certificate from the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. In his free time, he loves cooking, outdoor activities, live shows, music, and dance.

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    Lisa Nishimura

    Engagement Coordinator
    They/She

    Lisa is the Engagement Coordinator for the YI NY region and a graduate of John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), with her BA in Criminology. A Native New Yorker who calls Washington Heights her home, Lisa has been with YI since Spring 2020, as she was a part of the first cohort for the NY Young Advocates Program, and then became an Organizing and Advocacy Fellow in Spring 2021, working more closely with other fellow advocates and alumni of the program.

    Prior to YI, she has been fortunate enough to have opportunities to work in various sectors ranging from criminal justice to the arts. During her undergraduate career, Lisa was awarded a three-year fellowship that allowed her to partake in summer internships both across the United States and abroad, including an advertising agency, FCB, where she assisted with Culture & Inclusion initiatives; a non-profit, Street Poets, where she co-facilitated poetry workshops to incarcerated youth; and a non-governmental organization, Freemuse, where she documented artistic violations internationally via social media. She has also served as a support and guide for her peers throughout college as she was both a mentor and a Peer Career Educator, helping students to develop professionally and personally.

    Lisa is passionate about empowering youth by giving them opportunities to elevate their voices, expand their knowledge base, and pursue their passions. She believes that everyone is invaluable and should have the resources set up for them to succeed. In her freetime, Lisa enjoys writing poetry, dancing, practicing martial arts, and essentially being a free spirit.

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    Greg Norwood

    Engagement Manager
    He/Him/His

    Greg Norwood serves as the Engagement Manager in the southern regional office. Previously, he was the Co-Lead 1st grade teacher at Dogan Elementary and Volunteer Coordinator for SBP, a national disaster relief, resilience, and recovery non-profit headquartered in New Orleans, LA. There he led the volunteer engagement and small dollar fundraising efforts to ensure both human and financial capital were always available to aid our community of clients impacted by natural disasters in Texas.

    Greg is no stranger to YI. He has just concluded a term with the NYAB and has been consecutively and consistently promoted from the TX-YAP to the TX-YAB to NYAB. He has such profound respect for Young Invincibles and the work it does every day and looks forward to bringing his diverse set of experiences to that work at YI.

    Greg is a proud UH Coog #GoCoogs, and in his free time loves to listen to good music, eat amazing food, travel, smoke great cigars, and engage in rich conversation.

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    Joanna Ostroot

    Development Coordinator
    She/Her/Hers

    As the Development Coordinator at Young Invincibles, Joanna plays a role in all fundraising activities, including prospect research, proposal writing, grant reporting, database management, and event planning. Previously, she worked in development operations at the League of Conservation Voters. She was also a member of the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Joanna believes that people power and advocacy are vital to addressing environmental, social, and economic issues, and she champions leveraging insights from behavioral sciences to create results in these areas.

    Joanna is from Buffalo, NY, and graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. In her free time, she enjoys swing dancing, podcasts, live music (especially alternative rock and classical), and debating the definition of “upstate New York.”

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    Jasmine Parish Moreno

    Southern Outreach Specialist
    She/Her/Hers

    Jasmine is a recent graduate from the University of Houston where she graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in Political Science and a double minor in Spanish and National Security. As a child of two immigrants from distinct backgrounds, Jasmine has witnessed first hand the struggles minority groups face in regards to discrimination, underrepresentation, and the lack of resources, funding, and opportunities available for these groups. After completing a year of Young Invincibles' Young Advocate Program, Jasmine is excited to continue her work with YI while simultaneously serving her community and achieving the changes she wants to see.

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    Lily Rocha

    Midwest Regional Director
    She/Her/Hers

    Lily Rocha is the Midwest Regional Director for Young Invincible’s Midwest office, where she leads YI’s Illinois operations. With the Midwest team, she builds policy and advocacy strategies specific to Illinois, engages young adults throughout the state, and elevates YI’s impact in the region. Lily joins YI with over a decade’s worth of work in state and federal policy dedicated to serving marginalized communities. As an aide to U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, she worked on education policy, ensuring college graduates who were drowning in debt had a voice in Congress. As a Legislative Assistant in the U.S. House of Representatives, Lily assembled a coalition of grassroots supporters and industry stakeholders to draft a new bill tackling mental health stigmas and requiring culturally competent care. After Congress, Lily joined the Joyful Heart Foundation, an anti-sexual assault organization, rising to Associate Director of Policy & Advocacy. In this role, she led collaborative efforts with sexual assault survivors and state legislators to enact laws enhancing survivors’ rights and eliminating the backlog of thousands of untested rape kits across the country. Prior to joining YI, Lily was the Chief of Staff to Illinois State Representative Barbara Hernandez. Lily received her B.A. in Economics-Political Science from Columbia University. She enjoys cooking, yoga, and voting in local elections.

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    Juan Ramiro Sarmiento

    Media Manager
    He/Him/His

    Juan Ramiro serves as the Media Manager and drives communications strategy for Young Invincibles.

    Formerly, Juan Ramiro worked in the communications and policy arena at the local and national levels including the US House of Representatives, the Democratic National Convention Committee, and Kansas City, MO Mayor Sly James.

