Our Fellows

Current Fellows

Sofia Borin

Los Angeles, CA

Sofia Borin is a Junior at Windward School in Los Angeles. In 2018, she began volunteering with March For Our Lives, and in 2019, she began volunteering for Women Against Gun Violence. She became a fellow with Grassroots Democrats HQ in the fall of 2019. She chose to become a fellow because she wants to encourage those who can to vote and because she wants to be part of the Blue Wave. Sofia is is a feminist who believes in equality for all and is passionate about gun reform. Sofia loves spending her weekends baking with her family and making phone calls for different campaigns. 

Camille Colker

Santa Monica, CA

Camille Colker has been a Fellow with the Grassroots Democrats HQ since 2019. Her most vivid political memory is the abysmal voter turnout in 2016. She is thus passionate about voter engagement and bipartisanship, and she hosted a voter registration event at her school last winter. As an incoming senior at Areté Preparatory Academy in Los Angeles, Camille spends her free time tutoring students of all ages in mathematics, Chinese, and English. She is also co-president of the Girls Learn International Club, which is a program of the Feminist Majority Foundation. Fun fact: Last spring, Camille and her classmates organized a multinational virtual Model UN conference! Another fun fact: She is related to Karl Marx.

Olivia Dalton

Chicago, IL

Olivia has been volunteering for multiple campaigns since 2016, but her fellowship with the Grassroots Democrats HQ marks the first time she holds a continuous political presence. Olivia is a Grassroots Fellow because she feels that the work she does with the HQ actually makes an impact! She is currently a sophomore at DePaul University in Chicago. Some of the causes she is passionate about are gun control, bail reform, and free healthcare. Olivia is currently on her university’s D1 competitive cheerleading team, and she has won multiple national champion titles in her cheerleading career. In addition to an academic scholarship to her university, she is also on the Dean’s list at her college. She also surfs and participates in many types of equestrian sports. Olivia’s favorite hobbies include writing and knitting. She also greatly enjoys playing guitar, ukulele, piano, and writing music.

Aliya Govindraj

Los Angeles, CA

Aliya Govindraj is a senior at Palisades Charter High School and a political organizer in Los Angeles, California. After a spontaneous meeting with Executive Director Tamara Levenson at a local democratic function, Aliya joined the fellowship program in July 2019, knowing campaign work would allow her to talk directly to voters and flip critical districts blue. After organizing a walkout for her school in 2018 alongside the National Gun Violence Walkout, Aliya became involved in gun violence prevention through March For Our Lives and Everytown for Gun Safety as a chapter lead and policy researcher. Additionally, Aliya was inspired by a documentary to go vegetarian and join Youth Climate Strike LA as a march organizer. At her school, Aliya is the captain of the Mock Trial team and secretary of the Girls Learn International club, which advocates and fundraises for universal girls’ education. In her free time (which is rather sparse), Aliya likes to hold screenings of her favorite movies for friends and family, hike at the local trails, and explore new parts of the city.

Kylie Huber

Los Angeles, CA

Kylie is a high school senior at Marlborough School in Los Angeles. She recently joined as a Fellow at Grassroots Democrats HQ in 2020; however, she has been engaged in volunteer and nonprofit work in the past. She is also pursuing social justice research with Freedom & Fashion through the Honors Capstone in Social Justice at her school. She is very excited about working with the HQ, as this is her first time being engaged directly in politics. She is passionate about reproductive rights, BIPOC and LGBTQ+ rights, healthcare, and other important causes. She is grateful that the fellowship has shown her how incredible the mobilization is among Democrats. She feels especially passionate about the work that Grassroots Democrats HQ is doing because she will be a first time voter in the November 2020 election. Outside of the HQ, she has danced for 15 years and has worked in various dance intensives and competitions. She currently dances and choreographs for her school’s dance company, Dance Dimensions. In addition to dance, she enjoys music and plays the double bass with her school’s Instrumental Ensemble, and has previously played in outside youth orchestras. Her hobbies include reading, baking, and honing her newly acquired guitar skills.

