The Youth Ambassadors
Addicen Bauer, Age 15, California
Together with her family, Addicen founded Children for Change –an extracurricular, service-learning club which combines fun, learning and community service. As a leader in the organization, Addicen teaches about youth organizing.
Amira Elizabeth Brown, 10 years, North Dakota
The child of military parents, Amira has served as a youth liaison for the Ramstein Middle School Learning Academy. She is a dedicated activist for military families.
Aubrayia Dowdy, Age 18, Pennsylvania
Aubrayia Dowdy is a social justice activist and contributing writer for the online magazine, Nubian Impulse. She is a member of a student-led anti-racist organization called Furthering Student Unity, and the youth organizer for New Voices Pittsburgh focusing on the health and well being of black women.
Ava Santos-Volpe, Age 12, Illinois
Ava Santos-Volpe is the founder of Change4Youth, an advocacy organization for homeless youth in Chicago. She is the founder of the Gay Straight Alliance at Baker Demonstration School, and is works on a monthly newsletter for her middle school community about LQBTQ homeless youth.
Clara Nevins, Age 17, California
Claria is an environmental activist who attended the United Nations COP21 conference in Paris as a youth delegate. She founded the organization Change Climate Change and Bridge the Divide –an online platform where young people all around the world can engage in political discussion beyond party lines.
Cora Haworth, 13, Chicago
Cora Haworth is a Student Ambassador for Academy for Global Citizenship and was an ambassador for the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago two years ago. Cora was diagnosed with Epilepsy at the age of 4, and has become a fierce advocate for Epilepsy awareness and research. After losing a sibling to stillbirth, she works with the March of Dimes to advocate for premature babies and families affected by loss.
Gabriela Rose Buntman Orozco, Age 13, Washington DC
Gabriela works with the egalitarian Jewish Youth Movement. She was one of the youngest people to join over 3,000 children to march to the Trump Hotel, then to the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial, very aware of the contrasting symbols they were challenging and embracing. She takes great pride in being Latina and Jewish and the product of immigrant parents.
Grace Wickerson, 18, Texas
Grace Wickerson is the founder and CEO of Kicking Violence, a non profit organization that works to inspire youth involvement in non-violence advocacy through education, service, technology, and martial arts. She has raised over $1.2 million for violence survivors. She has changed Pine View Policy on dating violence/sexual assault education, now making it required for all graduating seniors at her school. She is working on mirroring this work in Houston, Texas.
Hannah Zimmerman, Age 17, New York
Hannah Zimmerman is the founder of “High Schoolers for Bernie,” a national grassroots organization with the goal of promoting high school student engagement in the Bernie Sanders campaign and the co-chair of the New York State High School Democrats at her New York City high school. She was the Director of Youth Organizing in the Debbie Medina for State Senate campaign.
Harsh Crowd: Rihana Abdulrashid-Davis: 14 years old - New York, Willow Bennison: 14 years old - New York, Dea Brogaard-Thompson: 15 years old
New York Lena Faske: 15 years old - New York Harsh Crowd formed in the summer of 2013 at Willie Mae Rock Camp for Girls (WMRC) in Brooklyn, NY. WMRC is a non-profit music and mentoring program that empowers girls and women through music education, volunteerism, and activities that foster self-respect, leadership skills, creativity, critical thinking, and collaboration. Their music and performances center around advocating and raising funds for girls and women.They also played at the 1st and 2nd Annual Feminist Balls, put on by The Feminist Press.
Iyanu Bishop, Age 17, Maryland
Iyanu Bishop is a social justice advocate in Maryland. In 2015-2016 she was the cover girl for Uniquely You—an organization dedicated to addressing the complexities of being black and female in America. Iyanu is also the founder of the “Blair Interracial Dialogue”, an initiative to help her fellow students, staff, and the community to become aware of the racial justice issues and systems of oppression that affect young black women.
Julia Wunning-Zimmer, Age 17, Missouri
Julia serves as President of Young Democrats, and is the co-founder of a Gender Equality Coalition at her school. She is currently working with other student journalists to lobby for the New Voices Act, which would further expand the application of First Amendment rights to student press. She joined her two moms in the fight for marriage equality.
Kate Atschinow, Age 16, New Jersey
Kate founded, “Cutting Out Hunger” an organization dedicated to supporting those who suffer from hunger. Kat is currently creating “Edu Cut Hunger”, a program that requires those who attend the Highland Park Community Food Pantry to take a class on couponing as well as nutrition so they can purchase affordable healthy food. She was awarded Park Partners Grant in 2014, 2015, and 2016 and the 2017 Disney Summer of Service Grant to further her work in the causes she is most passionate about.
Katie Ly, 17, California
Katie Li initiated the ‘Everyone Belongs Here’ rainbow fundraising campaign to benefit the Gay-Straight Alliance student clubs in her school district, and led an impactful LGBTQ+ Social Justice assembly for her school community. She is a youth intern at Peace in Action, a program that aims to end the school-to-prison pipeline.
