2023 Youth Service Fellows

Our 2023 youth fellow cohort is sponsored by The Allstate Foundation, just one way they are working to empower youth to serve and improve communities. The Foundation does this by providing opportunities and resources that enable young people to serve, while preparing adults to support their service journey. This cohort of fellows generated a new definition and model of service, and design considerations to guide the next decade of youth-led, youth-driven service. Read about their work here, in their report titled “Leveraging the Potential of Youth Service: A Call to Action.”

Youth selected for the 2023 Youth Service Fellowship are identified with asterisks below. Interested in working with one or more of the youth fellows? Please reach out to info@expandingleadership.org

Milan Balinton

Milan R. Balinton (he/him/his), one of Golden State Warriors, 2022 Impact Warriors, is the Executive Director of the African American Community Service Agency (AACSA), an organization dedicated to providing quality educational, cultural, social, and recreational programs, services, and activities in order to perpetuate and strengthen African American identity, culture, values, traditions, knowledge, and family life. When Milan became the Executive Director of AACSA in 2011, the agency had two employees and barely a budget. Since then, the agency has grown to a 26-employee operation with a projected budget of $3 million — adding seven new staff members this year during the pandemic when other agencies were shutting down. Milan is a Bay Area native, born in Oakland, raised in San Francisco, and has been nurtured in San Jose for the last 20 years. He earned a Master of Public Administration from Golden Gate University and a Bachelor of Arts from San Jose State University. Currently, Milan can be found in San Jose, California, the 10th largest city in America, asking the important questions about education, policy, the future of the city, and how it can affect the rest of the world positively. Every day, Milan continues to demonstrate his commitment to building an equitable and thriving community, with the potential for continued leadership in not only the nonprofit sector, but throughout the region.

Rachel Bruns

As the Chief Engagement Officer of America’s Service Commissions, Rachel Manuel Bruns (she/her/hers) supports the nation’s network of the 52 Governor designated state service commissions, which administer AmeriCorps State funding and promote service in their states and territories. Rachel has extensive experience in the field of national service and volunteer engagement previously working at the Iowa Commission Volunteer Service, managing AmeriCorps programs, and working at volunteer centers in two states. In her personal time, Rachel is a board member with the Catholic Volunteer Network, a maternal-child health advocate as a chapter leader for the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN) of Central Iowa, and a patient advisor on the Iowa Maternal Quality Care Collaborative. Rachel is a Drake University graduate where she earned her MPA and undergraduate degrees with majors in Law, Politics, and Society and Public Relations. She lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her partner and two children.

Tiana Day*

Tiana Day (she/her/hers) is a 20-year old student, activist, social entrepreneur and founder of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Youth Advocates for Change. Her California based organization aims to provide students with innovative and engaging opportunities to bridge art and activism through journalism, film, photography, fashion, and community projects. Tiana has a heavy passion for equitable and accessible education. She has independently raised over $30,000 for a scholarship fund dedicated to supporting Black students’ educational pursuits. Tiana was honored as CNN’s “2020 Hero of the Year, Young Wonder,” named an “Impact Warrior” by the Golden State Warriors, recognized by the San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women for her advocacy efforts in advancing racial equity and named the AAPI Person of the Year by CA Assembly-member Rebecca Bauer-Kahan.

Andrea Delbanco

Andrea Delbanco (she/her/hers) is Editor in Chief of TIME for Kids. TIME for Kids publishes five weekly print and digital news magazines for elementary and middle school students. Its mission is to engage children with current events and to promote news literacy by teaching them to recognize and value authentic journalism. Andrea also oversees Your 🔥 Job, a new platform that introduces kids ages 8 to 14 to the ever-expanding world of careers. Andrea joined the TIME for Kids team after working at the New York Times and Time Out New York. In addition to managing the editorial and education staff at TIME for Kids, Andrea is Vice President of TIME Education.

