Meet Our Summer 2015 Next Leaders!

Watch this video, produced and edited by Communications intern Joash Mencias and Development intern Kelsey Clark, to learn more about the 2016 summer experience from the Next Leaders themselves.

IMG_1939Alissa Weinman — Climate Policy Project

Alissa Weinman hails from the Washington, D.C. area and recently completed her studies in Anthropology, Environmental Studies, and Political Science at The College of Wooster. At Wooster, Alissa split her time between advancing sustainability on campus as a Sustainability Intern and Greenhouse Club President and writing her senior thesis on the role of community organizing and urban agriculture in the Dudley neighborhood of Boston, MA. Alissa is enthusiastic about issues regarding environmental justice, food sovereignty, and the green economy. In her spare time, she loves getting off the grid to hike, listening to podcasts, and volunteering at a local farmers market.

IMG_1934Aseante Hylick —

Aseante Hylick is from Austin, Texas. She is currently completing a graduate degree in Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin where she’s focusing on leveraging the influence of faith based organizations and community leadership to address issues of mental health, restorative reform, and social justice in vulnerable populations. She has over twelve years of experience in creating or implementing civic platforms such as summer mentoring programs, non-profit social media campaigns, program fundraising, and citywide health awareness events. Aseante also spent five years as the director of programing for a local non-profit that serviced four high-needs zip codes in Austin, Texas.

IMG_1976Christine Dickason — OtherWords

Christine Dickason is from Memphis, Tennessee. She graduated in May from the University of Mississippi with a B.A. in Public Policy Leadership. As an undergraduate, Christine served as the Student Director of the University Food Bank, as well as holding internships in a Congressman’s office, at the Center for American Progress, with Organizing for Action, and in the Office of the First Lady at the White House. She is particularly interested in social justices issues related to educational inequities and access to food. In her free time, Christine enjoys traveling to new places, volunteering at farmers markets, cooking, and fanatically cheering on the Memphis Grizzlies NBA team.

IMG_1953Daniel Valenzuela — Global Economy

Daniel Valenzuela is from Sterling, Virginia. As a junior at Harvard University, Daniel primarily studies philosophy while also dabbling in economics. He hopes to complete a thesis exploring what distributive justice demands of institutions and what people must do to meet those demands. During the academic year, Daniel spends time volunteering with a small claims court advisory service and working as a student liaison for his school’s information systems department. Outside of school, he has spent time working for the National Institutes of Health and for a local car dealership. Daniel enjoys reading everything, listening to hip-hop, and eating pho.

IMG_1989Chloe Sigal — New Economy Working Group

Chloe Sigal grew up on the outskirts of Philadelphia. She is a recent graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she majored in Sociology with a concentration in Structures of Opportunity and Inequality. At Penn, Chloe organized with the Student Labor Action Project and led economic justice campaigns including unionization drives, anti-sweatshop solidarity campaigns, and, most recently, a non-profit Payments in Lieu of Taxes campaign. Chloe enjoys sobremesa and the great outdoors and is passionate about combating economic exploitation and creating a more equal playing field with and for poor and working-class people.

IMG_1964Eileen Huang — Global Economy

All the way from Vancouver, Canada, Eileen Huang is about to begin her third year at Rice University. Aside from her studies in Mathematical Economic Analysis and Political Science, Eileen is particularly interested in social advocacy, finance and economics. She has held numerous leadership positions in APASA, an Asian American sociopolitical group, and is involved in her school’s Finance Club as the Chief Economist. She hopes to call attention to data disaggregation for minority groups, and increase financial literacy of low-income families. In her free time, Eileen can be found watching suspense movies, inventing her own dishes, and less frequently, jumping out of planes.

IMG_1935Kelsey Clark — Development

Kelsey Clark is a senior Political Science major at the College of Wooster. She has recently returned from a semester abroad in Edinburgh, Scotland as a research intern for The Scottish Parliament, serving as a staff member for the deputy minister of the Justice Committee. Kelsey spent the last summer lending her abilities to the expansion and development of an emerging non-profit, The Pink Ribbon Girls. For her final year at Wooster, she hopes to build off of her previous research on cosmopolitan theory to write a senior thesis on how national identities influence the ethical obligations of states. Kelsey also plays soccer for the Wooster women’s soccer team, creates pottery, and enjoys traveling.

