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

    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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    Troy Alim

    Engagement Manager

    Troy Alim is the Engagement Manager in the Midwest regional office. 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. He has organized for the last three years with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Chicago Votes. He currently serves as the Organizing Co-chair for the Chicago chapter of the Black Youth Project 100. In his free time, Troy enjoys reading, writing, and eating every type of taco known to human kind.

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    Jorge Arteaga

    Midwest Program Manager

    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

    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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    Jocelyn Bravo

    Illinois COVID Outreach Specialist

    Jocelyn is the Illinois Outreach Specialist and is focused on educating young adults in the state about the importance of getting vaccinated. She holds a B.A. in Economics with minors in Business Administration and Sociology from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). As a first-generation immigrant, Jocelyn found it challenging to navigate through the U.S. education system and became passionate about making higher education more accessible and affordable.

    Prior to working at Young Invincibles, Jocelyn served as a Recruitment Team Leader for the UIC College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and Tele-counselor for the UIC Latin American Recruitment and Educational Services program. In these roles, she explained the enrollment process to prospective and incoming first-year students, as well as the importance of experiential learning in becoming a critical thinker and community leader. She has also interned for the Latino Policy Forum, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering the Latino community through collective action, and the National Democratic Training Committee, an organization that provides free trainings for Democrats that want to run a campaign.

    To keep herself sane, Jocelyn likes to listen to political podcasts (haha), jam out to reggaetón, get walked by her dog, and search for the best restaurants/bakeries in Chicago.

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    Caitlin Briody

    Midwest Partnerships Coordinator

    As the Midwest Partnerships Coordinator, Caitlin works to build relationships with Illinois organizations in the health and higher education spaces. Originally from Connecticut (and a proud UConn Husky), she comes to YI with experience serving at United Way and in local government. In her free time she writes and performs comedy, and takes way too many pictures of her cats. She believes in the power of collaboration, civic engagement, and comfortable footwear.

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    Dy Brown

    Senior Director of Regional Strategy

    Dy is a nonprofit executive and connector who most recently worked for Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and previous to that in multiple roles in DC government. She received an MSA in Organizational Development from Trinity University and BBA in Marketing from Howard University. Her background is embedded in a commitment to civic engagement, philanthropy, celebrating the arts, and encouraging purposeful travel. She currently serves on Krewe of Pyros, Coalition for the Homeless, Step Afrika!, NCBMP, and Walker’s Legacy Board of Directors. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and the International Fraternity of Delta Sigma Pi. Dy originally hails from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and continues to keep strong ties with that community.

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    Jennifer Cardenas

    California COVID Outreach Specialist

    Jennifer Cardenas is the Outreach Specialist located in California. Before this position, she served on the National Youth Advisory Board for YI. She is also a student negotiator representing student borrowers on the US Department of Education Affordability and Student Loans Committee. You can catch her representing students in the upcoming Negotiated Rulemaking sessions (#NegReg).

    She recently graduated from Columbia University with a BA in Anthropology and a concentration in Ethnicity and Race Studies. Jennifer understands how racial and economic disparities make it almost impossible to access higher education. 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.

    In her time at Columbia, Jennifer was a student leader in the Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging, Community Citizenship Initiative, 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 vaccination.

    In her free time, she moderates for the IE Latinx Book y Chisme Club, 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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    Ben Casaus

    Colorado COVID Outreach Specialist

    My name is Ben. I am the new COVID Vaccine Outreach Specialist for YI's Colorado chapter. I grew up in Pueblo, Colorado, where I graduated from Dolores Huerta Preparatory High School. I spent a lot of time volunteering, organizing, and coordinating events as a member of student government for all four years. I was fortunate enough to begin my journey into higher education at the age of sixteen, through a concurrent enrollment program with Pueblo Community College. Rather than studying math or science; things I felt I was good at, I decided to earn my Associates of Communications because I felt those were areas that I needed to improve in. I relocated to Denver to continue my journey, majoring in Ethics, Rhetoric, and Social Justice and minoring in Spanish at MSU Denver. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, I was unable to complete my degree. Prior to getting hired on as a member of the COVID-19 Task Force, I served my first year as a member of the Youth Advisory Board and tutored high school students in a social-emotional learning program in Boulder, CO. My goals under YI don't end at getting people vaccinated, however. I hope to grow academically and professionally under YI's name, facilitating cultural awareness and helping to preserve DEI anywhere under the sun. When I'm not fighting the good fight, I like to spend time on my couch with my cats reading books that challenge my point of view. I stay connected with my culture down in Pueblo through my family, and the great food of course.

