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Young Invincibles and The Cognosante Foundation Announce Fellows Selected for Second Year of “YI Scholars” Summer Fellowship Program


April 29, 2016

Contact: Sarah Schultz,, 202-734-6510

[Washington, DC] — Young Invincibles, a national Millennial research and advocacy organization, and the Cognosante Foundation, the charitable arm of Cognosante, have announced the selection of this year’s YI Scholars Program fellows. The program is designed to give first-generation college students the paid opportunity to join Young Invincibles for 10 weeks, working as fully integrated members of the team on today’s most pressing economic issues facing young adults. This year, Young Invincibles will host four fellows in Washington D.C., two fellows in Houston, and two fellows in Chicago.

The selection process was rigorous and highly competitive, as Young Invincibles received over 300 applications, up from 100 last year, for a total of eight spots. “Growing interest in the program is exciting to see, and it reaffirms what we know: young adults are eager to get involved in tackling some of the most difficult challenges facing our generation,” said Jen Mishory, executive director of Young Invincibles.

“Cognosante Foundation is proud to sponsor the YI Scholar Program for the second year.  The Foundation is committed to providing professional and personal growth opportunities for underprivileged students, veterans, and women.  Building upon the success of the program, we plan to expand to the make the YI Scholar program available to more first generation students around the country,” said Michele Kang, CEO, Cognosante.

This year’s group hails from across the country and from a variety of educational and training backgrounds. Additional information about each of our 2016 YI Scholars can be found below. To find out more and to follow along with our fellows’ experiences this summer, check out the YI Scholar Blog, where they will be blogging and sharing updates on their work with Young Invincibles.

2016 YI Scholars:

Alyssa E. Foley (D.C. office)

A Houston native, Alyssa graduated from Houston Community College with her associate’s degree in arts and science. She served as editor-in-chief of her student newspaper, The Egalitarian, for two years, where she covered student government and college administration policies and decisions that affected the lives of students. Alyssa will be attending The University of St. Thomas–Houston starting fall 2016, and is majoring in communications.

Bryce Arguello Lindsey (Houston office)

Bryce is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia where she is double majoring in Global Development Studies and Economics. She has worked as a research assistant in the Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics where she helped analyze how to best integrate people recovering from mental illness back into society through political involvement. She has also served as an international intern in Dhaka, Bangladesh, at the Bangladesh Centre for Human Rights and Development.

Aarzu Maknojia (Houston office)

Aarzu Maknojia is an undergraduate student at George Washington University with a major in International Affairs, a concentration in Security Policy, and a minor in Math. Formerly nationally competitive debater in high school in Texas, she now coaches a debate team in Washington, DC.

Beatrice Ohene-Okae (D.C. office)

Beatrice is a rising senior at the University of Mary Washington pursuing a B.A in Geography, a minor in Environmental Sustainability, and a certificate in Geographic Information Science. For the past two years, she has been a student organizer with the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition (VSEC) and the Virginia Student Power Network (VPSN), which both promote social justice and student power throughout the state of Virginia. She also works very closely with UMW Students United, which advocates for a greater sense of transparency as well as social and economic responsibility on campus.

Patricia Rodriquez (Chicago office)

Patricia Rodriquez is a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign studying Political Science. She is involved with student government on campus as a Student Senator and is also the Community and Government Affairs Chairperson of the Illinois Student Senate. Patricia is involved with faculty on campus through her participation in the Campus Committee on General University Policy and Political Science Advisory Board.

Raamish Saeed (D.C. office)

Raamish Saeed will be joining Young Invincibles from St. Louis, Missouri. He was previously an Education Policy Intern for the Scholarship Foundation of St. Louis where he focused his efforts on policy research and advocated for college access among low-income and undocumented students in the State of Missouri. After graduating high school in 2014, Raamish attended St. Louis Community College where he served as the chapter president of Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society. He is currently pursuing a BA in Urban Studies and Economics.

Trevor “Nute” Thompson (D.C. office)

Trevor “Nute” Thompson is a Political Science major with a Business Administration Minor at North Carolina State University.  At NC State, Nute is involved in Student Government as a senator, where he has developed and enacted many programs to improve student life. One such program, known as “Wolfpack Pickup,” employs students to shuttle physically disabled students between classes. Off campus, Nute has recently finished an internship with the Wake County Superior Court, where he assisted the various judges in administrative duties and compiled a report analyzing the long-term court usage of the civil courtrooms to improve the use court resources. Nute is interested in pursuing a law degree and career as an attorney.

Hollie Joy Wagner (Chicago office)

Hollie is a first generation student from Chicago and received her BA from the Evergreen State College in Philosophy & the Political Economy of Education. She is a 2013 Jack Kent Cooke Scholar and served on the scholar association board as Northwest Regional Chair. Hollie is an advocate for youth rights and education reform, working as an art and social justice educator and Impact Fellow at Youth and Opportunity United in Evanston, IL. Hollie plans to continue her work in social justice, philosophy and education in graduate school in 2017.