IMG_1991Joash Mencias — Communications

Joash Mencias comes from the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. He attended the College of DuPage, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, and he’ll continue his education at DePaul University where he’ll study public relations. Inspired by his faith, Joash takes an interest in seeking social justice and has been active in the Filipino-American United Methodist community in the Chicago area. In addition to his passion for social justice, he is a current events, politics, and weather enthusiast.

IMG_19731Qossay Alsattari — New Internationalism

Qossay grew up in Ramallah in the West Bank. He is currently finishing his undergraduate studies at Kenyon College where he majors in Economics and International Studies. Qossay spent last summer interning at the Center for Development Studies at Birzeit University where he worked closely with economist Raja Khalidi. His research interests include political economy and social mobility in the Middle East and North Africa. Carrying on in the tradition of his Quaker education at the Ramallah Friends School, Qossay remains committed to studying policy through the lens of social justice and human rights. He enjoys eating dessert with good friends and going on long walks.

IMG_1984Laith Shakir — Foreign Policy In Focus

Laith Shakir is a junior at American University, pursuing a double major in philosophy and history with a minor in literature. Outside of his academic pursuits, Laith is committed to social justice in the Middle East: he has spent two summers in the West Bank, studying and working with various NGOs committed to peace in the region. He is also passionate about education, and works with 3P Speech to coach debate students across the country. In his free time, Laith enjoys arguing about the Song of Ice and Fire books on the internet, getting too emotional about The X-Files, and reading whatever he can get his hands on.

IMG_1982Olivia Alperstein — OtherWords

Olivia Alperstein hails from Newton, MA and received a BA in Classical civilization and theater from Wesleyan University. Most recently she worked as a communications and development intern for Massachusetts Advocates for Children. In addition to a stint as opinion editor and news editor for her school newspaper, her prior experience includes legal internships, volunteering and conducting research and fundraising for political campaigns, and working in not-for-profit advocacy. She is passionate about social and economic justice and the intersection between socioeconomic issues, and she hopes to pursue a career advocating for laws and legislation that produce long-term change.

IMG_24610Joshua Thomas-Serrano — Criminalization of Poverty

Joshua received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy with a double-minor in Urban Studies and Sociology from Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He is from Brooklyn, New York and has spent time as an undergraduate studying in Vietnam and Washington DC. He recently interned at Action For the City, based in Hanoi, Vietnam, and the Economic Hardship Reporting Project, based in Washington DC. He is passionate about the interconnected racial and economic justice movements.

IMG_1969Gabriel Sub — New Economy Maryland

Gabriel grew up in New York City and graduated from Bard College majoring in Political Studies with a concentration in International Political Economy. He currently organizes with Rethinking Economics, an international student group fighting for pluralism in economics curricula. A dual Dutch-U.S. citizen, he recently returned from the Netherlands where he worked promoting and introducing the thriving bike scene to tourists and took graduate classes for half a year. A previous intern for the New Economy Coalition and canvasser/campaign manager for the NY Working Families Party, Gabriel is thrilled to be working with IPS to promote an equitable and sustainable economy that prioritizes people and planet over profit. He will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts university in the Fall.

IMG_1962Angela Pradhan — Foreign Policy in Focus

Angela Pradhan hails from Long Island, New York but is a Manhattan city girl at heart. She just completed her first year at Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications as a Journalism major and International Politics minor. Awarded with the selective Martin Luther King Scholar for social justice research and civic engagement, she served as a co-anchor and assistant producer for Ithaca College’s first sociopolitical talk show, The RoundTable. A founder of the Huntington Chapter of the United Nations’ Girl Up program, she received the national President’s Volunteer Service Award for her work in international educational gender equality and her role in sparking national debate over a policy proposal for microaggressions. Angela plans to inform FPIF readers about international social justice issues and impact laws that infringe upon human rights.