Alicia began her academic career at Northeast Texas Community College, where she discovered organizing by facilitating a U.S. Congressional debate on campus. After being awarded the Jack Kent Cooke Transfer Scholarship, she studied politics, economics, policy, and law at Mills College. As a queer woman from the rural South, she was thrilled to participate in the Victory Congressional Internship Program. Working with openly lesbian Representative Angie Craig gave her an inside look at policymaking and law, which Alicia views as tools to uplift historically marginalized communities. She plans to attend law school and pursue a career in civil rights law.
Angela’s passion for advancing positive social change stems from the legal and political challenges and systematic barriers she witnessed, learned about, and faced personally and within her community. After finishing her undergraduate degree at University of California Berkeley, she began her journey in the nonprofit sector to tackle these challenges. Most recently, as a Litigation Assistant at the ACLU of Northern California, Angela worked in Immigrants’ Rights, Racial and Economic Justice, and Voting Rights issue teams. Angela is excited to participate in this year’s cohort and hopes to use the skills and experiences gained from this fellowship to promote social change.
At Claremont McKenna College, Henry engaged with the philosophies, politics, and economics that shape our society. Questions of justice — economic, environmental, and educational — were most interesting to him. Determined to grapple with those questions tangibly, he joined Teach for America in Colorado Springs, where he taught middle school English for two years. As a teacher, coach, and member of the school’s leadership team, Henry witnessed firsthand the systemic barriers that stand between his students and an excellent education. Henry aspires to use law and policy to help eliminate those barriers. Henry is a runner, writer, and conversationalist.
Donovan L. Gayles is a graduate of Susquehanna University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Policy. As a student, he was involved in many organizations and received recognition for his commitment to serving students, faculty, and his community. He served as the 2019-2020 Student Government Association Executive President while also competing in track and field. Donovan hopes to work in criminal justice reform and civil rights law after obtaining his Juris Doctorate.
Mara earned a B.A. in American Studies from Yale while reporting on the relationship between New Haven and the university as a student journalist. As a health educator and peer mentor, they worked to build a strong LGBTQ community on campus. Recently, Mara reported on the dynamic changes in nursing homes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as an investigative reporting intern at the Sacramento Bee. Mara hopes to use their time as a Coro Fellow to combine their passion for writing and reporting with their commitment to public service. Mara grew up in Chicago. They are an avid cook.
Throughout Niki’s time at Willamette University, she focused on academic and advocacy work relating to incarcerated populations and resettled refugees. Her favorite experiences during college were collaborating with incarcerated persons to implement a robust reentry program at Oregon State Penitentiary, and helping to launch a mentorship and tutoring program for refugee youth in Salem, Oregon. Niki graduated this spring with honors from Phi Beta Kappa and hopes to continue her work in prison reform through law and policy. Niki prefers to spend as much time in the water as possible, swimming and surfing.
Adiba is a Bangladeshi-American from Oklahoma. As an undergraduate, she founded, organized, and co-led a successful CA legislative reproductive justice campaign (Campus Action for Reproductive Equity) to expand access to medication abortion at all CA public university student health centers by 2023. Her bill became law in 2019. Upon graduating, Adiba was a paralegal at a plaintiff’s side firm in San Francisco representing incarcerated people; later, she was an organizer for the Bernie 2020 campaign in Nevada, Arizona, and Pennsylvania. After the Coro Fellowship, she hopes to pursue a Master’s in Public Policy.
Gina has spent the past 15 years in the corporate sector and is pivoting her career to focus on social equity. Her corporate social responsibility internship at Reebok and time on Macys’ Sustainability Committee significantly furthered her passion for developing policies and strategies to produce positive social impact. For the past 7 years, Gina worked for fast-growth startups in San Francisco, leading people, strategy, and teams in building award-winning work cultures. She has volunteered with the International Rescue Committee, iMentor, and serves on the board of the San Francisco Public Health Foundation. Gina loves apple picking and flea markets.
Kaitlin Morton is a recent graduate from the Pennsylvania State University with a B.S in Community, Environment, and Development, focus in International Development, and two minors: Environmental Engineering and International Agriculture. Kaitlin led a food insecurity survey in Nyeri, Kenya under a University-led study abroad extension program, and conducted undergraduate research with The Center for Economic and Community Development. She is an avid member of the National Society of Black Engineers, and is a Bunton-Waller Scholar. Her greatest passions are equality, art, and sustainability. In her free time she loves to paint, write poetry, and drink tea.
During her time at California State University, East Bay, Yajaira advocated for all students in the CSU system and the local residents of Hayward. Her passion for advocacy stems from her multiple years in leadership in Associated Students Incorporated (ASI), congressional internships, and statewide civic engagement efforts. Yajaira has been able to empower marginalized communities during her service in ASI and continues to do so in her daily life. Yajaira hopes to continue to engage local residents of the Bay Area for many years to come. In her free time, Yajaira loves to explore Bay Area food spots.
Catherine Seo graduated summa cum laude from UC Riverside with a B.S. in bioengineering and Tau Beta Pi Honors. While at University, she led efforts in closing healthcare disparities through the Flying Samaritans. Catherine also conducted research in tissue engineering and was recognized nationally with multiple accolades and publications. Through her experiences and successes, she found a passion for business, medical technology, and healthcare. In the future, Catherine hopes to further develop these interfaces to better facilitate the understanding of and access to healthcare and medical technology available due to research innovations.
A San Francisco native, Eddie Whitfield attended San Francisco State University where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies and served on the Black Student Union’s executive leadership board. Before becoming a Coro Fellow, he worked to plan and coordinate programs to support San Francisco youth from disadvantaged communities through his service in Healthy Choices Americorps and work in the nonprofit sector. Eddie is excited to continue to develop his leadership training, and hopes to gain multidisciplinary tools to help eradicate our nation’s most critical social disparities.