We’re thrilled to announce our 2021 Youth Fellows!
Senior, Stern MASS
Sarah Arambula-Sanchez is a junior at Stern MASS high school, where she learned foundational aspects of helping her community from planning beach cleanups in Key Club to prepping National Honors Society members to participate in the annual Aids Walk. As a first-generation American it was instilled in her the importance of aiding her community on her own time, which is why she’s taken advantage of the pandemic to relay the importance of the Hispanic vote in federal/local elections to her community in El Sereno, as well as virtually volunteering with L.A. Works to connect homeless individuals with necessities (i.e. food, water, shelter, feminine products, and clothing). She’s beyond excited to learn how she can further help her community at a local level with the guidance of experts. Furthermore, she hopes that Coro will aid in her understanding of public relations and what it means to be a successful civic leader.
Senior, Ánimo Leadership Charter High School
Andrea Avila is passionate about the healthcare system and hopes to one day become a pediatrician. She is always eager to learn more ways in which she can help not only her school, but her community as well. This past school year she helped freshmen adapt from middle school to high school through a mentorship ASB program by the name of Link Crew. She currently holds the title for ASB vice president at Animo Leadership Charter High School. With that title, she hopes to gain opportunities to become a mentor for her colleagues. Through the Coro Youth Fellows Program, Andrea hopes to gain knowledge and experience to help her strengthen her leadership and communication skills in order to make a positive impact in her school and the schools around her.
Kevin J. Bermudez
Senior, Ánimo Ralph Bunche Charter High School
Kevin Bermudez is a proud associate of an entrepreneurial leadership association called Amway. At a very young age, Kevin developed the fundamental skills of leadership which include self-awareness, adaptability, and communication. He continues to develop these skills through programs such as the National Society of High School Scholars Organization (NSHSS), the ARC afterschool program, and the United Parents & Students Organization. Kevin is also part of several extracurricular activities that include yearly sports programs, monthly leadership/personal growth seminars, and community activism roles that address barriers to learning and the quality of life. Through the Coro’s Youth Fellows Program, Kevin hopes to translate his leadership vision into a reality by enhancing his character and being a positive role model within his community.
Senior, Vistamar School
Danna Castañeda is a driven student who’s involved in various activities to maintain and create strong connections with those in and around her community. She is a theatre kid, a co-leader of Vistamar’s Latino Student Association, one of the faces of Morning Meeting, and a member of VistaCrew, a group made up of seniors who help maintain and grow Vistamar’s community. Danna is a motivated and hard-working student who strives to become a better person, while also mentoring other students and children. Danna is excited to be a Coro Youth Fellow and hopes to strengthen her leadership and communication skills to create a positive impact in her school and those around her.
Senior, Ánimo Pat Brown Charter High School
Emily Chamale is a High Honor Roll rising senior with a passion for social change. She has been a member of the ACLU Youth Liberty Squad for two years, and she has worked on researching and solving educational equity issues alongside 20 other students from all across Los Angeles on a monthly basis. Out of 90 students, she was chosen twice to receive a stipend for committing to the Youth Liberty Squad. Emily discovered the importance of talking about mental health through distance learning and joined the LoginLA campaign, whose purpose was to recreate the collaborative and inspiring school community in the digital age for ongoing virtual learning. She became the Chief of Mental Health Checkpoint, where she made videos about mental health, coping with stress and maintaining a stable mentality, and promoting self-love and inclusivity in order to create a comfortable space. She is also a member of the Digital Equity Committee, which has been discussing SB28 and the ways in which the absence of high-speed internet and internet infrastructure has harmed urban areas, and had the opportunity to speak with Senator Anna Caballero about possible solutions to the problem. Emily enjoys running and joined the SRLA team, where she successfully finished the 2021 LA Marathon. Through Coro’s Youth Fellows Program she hopes to enhance her self-awareness skills, confidence, and develop strong advocacy skills. She also enjoys dancing and spending time with her family.
Junior, California Academy of Mathematics and Sciences
Ernest Choi is currently trying to enter the computer science field. He has done VEX robotics for three years and has been in a First Lego League team (FLL). He hopes to learn more about each job in computer science or game design. He also hopes to develop his communication skills and confidence, and help the world’s environment and renewable resources.
Page Clancy has a commitment to leadership within education. She is a tutor at FTC, an organization that provides free math and English courses to elementary and middle school students. She also planned and directed a technology drive with the nonprofit Human IT that collected four 4′ x 4′ x 4′ pallets full of used technology with the goal of providing laptops to underprivileged students. To continue developing as a leader, she participated in the Coro x Harvard-Westlake co-curricular program. Page is additionally passionate about Russian literature and the fine arts, and spends her free time reading and furthering her skills in drawing and painting. Some of her favorite works are by Turgenev and Saltykov-Shchedrin, but she also enjoys the work of Stefan Zweig and Thomas Mann. She hopes to develop her leadership abilities in a way that will allow her to more greatly involve herself in education, share her love of literature, and to be an active participant during her research internship with the Studio Museum of Harlem this summer.
Senior, University Pathways Public Service Academy
Beverley Contreras attends University Pathways Public Service Academy as a Junior. She plays sports and the piano. She has accomplished maintaining a 4.0 GPA throughout the pandemic. Beverley hopes to learn, develop and build up her confidence.
Junior, Geffen Academy at UCLA
Steve Cordova is a proud Latino, and he currently serves as Co-lead of his high school LatinX Affinity Group, and is a member of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. He was also a member of his school cross country and track and field team, as well as a member of the Young Eisner Scholars Program (YES). In his free time, he loves to read and keep up with current affairs, politics, and international relations. Through the Coro Youth Fellows Program, he hopes to gain better leadership skills to not just be a better leader in his school, but to his whole community, and to use those skills to make a positive contribution to the world.
Jaydon Faal is a Co-Director of the Harvard-Westlake Fiscal Policy Club, Captain of the LA Surf ECRL U17 team, and member of the Vex Worlds Tournament winning 62B Harvard-Westlake Robotics team. Jaydon works closely with the kids in his community, offering tutoring in Math to the students of Elliot Middle School in Altadena. Jaydon is working on launching a non-profit called Communfinity with a group of Harvard-Westlake students, which will focus on providing after-school tutoring in Math and English for K-8 students without access to high standards of education. As a Coro Youth Fellow, Jaydon seeks to improve his leadership and networking skills to become a more effective leader in his community.
Junior, Sequoyah School
Oskar Golwala is a leader who works to create and develop projects that will outlast the time that he spends with them. He spends his free time building cases to support many issues alongside the rest of the debate team, as well as using the information he learns to aid the transmission of information in practices such as theater and visual arts. Oskar is heavily interested in the exploration and teaching about the natural world, and becoming a founding member of The Field-Studies Stewardship, a student-led team working to expand his school’s access to the outdoors. He has also been involved in spreading awareness to his broader community about important causes such as the census and racial injustices. Oskar hopes to build upon his abilities to carry out change, and find the most optimal way to establish a program that will make a difference.
Senior, Hamilton High School
Roselyn Gonzalez is a part of the volleyball team at her high school where she has learned to better communicate with others in a team environment in different situations. She has also continuously volunteered for a summer program (LA’s Best) that focuses on children (K-5) to not only learn, but to have fun while they are learning. From LA’s Best, she has learned ways to organize events for the children she works with, such as carnivals, with the idea that children learn while they have fun. She is also part of a program called Determined to Succeed (DTS) where she takes part in learning the steps to be a worthy applicant for college and the necessary skills to build her character. As a Youth Fellow, she hopes to gain the confidence to use her voice and gain the needed skills to be a leader for her community.
Fernanda Herrera is a leader of the Slam Poetry club at Harvard-Westlake. She is also an active member of the Latino and Hispanic Student Organization, where she frequently organizes events both for the benefit of her peers and Latino communities in the greater Los Angeles area. Fernanda has a passion for literature and art, and can often be spotted reading a book or painting up a storm. In her free time, she also tutors children in art, Spanish grammar, and various other topics through Bored of Boredom. She has tutored for over 120 hours and recently received the President’s Volunteer Service Award. Through the Coro Youth Fellows Program, she hopes to strengthen her leadership skills so she can continue to positively impact her communities.
Andrea Jerez Alvarez
Senior, Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy
Andrea Jerez is an active member of her school, where she co-founded an environmental justice club. She is the secretary for her Class of 2022 committee and a member of her school’s swim team. Her environmental justice club is a part of the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led organization focused on pushing for passing policies like the Green New Deal. Her club has been involved in phone banks for local and national elections and is a part of the Good Jobs For All Campaign. Outside of school, she is a member of the Mayor’s Youth Council, where she engages with other members in finding ways to help fellow Angelenos. She has participated in the ACLU’s Advocacy Institute since her sophomore year, where she learns about the issues in her community. Through Coro’s Youth Fellows Program, Andrea hopes to enhance her communication skills while creatively finding ways to advocate for her community.
Senior, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies
Uriel Lopez is president of his school’s Young Latino Scholars Club, and president of his school’s Smile Organization Club where he helped raise 300 dollars to pay for children’s cleft lip removal surgery. He enjoys playing the guitar and running for his school’s Track and Field team which will be competing at CIF city finals this year. As a Youth Fellow, Uriel hopes to better his leadership skills to allow him to make an even bigger impact in his community.
Junior, Ánimo Watts College Preparatory Academy
April Lucero is a proud student of Animo Watts. She is a writer and part founder of the school newspaper, The Watts Chronicles, Vice Chair of the Student Advisory Council (SAC), and in her freshman year, she was part of the Women’s Basketball Stats team. As a high honor roll student, she also spends her time volunteering at her old middle school where she occasionally tutors and mentors. In her spare time, she also volunteers at her church for events or mentoring the newer generations. You can always find her crying to a good K-drama, enjoying a novel, or most likely on a run to watch the sunset. Through the Youth Fellows Program, she hopes to learn more effective ways of spreading influence to others, as well as enhancing her leadership and public speaking abilities.
Senior, West Torrance High School
Nathan Ou is a motivated student who uses his ability to build bonds to engage the people around him. At West High, he is the captain of the volleyball team, president of the California Scholarship Federation, treasurer of the Chinese Cultural Club, and assistant section leader for the clarinet section of the West High Marching Band. Outside of school, he serves the youth at his local church and is a teacher’s assistant for the Torrance Chinese School. In his free time, Nathan enjoys going to the beach, biking, hiking, playing volleyball, and reading. Always looking for opportunities to grow, he is excited to be a part of the Coro Youth Fellows Program and is looking forward to connecting with unique, motivated youth leaders as he learns to build bridges and influence the community he serves.
Senior, Xavier College Preparatory High School
Maxine Press is interested in expanding access to mental health and educational resources. For the past five years, through her work with National Charity League, she has volunteered at Para Los Niños, a school and community center serving families on Skid Row. She has also worked throughout high school as a listener on Teen Talk, an emotional support hotline for youth. Before Covid, she was a competitive member of Academic Decathlon and her school and studio dance teams. Since then, she has been tutoring LAUSD Title 1 students and started a weekly book club for middle schoolers. She also serves on the Mayor’s Youth Council and sits on a committee for access and equity in education. She hopes to deepen her leadership skills with Coro to continue to affect the changes she hopes will shape our community for the betterment of all.
Senior, Hamilton High School
Monserrat Rodriguez, better known as Monse, is an ambitious student who is always willing to take on a challenge. She is a shooting guard for the girls basketball team at Hamilton High School. She has been passionate about basketball since she was 10 years old. What she likes most is being part of a team and playing competitively around the city. Monse also enjoys working with children. She has a camp counseling certification through YEIP (The Youth Empowerment and Innovation Project), where she has gained pragmatic life skills. As part of the Youth Fellows Program she hopes to gain confidence and develop her public speaking skills in hopes to one day be able to use them to achieve her goal of working in a male-dominated sports industry.
Jason Salmeron is a leader for Latin American Hispanic Student Organization at Harvard-Westlake (LAHSO). He enjoys being able to display the diversity of Latino culture and narratives within the community while seeking to address and solve issues. As the captain of the varsity soccer team, he embraces the challenges of leading the team on and off the field with respect at the center of all values. At school, Jason is part of the newfound Mentorship Program that helps integrate new incoming students to the Harvard-Westlake Upper School. During his leisure time, Jason is passionate about working with younger goalkeepers and helping them develop soccer and leadership skills. As a Coro Youth Fellow, Jason aspires to learn and develop as a leader to become an avid contributor for his community and an example for his siblings.
Alejandro Blas Sanchez
Senior, Loyola High School
Alejandro Blas Sanchez is an active participant and inclusive leader of his community. As a leader of Loyola’s Latino affinity group, ALAS, he mentors incoming freshmen and organizes cultural and educational events such as Día de Los Muertos and Las Posadas. He is also a news editor of his school newspaper and has engaged in various service immersion programs, including traveling to Mexico to serve deported migrants through the Kino Border Initiative and serving meals to the homeless through his school’s LA Urban Plunge. He also has learned about education and voting issues through his summer internships at two community organizing and civic engagement nonprofits, Power California and Inner City Struggle. In the coming year, he will represent varsity athletes on Loyola’s Student Council, tutor underclassmen in writing and other subjects through his school’s Ignatian Scholars Program, and mentor incoming freshmen through the Big-Brother program. To further explore his interest in social issues, he has a directed study his senior year researching the legality, policy arguments, and potential drawbacks for lowering the voting age to 16. Through Coro’s Youth Fellows Program, Alejandro is excited to learn from his peers and community leaders, practice leadership skills, and gain policy knowledge to help him effect meaningful change in his school and broader community.
Senior, Viewpoint School
Luna Santiago is a passionate student who is always looking for opportunities to get involved with her community. She is devoted to her studies and extracurricular activities, and will be the first in her family to attend college. Luna considers Los Angeles to be her home, which is why she was involved in the Los Angeles Service Academy. She hopes to learn even more about how Los Angeles operates through the Coro Youth Fellows Program. In her school community, she is president of the Latino American Student Association as well as a member of the Spanish Honor Society. She is an award winning ceramic artist and expands her knowledge of art to ASPECTS, which is her school’s art magazine. Through the Youth Fellows Program, Luna hopes to improve her leadership skills in order to be a great role model for the Latino community at her school.
Senior, Ánimo Leadership Charter High School
Alondra Santos holds the position of Senior Class President. With this opportunity, she engages with all students and proposes new ideas for school-wide fundraiser events. Alondra was also elected by her teachers to be the chairperson during school meetings. Alondra not only engages herself in academic opportunities, but athletic opportunities as well. She is part of the basketball team where she continues to strengthen her leadership and teamwork skills. Alondra is interested in pursuing a career in pre-med and has participated in a course on medical terminology. Alondra is also involved in ceramics, book club, first-generation scholars, arts and crafts, and leadership club. Through Coro, Alondra wishes to expand her knowledge to effectively use it towards a positive impact in her community and the world.
Senior, La Cañada High School
Ryan Silva is excited to be a Coro Youth Fellow. He swims competitively and attributes much of his personal growth to the support of his coaches and teammates. Ryan is President of Learning Safely at Home, a non-profit tutoring initiative created to address the learning gap elementary school students experience due to digital pandemic learning. He is also working with other passionate students to establish La Cañada’s chapter of Teen Court, a restorative justice program dedicated to rehabilitating youth offenders. As captain of the Lincoln Douglas division of his debate team and as President of his school’s Mock Trial club, Ryan has had the pleasure of training the oratory abilities of his peers to lead them to success. For Ryan, the Youth Fellows Program is an opportunity to understand how to effectively use leadership to expand the impact he can have in uplifting his community.
Junior, UCLA Community School
Sarah is one of many natural-born leaders. She is the fourth oldest of 11 children and she works very hard for the things that she wants. Sarah is in love with helping people and it shows through her many actions. Sarah has received Scholar of the Month in a few of her classes over the years of being in school, and has been elected Most Improved. Sarah participated in her school’s basketball team and art club. Sarah also participated in a program for girls called EmpowHer, in which she received the “Girl of the Year” award. Sarah hopes to learn more about what it takes to be an effective leader.