sunrise fellows

class of 2018

Sunrise is building towards a massive youth intervention in the 2018 midterm elections we’re calling Sunrise Semester.

Meet the 70 young people taking a break from their ordinary lives to defend life itself by serving as full-time volunteer organizing fellows between June and the election in November.

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emma walker

Emma is a rising Junior at Swarthmore College. She is majoring Sociology and Anthropology and is thinking of minoring in English, but who knows. She loves to write and will be the Editor in Chief of the Visibility Zine for marginalized students on Swarthmore's campus.

FUN FACT: A QUIRKY, YET SIGNIFICANT, ACCOMPLISHMENT OR FEAT FROM YOUR LIFE

I can sing all the words to Fetty Wap's 679 - is that what you call a significant accomplishment? I think it is

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Cormac Martinez del Rio

Cormac is a chicano Wyomingite who works part time as an environmental educator/outdoor recreation guide and part time as a plant evolution lab technician in Santa Cruz, California. In his time as a student at the University of California Santa Cruz, he was a part of Fossil Free UC and conducted independent research that will culminate to two scientific journal publications.

FUN FACT: FAVORITE FILM

Hot Rod

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Raven Geiger

Raven graduated from Mount Holyoke college this spring. An intersectional feminist, Raven studied environmental studies, critical social thought and gender studies while organizing for Mount Holyoke's Climate Justice Coalition and Fossil Fuel Divestment campaign. Raven will be working in an overnight camp that teaches children about environmental justice, social justice and Jewish Spirituality before heading off to Sunrise Semester.

FUN FACT: SONG THAT EMBODIES YOU AS A PERSON

フォスフォフィライト - Phosphofilite - Houseki No Kuni - Original SoundTrack (OST)

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ARJUN Jayaraman

Arjun is a first generation Michigander who studied Electrical Engineering at Michigan State University and acquired both his bachelors and masters in the field. In subsequent years he worked in Silicon Valley, transferring to PV design engineering after getting a certificate in renewable energy from Santa Clara University. He has since moved back to Michigan where he helped with the installation of a 10.5 MW system at his original alma mater.

FUN FACT: COMPLETE THE POEM ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE

I wish I knew Kung-Fu

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Claire Tacherra-Morrison

From Mendocino County, CA Claire is a UC Berkeley graduate in Gender and Women's Studies, Ethnobotany and Climate Change. Claire was a leader in the fossil fuel divestment movement and led a knitting group at her university parish. Now living in Michigan, Claire is ready to fight for people's right to clean air and water while being a part of a movement that gives people hope.

FUN FACT: A SONG THAT EMBODIES YOU AS A PERSON

H.E.R. - Focus

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Gabriel Brossy de Dios

Originally from Monterey Park, CA Gabriel is currently studying to be a high school teacher at Swarthmore College just outside of Philadelphia. Gabriel is active in his school's fossil fuel divestment campaign and Sunrise Swarthmore Hub. Gabriel is excited to connect with PA communities and help build the power we need to stop climate change.

FUN FACT: FAVORITE FILM

The Spongebob Squarepants Movie

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Phillip Brown

Phillip is a queer Jamaican immigrant who is currently on a leave of absence from Clark University where he studied Geography and Political Science. During his time there, he found a community of radical resistance and got involved with various student-run campaigns including a fossil fuel divestment campaign run by Divest Clark, immigrants rights efforts, and a disorientation week geared towards deconstructing the university's oppressive institutional structures. This led him to complete an internship with the Better Future Project in Boston where he fought alongside 9 other students for the divestment of the New England Aquarium from fossil fuels.

FUN FACT: TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIE

  1. I haven't lived in any US city for more than a year.
  2. I spontaneously did a 2 week road trip across the US after my last exam at the end of my first year of college visiting over 15 states.
  3. My love for jazz and music in general has pushed me to learn 2 instruments on my own.
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Emily lASHELLE

Emily is a student at Wellesley College, from Bozeman, MT. Emily studies Environmental Studies and Arabic. She recently began a 100% renewable energy campaign at her College and is excited to learn and grow in the movement.

FUN FACT: IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE YOUR SENIOR QUOTE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

To change everything, we need everyone

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Jordan Mudd

Jordan is a music lover, writer, and performer who loves bringing art to the movement. During his two years at Brandeis University, Jordan has been actively involved in the school's divestment campaign and in building a student music community. Jordan looks forward to learning and growing amongst a community of passionate organizers.