Isabel Kagoo

Memphis, TN

Isabel is 17 and a high school senior from Memphis, Tennessee. She is passionate about minority representation and youth involvement in the political sphere. Isabel has always enjoyed being involved in politics whether it be on the international, national, or local stage. In 2019, she served as one of the US Department of State’s Youth Ambassadors to Brazil, where she spent a month in Brazil learning about US diplomacy in the region. In addition, she is a youth community organizer in Memphis and has been an active member in the March for Our Lives Memphis Chapter and Alternative to Violence Project. In previous years, she has worked on campaigns aimed at increasing youth voice and participation in politics by lowering the voting age in Tennessee and reforming health education in the state. Most recently, Isabel was involved in Pete Buttigieg’s Presidential Campaign as a member of Students for Pete, was his lead volunteer grassroots organizer for Memphis, and was a member of the Tennessee grassroots leadership team. Currently, she is the creator and chair of Tennessee High Schoolers for Biden where she mobilizes young people to become more active in the electoral process. In her free time, Isabel enjoys playing flute for her local orchestra, playing varsity tennis, and learning Mandarin.

Nikka Makhani

Los Angeles, CA

Nikka Makhani is a junior at Brentwood School in Los Angeles, California. She is passionate about increasing voter turnout and making sure all American voices have an input in elections. Similarly, she feels we should elect candidates that will end mass incarceration as well as make criminal justice reforms. In addition, she strongly believes that immigrants and DACA recipients should be protected under the law and that they should not be separated from their families. She feels that one’s age should not be a deterrent to their participation in the public sphere, as the youth are this country’s future; this is why she is a Fellow at the Grassroots Democrats HQ. Although she is not eligible to vote, she wants to do everything in her power to flip the Senate and put politicians who will make a change in power. Nikka is a member of her school’s dance team, a piano player, and a tutor and mentor for younger students at her school.

Pratyush Mallick

Dallas, TX

Pratyush Mallick (He/Him), also known as Prat, is a rising Senior at Plano East Senior High School. A former member of the Yang Gang in Dallas, Prat is a passionate advocate for economic and social justice as well as AAPI participation in American politics. When he was a sophomore in high school, he was heavily involved with the Grassroots movement to turn Texas Blue and Congressman Beto O’Rourke’s campaign for the U.S. Senate. While O’Rourke remained inches away from victory, a large number of down-ballot races turned blue, reiterating the power of the grassroots Blue Wave. It is because of this experience with grassroots politics in Texas that Prat chose to become a Grassroots Democrats HQ fellow. Prat is a strong believer in universal basic income (UBI), ranked-choice voting, and campaign finance reform. He hopes that someday there will be a future where everyone is guaranteed a platform of economic security through UBI. In August, Pratyush will be attending the Democratic National Convention as Texas’ youngest National Delegate and he hopes to use this as a forum to encourage AAPI and youth participation in local and national politics!

Lily Richman

Santa Monica, CA

Lily Richman is passionate about service and social justice. As the youngest organizer on Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign, she organized volunteers, coordinated events, and won her region in New Hampshire. She has also worked at the startup Repustar to combat COVID-19 misinformation and with USC Annenberg’s Center on Communication Leadership & Policy, researching the intersection of journalism and politics. Previously, she worked at the LA Times’ HS Insider and as a freelance writer with the Santa Monica Daily Press. Lily is an avid reader and writer who will matriculate to Harvard in the fall and is excited to join the Grassroots Democrats HQ’s efforts to elect just leaders up and down the 2020 ballot.

Sadie Rochman

Los Angeles, CA

Sadie Rochman, Assistant to the Fellowship Program, graduated from Crossroads School and  will attend Columbia University in the fall. Inspired by the bravery of her ancestors who fled persecution in Eastern Europe, Sadie is dedicated to advocating for silenced minorities, women’s rights, healthcare access, and basic human rights. In high school, Sadie led Crossroads’ Community Service Honors Society and the school’s chapter of Human Rights Watch Student Task Force. Sadie is also the Vice President of the organization, FEMproject which works to destigmatize the period and provide menstrual supplies to women in need. Sadie has been a fellow at the Grassroots Democrats HQ since the 2018 Midterms and helped  lead the first Young Democrat Phone Banks at the HQ. Sadie has published many articles on behalf of the HQ for the political website SoCal Blue and was profiled by the Palisadian Post about the first Young Democrat Phone Banks in 2019. Outside of advocacy, Sadie is a lifelong dancer, loves to sew her own clothes, make jewelry, and bind notebooks.