    A proud Jayhawk, Juan Ramiro studied political science and international relations at the University of Kansas. As a history buff, Juan Ramiro has a deep interest in foreign policy, a love for WWII documentaries, and an avid collector of maps and globes.

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    Mina Schultz

    ACA Outreach and Enrollment Program Manager
    She/Her/Hers

    Mina is the ACA Outreach and Enrollment Program Manager at Young Invincibles, where she supports local, state, and national efforts to increase access to health insurance coverage, particularly among communities of focus. Mina joined Young Invincibles from New York City's GetCoveredNYC initiative, where she conducted community outreach to help New Yorkers understand their health coverage options. As a former Certified Application Counselor in West Virginia, she has enjoyed helping people not only access health insurance but also health care. Mina earned her B.A. in French from the Pennsylvania State University, her M.A. in French and Foreign Language Education from the University of Missouri, and her Master of Public Health from The George Washington University. In her down time, she enjoys caring for her jungle of plants, texting her dad questions that she could easily Google herself, and discovering off-the-beaten path treasures around the DC area.

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    Ruth Sosa Martinez

    Engagement Coordinator
    She/Her/Hers

    Ruth is based in Sacramento, California and first began her journey with Young Invincibles as a participant in the Spring 2020 Young Advocate Program. She quickly fell in love with the work YI does and now serves as the Engagement Coordinator for YI West. Ruth has received an A.A. in American Sign Language from College of The Sequoias, a B.A. in Political Science from California State University, Sacramento and is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Policy and Administration from the California State University, Sacramento. Previous to her time at Young Invincibles, Ruth has worked with several organizations on issues such as civic engagement, health care, reproductive rights, environmental racism, gun violence and Immigration. She has a deep passion for youth empowerment, community organizing, and advocacy work and hopes to make meaningful change for underrepresented communities in California. In her free time, Ruth enjoys being outdoors, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

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    Sarah Staron

    Rocky Mountain Policy Coordinator
    She/Her/Hers

    Sarah joined the YI family in 2020 as part of the Rocky Mountain Young Advocates Program. She became a Policy Fellow in 2021, managing YI’s Health Care and Higher Education portfolios. After graduating with her Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Gender-based Violence in December 2021 she moved into the full-time position of Policy Coordinator. Sarah is passionate about connecting young adults to opportunities to share their story and have their voices heard throughout the policy process. Sarah has a background in Domestic Violence prevention, non-profit management, teaching English as a Second Language, and even a brief stint in the private sector working in business development. She loves spending time in the mountains with her dog, Indiana Jones and has been known to get really into puzzles.

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    Yazmir Torres

    Senior HR and Operations Coordinator
    She/Her/Hers

    Yazmir is based in New York City and serves as the Senior HR and Operations Coordinator. She provides administrative support and helps the HR and Operations teams to build out key organizational structures and procedures. Yazmir grew up in East Harlem, New York City. She obtained her Bachelors or Arts in Sociology from Marymount Manhattan College and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management at Stony Brook University. When she is not working or studying, Yazmir enjoys exercising, reading, and photography.

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    Jocelyn Ursin

    HR Manager
    She/Her/Hers

    Since 2006, Jocelyn has been helping organizations shape their HR practices so they are aligned to the strategic agenda of the business. Prior to joining YI, Jocelyn served as an HR Manager at Genesys Works,a non-profit with a mission to provide pathways to career success for high school students in underserved communities through skills training, meaningful work experiences, and impactful relationships. Jocelyn has also worked in corporate and consulting roles at for-profit organizations providing HR support in the areas of compliance, talent management, training & development, compensation, benefits administration and employee relations.

    Jocelyn obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Texas Southern University. She is a certified Professional in Human Resources (PHR) and a Certified Professional through the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM-CP). She is a native of New Orleans, Louisiana, and has a passion for Cajun/Creole cuisine.

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    Cameron Vigil

    Rocky Mountain Engagement Manager
    She/Her/Hers

    In this role, Cameron leads YI's engagement strategy for the Rocky Mountain office. Cameron stays engaged with her childhood community (Pueblo, CO) by co-creating and running a local scholarship, the Leticia “Weda” Salinas Scholarship, dedicated to financially supporting students interested in pursuing higher education and reducing mental health stigma and youth suicide. Cameron most recently served on Mental Health America's 2020-21 Young Mental Health Leaders Council. She currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Executive Committee for the Colorado State Youth Council (SYC), a sub-committee of the Education & Training Steering Committee of the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC). Cameron graduated from the University of Colorado Denver in 2017 with a BA in Sociology and then from Regis University in 2019 with a Master's in Nonprofit Management (MNM).

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    Iesha Young

    Virginia Engagement Manager
    She/Her/Hers

    As VA Engagement Manager with YI, Iesha's dedicated to educating and training young adults on the Affordable Care Act and accessing health care in the Virginia area. Iesha is a graduate from UMUC where she earned her degree in Communications Studies. Iesha has a background in broadcast, marketing, communications, and outreach. In her previous position as Reproductive Outreach Specialist, she educated teens and young adults on reproductive health and future family planning needs.

    In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading and spending time with her family in New York. She looks forward to contributing to the ongoing success of Young Invincibles.