The MINNESOTA YOUTH COLLECTIVE IS BUILT ON PASSION AND COMMUNITY. OUR Team INCLUDES YOUNG PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE STATE, WITH A WIDE ARRAY OF COMMUNITY, ELECTORAL, AND POLITICAL ORGANIZING EXPERIENCE.


Staff

Aurora Vautrin (she/her/hers)  Organizing Manager  Aurora grew up in Duluth, where she developed a passion for environmental and social justice. A graduate from Gustavus, she’s been organizing since 2010, starting as an intern with the DFL and Women Winning. Aurora then went on to work for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and Erin Murphy’s campaign for governor. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading, and camping with her pupper, Olive.

Aurora Vautrin (she/her/hers)

Organizing Manager

Aurora grew up in Duluth, where she developed a passion for environmental and social justice. A graduate from Gustavus, she’s been organizing since 2010, starting as an intern with the DFL and Women Winning. Aurora then went on to work for Hillary Clinton’s campaign, and Erin Murphy’s campaign for governor. In her free time she enjoys hiking, reading, and camping with her pupper, Olive.

Brian Rosas   (He/Him, They/Them)  Advocacy Organizer  Born and raised in North Minneapolis, Brian has always had a passion for social justice, especially racial and economic inequality. He spends his time working hard on the Queer Liberation movement and believes that Trans Women need to be liberated first in order for the movement to be successful. In his free time he likes to study fashion trends and history, and enjoys being creative with the arts!

Brian Rosas

(He/Him, They/Them)

Advocacy Organizer

Born and raised in North Minneapolis, Brian has always had a passion for social justice, especially racial and economic inequality. He spends his time working hard on the Queer Liberation movement and believes that Trans Women need to be liberated first in order for the movement to be successful. In his free time he likes to study fashion trends and history, and enjoys being creative with the arts!

Emily Wellen (she/her/hers)  Executive Director  Co-founder of MNYC, Emily started her career working for the Obama campaign and has since worked on candidate and issue campaigns across the country. Her life’s mission is to knock down every barrier to civic engagement and leadership. When she has a minute, she loves putting together playlists on Spotify and scheming on how to make her dog Instagram famous.

Emily Wellen (she/her/hers)

Executive Director

Co-founder of MNYC, Emily started her career working for the Obama campaign and has since worked on candidate and issue campaigns across the country. Her life’s mission is to knock down every barrier to civic engagement and leadership. When she has a minute, she loves putting together playlists on Spotify and scheming on how to make her dog Instagram famous.

Rahhel Haile (she/her/hers)  Program Director  Co-founder of MNYC, Rahhel is first generation Eritrean-American. A grad from UMN-Morris, she previously organized at MPIRG & SEIU 284. Rahhel believes in combining grassroots & electoral work, while prioritizing young POC without co-opting their movements. Outside of work, she likes working on her podcast, finding her best camera angles, & obsessing over true crime. Rahhel is a proud Slytherin & Capricorn.

Rahhel Haile (she/her/hers)

Program Director

Co-founder of MNYC, Rahhel is first generation Eritrean-American. A grad from UMN-Morris, she previously organized at MPIRG & SEIU 284. Rahhel believes in combining grassroots & electoral work, while prioritizing young POC without co-opting their movements. Outside of work, she likes working on her podcast, finding her best camera angles, & obsessing over true crime. Rahhel is a proud Slytherin & Capricorn.


2019 Summer Fellowship Cohort

Alejandra Llerena Correa (she/her/hers)  Alejandra is a first-generation, DACA college student at North Central University. She will be an incoming junior studying Elementary Education with a minor in pre-law and Christian studies. She earned a full-ride leadership scholarship, called Act Six that trained her in dealing with complex social justice issues as well in growing in leadership skills that are transferable to their university and communities. During her time at North Central University, she has fought alongside others to begin a Latinx group and has served as its director for an upcoming two years.  She was also assigned to be a captain of the volleyball team as a sophomore. Apart from this, Alejandra enjoys spending time with her family and her two nieces and nephew, playing volleyball and reading anytime she can.

