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.

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 (still in formation)

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.

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. 

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


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.