2023 Summer Change Makers

Meet the 2023 cohort of Summer Change Makers!

Aarmeen Khan
The Brooklyn Latin School
Democracy Camp, 2023 Summer Change Makers Institute, 2023-24 Change Makers Instititute
"I want to take a stance for the government officials who would want the choices that are the best for me and others like me and discuss with peers my age about their stance on democracy today."
Abby Then
City College Academy of the Arts
"Not many countries have the freedom to put their opinion out there and I think it’s super important that I can. I will definitely vote when I’m 18 in hopes that my vote makes a difference."
Adedoyin Abimbola
The Brooklyn Latin School
"From participating in my own school's student government to campaigning for civil court judge candidates, I've learned how essential it is to make voices heard."
Alwarith Mallick
Queens Gateway to Health Sciences
"I am interested in being able to take a stance on specific social issues in my community, and the fact that my voice has the potential to be heard is very exciting."
Amelia Poor
The Beacon School
"I want to not only learn more about how I can help others, but meet new people who share my interests such as politics and activism."
Amy Almonte
NYC iSchool
"Being given the opportunity to use my voice in a way where I'm allowed to vote for people I think would be best for my community and solving the issues I care most about is something I look forward to very much."
Amy Beloume
Bronx High School of Science
"[In YVote] I will gain an even better insight into the state of democracy, the challenges that many different groups are facing currently, and what I can do to potentially alleviate these issues & challenges."
Angello Manzanares
Virtual Innovators Academy
"After I turn 18 I would definitely vote. I would like to have a say in who becomes president. I would also like someone who accommodates me and my needs."
Arjun Agostinho
Beacon High School
"My peers and I can strive to open doors for New York City's underrepresented neighborhoods while also informing the next generation of the impacts they can make as a voter."
Arna Asad
City College Academy Of The Arts
"I believe with more education and awareness of just how impactful one's voice truly is, we can encourage voting within underrepresented groups, such as people of color and younger people."
Atqiya Ahmed
Brooklyn Latin School
"I think it is very important to vote, because it affects you and everyone around you. I am planning on voting as soon as I get the chance."
Barnaby Williams
Institute for Collaborative Education
"I've noticed a growing sentiment among young people that 'nothing I do matters and the world is ending so why waste my time voting?' Programs like this one are desperately needed to help restore young people's faith in democracy."
Christine Li
Millennium Brooklyn High School
"Voting is a powerful weapon we have in possession to drive change and bring equity. Being able to expand and support that is a duty."
Dawood Hashmi
John Dewey High School
"I believe that by coming together with like-minded peers, we can foster a sense of belonging and work collaboratively towards creating positive change.
Eashaan Singh
Bronx Science
"I want to learn how to be engaged and make my voice heard, while also potentially serving as an advocate for those who can’t advocate for themselves."
Emily Munoz
Harry S. Truman High School
"It's imperative for younger people to work on making our policies and government more equitable, which entails youth leaders stepping up to learn and spread the message."
Emmanuel Annan Jr
Brooklyn College Academy
"This program will be a great opportunity to connect with other teens who feel as passionately about the state of our country as I do and have the drive to do something about it as well."
Enkhdari Gereltogtokh
United Nations International School
"These kind of programs can help with personal growth because it could allow me to develop a stronger sense of purpose and resilience."
Fariha Tahia
Long Island City High School
"Voting is very important for shaping a better society. I anticipate to vote after I turn 18 because the person that is gonna get elected will affect me as well."
Francisca Owusu
High School for Health Professions and Human Services
"Voting, in my opinion, is an essential means for people to express their opinions and influence the course of their communities and nations."
Gwen Pierrot
Clara Barton High School
"Everyday I think about the people in my everyday life and what can be done to uplift the state of my community and the problems that we face."
Jaida Thomas
Young Women’s Leadership School of Queens
"I anticipate to vote when I turn 18 years old because I want my voice to be heard in politics."
Jamila Small
Franklin Delano Roosevelt High School
"I am interested in getting more involved in my community and having a positive influence."
Jesse Grumbach-Bloom
Mary McDowell Friends School
"I have a lot of ideas about changes in the government and I would like to find a way to implement them in a helpful and educational way."
Jimena Bonilla
Union Square Academy for Health Sciences
"We're getting the opportunity to talk about immigration, mental health, etc and actually trying to make a change."
Johanna Wu
Stuyvesant High School
"The only way we can undo the systemic issues in our society is if we vote for lawmakers and politicians who will also fight to undo them, which is why it is not only important to vote for president, but also in district and state elections."
Joseph Mendoza
Bard High School Early College Queens
"I envision [voting] as a necessity to give my vote so that someone speaks on our behalf. Voting for me is the cornerstone of our democracy."
Joshua Taylor
Francis Lewis High School
"I think that everyone should exercise their right to vote because who we vote for can decide so much, voting is very important to me."
Melida Tosic
City College Academy of the Arts
"I believe everyone's voice matters and you should be aware of your community leaders, state leaders, and what exactly each candidate will be doing for your neighborhood."
Muzahidul Fahim
Quran Academy For Young Scholars
"Voting is very important so people have more of a choice to pick and choose who they want as their leader and who they think would be the best leader and be the most helpful to the country."
Natalhia Dauphin
Queens High School for the Sciences at York College
"The elected officials who are chosen based on the votes of citizens will be the ones who make decisions about issues such as healthcare, education, and social welfare programs."
Nini Shalamberidze
Millennium Brooklyn High School
"This program would allow me to stand on the frontline of advocacy to address, raise awareness, and prompt solutions towards my issues of interest. Holding elected officials accountable and empowering voting rights enables the activist youth like myself to spur solutions."
Ollie Suplina
NYC iSchool
"Even if I think the system is broken, we can not complain about the state of things if we do not take advantage of our right to vote."
Reandra Romain
Manhattan Village Academy
"I believe voting is a crucial part of actively being part of the change you want to see in your community and making sure to register to vote is the first step."
Roop Somal
The Brooklyn Latin School
"Being in a community filled with activists and others who want to help and create the same change as me will be a great experience and together we can all make a change."
Samari Beauford
Beacon High School
"Participating in initiatives to build a trustworthy democracy offers people the chance to make a meaningful impact, address their concerns, learn and grow, collaborate with others, and exercise their democratic rights."
Sayera Bhuiyan
Brooklyn Latin School
"If officials wont fight for the issues that many people care about then I thought it would be interesting to learn about such issues and see what I could do."
Shreeya Thakur
John Dewey High School
"I will be voting as soon as I'm eligible, for if something as minimal as voting can change my entire future, it's something I can't let out of my grasp
Shuvarthee Barua
Townsend Harris High School
"I am extremely passionate about politics, government, and social justice. I believe that civic engagement is extremely important for shaping our future for the better."
Shyann Rampaul
Stuyvesant High School
"This program will give me the opportunity to address societal challenges that I am passionate about, including racial injustice, immigration, poverty, mental health and even more."
Sidra Lazarre
Hunter College High School
"While I do believe voting is incredibly important and plan to do so when I am 18, I also think that comprehensive reform cannot always be brought about solely through voting."
Soliel Hayles
Medgar Evers College Preparatory School
"Voting in senators and local leaders that speak for and will work for the interests and needs of your community while listening to those who are a part of that community is one of the greatest freedoms and responsibilities for citizens."
Solomiia Samofalova
NYC iSchool
"I am fascinated by how educational, economic, and social injustices correlate and the ways that Gen-Z could make a significant difference. YVote provides a stable platform for me to connect, collaborate, and amplify my voice."
Stephen Lin
Baccalaureate School for Global Education
"YVote provides a space for politically and socially engaged students, like myself, to interact and hold discussions on the political climate of our country and state."
Sylvie Raab
Ramaz School
"Low voter turnout means that important issues are determined by a limited group of voters. We cannot allow that to happen."
Teja Kuwayama
Brooklyn Technical High School
"Holding elected officials accountable is foundational to representative democracy and I want to be part of ensuring that officials address their constituents concerns to the highest degree possible."
Tina Zeng
Millennium Brooklyn High School
"I hope to learn how to be more effective at creating sustainable change by holding elected officials accountable while communicating with the confidence of youth power."
Tolu Diyaolu
Valley Stream Central High School
"All power in our system stems from the vote of the people. Once faced with tyranny, Americans crafted a system of the people, for the people, and by the people."
Valerie Guapisaca
NYC iSchool
"I am eager to vote and make my vote matter because not everyone has the privilege and the right to, especially the undocumented immigrant community who contribute to this society like every other individual."
Zuzu Qadeer
The Beacon School
"I am very excited to vote once I turn 18, in the meantime, I definitely encourage people in my community to go out and vote because it truly does make a difference in our communities!"