Lily Sind

Los Angeles, CA

Lily Sind is a 10th grader at the Brentwood School in Los Angeles. She strongly believes in the power of expression and enjoys music and writing. Her musicianship began at a young age and has grown into a deep love for voice, guitar, piano, and songwriting. Lily began to educate herself about politics and government during the 2016 election, and her anger about what was happening quickly turned into a need to take action. As she learned more about women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive rights, gun control, and other important issues, she began to understand that change can start with a simple phone call. She joined the Grassroots Democrats HQ in February of 2020 and is proud to be a Fellow, advocating for a shift in leadership and a blue wave in November! Lily is also co-founder of an organization called The Refugee Empowerment Project (refugeeempowermentproject.org), which aims to help provide refugees and asylum-seekers with resources they need and change the way they are perceived and treated. She believes all refugees, asylum-seekers, and displaced people should have every opportunity to express themselves, further their knowledge, and protect their own interests. When not volunteering with the Grassroots Dems HQ, Lily can be found working on The REP, watching The West Wing, or listening to music. 

Hannah Taheri

Los Angeles, CA

Sadie Rochman, Assistant to the Fellowship Program, graduated from Crossroads School and  will attend Columbia University in the fall. Inspired by the bravery of her ancestors who fled persecution in Eastern Europe, Sadie is dedicated to advocating for silenced minorities, women’s rights, healthcare access, and basic human rights. In high school, Sadie led Crossroads’ Community Service Honors Society and the school’s chapter of Human Rights Watch Student Task Force. Sadie is also the Vice President of the organization, FEMproject which works to destigmatize the period and provide menstrual supplies to women in need. Sadie has been a fellow at the Grassroots Democrats HQ since the 2018 Midterms and helped  lead the first Young Democrat Phone Banks at the HQ. Sadie has published many articles on behalf of the HQ for the political website SoCal Blue and was profiled by the Palisadian Post about the first Young Democrat Phone Banks in 2019. Outside of advocacy, Sadie is a lifelong dancer, loves to sew her own clothes, make jewelry, and bind notebooks.

Dani Winkler

Los Angeles, CA

Dani is an incoming high school junior who is relatively new to the volunteering and community organizing spheres, but has always been passionate about politics and learning about the ins and outs of social systems. As a staffer on her school’s creative writing magazine, The Edge, she writes and edits pieces for each issue. She also organizes cheese tasting sessions as Co-president of her campus’s Cheese Club. Dani dances with Dance Dimensions, focusing on ballet, modern and contemporary dance. Previously, she has volunteered for Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. She’s passionate about reproductive rights and gun reform, and she’s really excited to be a part of something so special. She is also constantly baking cookies, much to her family’s chagrin.

Gracey Wyles

Los Angeles, CA

Gracey Wyles has been a fellow at the Grassroots Democratic HQ since the 2018 midterm election, and she is a rising senior at the Archer School for Girls. Volunteering with the Grassroots Democratic HQ in 2018 was her first time being directly involved in politics. Gracey chose to be a Grassroots fellow because she wanted her voice to be heard while she was unable to vote; now that she can vote, she wants to make sure that others do the same. She is passionate about education and gun control and is looking forward to voting for the first time in the 2020 general election! Outside of politics, Gracey is a senior class rep at her school and co-leader of the Peer Academic Work Support program. Gracey has been swimming competitively for the UCLA Youth Club team for almost 10 years and has swum for her school during swim season since 6th grade. She’s a teen volunteer at Cedars-Sinai and a tutor with the STEM Garden. For the past 2 summers, Gracey has assisted undergraduate research in labs at the University of Southern California and in Shanghai. She took the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi, a national Chinese proficiency test, and received a bronze medal in 9th grade and a silver medal in 10th grade. Her favorite hobbies include open water swimming, running, hiking, and reading. 