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    Kyra deGruy Kennedy

    Rocky Mountain Director

    Kyra deGruy is the Rocky Mountain Director of Young Invincibles, based in Denver, CO. Growing up and through college, she thought she’d become a doctor. However, after having worked in a primary care clinic, she realized the healthcare delivery system was broken and she shifted her trajectory into changing public policy. With nearly a decade working in health policy, higher education policy and local and statewide politics, Kyra has dedicated herself to public service.

    Kyra was born in Mobile, Alabama and graduated from MSU Denver – a university dedicated to access and equity. In her free time, she gets outside to ski, climb, bike or walk her dogs and talks politics with her partner, Chris. They live in Lakewood with their two dogs, Jobin and Lulu and two cats, Pema and Turtle.

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    Matthew Eckel

    Director of Policy Research

    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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    Ernest Ezeugo

    Higher Education and Workforce Policy and Advocacy Director

    Ernest Ezeugo is a public policy and higher education expert dedicated to correcting the course of American education by centering the voices and action of young people and historically underserved communities. At Young Invincibles, he oversees the policy analysis, advocacy, and government relations work on higher education and workforce issues.

    Ernest brings years of policy research, analysis, and advocacy experience to Young Invincibles. At the U.S. Department of Education, he worked on initiatives addressing the digital divide and empowering K-12 school districts to adopt openly licensed educational resources in the Office of Educational Technology. At New America, he supported the higher education initiative’s research on economic mobility, public opinion, and the ethics of predictive analytics. He led the National Campus Leadership Council’s policy advocacy work, recruiting and working with intercollegiate student government organizations to build an infrastructure for elevating student voice in higher education policy. And most recently, he worked at State Higher Education Executive Officers Association (SHEEO), where he supported the development, administration, and analysis of SHEEO’s Strong Foundations survey of state postsecondary data systems.

    When time permits, Ernest also writes. He is a contributor for the Education section at Forbes and has bylines in Slate, the Hechinger Report, EdSurge, and Diverse: Issues in Higher Education. In his free time, he enjoys a good story-based video game, cooking, and the occasional concert.

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    Benicia Garcia

    COVID Digital Marketing Coordinator

    I am Benicia Garcia a 24 year old Seattle native making my mark in Long Beach and I identify with she/her pronouns. I 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. I have been working in the professional marketing world in many different spaces for a little over four years now through internships and full time positions; mostly focused on social media management and brand awareness. I have a passion for helping others, especially the underserved and looked over, as well as a passion for health and fitness. I am a single dog mom, so wherever I go my emotional support dog Stevie Nicks follows in a strut.

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    Heidi Gider

    Senior Director of Development

    Heidi has worked in all areas of resource development and nonprofit management since 1996.

    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 to legal services, and social justice, and currently serves on the Board of Responsive Law. She has chosen to work with organizations that help her pursue her personal and professional goal: advocating for the under-served. 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 is a Senior Consultant with The Rainmakers Group, a DC-based firm, which provides development services to small-to-mid-size nonprofit organizations. Through the Association of Fundraising Professionals Golden Gate Chapter Mentor Program, she advised a fellow. An enthusiastic and experienced 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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    Río Gonzalez

    Southern Mental Health Policy Fellow

    Río Gonzalez is the Southern Mental Health Policy Fellow for Young Invincibles. Río grew up in a predominantly immigrant Latinx community in rural California where mental health is heavily stigmatized and ignored. Their lack of knowledge with mental health motivated them to receive their B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Post undergrad, they pursued a MPH in Community Health Practice from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston to further investigate health disparities in their community and how to advocate, organize, and create change. In their spare time, Río enjoys taking long walks in nature, cuddling with their pups, and cooking their ama’s recipes.

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    Aurora Harris

    Southern Regional Director

    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

    Samer Hassan grew up in Chicago and decided that community college was the most equitable path in order to begin his journey in higher education. As a former undocumented immigrant, he was aware of the realities that 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 towards 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.

    In 2018, Samer earned the Program for Academic Leadership and Service Award Scholarship and recently graduated Columbia University New York.

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    Tremayne Jackson

    Senior Director of Finance & Operations

    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

    Finance Coordinator

    Noah Johnson is the Finance 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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    Emily Kong

    Digital Communications Coordinator

    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

    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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    Summer Lollie

    National Campaign Manager - COVID 19 Vaccine Outreach

    Summer Lollie is based in Dallas Texas and serves as National Campaign Manager for YI's COVID 19 Vaccine Outreach program. Summer has a decade of experience in issue, union, and electoral campaigning.

    Summer is especially interested in organizing around health care access, including reproductive justice issues and mental health. Summer is a former board member of the Texas Equal Access Fund, and served as North Texas Community organizer for Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. She has worked with the Texas AFL-CIO and other union orgs around workplace justice issues.

    Summer believes that we can create the world we want to live in, but first we have to remind people of the power they have to effect change.