2023 Summer Change Makers Institute Peer Facilitators

Absa Diop
Cornell University
"Before YVote, I was not involved in my community locally or politically. But since then, I had canvassed for my local politician, applied my knowledge in my classes and even felt inspired to take a criminal justice class my junior year. "
Ananna Das
Queens Gateway to Heath Sciences Secondary School
"Reflecting on my experience as a ChangeMaker from last summer, I want to become someone meaningful like my past facilitators and guide them into a sphere where they can feel comfortable enough to talk about their civic opinions and meet other young individuals who empower each other!"
Chris-Ann Barnett
Dorina Azizova
The Brooklyn Latin School
"YVote has helped me understand how to work with my peers from different backgrounds. It has taught me how to challenge others' beliefs while respecting their experiences and empathizing with others’ backgrounds."
Faith Vieira
Long Island University
"I believe that empowering young people to be active and engaged citizens is critical for building a more just and equitable society, and I'm eager to contribute to this important work."
Jolina Jimenez
The Ohio State University
Kenisha Mahajan
Yale University
"Being a YVoter for over three years, I can confidently say that a space like YVote is so uniquely valuable because it provides young people a platform to learn, grow, make mistakes, and connect with others."
Marame Diop
Yale University
"Since joining YVote, I have developed my advocacy skills to articulate my passion for a variety of causes such as gentrification and educational equity. I want to be a part of a program like YVote because it gives students a platform to express their opinions and become the change they want to see in the world."
Mukilan Muthukumar
Hunter College High School
"YVote has helped me develop both as a changemaker and as a person. It has allowed me to hone my leadership and organizing skills, made me a more confident public speaker and activist, and provided me numerous opportunities to get involved and make a real difference."
Skyla Monroe
Amherst College
"During my time at YVote, I have been able to analyze issues of my choosing, environmental racism, and mass incarceration, and become aware of the disparities around me. Overall, I can confidently say that YVote has been a quintessential learning experience for both my civic career and character."
Sonja Aibel
Brooklyn Tech High School
"As a participant in the Change Makers Summer Institute last year, it was incredibly valuable to participate in in-depth discussion of an issue that mattered to me. This summer, I am excited to share that experience with new change makers and build on the skills that we built together last year!"