Andrea Escobar (she/her/hers) is a first generation Salvadoran-American from San Francisco, California. She moved to Seattle three years ago to attend Seattle University where she will be a senior this fall. Andrea is majoring in political science with a specialization in legal studies and minoring in theology with a specialization in world religions. Andrea first became politically involved as an intern for the Democratic Party of San Francisco. She went on to intern for Senator Maria Cantwell and for Gavin Newsom’s Campaign for Governor of California. These experiences helped her realize her passion for organizing and local politics. After graduation, Andrea plans to attend law school and continue to stay involved in local politics. At the Bus, she hopes to fight for more representation in politics for women and people of color. Andrea can speak four languages and has attended music festivals all over the country!
Edgar Ulysses Espino (he/him/his) is a first generation Mexican-American and a second generation college student attending Central Washington University. He is majoring in political science with a double minor in Spanish and law and justice. Edgar is from Olympia, Washington, but has lived all over the Northwest. He considers himself a big history nut. Studying injustices throughout history sparked his interest in politics. At the Bus, Edgar wants to make history through grassroots organizing and takes inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Cesar Chavez. In his free time, Edgar loves to drum is a proud member of the CWU Marching Band’s drumline. He has also played with the Seattle Cascades Drum and Bugle Corps and IMPACT Percussion. When he’s not playing, Edgar enjoys listening to all kinds of music, lifting weights, exploring nature, and being social.
Emily Fortier (she/her) is a first-generation college student at Central Washington University where she is majoring in political science with a minor in women, gender and sexuality. Originally from the small town of Selah, Washington, Emily has been interested in politics since taking an intro to political science class in community college and watching the presidential debates on television in 2016. At the Bus, she is very excited to learn about activism in her community, meet new people, and experience the city of Seattle.
Flora Lloyd (she/they) is from Missoula Montana and currently attends Seattle University. Flora first got into politics in high school. She knew politics was the path for her while interning for Pramila Jayapal in the summer of 2018. At the Bus, Flora is really excited to be around young professionals who have the same values and ambitions for a better world and to get the skills to change it.
Gabby Borenstein (she/her) is a rising sophomore at Tufts University where she plans to major in international relations with a focus on international security with a minor in economics and Arabic. Gabby was born and raised in Seattle and attended Seattle Academy. Her interest in politics was sparked in high school when she worked as an intern on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, participated in a Student Diversity Leadership Conference, and attended an ACLU summer program focusing on turning people power into tangible social activism. At Tufts, Gabby is involved with a movement to include a Palestinian speaker on the Tufts birthright trip to Israel. She believes that grassroots and local social activism is important to give regular people a voice in a political system that can seem vacuous and impersonal. At the Bus, Gabby is excited to learn how to turn her passion into substantive progress in local politics. When not immersing herself in politics and activism, Gabby is a coxswain on the Tufts University Women’s Crew Team and enjoys spending her free time in the outdoors.
Geeta Iyer (she/her) is from Kirkland, Washington. She will be a sophomore at UW Seattle this fall where she works as a UW tour guide and is a member of a sorority with a philanthropic focus of raising domestic violence awareness. Geeta is also a member of the UW Dream Project, a program which supports students as they discern their post-secondary pathways. She is interested in majoring in international studies. Geeta’s interest in public service started in high school through her volunteer service projects which included volunteering in a food bank, tutoring, and working on a state senate campaign. At the Bus, Geeta is excited to meet peers with similar public service interests, promote the political efficacy of young people, and learn more about local political issues and initiatives!
Hodan Abdi (she/her) is from West Seattle and just finished school at West Seattle High School and South Seattle College. She will attend UW Seattle this fall. Hodan was introduced to politics by her American government professor and has always wanted to learn more. Knowing she can get out there and let her voice be heard is what makes activism so appealing. At the Bus, Hodan is most excited about getting to meet new people and organizing voter registration drives.
