Who We Are: YVote 2022

Meet our amazing cohort of rising change makers from the Summer of 2022

Aarmeen Kahn
The Brooklyn Latin School
"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. I want to discuss with peers my age about their stance on democracy today and how it's changed from what we've imagined it to be."
Alexandra Williamson
Eximius College Preparatory Academy
"This program aims to not only expose the public into greater understanding but also to change the outcome of what happens in law making."
Ana Sofía Estrada
International High School at Union Square
"Although we are in the 21st century there are still many injustices to women and our environment. I am fascinated by marches and getting involved in social actions against daily problems, as well as what is happening with reproductive rights."
Ananna Das
Queens Gateway to Health Sciences Secondary School
"As James Baldwin once proclaimed, 'I love America, but I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually,' it is impossible to not reflect upon the conditions and issues that heave from our country."
Angela Mananghaya
The Scholars' Academy
"Voting allows us to get a sense of what everyone wants from our government; it’s like everyone coming together and having a say and representing ourselves in issues."
Arianna Hidalgo
High School of American Studies
"Although I may harbor doubts at times about how impactful my vote can be I know that something is only as strong as the sum of its parts and my vote as a part of the whole of the people's votes can make a difference."
Azrin Arabe
Information Technology High School
"I've always been interested in the world's democracy and leadership roles. I want to help with the state of democracy. Nothing can make me happier."
Begimai Djumagulova
Manhattan Village Academy
"We can work towards abolishing the mentality that we, as individuals, don't have any power, because we do. The reality is, our contributions matter (not all hope is lost!) and voting is a direct measure we can take to make sure that our voices are being heard, not silenced."
Christine Li
Millennium Brooklyn
"Voting has never been more crucial with so many policies affecting the youth being politicized, from gun control in light of recent mass shootings, to climate change, to the future of abortion rights... YVote values and mobilizes the youth vote so they can be empowered to take their passions and beliefs to the polls."
Daniela Sisalima-Diaz
Urban Assembly Institute Of Math And Science For Young Women
"I like the idea of trying to repair the youth's distrust in the system. I like to input my idea so that I can help others advocate."
Dorina Azizova
The Brooklyn Latin School
"I believe that it is crucial for all teenagers, regardless of their age or socioeconomic status, to make sure that their voices are heard, as we are a part of a community that does not immediately get our issues and resolutions listened to."
Elina Salikhova
High School of Economics and Finance
"I am very interested in civic engagement and I am invested in making a change in this world. I want to promote civic engagement and make sure that people who have a voice in this country are using it!"
Elizabeth Lu
Forest Hills High School
"I want to empower youth voices and to help them fight for issues they care about. I want to participate in civic and political issues; and current events affecting POC and WOC today."
Garratt Rothberg
Beacon High School
"Voting is one of the fundamental rights of our democracy and everyone should be able to exercise these rights. It is unfortunate that voter suppression acts are being passed in so many states and we need to combat these and encourage more people to vote."
Gurpuran Somal
The Brooklyn Latin School
"I believe 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."
Hudson Chou
NYC iSchool
"I think that voting is an extremely important facet of our society. The only way meaningful legislation and actual change will be implemented is through good leaders and representatives."
Jayden Mitchell
Brooklyn High School of the Arts
"I want to help young people get into politics and community. I would like to be known as a game changer."
Joshua Taylor
Francis Lewis High School
"Voting is the method of which you choose those who make the decisions that affect your everyday lifestyle and the issues that are pending to be solved. I think that everyone should exercise their right to vote because who we vote for can decide so much."
Julia Grunwald
Leon M. Goldstein High School
"I often see just how unwilling people my age can be when it comes to learning about these problems in our communities, especially those that they perpetuate or benefit from. I hope to make a dent in this problem."
Jyotika Aggarwal
West Windsor Plainsboro High School South
"This journey to becoming a changemaker can feel isolated and unsupported. I feel that by participating, not only will I get to connect with new ideas that will help me better my civic projects, I will also get to connect with peers that could be collaborators and contributors."
Kai Caothien
Stuyvesant High School
"As a New Yorker, I know very little about the current political climate, or the history of NYC's politics. I think this program will help me on my growth in civic engagement, molding me into an even better citizen of NYC."
Ma-Sadio Faye
United Nations International School
"I've personally noticed that since the election of 2016, I feel that politics in the US have been entirely divided across party lines. I want to learn more about this and express my opinions with others and listen to theirs as well."