Kennedy Schoennauer, Age 11, California
Kennedy Schoennauer is a community leader, exemplary student, athlete and environmental justice advocate. Kennedy recently won an award for her video “Keep San Jose Clean” encouraging community members to become “litter leaders”. She is a participant in a STEM for Latina Girls project. She is an active participant in City Council meetings and speaks on issues of public safety and environmental issues, such as recycling and creek clean-ups. She is a strong advocate for public education and traveled to Washington, D.C. recently to meet with with California’s delegation concerning this.
Kiran Waqar, Age 16, Vermont
Kiran is one of the founders of, Muslim Girls Making Change and the founder and leader of Vermont’s RESULTS chapter. Muslim Girls Making Change is a slam poetry group. RESULTS is an international nonprofit that advocates for legislation to end poverty.
Lillian Zhang, Age 17, Connecticut
Lillian is the founder of “ Give A Spit” a non-profit that partners with “Be The Match” to raise funds and recruit bone marrow donors and plans events to advocate healthy lifestyles and raise awareness about blood cancer. Lillian is also a member of “I AM THAT GIRL” an advocacy group for girls and women to turn self-doubt into self-love and acceptance.
Mari Copeny, Age 9, Michigan
Also known as “Little Miss Flint” helped bring national attention to the water crisis in Flint Michigan after her family began to fall sick due to the high lead levels in the water. She wrote a letter to then President Obama appealing to him to do something. Obama met with Mari, where she was able to plead her case in person. Mari continues to advocate for Flint as the crisis is far from over.
Maxine Wint, 16, Chicago, IL
In 2016 Maxine led a peaceful sit in in Chicago to protest gun violence and police brutality with nearly 1,000 young activists. She along with six others started, Youth for Black Lives an organization dedicated to guiding young voices against systemic oppression.
Mutahara Nurit Bhuiyan, Age 16, New York
Mutahara is a member of the Islamic Center of Long Island Youth Group. She is President of her school’s environmental club and helped to implement her school’s first recycling system. She is also the editor of her school’s Pegasus Arts Magazine. She is a proud Bengalese young woman.
Myra Richardson, Age 17, Louisiana
Myra is the founder of Girl Talk, and the President of the Baton Rouge Youth coalition that helps under-resourced, high achieving students get into college. Myra is the Co-organizer of Founder of The Wave--a youth led initiative combatting social inequities, lobbying for policy reform and empowering youth. She is the founder of Gaia Guild, a school based environmental club.
Niles Clipson, 17 years old, Georgia
Niles founded Alphabet Soup, a group that brings together LGBTQ and straight students to talk about gender and sexual orientation at their Catholic high School. Niles was chosen to attend two national Student Diversity Leadership Conferences. Niles also works with GLSEN, a national organization focused on creating safe schools for LGBTQ+ and marginalized youth.
Shane Shananaquet, Age 14, Michigan
Shane is a transgender teen activist working to educate and advocate for LGBTQIA equality. Shane speaks before the State Board of Education of Michigan, in support of the Department’s guidance for Safe & Supportive Learning Environment for LGBT Students. Shane was a panelist at a diversity training workshop for teachers and other school staff, sponsored by the MEA (Michigan Education Association).
Tawanda Muzinda, 11 Years, Zimbabwe
Tanya is a motocross racer who is single handedly trying to change the perception of young girls in Africa, through a sport that is historically male-dominated. In 2015,Tanya was nominated SportsWoman of the Year in Zimbabwe. Her country nominated her as the Ambassador for Youth, Sport and Gender and just recently Tanya was put on the country’s 40 under 30s most influential leaders in Zimbabwe.
Virginia Jiang, Age 18 , New Jersey
Virginia is the New Jersey State Director for the nonpartisan lobbying group, Youth for National Change. Virginia lobbied state legislators to support measures to limit the amount of lead in urban environments throughout the state. She has worked extensively with a nonprofit dedicated to disassembling the school to prison pipeline through providing educational resources to incarcerated women. She volunteers with Planned Parenthood and the Special Olympics. Through her data analytics work at MTV, she strives for better representation of queer women of color in media targeted towards teens.
Willa Polstein, Age 14, California
Willa founded, One Can Help, that encourages kids to bring a single can of food to school weekly to be donated to local food banks. She phone banked for months on behalf of HRC, and was an active speaker in swing states. Willa continues to take part in protests and actions in rejection of injustices around her.
Yatesha Welch, Age 17, Michigan
Yatesha has been honored as an NAACP Freedom Fund Scholar for the past 3 years and has been a recipient of the Sara Pollack Educational Trust. As a member of Girls Group,Yatesha was a part of a leadership team that raised funds for the Refugee Development Center in Lansing, Michigan and volunteered to help refugee children with their homework. Yatesha participated in the James Madison University Female Institute in Harrisonburg, VA which aims to build leadership and sisterhood among young women of color.
Zoe Kratins, California
A Turkish American member of the Middle Eastern Student Club at her school, she is a proud activist for human rights wherever she goes.