Meet Our Fellows

The YP4 Network has grown to over 1,500 young activists doing social justice work in communities across the United States and the world. For a sense of who is working in your area or where to find other members of the YP4 network, please consult the directory below.

Find Fellows:

Total found: 1802


Wilmer Montesdeoca

Wilmer is the CEO & Founder of Leaders Working, a non-profit organization that aims to help low-income students nationwide get into top colleges and become leaders in their community. At Leaders Working, Wilmer has devised a 1-on-1 mentoring program that combines resource accessibility, community engagement, and comprehensive mentoring that starts in high school, continues through college, and lasts a lifetime. Alongside Leaders Working, Wilmer serves on the National Board of the Quest Scholars Network where he works to create an unwavering network of support for thousands of low-income students.

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Wlliam Alejandro Tenorio

Wlliam Alejandro Tenorio was born in 1996 during Scorpio season, in LIJ hospital, Queens New York. William lived in Woodhaven for his younger years before moving to Bayside with his parents and older sister. At the age of six, William’s mother gave birth to my little brother. As a child, William was an avid dreamer, aspiring to be many things including a professional ninja. William began to fall in love with the sport of basketball during my elementary school years, Allen Iverson was my biggest idol, and he spend hours playing ball every week, a passion of his carry to this day. William played for club and school teams from fifth grade to freshman year high school when he then decided to devote his time to a new program he had become involved with called JROTC at Francis Lewis High School. William also was a select member of the Gateway Honors Pipeline program for minority students. These two programs would have profound impacts on the relationships he made, activities he was a part of, and experiences he had throughout high school.  Throughout high school he was incredibly friendly and well known among people but at the same time very introverted, as he felt there was so much he didn’t want to or couldn’t share with others, from losing a close friend, to family issues. He thought of college as an escape, he thought the life of a dorm student in a prestigious university would solve many of my problems on its own, as if everything from the past would be forgotten. Actually living on my own and seeing the world through his own lens, not one forced upon me, in a space very different from his home, would shape his identity and destiny forever.

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Yakiara Gonzalez

A third year student at Florida State University majoring in psychology and political science, Yakiara Gonzalez is working towards becoming an activist for world peace. She is currently a member of the Dream Defenders Chapter at FSU, an organization committed to promoting social change by training and organizing the youth and students. She has worked as an Upward Bound counselor working with 41 high school students ranging from 9th to 12th grade. In the fall and spring of 2012 she volunteered at a day care center with the Jumpstart Program working with children on various skills such as literacy, vocabulary and phonemic awareness, to promote educational success for their futures. She continues to support those who believe in social justice, equality, and the empowerment of others. She is honored to have been awarded this opportunity to be surrounded by others who are devoted to making the world a better place.

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Yetunde Obasade

Yetunde Obasade is a Nigerian-American Senior Architectural Engineering Student at the University of Oklahoma. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers, an active mentor for ME2, her university’s’ Multicultural Engineering Mentorship Program, and serves as the 2016 Public Relations Chair for the National Society of Black Engineers chapter at the University of Oklahoma. With a passion for sustainability and renewable energy, Yetunde plans on attending graduate school to obtain her Masters of Science in Sustainability and Design Systems. As an active participant in her schools Green Week, she advocates for the switch to renewable energy, as well as an increase in campus recycling. Yetunde is also extremely passionate about women’s’ rights, and the continued advocacy for minority equality. She hopes to one day create a scholarship for underrepresented minority women who are pursuing degrees in the STEM field.

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Ymani Cross

Ymani is the founder and creator She is a natural hairstylist, future expressive art therapist, and blogger. Ymani will be graduating with her degree in Creative Art therapy from DePaul University in 2016. Developing a strong passion to help people discover their dreams, she realized that cultivating and inspiring was her passion. Ymani uses her zeal for the visual performing arts to heal, direct, and love to help people reach their full potential.

