Ashley is a graduate of Howard University, with a commitment to education and social advocacy as a former teacher. Her devotion to nurturing young minds reflects her passion for empowering future generations. Her seminary Intercultural Studies degree deepened her understanding of differences and unity. Through her active participation in Lyrical Opposition, she harnesses the power of lyrical arts to challenge injustices and amplify the voices of the marginalized. Ashley hopes to become involved in creating meaningful change through public policy.
Deepa Bajwa is a dedicated mental health advocate and changemaker committed to empowering marginalized populations. Her passion for this work was ignited while caring for a loved one experiencing a crisis and later reinforced during her time at a crisis hotline. Deepa has also recently joined the Sikh Family Center as a community advocate where she is developing trauma-informed resources to actively support the recovery and advocacy efforts for survivors of gender-based violence. She believes that crises are symptoms of societal disparities and bridging systemic gaps is a path to equity and justice. At Coro, Deepa hopes to deepen her understanding of pressing issues and further her career exploration in civic service.
A San Francisco native, Jackson’s teenage experience campaigning for a local ballot measure inspired him to pursue a political science degree at Stanford. His studies focused on the institutions and value systems that define liberal democracies. Outside the classroom, he contributed to Stanford Politics magazine and held positions at the university’s social entrepreneurship club and the Farmlink Project, a food insecurity nonprofit. During his gap year, Jackson’s experience interning for Speaker Emeritus Nancy Pelosi and the nonprofit Millennial Action Project solidified his desire for a public service career. In his free time, Jackson enjoys cooking, skiing, and climbing.
Jordan McFadden graduated from UCLA with a BA in African-American Studies and a minor in Entrepreneurship. To gain a deeper understanding of wealth gap disparities, Jordan conducted research on financial literacy in minority communities as an undergraduate independent study student researcher at the Ralph J. Bunche Center of African-American Studies. While at UCLA, Jordan served as a member and mentor in an on-campus organization that focused on mental health and college retention for black men at predominantly white institutions. Jordan’s future endeavors involve attending law school to acquire a holistic understanding of the law and learn how to facilitate change and impact communities through policy.
Kai is driven to understand how private sector resources can solve issues of public service and social impact, especially in urban spaces. This curiosity has led her to research smart city technology’s impact on the public sphere and to intern for a Bangladeshi mobile financial services firm increasing financial inclusion. After graduating from Middlebury College, Kai worked at Accenture Federal Services, focusing on growth strategy, facilitation, and project management for federal government agencies. As a Native Hawaiian, Kai has conducted research on media representation of the group. She is an avid runner and loves barbecuing.
Luis Ornelas served as Manager of Educational Practice for 4.5 years at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. As a grantmaker, he supported holistic student success by deploying $24 million in grants to tribal agencies, schools, districts, nonprofits, and researchers across the United States. He brings experience in the philanthropic, nonprofit, and community organizing spaces on education and housing justice issues. With Coro training, he plans to explore effective strategies that improve material conditions and build power for working class communities. Originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, Luis graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Urban Studies. He enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.
Selena Martinez Mak is a second generation Mexican-American, mother, patient advocate, and social entrepreneur. She is driven to be part of a collective solution to re-imagine economic systems where communities can thrive. After graduating with a dual masters degree in Business and Public Administration, she co-founded and served as executive director of The 559 Mural Project to address racial and socio-economic inequity through mural art. As a Coro fellow, she hopes to strengthen her leadership skills to lead with intention and build collective power in community to tackle inequitable economic systems. Selena enjoys spending time with her family, making her mom’s enchiladas, and listening to NPR’s Throughline podcast.
Smita is passionate about user-centered design, policy, and technology. At MIT, she advocated for communities by using her mechanical engineering degree to design transformative low-cost products for rural areas. Professionally, Smita worked as a program manager at Meta, working to bring hardware products to launch with cross-functional teams. Recently, she worked at ClearCost Health to facilitate the implementation of healthcare price transparency platforms for massive employers. At Coro, Smita hopes to work on projects for communities in fields like housing, digital equity, and human rights leveraging her existing skill sets and interests. She also enjoys trying new art mediums, lifting, and traveling.