Taking democracy to a whole new level.
Take a look at the 2014 class of Democracy Fellows! This crew is about to take New Era to a whole new level. Look out for these people–they’ll probably register you to vote right under your nose, cause they’re THAT GOOD.
Taylor Smith is the loudest and proudest member of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2016, studying Political Science and Mass Communications at Texas A&M University. She’s an officer of the Texas A&M Sea Scout Ship (TAMU SSS) with Boy Scouts of America. Born in California but raised in Texas this Howdying- West coast gal has always set the goal for herself to travel the world and impact it along the way. Her interest in politics began at a young age thanks to her father’s love for U.S. government and history. This interest has blossomed into her own political passions and desire to stand up for her social opinions. In her free time Taylor enjoys rocking out at concerts, camping, and writing. In fact, it’s an essay she wrote that led to her professor guiding her towards New Era. While with New Era she hopes to emphasize the importance of civic engagement, political involvement, and voting in the lives of youth. She has a weird obsession with airports, Ben Gibbard, and potatoes.
Cayla Young is a senior at Franklin & Marshall College majoring in Government (Political Science) & Public Policy. She hails from the concrete jungle of New York City. With an Empire State of Mind, she has spent her summers in many places such as Yale University, studying constitutional law and Cornell University, studying business, in efforts to continuously build her intellect. She is passionate about socio-economic status, immigration, and education among many things. In her spare time, she likes to dance, sing Drake and Justin Timberlake songs (trust me she knows all the words, SHE LOVES THEM), play all kinds of sports, and EATS everything except seafood!
Rebecca Koelling is currently a student at the University of Travel and Adventure studying cross-cultural communications. She is happy to be back state side to make some positive change in her community. Texas born, Colorado raised, she is ready for what ever New Era has to throw at her. When she grows up she basically wants to be the female version of Josh Lyman. She is also into things like yoga, women’s rights, green smoothies, libraries, and stand-up comedy.
Francesca Tait, also know as Fran, is a Senior at Colorado State University studying Political Science and Business Administration. When she is not fluttering around Figure Skating, she likes to stir the pot and motivate people to change the world around them. Fran is very passionate about a woman’s rights, LGBTQ rights, as well as making the world a better place.
Nick Stubler is a junior at the University of Denver studying Environmental Science and Sustainability. Growing up in the outdoors of western Colorado helped to instill his passion and love for the environment and encourage his dedication towards its protection. Last summer Nick had the opportunity to work on an organic farm in Hawaii where he was first introduced to Eastern philosophy and fell in love with yoga and meditation. Since then, Nick’s perspective of the world has matured, compelling him to dedicate his life towards leaving society in a better place in aspects such as sustainability, animal rights, education, equality, and economic systems. He hopes his time at New Era will empower him to more significantly affect the the world, and couldn’t be more excited for what the future holds.
Travares Cunningham is a native of Durham, NC. He’s a recent graduate from North Carolina Central University with a BA in History, and enjoys all types of sports and plays recreational softball on his free time. He also enjoys helping others in his community with different projects that’s helps better it.
Alyssa Evans is a cupcake connoisseur and a TV show binge watcher. In between those time consuming hobbies, she studies Economics at the University of Denver. She calls Hawai’i home but considers Colorado a close second in her heart. In her home state, she does not surf and only occasionally rides dolphins. She was driven by her taste buds to study for a year in Paris and then New York City, but has returned to the beautiful state of Colorado and intends to stay for a bit to gain some experience for a future she hopes is in policy. New Era is the perfect place for her to advocate for her views on equality, the economy, and the environment.
Amy Kessler is a super senior just taking the scenic route of college. She started school as a music major with the dream of becoming the next Beyoncé. After realizing she couldn’t dance, she switched to political science. Her passions revolve around human rights–especially in the LGBTQ community and she recently worked with a group that passed a Non-Discrimination Ordinance in her college town. While she’s not out fighting for human rights, you can find her singing karaoke or reading Russian novels in coffee shops.
Jerard Brown is a recent graduate from the University of Connecticut and as a result is a rabid fan of the Huskies. In addition to majoring in College Basketball, he also majored in Political Science and minored in African American studies. Although born in Denver, he has spent most of his life in Georgia and South Carolina. He beliefs that reforms to education, campaign finance, and the prison industrial complex are the best way to ensure that America remains a prominent force on the international stage. In addition to these many issues Jerard is passionate about Trap Music, his family, traveling and beer.
When Sara Blanchfield got interviewed in 5th grade for an art piece she made that was featured by a children’s magazine in her home state of New Mexico, she was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up; Sara replied succinctly, saying “I’m gonna be president.” Since that day in 2005, her fire for politics has only grown. Sara was the youngest Summer and Fall Fellow on the Organizing for America 2012 campaign, focusing her efforts on educating and mobilizing youth in New Mexico politics during that year’s elections. As a freshman at Pitzer College, Sara got involved with Claremont Student-Worker Alliance, seeking to raise the healthcare benefits of low-income workers at her school. She plans on dedicating her life towards getting money out of politics and restoring American democracy to its initial purpose of representing and advocating for the country’s people.
Ashley Edinger is a rising sophomore at the University of Denver where she is studying Socio-legal Studies and Political Science. She is a proud Colorado native who, when not teaching high school freshmen about community organizing, enjoys soaking up the sunshine, not skiing or snowboarding like normal Coloradoans, reading tons of books, laughing, random acts of kindness, the rain, people, Disney movies, spontaneous dance parties, and music. She’s talented at tripping over flat surfaces and passionate about education (in particular, arts education), animal rights, equality, and the environment.
Serguel Akiti was born to Margarette and Augustine Akiti, in the snowstorm of ’93. He is Haitian and West African, and grew up in Newark Delaware. At the age of 7 he began cub scouts, and later moved on to Boy Scouts and completed as an Eagle Scout. Along with being an Eagle Scout, Serguel is a 6 time winner of the Best Attorney Award and was captain of his High School’s mock trial team. In addition to this Serguel is also a Jefferson Award winner, among other awards. He now attends the University of Delaware and is studying Political Science and is also pursuing a minor in Psychology. In addition to English, Serguel can speak fluent Creole and is proficient in French.
Teresa Viteri, a Psychology and Communications major, is about to enter her senior year at Hamilton College, a small liberal arts school in middle of nowhere Upstate New York. Born and raised in Miami, FL, Teresa left beautiful beaches, the sunshine state, and the “Miami vice” for better adventures thanks to the Posse leadership scholarship. Teresa is enthused with the prospect of working with kids with disabilities and is determined to learn a whole lot this summer. As dance team captain, treasurer of her school and an avid volunteer, Teresa shares strong interests in youth and community development. She hopes to become more knowledgeable about critical issues going on in the world that demand our attention. In her spare time, Teresa likes to make funny videos of her cat, socialize, and is a snap chat enthusiast.
Arriana Belkin is a junior undergraduate student at the University of Denver, pursuing a degree in International Relations and Socio-Legal Studies, with a minor in Spanish. She comes to New Era with political experience, working on various local and national campaigns. She is excited to learn more about grassroots organizing and to expand her knowledge about politics. In her free time, she enjoys watching and playing soccer, binge watching Law and Order: SVU and Scandal, and spending time in the Colorado sunshine.