FUN FACT: SONG THAT EMBODIES YOU AS A PERSON

Marvin Gaye - Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

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Amanda Young

From Reston, VA Amanda has lived all over the world, including Spain and Switzerland. Currently, Amanda studies politics at Juniata College in central Pennsylvania. During her free time Amanda does community service and goes on hikes. Amanda is excited to work on political campaigns after graduation.

FUN FACT: A QUIRKY, YET SIGNIFICANT, ACCOMPLISHMENT OR FEAT FROM YOUR LIFE

At age 8 Amanda performed flamenco onstage with professional dancers during the Feria de Sevilla.

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Nicholas Jansen

Nicholas is a proud Michigander who is working to protect the Great Lakes through community organizing and advocacy. After organizing around the country with Green Corps, he is excited to bring those skills back to the Great Lake State. Nicholas looks forward to making 2018 a turning point for climate change and to protecting Michigan's two most important resources: people and water.

FUN FACT: A QUIRKY, YET SIGNIFICANT, ACCOMPLISHMENT OR FEAT FROM YOUR LIFE

Was a certified chili taste test judge in Massachusetts.

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bECKY sCHOELLKOPF

Becky is from Downington, Pennsylvania. She currently studies at West Chester University, and during her first year there she pioneered a successful clothing swap. She is excited to be working with Sunrise because she is passionate about making voices heard.

FUN FACT: TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE

  1. I don't have any body odor, like any.
  2. I wrote my college essay about nudity.
  3. I was adopted from China.
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Lauren Maunus

Lauren is a student at Brown University majoring Environmental Studies. She helps run the Rhode Island Student Climate Coalition fighting against new fossil fuel infrastructure and pushing for bold climate policy in RI. Lauren is also an active member of her campus environmental co-op.

FUN FACT: A QUIRKY, YET SIGNIFICANT, ACCOMPLISHMENT OR FEAT FROM YOUR LIFE

I organized my first action in 4th grade when I rallied students in my Hebrew school class to strike outside behind the playground to demand a new teacher and fair treatment of all students in the class.

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cODY pURCHASE

Growing up among the beautiful mountains of Idaho, Cody loves travel, wilderness and cuisine. Cody recently went on a Sunrise Speakers tour throughout the Midwest to promote our movement and connect with many communities. Cody is excited to demonstrate and to end the corrupting influence of fossil fuel money on our democracy.

FUN FACT: TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE

Cody speaks Japanese, has a tattoo of an elephant, and dislikes raw celery.

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mARIAN MICHAELS

Originally from Boston, MA Marian has a degree in Latin American Studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN. On campus she was involved in feminist, anti-racist and food sustainability activism. She founded Macalester’s food justice organization in 2015, and has worked as a tutor and a cook.

FUN FACT: A QUIRKY, YET SIGNIFICANT, ACCOMPLISHMENT OR FEAT FROM YOUR LIFE

I have cooked thousands of fried eggs!

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Abbie bRISTOL

Abbie is a Western Michigan University senior focusing on the impacts of climate change on ecology. She is currently on a team to institutionalize student voter registration at WMU. Abbie is excited to keep politicians accountable to the people.

FUN FACT: IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND CHANGE YOUR SENIOR QUOTE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

"Only when the last tree has died and the last river poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money" -Cree Proverb

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Julia Epstein

Julia grew up in LA before moving to Montreal to attend McGill university where she double majored in Environmental Science and Political Science While at McGill, Julia organized with the school's fossil fuel divestment campaign and was a coordinator in the environment student's coffee shop co-op.

FUN FACT: TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE

  1. Someone once interviewed me at a protest in Albany, but accidentally mixed up my name and replaced it with the name of a local city council member. I don't know if the council member had my name on the news, but I hope so!
  2. Every time I’m home, my mom and I go roller-skating or to ballet class because those are two of her favorite hobbies. She is a lot better than me at both.
  3. At one point in my childhood, my family had a house-trained bunny, 3 chickens, 2 small turtles, and lots of crickets for the turtles to eat, but I've never had a dog or cat.
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Felton Pierre

Felton is second generation Haitian, born and raised in Miami. Felton graduated with a BA in English/ Literature from Florida International University. He considers himself a freedom fighter who’s been part of various social justice movements & organizations such as Dream Defenders and New Florida Majority. He is now part of the fight for climate justice with the Sunrise Movement.