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Ysa Munoz

Ysa Munoz is an undergraduate student at FIU. She is currently working on her Political Science and Sociology dual degree, along with a certificate in Women and Gender’s studies. Ysabella is a feminist activist who focuses her work and community service mostly on women’s rights issues. She has helped organize the first Feminist Summit in Florida, the SlutWalk, 1 in 3, and forums regarding gender issues and politics. Her main goal is to spread awareness and education in order to create a more just and respectful society.

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Yulkendy Valdez

Yulkendy Valdez is a junior at Babson College studying business management and entrepreneurship. She moved to the United States from the Dominican Republic at the age of 10, and ever since, she became more aware of the socio-economic inequalities that exist in today’s society. She is very active in leadership roles on campus from serving as Community Service Chair for both Black Student Union and ALPFA (a Latino Business organization) to working directly with multicultural programs at her college to facilitate initiatives around diversity and social entrepreneurship. She is proud to be a Resolution Project Fellow as well as a recipient of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation-ESA LOFT Fellowship for her work around inclusive leadership and gender equality. She was admitted to the Public Policy Conference at the Harvard Kennedy School in 2013 and has spent her college journey traveling on immersive programs to Rwanda, Uruguay, Argentina, Russia, India, China, and most recently throughout Europe.

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Yvette Ortega

Yvette is a junior attending the University of New Mexico. She is currently working towards her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Spanish. She works at the Graduate Resource Center, where she provides assistance to underprivileged students to improve their pre and post graduate educational opportunities. She is also involved with El Centro de la Raza, which is an underrepresented ethnic group center that takes on civic projects within the community. Karina hopes to gain opportunities that help her be part of the solution through improving the lives of others.

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Zachary Hendrickson

Zachary is a rising junior studying political science at Columbia University. He is currently the co-coordinator of the Columbia Urban Experience pre-orientation program, a week-long program that introduces incoming first-year students to different communities within New York City through community service partnerships and critical academic discussion. He also serves as a coordinator for the Men of Color Alliance, a multicultural community building organization. Zachary discovered his spark for political engagement while attending The American Legion Boys State of Kansas summer program, and he hopes to similarly inspire other Kansas youth as he enters into his third year on staff. Uniting Zachary’s varied interests is a desire to build connections among people from diverse backgrounds and to facilitate growth in pursuit of a common goal.

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Zachary Komes

Zach is a sophomore at George Washington University and Field Director of DC Students Speak, a network of college chapters advocating for students in Washington, DC. He helps organize GW Not for Profit, a campaign to lobby the University for greater financial transparency and for student members on the Board of Trustees. Originally from Milwaukee , Zach is dedicated to working on issues relevant to urban areas including social mobility, affordable housing, and economic development. He hopes that one day the “American Dream” will become a possibility for all.

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Zach Koop

Zachary Koop

Zachary aspires to increase civic participation by making civic engagement more inclusive. Finding his roots in programs advocating for youth socioeconomic literacy and empowerment, he is devoted to the vision of empowerment through education and inclusion. His blueprint includes a plan for the integration of a student voter-registration program at his home university; in the future he aspires to practice law in a governmental role of advocacy. Currently he studies physics and economics at The University of Wisconsin-Madison/La Crosse; he has held numerous roles in community development programs and student advocacy, believing the best way to win change is through grassroots activism and policy. Originally born in Elizabethtown, KY, he has found his home in the Wisconsin where his life was made possible by the warm-hearted, giving culture of the Midwest. So full of gratitude, he is driven to return the investment; he is an avid dreamer and runner, his favorite route being beneath the sunset of Wisconsin’s state capitol.

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Zakiya Acey

Zakiya is a student at Oberlin College. They are one of seven board members for the Edmonia Lewis Center (ELC) for Women and Trans*. Their work there includes engaging in creative programming to transform intersecting systems of oppression, including, but not limited to, racism, sexism, hetero-sexism, ableism, xenophobia, transphobia, classism, etc. Zakiya also volunteers through America Counts (math-focused tutoring) at the Boys and Girls Clubs, which is an after school center that provides safety, food, and education to low income and of color youth in grades k-8th.