Martyna Kluczynska
Queens Metropolitan High School
"Voting helps us make rational and informed decisions. It is very important in our society since many important leaders/laws (depending on what country/state/province) are determined from voting."
Michelle Berman
High School for Environmental Studies
"What attracted me to this program is its direct involvement in advocacy—an opportunity to make an impact on our community while still being in high school and debate political and social issues with my peers."
Mokhinur Mirsharipova
Brooklyn Studio Secondary School
"YVote programs give students the opportunity to fight for a change and be part of the change. This is a chance for teenagers to get to know more about our society and communities and contribute to the betterment of them."
Nadia Narcisse
Tottenville High School
"I will have the chance to promote good change in the world; the first step is to start with my community. I am ready and eager to learn how to become an active citizen and a leader in my generation."
Nana Pinaman-Dotwa
High School of American Studies at Lehman College
"I feel like voting importance is both understated. Local and Mayoral are very important, as you not only feel the impacts of it first, but it also affects higher elections."
Nicholas Rosario
Long Island City High School
"I would like to participate and work to reinforce the democracy and values of our society and country. I think voting is very important because you can help to choose the people who will run our country."
Nyarai Masoni
Stuyvesant High School
"I think voting is one of the most important ways we can make change since voting in the past has shown to help pass landmark legislations. I would like to address education inequity and provide ways to shorten the gap and contact government officials to do something about it."
Quynh Nguyen
Dominican Academy
"While I've always been interested in making a change in my community, I've never known when to start. I'm hoping that through the program, I'm not only able to receive guidance but also meet people who are also passionate."
Rizwana Uddin
Scholars' Academy
"One's voice can go a long way so I think it is important to voice it even if it is just by voting. I would like to help to spread awareness and further educating on the importance of voting."
Sabikun Mazumder
The Scholars' Academy
"What interests me about this program is that it emphasizes what a democracy really means: it means having the ability to decide your own future."
Samiha Mahnaz
Forest Hills High School
"YVote will help me learn how to actively participate in civic engagement movements, address shortcomings in access to voting, identify the primary issues that plague youth voting participation, and implement solutions."
Sania Ortiz
Theatre Arts Program Company
"My feelings on voting vary because I don't agree with the way that votes are counted so I feel that that disturbs the number of overall votes cast."
Savanna Doctry
Frederick Douglass Academy III
"Some may think their one vote doesn't make a difference but that is why a lot of the time we end up with corrupt people leading whatever it is we are voting for. Too many people have the mentality that their vote won’t do anything."
Shreeya Thakur
John Dewey High School
"I've always wanted to see up close how the legislative branch works. To me this is a rare opportunity to first hand see our country's democracy as well as the undiluted public concerns which we don't usually see on social media or even on the news."
Shuang Pierre St. Surin
Clara Barton High School
"Not many young people from my generation are into politics and they use that as an excuse not to vote, not realizing that this sets them at a disadvantage. I believe being part of this opportunity will be integral to see the change that I wish to see."
Sky Donohue
The Scholars' Academy
"For me, it is important for future voters to be able to understand the rights they have and the difference the use of their rights make. YVote strives to encourage young activists to share their voices among peers and develop a civic engagement."
Skyla Monroe
Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School
"A large part of being an activist is consistently doing research on the deeper rooted issues of current systemic inequities and social inequalities, as well as the acknowledgment of previous history that has led society to where it is now. Through this program, I know I will not only grow as an individual, but further understand the importance of working through political issues in a collaborative way."
Solomon Akaeze
Valley Stream Central High School
"In order to achieve success with your intended reform/awareness goals, you need to have access to, and be willing to work with, a large amount of other people like minded in your pursuits."
Sonja Aibel
Brooklyn Technical High School
"Although I care deeply about progressive political causes, it is ultimately most important to me that all voices are heard, across the political spectrum, at the ballot box. Being part of this program would be an incredible opportunity to explore the areas of organizing that I haven’t been able to in the past."
Sumaiya Sayeed
New Exploration Into Science, Technology and Mathematics
"From this opportunity, I can help New Yorkers change the law to address problems that affect them including homelessness, pollution, and food insecurity."
Sumya Hoque
Al Noor School
"I'm looking forward to representing myself as an empowering Muslim woman helping shape political landscape in favor of equal opportunity for all regardless of religious background."
Zaied Kazi
Information Technology High School
"A change maker is someone who is able to inspire others. I connect myself to that definition because I feel accomplished when I’m able to inspire others or motivate them to change something for the better."