Alejandra Llerena Correa (she/her/hers)

Alejandra is a first-generation, DACA college student at North Central University. She will be an incoming junior studying Elementary Education with a minor in pre-law and Christian studies. She earned a full-ride leadership scholarship, called Act Six that trained her in dealing with complex social justice issues as well in growing in leadership skills that are transferable to their university and communities. During her time at North Central University, she has fought alongside others to begin a Latinx group and has served as its director for an upcoming two years.

She was also assigned to be a captain of the volleyball team as a sophomore. Apart from this, Alejandra enjoys spending time with her family and her two nieces and nephew, playing volleyball and reading anytime she can.

Ana Elisa Souffront (she/her/hers)  Ana Elisa is a mixed Dominican-American. A senior at Loyola University Chicago, she is graduating a semester early, Fall of 2019. She has previously worked for Embrace Dignity in Cape Town, South Africa. Ana Elisa believes in empowering the too often marginalized through representation. Outside of her fellowship, school, and studying for the LSAT, Ana Elisa loves binge watching Game of Thrones and singing as loud as she can to every Beyoncé album.

Ana Elisa Souffront (she/her/hers)

Ana Elisa is a mixed Dominican-American. A senior at Loyola University Chicago, she is graduating a semester early, Fall of 2019. She has previously worked for Embrace Dignity in Cape Town, South Africa. Ana Elisa believes in empowering the too often marginalized through representation. Outside of her fellowship, school, and studying for the LSAT, Ana Elisa loves binge watching Game of Thrones and singing as loud as she can to every Beyoncé album.

Bryce Maples (he/him/his)  Bryce will be a sophomore at George Washington University in DC this fall. He was born and raised in Minneapolis Minnesota. Bryce has a passion for economic justice and making the world a fairer place by expanding democracy in the obvious ways such as increasing voter access and in less obvious ways such as expanding workplace democracy. Bryce's political experience ranges from working for Congressman Keith Ellison to co-running Students For Erin, Erin Murphy's student outreach operation.

Bryce Maples (he/him/his)

Bryce will be a sophomore at George Washington University in DC this fall. He was born and raised in Minneapolis Minnesota. Bryce has a passion for economic justice and making the world a fairer place by expanding democracy in the obvious ways such as increasing voter access and in less obvious ways such as expanding workplace democracy. Bryce's political experience ranges from working for Congressman Keith Ellison to co-running Students For Erin, Erin Murphy's student outreach operation.

Destiny Washington (she/her/hers)  Born and raised in Harlem, Destiny’s identity was formed in a community rich with black history. Throughout her time in New York she has volunteered on several campaigns, including Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s campaign. She came to MN through a program for inner city students, and found her love and passion for MN politics. She’s a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, majoring in political science and african american history. Growing up I did not think politics represented me, so I am dedicated to giving a voice to marginalized communities.

Destiny Washington (she/her/hers)

Born and raised in Harlem, Destiny’s identity was formed in a community rich with black history. Throughout her time in New York she has volunteered on several campaigns, including Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s campaign. She came to MN through a program for inner city students, and found her love and passion for MN politics. She’s a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, majoring in political science and african american history. Growing up I did not think politics represented me, so I am dedicated to giving a voice to marginalized communities.

Grant Berg (he/him/his)  Grant is a Senior at Augsburg University studying political science and history. Previously, he worked with OutFront as their Policy Fellow. As a trans man, Grant is always looking for ways to open doors for transgender youth that were previously closed for him because of his identity, and gave a TEDXUMN talk discussing his life as a trans man in the Trump era. In his free time, Grant reads, exercises, designs wooden canoe paddles, and takes care of his cat, Merlin.

Grant Berg (he/him/his)

Grant is a Senior at Augsburg University studying political science and history. Previously, he worked with OutFront as their Policy Fellow. As a trans man, Grant is always looking for ways to open doors for transgender youth that were previously closed for him because of his identity, and gave a TEDXUMN talk discussing his life as a trans man in the Trump era. In his free time, Grant reads, exercises, designs wooden canoe paddles, and takes care of his cat, Merlin.

Jack Dockendorf (he/him/his)  Jack studies sociology with an emphasis in policy analysis at the University of Minnesota. Besides being a student and fellow at MNYC, he's managed a state legislative campaign, co-founded the progressive group Student Advocates for Equity, and organized with the Young Democratic Socialists of America. Jack's favorite things to do are watch basketball, enjoy nature, and play video games with friends.