Former Fellows

Molly Cohen

Los Angeles, CA

Molly Cohen is a sophomore at Palisades Charter High School in Los Angeles, California. Her interest in politics and civic engagement started during the 2016 election when she began observing the gender stereotypes, gun violence, and hateful rhetoric around her. She’s an avid activist for voting rights, intersectional feminism, and sexual assault prevention. Since then, she’s been working on the Heal the Bay speaker bureau, while she serves on the outreach team for I Am A Teen Voter and Flip The West and works as an intern for Dave Cavell for Congress. In addition, she founded LA Teens for Elizabeth Warren 2020 and has been elected class president as well as S.H.A.R.E (sexual harassment and rape education) club president. When she’s not discussing politics, registering people to vote, or talking about current events with her dad, you’ll find her playing soccer, being in nature, listening to music, and cuddling her 2 dogs: Bagel and Hampton! She’s so excited to get to work in the fellowship program for Grassroots Democrats HQ!

Haley Gagerman

Los Angeles, CA

Haley Gagerman is a senior at the Brentwood School in Los Angeles, California. Growing up with working parents and strong ties to her Jewish community, Haley has worked throughout her life to emulate values of compassion and hard work. She is especially passionate about mending our country’s broken criminal justice system and advocating for stricter gun-control laws. As the President of her school’s Educational Outreach Club and longtime volunteer with the Beverly Hills Tutoring program, Haley has worked to encourage education and curiosity with elementary schoolers in the Greater Los Angeles Area. Haley was also a member of both the Planning and Scholarship Outreach committees for Brentwood School’s Young Women’s Conference, which is hosted every other year to promote female empowerment in politics, entertainment, and other professions. When she isn’t working at the HQ, you could probably find Haley riding, watching Law & Order reruns, or serving as Editor in Chief of her school’s newspaper.

Cyn Gomez

Baldwin Park, CA

Cyn Gomez is a first-generation college student who will be attending UC Berkeley, double majoring in Legal Studies and Social Welfare. Outside of academics, they love watching civil rights documentaries, Ted Talks, and history documentaries. Gomez graduated in the top fifteen percent of  they class from Sierra Vista High School. Now, Cyn engages with the efforts of being a Grassroots fellow.They want to make a meaningful impact on their community, through voter registry, education, and advocacy they hope to make a meaningful impact on voters and the future of our country. They are passionate about a multitude of issues ranging from homelessness, immigration, minority rights, health care, and mental health. Gomez is not willing to give up on any task they set their mind to and hopes that Grassroots fellows will be the start of something amazing!

Diego Gutierrez

San Antonio, TX

Diego is heading into his junior year of high school in San Antonio, Texas. He is of Puerto Rican and Mexican-American descent, and he is passionate about climate change, racial inequality, and gun reform. He has worked with the Grassroots Democrats HQ during the Christy Smith campaign and is excited to work to elect Democrats up and down the ballot, which is why he chose to be a fellow! Diego loves to travel and collect national park postcards. Additionally, Diego is on the Academic Decathlon team which qualified to go to Nationals this year. He is the class president for the Class of 2022, a cellist in his school’s Varsity Orchestra, and is the co-manager of the cross country team. Outside of school, Diego is a member of the High School Democrats of America, a volunteer at the South Texas VA Hospital, and a Duke TiP scholar. 

Cameron Lange

Los Angeles, CA

Cameron Lange is excited to work as a summer fellow at Grassroots Democrats HQ after graduating in the top five percent of her class from Marlborough School in Los Angeles, where she was Debate Team Captain, newspaper Editor-in-Chief, and researcher of American electoral reform through the Leonetti/O’Connell Honors Research Program. Outside of school, she worked at a local movie theatre and answered calls, texts, and emails at Teen Line, a crisis hotline with a national reach run by and for teenagers. In the fall, she will attend Stanford University and intends to double major in political science and philosophy. She feels passionate about the progressive agenda, female representation in government, and combating voter suppression. In her free time, she loves thrifting and watching indie films.