FUN FACT: A SONG THAT EMBODIES YOU AS A PERSON

Outkast- Liberation ft. Cee-lo Green and Erykah Badu

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Victoria Chapman

Victoria is a first generation student from Niles, MI. She is currently studying Interdisciplinary Humanities and pursuing a minor in environmental studies and sustainability at Michigan State University.

FUN FACT: IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE YOUR SENIOR QUOTE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

I spent a lot of time in the closet but I still don’t dress well. :/

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Marcela Mulholland

Marcela is a committed advocate for criminal justice reform and climate action from the Ft. Lauderdale area in South Florida. In addition to her civic engagement, she studies Political Science and Sustainability Studies at the University of Florida. She will also be interning for the NAACP's Environmental & Climate Justice Program

FUN FACT: A QUIRKY, YET SIGNIFICANT, ACCOMPLISHMENT OR FEAT FROM YOUR LIFE

Marcela once organized Gainesville, Florida's portion of the World's Biggest Eye Contact Event.

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Zi Chua

Zi is a student who is trying to do a physics major and philosophy minor at Wellesley College, Massachusetts. This past semester, she helped organize a campaign to pressure Wellesley's Board of Trustees to commit the campus to relying on renewable energy. She is continuing this work next semester.

FUN FACT: THE SONG THAT EMBODIES YOU AS A PERSON

All Star, but its the rite of spring by Igor Stravinsky

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Madison Daisy

Madison is a flower child who is about to graduate from Portland State Honors College in Portland, OR. During her last year and a half of college she got involved in a number of campus leadership positions and helped with Oregon’s carbon pricing Clean Energy Jobs bill.

FUN FACT: TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE

  1. I have been to over 30 networking events in the last 5 years.
  2. I own a car.
  3. My little brother's middle name is River and my mom's is Sunshine.
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Erik pearl

Erik is a recent college graduate who is currently holding a temporary job in the Twin Cities. Erik is devoted to making a positive change in the local community, and also grow as a person and activist.

FUN FACT: A QUIRKY, YET SIGNIFICANT, ACCOMPLISHMENT OR FEAT FROM YOUR LIFE

I am capable of very good impressions of professional wrestlers

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Georgette Sordellini

Georgette is originally from North Carolina and is currently living and organizing in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with Sunrise. She graduated from University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2016 and during her time there she helped organize her school’s divestment campaign. She is excited to live and work with other young people dedicated to making a difference on climate.

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RENATA LEIGHTON

Renata is an actress-turned-activist who studies environmental studies and theatre at Brandeis University in Boston. During her first year of college, Renata has enjoyed pushing for divestment as a part of Brandeis Climate Justice, running the school's Playback Theatre Troupe, and figuring out how to make appetizing vegan meals out of the food in the dining halls.

FUN FACT: IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE YOUR SENIOR QUOTE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

"If you've got a flame that's blazing hot from within, take a deep breath and feed it oxygen" -George Watsky

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Gabby Benavente

Gabby Benavente is an English PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh studying issues of environmental justice in literature. During her time there, Gabby hopes to teach her students about activism and share knowledge about movement building. She is excited to bridge her academic passions with a practice that is on the ground and relates with others.

FUN FACT: FAVORITE FILM

My Neighbor Totoro

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Emerson Skufca

Emerson has been working as an HVAC/plumbing engineer in Oakland, CA for the last few years. He has a passion for energy efficient, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure, with a focus on user engagement and lifecycle assessment. He is excited for opportunity to move somewhere completely new, become a part of a new community, and engage people on issues that deeply matter to him.

FUN FACT: TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIE

  1. Slacklining is one of my hobbies.
  2. I have jumped on a pogo stick across the Golden Gate Bridge.
  3. I enjoy participating in East Bay Bike Party.
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SHELBY KROHN

Shelby hails from Bad Axe, Michigan and is currently a student at Michigan State University. She is active in MSU Greenpeace, Reclaim MSU, and the Abdul for Michigan campaign. What excites her most about Sunrise is that it is a movement for the many, not the few.

FUN FACT: IF YOU COULD GO BACK AND CHANGE YOUR SENIOR QUOTE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

“If you have come to help me you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound with mine, then let us work together.”

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Bre Macpherson-Rice

Bre is a geography student who has been coaching campus fossil fuel divestment campaigns in New South Wales, Australia. During her time as a student, she organized various student solidarity roadtrips to communities experiencing the disastrous effects of climate change and fossil fuel extraction.