Nakia Douglas

Nakia Douglas is the Founding Executive Director of the Transition Resource Action Center (TRAC) for Dallas and Tarrant Counties. Prior to this, he served as the Founding Executive Director TRIO and Pre-Collegiate Programs at UNT – Dallas. As a Twenty – Six-year career (K – 16) Educator, he has served as an Executive Director, Principal (Elementary, Middle, High & Magnet) and Teacher from North Carolina, Georgetown, Pflugerville and Dallas, Texas. Nakia is also the Founding Principal of “The” Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy in Dallas ISD. Within his spare time, he serves the community on various boards and committees. Nakia has received several recognitions for his work in education including the KERA – American Graduate Champion, SMU Luminary Award, Trailblazer Awards, Dallas ISD Magnet Principal of the Year and D CEO Dallas 500 (2021 & 2022). Nakia graduated from Lincoln High School in Dallas ISD. Received his Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Livingstone College and Master’s in Instructional Technology from Houston Baptist University. He and his wife, Gloria are both career educators and have two children.

Kayla Foster*

Kayla M. Foster (she/her/hers) is from Bowie, MD and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a deep dedication to social change, harnessing the power of human connection through storytelling, and promoting wellness and human flourishing. Through her work, she has honed her skills in facilitation, community development, collaborative problem-solving, centering impacted voices, community activation, and innovative approaches to creating change. Foster is a graduate of the University of Maryland-College Park with a B.S. in Public Health Science and minor in sustainability studies. Her passion for public service and addressing the root causes of injustice led her to pursue her Master of Public Administration at the New York University Wagner Graduate School of Public Service where she studies policy and public/nonprofit management while specializing in social impact, innovation, and investment. In addition to working as a Graduate Assistant with Wagner’s Student Services Office, she is also a Planner with the Center for Justice Innovation’s Strategic Planning and Impact: Restorative Practices Department where she supports the rollout of restorative justice work across New York City. Foster is a 2022 Dalai Lama Fellow, a CELO Index Youth Impact Fellow, and a member of The BREATHE Collective’s inaugural PeaceKeep(H)er Justice Fellowship.

Natalie Furlett

Before joining the national Campus Compact office, Natalie Furlett (she/her/hers) was the Executive Director of Campus Compact for Illinois where she spearheaded campus Census 2020 efforts, created the Campus Meets Community program to support healthy campus partnerships, and networked campuses throughout Illinois. Prior to Campus Compact, Natalie spent time building student-community ties at Northwestern in the office of Student Community Service before taking on the role of Associate Director of the Norris Center for Student Involvement. Natalie currently serves as the chair of the Governor’s Service Illinois Commission.

Alexa Guloy*

Alexa Guloy (she/her/hers) is an undergraduate student majoring in Biological Sciences at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Alexa works at the university under the Office of Service Learning and Leadership, where she is a Program Assistant for the Leadership Engagement and Development (LEAD) Team. In her current role, Alexa designs and facilitates workshops to engage fellow students in developing their personal and professional skills related to leadership as a process, civic learning, and democratic engagement. Alexa is passionate about public health, combatting systemic oppression through advocacy, and creating meaningful mentoring relationships. In her free time, Alexa enjoys volunteering at local organizations as well as learning new things. Lately, you can find her knitting and playing pickleball… hopefully not at the same time!

Sky Harper*

Sky Harper (he/him/his) is a first-generation student pursuing a BS in chemistry (biochemistry concentration), with a biology, and interdisciplinary problem-solving minor. He is the eldest of six boys and comes from the Navajo Nation. His background in hard sciences and upbringing on the reservation have compelled him to pursue a career conducting research to improve public health and minimize health disparities in low-resource communities. He intends to pursue an MD/PhD with an emphasis in chemistry to better understand the mechanisms that underlie medicine. After graduate school, he wants to spend time with the NIH to learn more about community-based participatory research. Sky has previously worked for the USDA-ARS-BARC and ERRC, along with on-campus labs in various departments. He is also the founder of Drexel Indigenous Students of the Americas and an avid DEI advocate. He is an active member of AISES, and was recently awarded the Goldwater, Udall, and Truman fellowships.

Zoë Jenkins*

Zoë Jenkins (she/her/hers) is a 20-year-old practicing empathy and reimagining education. She founded the Get Schooled podcast and is a Senior Advisor of the Kentucky Student Voice Team. Zoë also created DICCE, a curriculum training Gen Z in cultural responsiveness, empathy, and equity. She has worked with Stanford University and The Nobel Prize and has been featured in The Washington Post and NPR’s All Things Considered. Zoë was also selected as a National Geographic Young Explorer for her work in expanding education storytelling among Kentucky’s least-heard students. She directed alumni relations and served on the inaugural Steering Committee at Civics Unplugged. Zoë is a third year at the University of Virginia studying education, politics, and economics.

Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg

Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg (she/her/hers) is the Newhouse Director of Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts University. CIRCLE is a nonpartisan research institute that studies diverse pathways to civic learning and participation. Trained as a clinical and community psychologist, Kei entered the world of civic learning and engagement through social emotional learning and youth assets lens. Kei views civic development as a youth-centered network of connected opportunities, people and institutions and shares CIRCLE’s research and expertise with a diverse network of cross-sector stakeholders, including young people, educators, and organizers to advance youth-centered policy and practice that support inclusive democracy.

joshua kearns

Joshua Kearns (he/him/his) is the Director of Development of Editorial Projects in Education, the nonprofit corporation that publishes Education Week. As the Director his responsibilities include managing fundraising activities and other strategic partnerships aimed at increasing the organizations impact in the K-12 field. Kearns joined EdWeek in March 2018 from the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools where he managed the organization’s development and fundraising operation. During his time at the National Alliance, he also served as Manager of Marketing Initiatives where he oversaw aspects of the organization’s communications, marketing, and public relations strategy. Kearns begun his career working in affordable housing in Arlington, VA where he held the role of Resident Service Manager at AHC Inc., an organization highly involved in the local public school system. Later he relocated in Boston, Massachusetts to help run the Development and Communications Department at City on a Hill Charter Public Schools—one of the nation’s first charter high schools.

brianna koerth

Brianna Koerth (she/her/hers) currently is a Project Manager with Social Sphere. Prior to her time at Social Sphere, she worked in electoral youth organizing for six years most notably as the Youth Organizing Director for the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

todd laudino

Todd Laudino (he/him/his) is a dedicated education professional with a profound commitment to enhancing student leadership, promoting student voice, and creating opportunities to celebrate student leaders. As the Senior Manager of Recognition & Engagement at the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), Todd captures authentic student experiences and elevates their stories at the national level. Throughout his tenure at NASSP, Todd has been instrumental in transforming the core pillars of its student leadership programs, particularly National Honor Society (NHS). He has challenged advisers, principals, and students to help redefine scholarship, service, leadership, and character in action. Over the past fifteen years, Todd has created professional development experiences for educators, served as a Peace Corps education volunteer, and taught social studies. He earned his Master’s in Education from Rutgers in 2009, and his passion for the field has driven him to continue serving students and educators as a multi-faceted educator.

tania mitchell

Tania D. Mitchell (she/her/hers) is the Rodney Wallace Professor for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and Chair of the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota. She is a professor of higher education and her teaching and research focus on leadership and community engagement, particularly considering issues of identity, race and racism, power, policy and practice. She interrogates practices in higher education that aim to contribute to a more just world. Dr. Mitchell’s scholarship has been published in numerous books and journals, most recently New Directions for Student Leadership, Race and Pedagogy, and the Journal of College Student Development.

marissa moore

Marissa Moore (she/they) is a Partnerships Program Manager at Roadtrip Nation, supporting the organizations that fuel Roadtrip Nation’s storytelling and digital tools. In their time at Roadtrip Nation, Marissa has also worked within the Education and Events teams, bringing interview insights, engaging events, and digital career exploration resources to a wide range of learners. Marissa continues to seek creative ways to evolve by cultivating community, opportunity, equity, and support within their professional and personal networks. She currently lives in Orlando, FL and shares a home with her husband and two dogs.

Abrianna Morales*

Abrianna Morales (she/her/hers), of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a sexual assault survivor, activist, and advocate. After being sexually assaulted at the age of fifteen, she founded Sexual Assault Youth Support Network (SAYSN), an organization devoted to supporting, empowering, and connecting youth sexual assault survivors and those that support them. Since her founding of SAYSN, Abrianna has worked tirelessly to uplift survivor voices in communities, the academic discourse, and legislature. A recent graduate of the University of New Mexico and a 2022 Truman Scholar, Abrianna is currently working with the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) to launch a new Youth Advocacy Corps, which aims to elevate the next generation of youth leaders in victim services through the provision of training, credentialing, mentorship, and a paid field-placement for college students throughout the United States.

julie owen

Julie E. Owen (she/her/hers) is Associate Professor of Leadership Studies at the School of Integrative Studies, George Mason University, where she coordinates the leadership studies major and minor and is affiliate faculty with Women and Gender Studies and the Higher Education Program. Her most recent books are We are the Leaders We’ve Been Waiting For: Women and Leadership Development in College (Stylus, 2020), and A Research Agenda for Leadership Learning and Development Through Higher Education, co-edited with Dr. Susan R. Komives (Elgar Press, 2023). Owen identifies as a white, currently-able, middle-class, cisgender woman working in the academy. She is committed to using her voice to advocate for positive social change leading to more equitable leadership for all, and to consider how identities and social power shape practice. Her research explores the intersections of leadership identity and women’s adult development, as well as the scholarship of liberatory leadership teaching and learning.

Christian Previlma*

Hello my name is Christian Previlma (he/him/his). I progressed through Florida’s education system and am now a passionate advocate of the future of education in Florida. After graduating from Florida State University, I joined the staff at Wellington Collegiate Academy teaching 3rd to 5th grade math. My focus is on creating a positive learning environment and encouraging my students to have a passion for learning. Outside of teaching, I enjoy playing sports, working out, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle!

connor schoen*

Connor Schoen (he/him/his) is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Breaktime–a rapidly-growing, Massachusetts-based nonprofit that is working to break the cycle of young adult homelessness. Recognized as Forbes 30 Under 30 for Social Impact and Boston Inno’s 25 Under 25, Connor is a young, emerging leader in the nonprofit world with a deep, infectious passion for empowering young people with the opportunities and support they need to reach their full potential. With an honors degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Harvard University, Connor brings a data-informed, quantitative approach to program design and evaluation. Connor’s work has been featured nationally by CBS, In The Know, and Classy, and Connor was recently elected to the Board of the National Youth Employment Coalition, where he advocates for federal funding of youth employment programs. Previously, Connor served as a Cheng Social Innovation Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School.

james stillwell

James Stillwell (he/him/his) is an associate clinical professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and faculty director of the Do Good Campus at the Do Good Institute. A seasoned educator and relationship builder, James brings over a decade of experience leading equity, experiential learning, and collaborative impact across sectors and scales. At the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, he advanced international ocean and forest conservation through multi-stakeholder partnerships of up to $4.7 million and 20+ organizational partners, while also spearheading a major expansion of JEDI initiatives. Stateside, he was instrumental in the launch and early growth of UMD’s Center for Global Sustainability and in multiple courses and co-curricular programs on applied civic engagement and sustainability. James currently serves as community development co-director of Harvard Alumni for Climate and the Environment and on the board of Rising Organizers. He holds master’s degrees in environmental policy and sustainable development from the University of Maryland and a bachelor’s degree in urban studies from Harvard University. A proud gay man and bilingual Francophone with roots in the Chesapeake Bay region and Canada, he currently resides in Washington, DC.

Frederick Walker*

I am Frederick Walker Jr. (he/him/his) born and raised in Clarksdale Mississippi, and alumni of Coahoma County High School, and Coahoma Community College where I proudly studied Kinesiology and Athletic Training. I aspire to be the best version of myself while also helping others and promoting positivity everywhere I go. So, I’m constantly working in and spending time in my community serving with organizations like The Aspen Institute, Teen Health Mississippi, and Americorps. I currently spend my time on a day-to-day basis serving as a Firefighter for Coahoma County and being a Student Success Coach Team Leader with AmeriCorps City Year.

stephanie wu

Stephanie Wu (she/her/hers) is Chief Transformation Officer at City Year where she leads the research, design, and launch of developmental learning strategies and systems for schools and national service. A member of City Year’s founding staff team in 1988, she has a range of experience, including youth development, innovation and replication, enterprise operations, and adaptive workplace environments. She currently serves on the boards of Achievement Network and City Year United Kingdom. Stephanie is a graduate of Boston University, a Pahara Institute Fellow and a member of the Global Aspen Institute Leadership Network. In her spare time, Stephanie enjoys creative adventures as a maker and textile enthusiast and exploring cities with family and friends.