Kayla Payvar

Los Angeles, CA

Kayla Payvar is a high school senior from Los Angeles. She is passionate about fighting for equality. As an energetic change-maker, Kayla likes supporting Democrats up and down the ballot. She works with the HQ to help promote affordable healthcare and education. After seeing Donald Trump elected, she decided to begin working with the HQ during the 2018 midterms in order to turn the House of Representatives blue. As the co-leader of the Educational Outreach Club, she organizes collection drives to get school supplies to underprivileged students and offers tutoring services. Kayla was also a competitive swimmer for four years. She is quadrilingual and speaks English, French, Farsi, and Spanish. Her hobbies include competitive equestrian and spending time with her friends!

Karla Ponce

Los Angeles, CA

Karla is a rising sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a first-generation student, she is passionate about creating change and equality in healthcare, education, and immigration, especially for underserved communities of color. She was first involved with the Grassroots Democrats HQ during the 2018 elections and has decided to return this summer as a fellow to kickstart a Spanish phone bank. On campus, Karla is a Posse Scholar, as well as a member of the Social and Environmental Business Association and the Multicultural Business Students Association. She’s also a facilitator for a business foundations course. Back in Southern California, she used to mentor students for Harmony Project and kickstarted a community newsletter and different events. In her spare time, Karla loves to watch horror films, draw, cook, and skate.

Ella Roark

Los Angeles, CA

Ella is a student, graduating in 2021, at the Archer School for Girls in Los Angeles, CA. She started working with the HQ in 2018 and has continued her work because she loves educating others and herself about politics. She is particularly passionate about gun control, affordable healthcare, education, sustainability, defunding the police, and Black Lives Matter. As the daughter of an immigrant, she also cares about abolishing ICE and being actively anti-racist. Ella’s work with the HQ is her first political work, though she has always been politically aware and attended protests and uses her social media to share educational resources, petitions, etc. She also worked the polls during the Presidential Primary Elections. Outside of politics, Ella participates in many extracurriculars both in and out of school. At school, she gives tours to prospective families, tutors younger students in all academic subjects as well as good study habits, learns about and educates others on Asian-American perspectives as a member of her school’s Asian Pacific-Islander Student Union Executive Board, and is a member of Peer Support, a leadership group that focuses on their peers’ mental health. Every year of high school, Ella has won an honorable mention in the National French Contest and in eighth grade, she won the prize for ingenuity in her school science fair. Outside of school, Ella works two jobs. She is a sales associate at a clothing store and manages a small business of sustainable reselling through Depop. Ella has been running track since seventh grade and at the varsity level since freshman year of high school. She has also been an active dancer since age three with strengths in ballet and tap but experience in many styles. Ella loves sewing and making simple pieces. She put this hobby to use by making handmade masks to donate to homeless shelters, following the CDC’s guidelines of course!

Yaneth Melgar

Los Angeles, CA

Yaneth Melgar is a proud Los Angeles Native who is currently a rising senior and attends Bright Star Secondary Charter Academy. Yaneth is also a proud Salvadoran-American who rejoices in learning more about and experiencing her culture. As a Salvadoran-American, Yaneth grew up seeing the inequality within the system targeting the Hispanic/Latinx community and other minorities. Yaneth is passionate about making a change through voter engagement, human rights, and women’s rights. Yaneth chose to be a Grassroots Fellow in order to be the change her parents and grandparents couldn’t be; they always dreamed of seeing her accomplish it. Yaneth enjoys spending time with her loved ones and loves to cook in her spare time. 

Eric Wagner

Rye Brook, NY

Eric Wagner lives in a small town called Rye Brook in New York. He is currently a rising sophomore at Northwestern University who is majoring in Political Science. Although he has canvassed for various candidates over the past 5 years, this fellowship is the most politically active thing he has done and hopefully is his first step in a long career of Democrat politics. He joined this internship because he knew that this summer would be a great opportunity to make a difference in the November elections and secure a Democrat majority in both houses of Congress and the presidency. The issues most important to him are universal health care and fighting for criminal justice reform. He has alopecia areata and shares a birthday with both of his grandpas. He enjoys engaging political discussions and will work hard to maintain our majority in the House and flip the Senate and presidency. 

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