Krisna Mandujano (she/her/hers) is originally from Chiapas, Mexico. Though she left Mexico when she was in elementary school, she hopes to visit her beautiful home country soon. Krisna became interested in activism after reflecting on her experiences as a student. When she started embracing her identity, she developed a sense of social responsibility. Getting into politics and activism didn’t come easy and she often struggled to use her voice and share her opinions. Krisna’s leadership at South Seattle College has given her the opportunity to get involved with student government and civic activism. Through higher education, Krisna was able to access a platform to advocate for undocumented folks and other underrepresented communities. Krisna joined the Fellowship to learn from other student leaders about the issues impacting our communities. She is excited to build community with other Fellows and can’t wait to use their collective power to make an impact.
Mayra Meraz (she/her/hers) has lived most of her life in Kennewick, Washington. She currently attends Central Washington University in Ellensburg. Mayra got into politics during the 2016 presidential election. As a daughter of immigrants, she felt the political climate was turning against people within her community. Mayra says recognizing her privilege pushed her to be more involved to help people make their voices heard. At the Bus, Mayra is looking forward to learning new things and building relationships with other people.
Nasra Ali (she/her/hers) is from Seattle and just finished her senior year at Shorecrest High School. As a young, black, female Muslim from a low-income immigrant household, Nasra has had to think about her race, gender, religion, and all the other hats she wears for the majority of her life. Because of this, she has made it her goal to understand the intricacies and complexities of politics and activism as a whole. She has been involved with Young Women Empowered, the American Civil Liberties Union on her path to be a catalyst for change in her community and the communities around her. Nasra will be attending Western Washington University in the fall and plans to major in international law and American legal studies. After college, she hopes to pursue immigration law and make an impact fixing the very broken immigration system.
Saagar Mehta (he/him) is a recent high school graduate from Shoreline, Washington. He will be attending the University of Washington in the fall and looks forward finding what he’s passionate about. Saagar’s interest in policy and social justice began in 8th grade when he read Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority and had the privilege of attending a lecture by the author, Tim Wise, a renowned anti-racism activist. In high school, Saagar was an active member of the Black Student Union and his school’s chapter of Amnesty International where he worked to pass the “I Welcome” resolution, making Shorewood High School the first school in Washington to adopt a resolution welcoming refugees and immigrants. He also served as the student representative to the Shoreline School Board. Saagar is driven to learn about social justice issues through an intersectional lens and doesn’t shy away from opportunities to plant seeds of growth through personal interaction. At the Bus, Saagar is excited to learn how to be an organizer and help others raise their voices to effect change and to meet new people interested in being civically engaged. In his free time, you can find him jogging around Greenlake while listening to Khalid and binge watching Game of Thrones with his dog Jackie.
Shivani Trivedi (she/her) is a first generation South Asian-American from Houston, Texas. She is entering her senior year at Colby College and is a government and religious studies double major. She became active in politics in high school while volunteering at a charity clinic for uninsured citizens of the Greater Houston area and serving as the student debate coach at her former middle school. Through these experiences, Shivani saw firsthand the inequities in our healthcare and education systems for predominantly low-income families of color that lived in and around her community. Shivani is extremely proud to come from one of the largest immigrant hubs in Houston and hopes to one serve her community by playing an active role in immigration policy and education reform. At the Bus, she is excited to explore Seattle and hopes to use what she learns to mobilize her neighborhood in Houston for the upcoming 2020 presidential election. Shivani spends her free time listening to Beyoncé, spending time with her family, or doing yoga.
Thearina Leng (she/her/hers) is from White Center and will be starting her sophomore year at UW Tacoma. Her older sister’s interest in human services and social justice helped Thearina find her passion for politics and activism. Through critical conversations about race, gender, and identity, she began to recognize the problems facing marginalized groups in society. As a Khmer American youth, her identity as a child of refugee parents inspires her to get involved in politics and address the lack of Southeast Asian representation within leadership positions. At the Bus, Thearina wants to learn more about how to make society more unified by making space for inclusion. She is most excited to learn, unlearn, and relearn about oppressive social sectors to further learn how to dismantle them. Although most of her community work is in White Center, Thearina is very excited to branch out.