    She has a 9 year old dog named Jack and loves challenging people to play basketball and video games with her.

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    Kate Londen

    Digital Director

    Kate oversees all digital communications strategy at Young Invincibles. Kate brings 10 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

    Southern Policy and Advocacy Manager

    Christina is the Southern Policy and Advocacy Manager, where she specializes in research and analysis across higher education, health care, and workforce development. Christina is excited by young adult leadership and voice in creating systemic policy change. An artist at heart, Christina loves bringing creativity and design thinking into policy advocacy. Prior to YI, Christina was a counselor and college success advisor, and brings experience in PK-12 and higher education policy. Christina holds a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in Public Affairs from UCLA, an M.A. in School Counseling from Ohio State, and an M.A. in Policy, Organizations, and Leadership from the Stanford Graduate School of Education. She loves running and strumming the ukelele.

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    Alexander Lundrigan

    Regional COVID Media Coordinator

    Alex Lundrigan serves as the Regional Media Coordinator for the COVID-19 Vaccine Outreach campaign at Young Invincibles. Previously, he worked for political campaigns at various levels in his hometown Cincinnati, Ohio. His experience includes managing relationships with media, organizing activists and volunteers, and leveraging earned media to amplify critical messaging. He studied political science and composition during his undergrad and received his MA in public policy and administration from Northwestern University.

    A current Chicago resident. Alex enjoys exploring all the city has to offer including, food, art, and vibrant nightlife. In addition to exploring Chicago, Alex likes to hike, jog, chill with his two cats, read, and binge his favorite shows on Netflix.

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    Alejandra Martinez

    New York COVID Outreach Specialist

    Alejandra is based in Brooklyn, New York. Because her family migrated to this country from Mexico in the 80’s, Alejandra experienced life in the city from a lower-class immigrant standpoint. Through these experiences and hardships she began to focus on how she can channel this life experience into a greater purpose. Alejandra considers herself a nontraditional college student as she started her higher education journey much later than her peers. She enrolled in Borough of Manhattan Community College in 2018 and graduated with her Associate in Arts in Criminal Justice. She later transferred to a 4-year college, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and graduated in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.

    Throughout her years in CUNY she was able to intern for politicians, collaborate on projects for Goldman Sachs and serve her city through the CUNY Service Corps. A proud CUNY student, Alejandra continues to represent the importance of affordable higher education through sharing her stories and experiences.

    As the Outreach Specialist for New York, Alejandra focuses on how to best navigate her city and state to reach communities with lower COVID-19 vaccination rates. Through the power of education and strong community ties, Alejandra’s main goal is to inspire and motivate unsure New Yorkers to get vaccinated. In her free time, Alejandra loves to go on roadtrips with her wife and read personal finance books and blogs. Alejandra hopes to be enrolled for her Masters in Political Management in the upcoming year.

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    Lisa Nishimura

    Engagement Coordinator

    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

    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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    Phelan O'Neill

    Deputy Director of Product and Innovation

    Phelan manages the Get Covered Connector, a cutting-edge digital scheduling tool that allows partners to more easily reach and enroll vulnerable communities by enhancing their use of data and analytics. Prior to YI, Phelan worked at Enroll America for several years, training community organizations on successful outreach strategies for ACA enrollment. Phelan also has a background in political campaigns, working for candidates across the nation at the local, state and federal levels. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a joint-degree in Organizational Studies and Non-Profit Management.

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    Joanna Ostroot

    Development Coordinator

    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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    Lily Rocha

    Midwest Regional Director

    Lily Rocha is the Midwest Regional Director for Young Invincible’s Chicago 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 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. By being at the intersection of research-backed policy and state-specific politics, Lily was instrumental in passing legislation in 10 states to provide survivors with enumerated rights and finally get rape kits counted, tracked, and tested.

    Prior to joining YI, Lily was the Chief of Staff to Illinois State Representative Barbara Hernandez. Lily advised the newly-appointed Millennial legislator on building out her legislative platform and was key in drafting legislation to help her most underserved constituents, including first-generation college students and low-income families. As Chief of Staff, Lily also managed the staff and interns, ensured all constituents were fully served, and established tools and procedures to improve daily operations.

    Lily received her B.A. in Economics-Political Science from Columbia University. When she’s not volunteering with community groups in her hometown of Aurora, Illinois, Lily enjoys running, trying to replicate her mom’s Mexican cooking, and spending time with her cat, Jellybean.

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    Juan Ramiro Sarmiento

    Media Manager

    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

    Mina is the ACA Outreach and Enrollment Program Manager at Young Invincibles, where she supports efforts to promote opportunities for young adults to gain access to health insurance coverage. Mina joins 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 rural West Virginia, she has enjoyed helping vulnerable populations 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.

