Cecilia CastellonCecilia Castellon is of Bolivian descent and currently lives with her family in Queens, New York. She is interested in social justice and mental health, believing these issues should be taken seriously because they affect many people almost daily. Voter engagement is another important issue of interest for Cecilia. She would like to have more young people involved in rank-choice-voting at her high school because young people can have a huge impact on elections, especially in New York City.
Cecilia is motivated by her teachers and student leaders who inspire her to continue using a voice to share and speak on issues that personally matter. She is optimistic that her dedication to these issues will convince other students to work hard towards making changes in their community, so young people could live in a world filled with love and peace.
Iris SealIris Seal is lives in the birthplace of Hip Hop, the BX (Bronx), and has roots in Philadelphia and Florida. She is a young feminist learning more about her identity and her place in a world that marginalizes BIPOC and Women. She stands with the values and of the Black Lives Matter movement and wants to contribute to change in her community and America. Even with the inequities, she has witnessed in her sixteen rotations around the sun, she remains altruistic, positive, and hopeful. She is often thought of as a “breath of fresh air” and uses kindness to alleviate others' negative experiences.
Amanda Reynolds is 16 years old and Co-Director/Founder of Young Idealist, an organization fighting for equity in arts and education as well as empowering young artists to make social change. Amanda is also an Advisor with We the Youth Advisory Council. She is very passionate about social justice as well as the arts. Currently a junior at the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts where she studies Acting, Amanda is honored to be attending one of the most prestigious high school level art programs in the country. She was born and raised in Queens and she is a proud member of the Caribbean community. During her free time, Amanda indulges in dance, fine art, music, dramaturgy, and films.
Angela Cabrera was born in the Dominican Republic and moved to the United States at the tender age of five. Acculturating into a new country and learning a new language was not an easy task but with her positive work ethic and support from her mother, Angela soon progressed from receiving complaints about lack of participation in school to receiving yearly awards as an upstanding student. She went on to become president of her junior high school class several years in a row and the first female student of the month to ever be elected. Angela took that same drive with her into high school and she was selected from a group of 500 other qualified students to enroll at the New York City Charter High School for Architecture, Engineering & Construction Industries.
With a passion for social justice, Angela is currently an Advisor with We the Youth Advisory Council. She is inspired by her hard-working mother who moved to the United States to give Angela a better life, a life that her mother did not have growing up in the Dominican Republic. Angela hopes to build a foundation for future generations in her family, just as her mother did for her.
Chelsea Cohen is a senior attending Great Neck North High School. Speaking at various events and ceremonies over the past year, her passion for social justice continues to increase. As the co-founder of a youth led Black Lives Matter organization and the president and founder of her schools Social Justice Awareness Club, her knowledge of social issues is ever growing as she continues to study intersectionality and the various social issues that affect marginalized groups in different ways. She will be majoring in sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware in the fall and aspires to be a part of the change this country needs to see.
Rayan Kouider is turning 17 years old and entering 11th grade at the Michael J. Petrides School in the fall. He has always been very active in his community and enjoys giving back to New York City. He is also a member of the Governor’s New York State Youth Council. Ryan remembers a time in his life when he felt more safe living in the city, and there much less tension than there is today. “There is so much to fight for that shouldn’t have to be fought for, so I decided it was time to take a stand and help make this City better than it has ever been.” Being a part of the MBSK Youth Council has motivated Ryan to turn negativity and violence into a better future. He aspires to attend college and start his own family.