FUN FACT: FAVORITE FILM

Nausicaa Valley of the Wind

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Jeremy Seitz-Brown

Jeremy is a lifelong Pennsylvanian who graduated 2018 with a degree in political science and Spanish at Swarthmore College. During his time there, he led the Sunrise Swarthmore hub’s political action efforts and organized around fossil fuel divestment. He is excited to be a part of an emotionally-supportive model for youth to take political action.

FUN FACT: TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIE

  1. I got my picture taken with Barack Obama before he was president.
  2. My family traveled to Tanzania for a year when I was three.
  3. My dad’s, sister’s, and my birthdays are in a row.
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Drew Arnum

Drew is a globetrotter and New York City native who studies geography in the "Grand Canyon of the East," at SUNY Geneseo. During her time in Western New York, she has engaged with the local immigrant rights movement as an ally in the Alianza Agricola and as co-president of the Student Coalition for Migrant Workers. She is looking forward to connecting the climate movement to other struggles for justice.

FUN FACT: FAVORITE FILM

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

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Sophia Zaia

Sophia is an Austinite and recent Pennsylvania transplant who organizes with Sunrise at the Philadelphia movement house. She graduated from Swarthmore College, and during her time there she organized for fossil fuel divestment. She looks forward to living in a supportive community with other young people fighting for climate justice.

FUN FACT: COMPLETE THE POEM ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE

Let's kick out the wealthy few

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Casey Finkenbine

Casey studies psychology and environmental policy at the University of Puget Sound where he is also a member of ECO club and lead coordinator of Cascade Climate Network, a growing coalition of environmental activist organizations from schools across the Pacific Northwest. He is most excited to live in a city with a group of people who share his interest in sustainability.

FUN FACT: IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE YOUR SENIOR QUOTE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

2017 Winning Powerball Numbers

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Jeremy Ornstein

Jeremy is a high school student activist who attends Watertown High School and has been organizing high school students across the country. During his time as Chair of High School Democrats of America, he helped to support and mobilize local student networks to register their peers to vote. He is looking forward to learning and telling stories that convey political values related to climate change.

FUN FACT: A SONG THAT EMBODIES YOU AS A PERSON

Tallest Man on Earth - The Gardener

 

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Jerrica Jackman

Jerrica grew up in Northern Michigan where she fell in love with the natural world through her time at the Great Lakes. She is studying environmental science and sustainability, and follows a plant based diet. She enjoys spending time traveling with her friends and attending live music events.

FUN FACT: A SONG THAT EMBODIES YOU AS A PERSON

40 Day Dream - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros

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izzy graj

Izzi has just finished her first year at Brandeis University and is hoping to major in environmental studies, and minor in social justice and public policy. This past year, she has done work with Brandeis Climate Justice on divestment, and is also a member of Brandeis Labor Coalition.

FUN FACT: IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE YOUR SENIOR QUOTE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

"The forces that unite us are intrinsic and greater than the superimposed influences that keep us apart.” or "Action without thought is empty. Thought without action is blind." both said by Kwame Nkrumah

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Gabriel Reichler

Gabriel is a fourth-generation New Yorker and recent high school graduate. Since middle school, Gabriel has been passionate about climate justice and found a way to put that passion to work when he attended a Sunrise training last summer. He has been organizing with Sunrise NYC ever since.

FUN FACT: A QUIRKY, YET SIGNIFICANT, ACCOMPLISHMENT OR FEAT IN YOUR LIFE

It has been impossible for me to misspell the word "personnel" ever since sixth grade, when I got it wrong in the final round of the school-wide spelling bee.

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hope Kogod

Hope is a person who likes to learn, lie in the grass, and ride the bus. She is attending Bennington College in Vermont and is in the process of making the largest painting that she's ever made.

FUN FACT: A SONG THAT EMBODIES YOU AS A PERSON

California by Grimes

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Connor Hobart

Connor is studying Applied Social Science at UW-Stout. He's passionate about inclusive and just environmental organizing.

FUN FACT: FAVORITE FILM

It's a Wonderful Life

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Haley Maurice

Haley is a desert native who studies environmental studies and sociology at Bowdoin College in the cold country of Maine. During her time there, she leads a club devoted to elevating issues of climate justice in Maine politics. Haley took this past semester off from school and spent two months in Puerto Rico repairing people’s roofs destroyed by Hurricane Maria.

