Young People For is excited to welcome 150 of the best and brightest young activists into this year’s 2014-2015 YP4 Fellowship Class. These young people hail from 127 campuses and communities and 39 states. Additionally, this year’s class includes a higher representation of students from historically Black colleges and universities, community colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, and tribal colleges than in years past. The YP4 team cannot wait to meet these promising young leaders at this year’s YP4 Regional Trainings in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston.
Below are a handful of examples of the young leaders who will make up our 2014-2015 YP4 Fellowship Class. We look forward to working with them throughout the coming year and beyond!
Currently a student at Truckee Meadows Community College, Celeste Tinajero first became keyed into environmental action when she joined the Eco Warriors club in 2011, during her sophomore year at Reed High School. Though their work, the club secured over $15,000 in grant money to renovate their outdated and wasteful bathrooms and to purchase a Brita Hydration Station to reduce the “disposal” of plastic water bottles. Those were the most rewarding moments of her life. As a freshman at TMCC, Celeste is currently planning to become an pre-school teacher, although she is committed to keeping sustainability progress as part of her goal. Celeste feels very fortunate and thankful for the opportunity to work with Black Rock Solar to continue to pursue her passion in education and sustainability.
Devin Murphy is double majoring in Political Science and Afro-American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Born and raised in the San Francisco, CA, his unwavering commitment to progressive issues is no surprise. His exposure living in the City has given him insight to the structural inequities that limit the access to education, healthcare, and the right to vote to African-Americans and other historically disenfranchised communities. He intends to pursue a career in public policy in order to provide communities of color with access to resources that provide the knowledge and skills to enhance their ability to enter higher education and become conscious, proactive participants in their democracy.
Candace Roane is a sophomore at Bowling Green State University studying Communication with a focus in promotions and advertising. She is an executive board member of BGSU’s Feminist Organization Raising Consciousness and Empowerment, and is passionate about raising awareness for social and reproductive rights. This year she was the first sophomore at BGSU to produce The Vagina Monologues, and organized a community donation drive for the Cocoon shelter, a local women’s shelter. Candace is a self-proclaimed bargain hunter, she enjoys thrift shopping, reading magazines, making art, and watching how to videos on Youtube.
Jesús envisions a new kind of society grounded in “In Lak’ech,” a Mayan ethos affirming: “You are my other me. If I harm you, I harm myself. If I love and respect you, I love and respect myself.” He believes having this profound sense of oneness with each other is the light that can help end systematic sexism and racism. Guided by “In Lak’ech,” Jesús lives to help heal and empower those who are isolated, persecuted, and silenced by these forces. As an undocumented American, Zapotec, and scholar-activist at UC Berkeley, he works to expand the economic, political, and educational opportunities available to Bay Area people impacted by injustices like poverty and mass incarceration. Jesús looks forward to meeting, learning from, and working with these marginalized people, whom he frames not as “people of struggle” but “people of overcoming.”
Danielle Lucero is a rising senior at Columbia University in the City of New York who double majors in Anthropology and Ethnic Studies with a specialization in American Indian Education. She is from Isleta Pueblo in New Mexico and is very much involved in her community. She is a part of the growing Native American Council at Columbia University and a co-founder of a summer program called AlterNative Education. She is extremely dedicated to making the Native community at Columbia University one that is both welcoming and educational. She is very family-oriented and everything she learns in school and achieves in life is aimed to better her community and family. She hopes to be a role model for all Native youth, especially the youth of Isleta and Indian Country.