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Zena Ali

Zena Ali is an Egyptian-American senior at Northern Nash High School. She is very passionate about minority owned businesses growth within the community.  She would especially want to work with Arab owned businesses and analyze their progress. Hopefully by being apart of Young People For she will be giving these businesses the opportunity to branch out. After High School she plans to attend North Carolina A&T for the fall semester and then UNC Charlotte for the spring semester with a major in international business. In the past two years she has worked for two Arab owned businesses, one including her father’s.  What she realized during this experience is that these businesses struggle in the competition against those who are more privileged.  Some of her achievements are the following: Treasurer of National Honor Society, Member of the National Technical honor Society, Vice president of Communities in Schools, and Secretary of Student Government at Northern Nash High School.  She also has a sister, Lela Ali, which is currently staffed with YP4. Her parents brought the family to America to provide them with better education and more opportunities. In the process of getting an education Zena also learned how to have an open mind and a passion for others happiness. She says “The way to satisfaction is the freedom of choice and acceptance of one’s circumstance.” Because of this passion she felt the need to Join Young People For, because their main goal is to target hidden issues within communities. This is exactly where she felt she could make a change.

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Zephanii Smith

“Zephanii Smith was introduced to civil rights and social justice activism as an elementary school student through her local NAACP’s Youth Empowerment Summit. She recently completed her term on the NAACP’s National Board of Directors and has served as President of the Stockton Youth Council and the California-Hawaii Youth & College Division. Locally, she mobilized her unit on issues related to education and criminal justice including Lobby Days and protests for the Voting Rights Act. In California, she spearheaded the development of socially-conscious youth leaders and sustainable youth units across the state.

Beyond the NAACP, she has experience in youth development initiatives offered by the local, state, and federal government. In High School, Zephanii was both a Battalion and Brigade Commander in U.S. ARMY Junior ROTC, a student representative to Stockton Unified School District’s Board of Trustees, Vice-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Commission, a student journalist for the local newspaper, Speaker of the Assembly in California’s Mock Legislature, a congressional intern, a delegate to the United States Senate Youth Program, an ambassador with People to People International’s Student Ambassador program, and a participant in the Global Youth Forum.

At Claremont McKenna College, Zephanii was a member of the Student Senate and worked at the Henry R. Kravis Leadership Institute. During her junior year, she spent a semester organizing with labor unions in Texas, and spent three academic terms abroad in the United Kingdom, The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and South Korea. Her blueprint for social justice entails connecting young activists around the world in a virtual forum. She spent the first semester of her senior year working on the political campaign trail and in the office of Governor Edmund G. Brown, and her final semester pursuing research and a social entrepreneurship venture to support opportunity youth.

Zephanii, who is both a Coca-Cola Scholar and a Bill and Melinda Gates Millennium Scholar, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Government from Claremont McKenna College in May 2013. She currently serves on the staff of her Congressman and will complete a master’s degree in Educational Administration & Leadership next May prior to pursuing a PhD in International Education Administration.

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Zoe Ridolfi-starr

Zoe is a co-founder of No Red Tape, a group of survivors and allies fighting to end sexual violence and rape culture at Columbia and beyond. She is a lead complainant in the Title IX, Clery, and Title II complaints against Columbia University, where she is a senior studying political science and critical race studies. As a case manager for End Rape on Campus, she now helps other students file Title IX and Clery complaints against their schools and provides media and organizing support. She also works as an organizer for Know Your IX, a survivor-led and student-driven campaign to end campus violence by improving both campus and government policies. Zoe also works on issues of mass incarceration, juvenile justice, and youth empowerment, and has founded and run multiple programs dedicated to supporting incarcerated youth. As a second generation queer woman and a survivor of sexual violence herself, she is committed to centering the voices of survivors and people of marginalized identities in anti-violence work, and building community-based solutions to sexual violence that do not rely on inherently violent institutions like the prison-industrial complex.

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