FUN FACT: A QUIRKY, YET SIGNIFICANT, ACCOMPLISHMENT OR FEAT FROM YOUR LIFE

When she was six, Haley accidentally memorized all five of her family's 14-digit library card numbers and was assigned by her mother the very important role of family library book renewer. A few times a year would they have to pay fines for overdue books she forgot about, but at least to this day she can still recite the numbers off the top of her head.

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Olivia Freiwald

Olivia is a passionate performer and activist studying climate organizing and sustainable development at Tufts University outside of Boston, Massachusetts. During her first year of college Olivia helped organize her campus' Day of Action during the COP23 Climate Summit, and is an active member of Tufts Climate Action.

FUN FACT: A QUIRKY, YET SIGNIFICANT, ACCOMPLISHMENT OR FEAT IN YOUR LIFE

I won an award for coming in 1st in a stick pony race.

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Ben Bristol

Ben Bristol is a an aspiring educator, activist, Christian, and ping-pong player--in no particular order--from the Garden State. He seeks to support the health and freedom of young people everywhere in the fight to build a just world. He loves books and New Jersey beaches and having conversations with different Sneetches.

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christian GALO

Christian is a Computer Science and History student at Swarthmore College. Christian is the treasurer for the Swarthmore Sunrise hub and looks forward to meeting more young people who share his passion for adressing the climate crisis.

FUN FACT: TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIE

  1. I have amassed over a pound of silly putty.
  2. I like wholesome memes.
  3. I made a custom Risk map based on Swarthmore's campus.
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Johannah wai

Originally from Singapore, Johannah is a student at Muhlenberg College studying political science and economics. During her time in school she is apart of several social justice clubs.

FUN FACT: IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND CHANGE YOUR SENIOR QUOTE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

All life ends in death which we as a species are cursed with knowing, resulting in.... something.

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Elizabeth gilbert

Elizabeth is a biology graduate from the University of West Florida who organizes with the Florida Student Power Network. During her time in college she organized a shuttle to poll program that enabled students and community members to vote. She is excited to empower communities to fight for clean, renewable energy.

FUN FACT: FAVORITE FILM

Meet the Robinsons

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Sam Taylor

Sam has been working as a whitewater raft guide in the mountains of Western North Carolina. He loves exploring wild places and sleeping under the stars, and it excited to commit his time to addressing the climate crisis.

FUN FACT: A QUIRKY, YET SIGNIFICANT, ACCOMPLISHMENT OR FEAT FROM YOUR LIFE

I walked 1,500 miles the length of the country of New Zealand, from coast to coast.

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madison roberts

Madison graduated from Virginia Tech in 2017 with a degree in Environmental Resource Management. During her time there she organized against the Mountain Valley Pipeline. Since then she has been volunteering for Sunrise by going on the Sunrise Speakers tour and living in the Lancaster Sunrise movement house.

FUN FACT: A QUIRKY, YET SIGNIFICANT, ACCOMPLISHMENT OR FEAT FROM YOUR LIFE

Madison won multiple baby beauty pageants between age 0 and 1.

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cLAUDIA sZAFLARSKI

Claudia is a first-generation Chicagoan. Studying Political Science (which did not feel quite right) to English (which did not feel quite right either) to Urban Studies (which finally feels quite right), she is learning to find possibility in every second. It can be bird chirps on Sunday mornings, Polish snippets in between immigration stories, a heated conversation with a public official.

FUN FACT: FAVORITE FILM

Any Lifetime Movie Ever

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Lisa grimm

Lisa is a Pacific Northwest native who is studying environmental policy and biology at the University of Puget Sound. She has worked on campus environmental groups, such as organizing a conference for the Cascade Climate Network and working on the university's divestment campaign.

Lisa is looking forward to meeting and working with amazing individuals from around the country to create positive change and community.

FUN FACT: TWO TRUTHS AND ONE LIE

  1. I once played Hans in a Frozen musical on ice.
  2. I have appeared on the show Portlandia.
  3. I played for an ultimate Frisbee team in Japan.
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Nikki Mammano

Nikki is a recent first-generation college grad with a BA in economics. During college, she was a lead organizer of Chatham University’s fossil fuel divestment campaign. She was also involved with various organizations, such as Pittsburgh’s local Sierra Club chapter and PA Student Power Network. The ever-present systemic injustices in our society compel her to continuously work towards breaking down systems of oppression and fight for environmental, racial, and economic justice. Outside of organizing, her introverted nature leads her to prefer salsa dancing and journaling as alternative forms of expression. Her dynamic and adaptable personality also motivates her to often seek out new experiences in unfamiliar places.