Jack Dockendorf (he/him/his)

Jack studies sociology with an emphasis in policy analysis at the University of Minnesota. Besides being a student and fellow at MNYC, he's managed a state legislative campaign, co-founded the progressive group Student Advocates for Equity, and organized with the Young Democratic Socialists of America. Jack's favorite things to do are watch basketball, enjoy nature, and play video games with friends.

Maya Alfred (she/her/hers)  Maya grew up in Rochester and found her passion for reproductive and social justice as a member of Planned Parenthood’s Teen Council. A rising junior at Smith College, Maya is double majoring in Spanish and The Study of Women and Gender. Having interned last Summer with the Boston-based non-profit, My Life My Choice, Maya is excited to be spending this summer doing policy research with The Movement Advancement Project as well as gaining new skills in political organizing as a fellow at MNYC. In her free time, Maya enjoys reading, writing poetry, spending time outside, and cuddling with cats.

Maya Alfred (she/her/hers)

Maya grew up in Rochester and found her passion for reproductive and social justice as a member of Planned Parenthood’s Teen Council. A rising junior at Smith College, Maya is double majoring in Spanish and The Study of Women and Gender. Having interned last Summer with the Boston-based non-profit, My Life My Choice, Maya is excited to be spending this summer doing policy research with The Movement Advancement Project as well as gaining new skills in political organizing as a fellow at MNYC. In her free time, Maya enjoys reading, writing poetry, spending time outside, and cuddling with cats.

Meti Regassa (she/her/hers)  Meti is an Ethiopian-American from SE Minneapolis. She is currently a sophomore studying Community Health with a minor in Political Science at Bethel University as a Act Six Scholar. Last summer Meti worked on Erin Murphy's run for Governor as a field intern and continues her work with Students For Education Reform hoping to make systematic changes that will benefit marginalized children. In her free time she enjoys long walks (especially around Bde Maka Ska), binge watching, and dancing.

Meti Regassa (she/her/hers)

Meti is an Ethiopian-American from SE Minneapolis. She is currently a sophomore studying Community Health with a minor in Political Science at Bethel University as a Act Six Scholar. Last summer Meti worked on Erin Murphy's run for Governor as a field intern and continues her work with Students For Education Reform hoping to make systematic changes that will benefit marginalized children. In her free time she enjoys long walks (especially around Bde Maka Ska), binge watching, and dancing.

Sabrina Ford (she/her/hers)  Born and raised in Minnesota and currently working towards her BFA in Art at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, Sabrina is a multidisciplinary artist whose work focuses on photojournalism and the representation of people of color in the media. When not in class or focused on her latest piece, she loves flower gardening and watching campy horror films with her sisters.

Sabrina Ford (she/her/hers)

Born and raised in Minnesota and currently working towards her BFA in Art at the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, Sabrina is a multidisciplinary artist whose work focuses on photojournalism and the representation of people of color in the media. When not in class or focused on her latest piece, she loves flower gardening and watching campy horror films with her sisters.

Sean Lim (he/him/his)  Sean is a first-generation Malaysian-American from Roseville, MN. He’s a sophomore studying Environmental Science & Political Science at UMN, Twin Cities. As a MNYC Organizing Fellow, Sean registered fellow Minnesotans ahead of the 2018 Midterms. He believes real political change happens from the bottom-on-up when we mobilize & empower young Americans to take charge of their future and vote their voice. Sean enjoys biking, crafting vinyl stickers, and collects foreign currencies.

Sean Lim (he/him/his)

Sean is a first-generation Malaysian-American from Roseville, MN. He’s a sophomore studying Environmental Science & Political Science at UMN, Twin Cities. As a MNYC Organizing Fellow, Sean registered fellow Minnesotans ahead of the 2018 Midterms. He believes real political change happens from the bottom-on-up when we mobilize & empower young Americans to take charge of their future and vote their voice. Sean enjoys biking, crafting vinyl stickers, and collects foreign currencies.