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    Ruth Sosa Martinez

    Engagement Coordinator

    Ruth is based in Central California and serves as the Engagement Coordinator for YI West. She is currently a senior at Sacramento State University and is pursuing a Bachelors in Political Science with a minor in Deaf Studies and is expected to graduate December, 2020. Ruth has a deep passion for youth empowerment, community organizing, and advocacy work.

    Most recently Ruth was the Grassroots Coordinator for Reform Revolution Project where she designed and implemented outreach strategies for the newly found organization. Ruth now serves on the Board of Directors for Reform Revolution Project. In the past year, Ruth was an organizing fellow for Voto Latino and a Political & Organizing intern for the Democratic National Committee. She was also a participant in Young Invincibles’ Young Advocates Program where she further developed her advocacy and leadership skills.. In her downtime Ruth enjoys practicing calligraphy and spending time with her dogs.

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    Robert Speed

    Southern Health Program Coordinator

    Robert is a Chicago, IL native, now Houston resident, who has three dogs, enjoys cooking, and magic! Robert grew up in a low-income neighborhood where good health care was hard to find, since he has worked hard to achieve equitable health care and trust for health care in underserved communities. Robert is a passionate Community Health Worker with professional experience providing direct services, support and crisis intervention to “at risk” populations with a background in homelessness , vulnerable youth, sexual health, and LGB & TGNC communities. Robert is dedicated to helping all underserved communities and was deeply immersed in Chicago’s community health. Robert worked as the HIV Testing Counselor at the AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Chicago, IL responsible for HIV and STI counseling and testing, managing daily operations of walk-in clinics, and working with community partners. Graduating from the Community Health Apprenticeship Program at Chicago House and Social Service Agency, Robert was able to bolster as well as gain new skills. The program focused on social determinants of health, advocacy for clients, and outreach in the community. Before then Robert served as a Liner at the National Runaway Safeline providing, explaining and linking available community-based referrals to at-risk youth and their families through non-judgemental crisis-intervention utilizing a trauma informed care approach , harm reduction, and family mediation. While at the National Runaway Safeline, Robert also served on the Executive Board of Directors where he presented (in-person) and via webinars to FBI victim specialists, federal funding source staff, and runaway/homeless youth grantees around youth homelessness and human trafficking. Robert was also Co-chair of the National Runaway Prevention Month & Youth Activist League Task Force collaborating with individuals, organizations and communities across the nation to raise awareness of the issues runaway, homeless, and youth in crisis face and educate the public about solutions and the role they can play in runaway prevention and ending youth homelessness.

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    Yazmir Torres

    Senior HR and Operations Coordinator

    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

    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

    As the Rocky Mountain Engagement Manager, Cameron is responsible for implementing Young Invincibles’ consumer education and engagement work in Colorado.

    Cameron graduated from the University of Colorado Denver, majoring in Sociology and minoring in Women and Gender Studies. She is currently attending Regis University, obtaining her masters in Nonprofit Management, expected to graduate in May of 2019. Prior to working with YI, Cameron worked at Youth Advocates Program, a nonprofit organization committed to the provision of community-based alternatives to out-of-home care through direct service, advocacy and policy change. She also participated in the Young Advocates Program held in the Rocky Mountain office and served on both the regional and national Youth Advisory Board for YI.

    Cameron stays engaged with her community back home by co-creating the Leticia “Weda” Salinas Scholarship, available for any high school senior living in Pueblo, Colorado. The scholarship aims to not only help students afford higher education but reduce the stigma of mental health within the community.

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    Jourdyn Wilson

    Texas COVID Outreach Specialist

    Jourdyn Wilson was born in Las Vegas, NV but raised in the great state of Texas. She has a BA in Political Science from the greatest HBCU in the world, the illustrious Texas Southern University. Jourdyn comes from a long line of public servants. She has been organizing since was 16. Jourdyn fights for "The Black Plight."

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    Iesha Young

    VA Engagement Manager

    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.

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    Mahmoud Zahriya

    Western Region Director

    Mahmoud Zahriya is based in the Sacramento office as YI's Western Region Director. In collaboration with YI's national policy team, Mahmoud is responsible for implementing Young Invincibles' statewide policy and government affairs work in California.

    As a Sacramento native, longtime activist, and a previous Policy Manager for CAIR California, Mahmoud was involved in some of the most prominent civil rights campaigns from community surveillance, to police use of force, and the so called "Muslims Travel Ban 2.0."

    During his spare time, Mahmoud proudly serves as a leading member of the Sacramento Immigration Coalition where him and his close friends have continuously advocated in canceling county contracts for numerous Immigration Detention facilities across northern California. During his spare time, Mahmoud also serves as the Caucus Chair of the Arab American Caucus for the California Democratic Party.

    Mahmoud graduated from Sacramento State University with a BA in Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations.