Meet the 2023 Youth Fellows

We’re thrilled to announce our 2023 Youth Fellows!

Ashna Patel
Junior, Mira Costa High School
Ashna Patel is a current Junior who attends Mira Costa High School and is a student dedicated to giving back to her community. She founded the Dolores Huerta Community Partnership, where she works with an elementary school that serves underprivileged kids to fundraise and coordinate support for their families. Ashna also leads the Future of STEM project, which provides STEM enrichment for kids at the Richstone Family Center. She also serves as a leader for Beach Cities Health District Youth Advisory Council, which addresses mental health among local youth. Through the Youth Fellows Program, Ashna hopes to continue expanding her leadership skills to help create more change in her community and set a pathway for her future career.

Atticus Stevenson
Senior, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

Atticus Stevenson is a rising senior at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies. He is interested in a field that involves research and writing after college, and hopefully more creative writing. He is involved in the Pass it Down Club, the Chess Club, and the Zine Club at his school. He is also a member of the College Match program. Outside of school, Atticus dedicates his time to boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts. He also enjoys researching topics that interest him in his free time. He hopes to gain the experience of working with the real deal political and community figures at Coro. He hopes to use the leadership training he learns at Coro to better help his community. He is also excited to meet and work with like-minded students at Coro.

Daisy Cano Ruiz
Junior, Sequoyah School

Daisy Cano Ruiz is a rising junior at Sequoyah School, located in Pasadena. She identifies as a first-generation student who co-leads the Latinx Affinity club at school to help create a supportive space and empower all Latinx-identifying students. She has also founded a club named Killer Crochet to teach and share her passion for crocheting with others. In the past, she has participated in a variety of sports such as Cross Country, Basketball, and Archery. During her free time, she volunteers at her local library, where she helps organize monthly teen events, activity kits, and scavenger hunts. She highly values addressing environmental injustices targeted at marginalized communities, which has led her to join programs such as Changiest and the USC Environmental Youth Fellows. These programs have allowed her to advocate for silenced voices and experiences. She hopes that Coro will help her broaden her activism skills and further strengthen her leadership abilities.

Elisha Gutierrez
Senior, Vistamar School

Elisha Gutierrez is a rising senior at Vistamar School. She is co-leader of the Latino affinity group and club spaces, a student ambassador, and a Tigre Scholarship recipient. Some of her favorite hobbies include reading, doing puzzles, and coloring. Elisha is passionate about social justice and equality, and hopes to pursue a career in civil rights law. She enjoys books and conversations about police brutality, immigration policies, racism, civil disobedience, and more crucial topics our society is facing. By participating in Coro, Elisha hopes to enhance her public speaking skills, network, and experience what her future might look like through an internship.

Emery Cunningham
Senior, Santa Monica High School

Emery is a rising senior at Santa Monica High School who loves political and philosophical debate. He is involved with clubs like Junior State of America and Model United Nations, as well as more action-centered clubs such as Human Rights Watch and Team Marine, an environmental club. Emery is very interested in exploring and developing solutions to the issues of today’s world, practicing this in the YMCA’s Youth and Government Program as well as in his chairmanship of the LA Metro Youth Council. Emery is excited to learn and grow as a person at Coro, where he hopes to meet more young people aiming to effect change.

Fatema Chowdhury
Senior, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

Fatema is a hardworking student at LACES highschool. She is interested in the biology and research field but is always open to exploring different avenues. At LACES, Fatema is Vice President of the LACES Book Club where they hold book discussions, book drives, and volunteering opportunities to enrich the school library. Outside of school, she is part of a youth group called Young Sisters of MUNA, has recently completed the USC Stem Perspectives Program, and has volunteered at the UCLA Hospital. Through the Youth Fellows Program, she hopes to develop leadership skills to handle situations outside of her comfort zone and grow into a leader her community can look up to.

Jesus Gonzalez
Senior, Animo Leadership Charter High School

Jesus Gonzalez is an ambitious rising senior at Animo Leadership Charter High School. He holds the position of class president and is a natural leader who is committed to making a positive impact on his school community. In the long term, he has set his sights on attending a top-tier university. Beyond academics, Jesus is actively involved in civic and extracurricular activities. He founded the “Tuned In Club” at his school, which is a music-oriented club that brings together like-minded students who share his passion for music. Through his participation in the Coro program, he hopes to gain valuable leadership skills and expand his network of like-minded individuals who share his passion for making a positive impact in their communities. He is excited about the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals and contribute to meaningful projects that will benefit the greater good.

Kina Desai
Senior, Mira Costa High School

Kina Desai attends Mira Costa High School where she is on the Advanced Model United Nations Team, president of the BridgeUSA political discourse club, and president of the Youth Activism club on campus. In her community, Kina is Chair of the Beach Cities Youth Advisory Council, which works to improve and provide resources on youth health. She is very passionate about her activism and serves as a Project Lead on the Youth Climate Action Team and is on SoCal ACLU’s Youth Liberty Squad. Kina has also founded Draws For A Cause, a not-for-profit business where for every pair of children’s underwear sold, one is donated to a child in need. She is passionate about climate justice, immigration, equality, and youth rights. Through the Youth Fellows Program, Kina hopes to learn how to most effectively create change, advocate for others, and deepen her understanding of the inner workings of her community.

Mattie Epstein
Junior, Marlborough School

Matteson Epstein is a rising junior at the Marlborough School. She founded Feminists for Education (FemEd), a student organization that addresses systemic gender inequities within educational institutions. FemEd has partnered with various nonprofits to raise money, write to congressional officials, speak at school events, and create volunteer programs for social justice causes. Matteson is also a two-term member of Congressman Ted Lieu’s Youth Advisory Council, a group of students from California’s 33rd District who endorse the co-sponsorship of various congressional bills and propose federal legislation for consideration by Congressman Lieu. Matteson continues to mobilize her voice and explore untold narratives as a participant in Marlborough’s dance and theater programs. She looks forward to joining Marlborough Ensemble Theater, a select theatre company, next school year. This summer, Matteson hopes to improve her leadership skills to better serve the needs of her Los Angeles community and understand how biases impact effective leadership.

McKenzie Maling
Junior, San Marino High School

McKenzie Maling is a rising junior at San Marino High School. She is deeply committed to racial justice, gender equity and to finding solutions to the most difficult social problems to build a better world. McKenzie dedicates more than 100 hours each year in volunteer service to local nonprofit organizations. At school, she is a member of the Green Club and plays for the high school volleyball team. In her free time, she is a voracious reader of historical fiction and loves playing the drums, Wordle, and dominoes. She enjoys time with her friends, her family, and two rescue dogs. Through the Youth Fellows Program, McKenzie hopes to expand her knowledge of civic engagement and leadership skills, connect with others with similar interests and learn how to contribute to lasting change in the community.

Natalie Ascorra
Senior, Harvard-Westlake

Natalie Ascorra is a proud Latina who is a rising senior at Harvard-Westlake. At school, Natalie is a student ambassador, president of the First Gen Club, on the varsity water polo team, and also a part of the student leaders for DEI work. Natalie is a first-generation student who is very driven to help many different groups of people that range from her work with CHIRLA, a nonprofit that advocates for immigrant rights, to tutoring middle schoolers. Natalie wishes to be a politician or a lawyer in the future and plans to help as many people as possible to slowly change her community for the better. In Coro, Natalie hopes to gain valuable leadership and communication skills that will help her with her future work.

Nilufer Mistry Sheasby
Senior, Harvard-Westlake

Nilufer Mistry Sheasby is the founder and captain of the World Schools Debate Team and president of the Speech Team at Harvard-Westlake. She adores public policy and has placed first at multiple World Schools tournaments. Nilufer is a three-time qualifier to the National Speech and Debate Tournament and a two-time qualifier to the National Individual Events Tournament of Champions in extemporaneous speaking. Nilufer also takes Mandarin and Spanish in school. Her deep commitment to social justice informs her position as co-chair for her school’s Student Leaders for Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity organization. Through her involvement in the National Charity League, Sunrise Hub L.A. Youth, Students Demand Action on Gun Violence, and Junior State of America, Nilufer has aimed to impact those in the wider community. She eagerly anticipates Coro and hopes to gain a greater understanding of local government, so as to be a better agent of political change.

Nixon Comayagua
Senior, Rise Kohyang High School

Nixon is a first-generation rising senior at Rise Kohyang High School. He is a curious person that loves learning about life, having fun, spending time with family, and going to church, where he is part of the multimedia team and has worked on live streaming. At school, Nixon is a peer mentor, where he does presentations, helps others navigate the college process, and leads group meetings, and is also part of Link Crew, where he helps incoming students feel welcome. During his free time, Nixon enjoys working out, playing drums, and dancing. He is also a member and a founder of the school Rise Kohyang Student New, and hopes to be a very successful businessman in the future. Through the Coro Youth Fellows Program, Nixon hopes to meet new people with different mentalities and experience new challenges.

Roan Hafter
Senior, Larchmont Charter School

Roan is a proud rising senior at Larchmont Charter School where he founded the debate team and is currently competing in the varsity division for policy debate. He is also part of SAGA, an organization that focuses on running educational afterschool programs in underfunded schools, works as a Spanish translator for the bridge club, and is the Treasurer for his school’s Jewish Student Union. Roan loves reading about philosophy and politics, with a specific focus on ethics and philosophy of religion, as well as international relations. He is so excited about what good he can do for the community through Coro this summer.

Sara Segil
Junior, Harvard-Westlake

Sara Segil is a rising junior at Harvard-Westlake. This year, she learned about law and justice by joining the Mock Trial Team. She is a writer and layout assistant for the school newspaper, the Chronicle, where she writes about news pertaining to the school and local community. Sara was on varsity swim at Santa Monica High School (SAMOHI) and now swims for Harvard-Westlake, as well as a club team. Sara also participates in Youth and Government, where she has explored political debate and current events. In her free time, Sara enjoys reading, baking, and traveling. While being part of the Coro x Harvard-Westlake co-curricular program this spring, she was inspired to learn more from Coro and to apply Coro principles to her school and local community.

Teddy Sipkins
Junior, Windward School

Teddy Sipkins, a rising junior at Windward School, is passionate about parliamentary debate and extemporaneous speech, having qualified for major state and national speech and debate championships while achieving the highest ranks in debate competitions. His interest is rooted in his desire to understand critical public affairs issues while also forming important bonds and embracing different viewpoints. He is a proud peer counselor and deeply committed to helping other students as they navigate the challenges of middle and high school. He is a Windward student ambassador and member of the environmental club. In his free time, Teddy loves playing chess, reading the news, and spending time with his friends and family. From the Coro Youth Fellows Program, he hopes to gain leadership skills that will enable him to help positively change his community as well as prepare him for the future.

Timothy Han
Senior, Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies

Timothy Han is a rising senior at the Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies where he acts as the Co-President of the Young Investors Club and participates in the school volleyball team. He is especially interested in educating the next generation of Korean Americans, serving as the Vice President at the Wilshire Branch of the Korean Institute of Southern California and a 3rd-year teacher’s assistant. His long-term goal is to help combat poverty in the Korean American community, by providing outlets of financial literacy that are readily available. Through the Coro Youth Fellows Program, Timothy hopes to develop skills to effectively lead others and learn the processes it takes to truly make a difference in his community.