Sequoia Smith (she/her/hers)  Sequoia is a recent graduate from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, California. She majored in political science and minored in pre-law, which tremendously expanded her passions for anti-oppression work, but it did not start there. She began organizing in high school when I was volunteered for the Obama campaign and interned for Governor Dayton’s campaign. She then continued on throughout her college career working with groups like YWCA USA, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos. In her free time she loves hanging out with friends, watching Netflix, and most importantly, sleeping

Sequoia Smith (she/her/hers)

Sequoia is a recent graduate from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, California. She majored in political science and minored in pre-law, which tremendously expanded her passions for anti-oppression work, but it did not start there. She began organizing in high school when I was volunteered for the Obama campaign and interned for Governor Dayton’s campaign. She then continued on throughout her college career working with groups like YWCA USA, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos. In her free time she loves hanging out with friends, watching Netflix, and most importantly, sleeping

Sophie Ball (she/her/hers)  Sophie is a recent Global Studies graduate from the University of Minnesota. She has spent the last few years working with people experiencing food insecurity while employed with Second Harvest Heartland. During this time, she has developed a passion for racial equity and cultural competency work in the emergency food system and in other community networks. Sophie also has experience working with refugee communities in the Twin Cities and wants to further build skills to be a better advocate and ally for vulnerable populations in Minnesota. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, baking and eating foods from around the world and obsessively learning about foreign cultures. Napping and reading rank pretty high as well.

Sophie Ball (she/her/hers)

Sophie is a recent Global Studies graduate from the University of Minnesota. She has spent the last few years working with people experiencing food insecurity while employed with Second Harvest Heartland. During this time, she has developed a passion for racial equity and cultural competency work in the emergency food system and in other community networks. Sophie also has experience working with refugee communities in the Twin Cities and wants to further build skills to be a better advocate and ally for vulnerable populations in Minnesota. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, baking and eating foods from around the world and obsessively learning about foreign cultures. Napping and reading rank pretty high as well.


Board of Directors

Ben Baglio (he/him/his)  MNYC & MNYC Education Fund  Ben is currently finishing his graduate studies in the Master’s of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) program at Metro State after graduating from UMN-Morris. He has worked for the Association of Minnesota Counties, the IN House of Representatives, the DFL, and the U.S. House of Representatives. He is most passionate about electoral and campaign finance reforms, eliminating student loan debt, and making sure that young people are at the table when policies are being made.

Ben Baglio (he/him/his)

MNYC & MNYC Education Fund

Ben is currently finishing his graduate studies in the Master’s of Advocacy and Political Leadership (MAPL) program at Metro State after graduating from UMN-Morris. He has worked for the Association of Minnesota Counties, the IN House of Representatives, the DFL, and the U.S. House of Representatives. He is most passionate about electoral and campaign finance reforms, eliminating student loan debt, and making sure that young people are at the table when policies are being made.

Garrison McMurtrey (he/him/his)

MNYC Board Chair

Currently the Senior Public Affairs Associate at Target Corp, Garrison previously worked as the Outreach Director for a US Senator. He believes for far too long the voices of young people have not been heard, yet they are deeply impacted by legislation and elections. Having an organization like MNYC that engages, educates, and provides them with the resources they need to make the changes they want to see is so pivotal in today's world.

Marissa Luna (she/her/hers)  MNYC  Marissa is the Communications Director at Alliance for a Better Minnesota. She joined the MNYC board because she believes young people can affect meaningful change when they come together and participate in our democracy.  She lives up to society's expectations of millenials by obsessing over Beyoncé, regularly eating her weight in avocados, and having a lot of student loan debt.

Marissa Luna (she/her/hers)

MNYC

Marissa is the Communications Director at Alliance for a Better Minnesota. She joined the MNYC board because she believes young people can affect meaningful change when they come together and participate in our democracy.

She lives up to society's expectations of millenials by obsessing over Beyoncé, regularly eating her weight in avocados, and having a lot of student loan debt.

Cara Luebke (she/her/hers)  MNYC Education Fund  Cara is a recent graduate of the Masters of Advocacy and Political Leadership program at Metropolitan State where she focused on Nonprofit Advocacy and Youth Work. She previously served as the Statewide Board Chair of Students United. During her term she advocated on issues of equity and inclusion, affordability and mental health services in higher education. Currently she is a Youth Services Associate at AchieveMpls, a College & Career readiness nonprofit.

Cara Luebke (she/her/hers)

MNYC Education Fund

Cara is a recent graduate of the Masters of Advocacy and Political Leadership program at Metropolitan State where she focused on Nonprofit Advocacy and Youth Work. She previously served as the Statewide Board Chair of Students United. During her term she advocated on issues of equity and inclusion, affordability and mental health services in higher education. Currently she is a Youth Services Associate at AchieveMpls, a College & Career readiness nonprofit.

Geoff Koslig (he/him/his)  MNYC & MNYC Education Fund  Formerly a fifth grade math teacher and the Director of Operations at WIN Minnesota, Geoff is currently a law student at the University of Minnesota. He joined the Board of MNYC because he believes young people are essential to making change at the ballot box and in the halls of power, and that we will only realize those changes by empowering people to advocate for their communities.

Geoff Koslig (he/him/his)

MNYC & MNYC Education Fund

Formerly a fifth grade math teacher and the Director of Operations at WIN Minnesota, Geoff is currently a law student at the University of Minnesota. He joined the Board of MNYC because he believes young people are essential to making change at the ballot box and in the halls of power, and that we will only realize those changes by empowering people to advocate for their communities.


Njoya Chomilo (he/him/his)  MNYC & MNYC Education Fund  Njoya is a dual degree Master of Public Policy and MBA student at the University of Minnesota where he focuses on the intersection of renewable energy and environmental justice. Prior to starting classes at the U, Njoya served as an Officer in the U.S. Army. He joined the board because he believes that only by empowering today’s youth can we build a more progressive and sustainable MN.

Njoya Chomilo (he/him/his)

MNYC & MNYC Education Fund

Njoya is a dual degree Master of Public Policy and MBA student at the University of Minnesota where he focuses on the intersection of renewable energy and environmental justice. Prior to starting classes at the U, Njoya served as an Officer in the U.S. Army. He joined the board because he believes that only by empowering today’s youth can we build a more progressive and sustainable MN.

Elísabeth King Avíles (she/her/hers)  MNYC & MNYC Education Fund  Elísabeth is the Visual Content & Brand Specialist at Alliance for a Better Minnesota. Prior to that, she worked for First Avenue & 7th Street entry, multidisciplinary creative studios like Pixel Farm, and advertising agencies like Terri & Sandy in New York.

Elísabeth King Avíles (she/her/hers)

MNYC & MNYC Education Fund

Elísabeth is the Visual Content & Brand Specialist at Alliance for a Better Minnesota. Prior to that, she worked for First Avenue & 7th Street entry, multidisciplinary creative studios like Pixel Farm, and advertising agencies like Terri & Sandy in New York.

Kelly Hart (she/her/hers)  MNYC Education Fund  Kelly, a high school senior, is a volunteer at local summer camps and as a student election judge. Kelly joined the board because she believes everybody deserves a quality education, and opportunities to achieve a brighter future. Kelly enjoys spending time with her dog Millie, baking, and recreating Pinterest art, and reading. She’s a proud Hufflepuff who loves listening to Ariana Grande.

Kelly Hart (she/her/hers)

MNYC Education Fund

Kelly, a high school senior, is a volunteer at local summer camps and as a student election judge. Kelly joined the board because she believes everybody deserves a quality education, and opportunities to achieve a brighter future. Kelly enjoys spending time with her dog Millie, baking, and recreating Pinterest art, and reading. She’s a proud Hufflepuff who loves listening to Ariana Grande.

Tasha Scott (she/her/hers)  MNYC Education Fund  Tasha has worked in Human Services with children and families on the local, county, and state levels for over 20 years. She currently works as the State Program Administrator Senior for the Minnesota Department of Health, the leading statewide health agency. Tasha joined the board to help young people find their political voices through education, leadership, and self-empowerment.

Tasha Scott (she/her/hers)

MNYC Education Fund

Tasha has worked in Human Services with children and families on the local, county, and state levels for over 20 years. She currently works as the State Program Administrator Senior for the Minnesota Department of Health, the leading statewide health agency. Tasha joined the board to help young people find their political voices through education, leadership, and self-empowerment.