1. Background
  2. Immigrants & Refugees

Advocacy Corps 2020-2021

June 30, 2020

Meet the 2020-2021 class of Advocacy Corps Organizers. These 20 young adults from around the United States will be organizing in their communities to reform national immigration laws.

Ariana Riccardi

  • Wilmington, Ohio Advocacy Corps Organizer

Ariana is a senior at Wilmington College in Ohio majoring in political science and history. She currently serves as vice president of the Student Government Association and as president of the Peace Corps Prep Program and the Resident Student Association.

Chloe Brown

  • Richmond, Virginia Advocacy Corps Organizer

Chloe is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University majoring in psychology. She hopes to be an art therapist in order to help child refugees suffering from PTSD. Chloe has been active in her community since she was 14 years old. After lobbying with FCNL at both the Annual Meeting and Spring Lobby Weekend, she created an Advocacy Club at her high school.

Dayana Maldonado

  • Española, New Mexico Advocacy Corps Organizer

Dayana is a senior at Northern New Mexico College majoring in psychology. She has been a passionate immigration activist in her community for six years. Dayana is committed to educating and confronting local and national immigration issues for change and equality. She also strives to transform fear into empowered voices. Dayana hopes to pursue a professional degree in social work or immigration law.

Elliotte Enochs

  • Edgewater, Colorado Advocacy Corps Organizer

Elliotte is a college sophomore currently on leave from studying humanities at Haverford College in Pennsylvania to pursue direct activism through this year’s Advocacy Corps. However, they are also taking classes at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.

Evan Saito

  • Richmond, Indiana Advocacy Corps Organizer

Evan is a junior at Earlham College where he is enrolled in the peace and global studies program. He is a proud Japanese American, originally from western Massachusetts. Evan has been passionate about grassroots advocacy since high school, and attended his first protest at the age of five with members of his Quaker Meeting.

Faith Williams

  • Provo, Utah Advocacy Corps Organizer

Faith is a senior studying sociology with a minor in statistics at Brigham Young University. She grew up in a small east Texas town with a significant immigrant population. Faith spent a year as a young adult living as a volunteer in rural Argentina. As a college undergraduate Faith has assisted her professors in research and consulting projects on race, immigration, and intergenerational poverty.

Fatema Jaffer

  • Longwood, Florida Advocacy Corps Organizer

Fatema is a current Teach for America educator, as well as manager of the scholarship project of Cross World Africa, Inc. She graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s degree in political science and international affairs. Fatema has a passion for international human rights and educational equity, which stemmed from a 2017 internship in Kenya.

Gloria Rodriguez

  • Orange, New Jersey Advocacy Corps Organizer

Gloria is a junior in the honors program at Bloomfield College, majoring in elementary education. She actively volunteers to help her community through her church and school. While attending the 2018 Spring Lobby Weekend, Gloria fell in love with advocacy and the need to speak up against injustice.

Grey Robinson

  • Birmingham, Alabama Advocacy Corps Organizer

Grey is a junior law student at Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Alabama. She works closely with local organizations on issues of racial injustice and indigent defense. Grey received her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and religion from Bridgewater College in Virginia, where she was president of the student government.

Haydyn Foulke

  • Greensboro, North Carolina Advocacy Corps Organizer

Haydyn is a junior at Guilford College in Greensboro NC, majoring in community and justice studies. She is a passionate tutor and mentor of new refugees. Haydyn was engaged in climate justice with the Sunrise Movement. She also started a campus club to empower women. Haydyn is passionate about uplifting others by understanding the intersections of systemic oppression and engaging in movements that are dedicated to justice for all.

Istra Fuhrmann

  • San Antonio, Texas Advocacy Corps Organizer

Istra grew up in Denton, Texas and graduated from Swarthmore College in 2019 with a degree in Mandarin and political science. During a semester abroad in Kunming, China, she wrote her thesis, in Mandarin, on the “involuntary migrants” displaced in southwest China.

James Rider

  • Worcester, Massachusetts Advocacy Corps Organizer

James is a master’s student at Clark University where he is studying international development focusing on refugees, forced migration, and belonging. Before joining the Advocacy Corps, he was a Peace Corps youth development volunteer in Perú.

Jamie Kelley

  • West Haven, Connecticut Advocacy Corps Organizer

Jamie is a freshman law student at Quinnipiac University School of Law, focusing on criminal and immigration law. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science and history from Southern Connecticut State University. As a college student, Jamie has been engaged in advocacy work on immigration as president of her university’s College Democrats and the Pre-Law Society.

Judith Marklin

  • Sewanee, Tennessee Advocacy Corps Organizer

Judith is in her final year of graduate school at the School of Theology in Sewanee, TN. She is pursuing a master’s in religion and the environment. She recently created a new role at the university as an eco-chaplain. Judith is passionate about the intersection of racial justice and climate justice and is eager to create spaces that allow people to lean into discomfort and “stay with the trouble.”

Karen Gamez

  • Seattle, Washington Advocacy Corps Organizer

Karen graduated from the University of Washington in Seattle with a bachelor’s degree in American ethnic studies. She currently works as an education advocate for a non-profit organization and serves as a commissioner on the Seattle Immigrant and Refugee Commission.

Nedy Velazquez

  • Escondido, California Advocacy Corps Organizer

Nedy recently graduated from the University of California San Diego (UCSD) with a bachelor’s degree in political science. Living in a border region and being a first-generation immigrant inspired her passion for advocating for immigrants’ rights and social justice. Nedy has trained undergraduate students about lobbying and advocacy through UCSD’s Legislative Advocacy Program. She is excited to continue building community and mobilizing youth.

Oscar Hernandez Ortiz

  • Phoenix, Arizona Advocacy Corps Organizer

Oscar recently graduated from Arizona State University (ASU), with a master’s degree in education. He also just finished a two-year commitment teaching 5th grade in Arizona with Teach for America. During his undergraduate years, Oscar majored in public policy. His undocumented and low-income background galvanized Oscar to focus on immigration and education.

Patrick Kelly

  • Notre Dame, Indiana Advocacy Corps Organizer

Patrick is a junior at the University of Notre Dame majoring in political science and Latino studies. Last fall he served as a Democratic Cloakroom intern for the Office of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Patrick is a member of the Student Coalition for Immigration Advocacy, the Community Alliance Serving Hispanics, and ND Votes.

Tanmai Vemulapalli

  • Apex, North Carolina Advocacy Corps Organizer

Tanmai graduated from George Washington University in Washington, D.C., with a bachelor’s degree in international affairs and anthropology. After graduating in 2018, she worked for a year as an anthropology teacher at a small liberal arts school in Yangon, Myanmar through a fellowship program with Volunteers in Asia (VIA).

Tanzania Thomas

  • Brooklyn, New York Advocacy Corps Organizer

Tanzania is a graduate of Siena College in Loudonville, New York with a bachelor’s degree in psychology. She later earned a master’s degree in French studies from New York University. Her master’s thesis on Parisian Black hair salons exhibits her interest in studying marginalization in the US and France and ethnography.

Larissa Gil Sanhueza

  • Young Adult Advocacy Coordinator

As the Young Adult Advocacy Coordinator, Larissa Gil Sanhueza focuses on developing and training young adult advocates around the country. Specifically, she manages the Advocacy Corps program, a group of 20 young adult organizers who mobilize their communities around one legislative issue every year. Larissa also oversees recruitment for Spring Lobby Weekend, a four day lobbying and educational event that brings together 500 young people from around the country.