Amber Afzali is the current Chair of the Youth Advisory Board. She is an undergraduate student at the University of Pennsylvania double majoring in Political Science and Psychology. She is originally from Southern California, where she lives with her parents and two dogs. Amber enjoys traveling, learning languages, and paddle boarding. As for her academic interests, she is fascinated by criminal psychology and justice reform, international women’s rights, and political psychology.
Paul Burdett is originally from Prunedale, California, where some of his pastimes include longboarding, surfing, piano, public speaking, and involvement with his church. He also enjoys mentoring younger kids locally through youth programs as well as nationwide events through the Institute for Cultural Communicators. He is currently enrolled at Lipscomb University in Tennessee pursuing a double major in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics. He continues to pursue music and mentoring programs on campus.
Kay’Stienna (kay-steen-uh) Carter is as unique as her name! If she is not studying to get ahead in her degree path or working, she is be playing a video game. She adore watching documentaries and anime. Cooking is a task that always makes her day. Along with picking up a pencil and finishing up a doodle, she loves anything that allows her to use her creative noodle. Did she mention that writing is her favorite hobby? Especially writing poetry.
Jadan Harsch (she/her) is a junior at Beacon public high school in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn with her family and is an excited new member of the YAB board. She has an interest in psychology, and education. Outside of school she tutors young students at the public library, plays soccer, and visits with family and friends.
Paige Lauren Kight is a junior at Paducah Tilghman High School in Paducah, Kentucky. She fills her days with band, academic team, and endless Google deep-dives that stem from her constant curiosity about anything and everything. Paige Lauren plans to major in biology in college, and she is passionate about animals of all kinds (especially fish), advocating for teen mental health, and creative writing.
Ranen Miao is a junior at Washington University in St. Louis studying sociology. He currently has the honor of serving as the student body president, where he has been working about elevating student voices in administrative decisions. He is thrilled to be returning to the board for his sixth year, speaking up about student perspectives!
Natalie (Talia) Rangel is 16 years old and originally from Los Angeles, California. They spend most of the year as a boarding student at The Thacher School in the Ojai Valley. Tália is passionate about advocacy work and uplifting marginalized groups. They have experience mentoring younger students, especially through school affinity groups such as Spectrum (for LGBTQIA+ students) and Latinos Unidos (for Latinx students). Their favorite activities are painting, spending time with friends, and Western horseback riding.
Mandy Rowton is a junior in High School from Kentucky. She likes choir, band, and acting. She also enjoys reading, drawing, and sewing. She is interested in pursuing a career as a translator and an interpreter for the Deaf so that she can help Deaf and hearing people in different countries communicate with each other.
Sean Welch is a senior at Temple University in Philadelphia where he studies Political Science. Much of his free time is spent volunteering for the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led movement to stop the climate crisis and create millions of good jobs. But when Sean isn’t trying to build a more just world, you can catch him studying Spanish, riding his bike around Philly, or hunting down cheap art (only in price, never in quality) across the city. Sean also likes basketball and loves to travel!
Justin Robinson is from Fayetteville, NC. A fun fact about him is that he can speak Spanish fluently. Justin participates in a few clubs at school, like Science Olympiad, or the Fayetteville Cumberland Youth Council. He enjoys helping other adolescents and parents strengthen their relationships and believes that any person with the right support can achieve their goals and dreams.
Raul Rosales attends Stetson University where he is studying history. In his free time, he enjoys cross-country running and going to his school’s sporting events. He hopes to become a history teacher for high school students and possibly a principal.
Gabrielle (Gaby) Baum is from Stamford, Connecticut and attended Muhlenberg College where she studied Business Administration and Sustainability. She is passionate about equal opportunity in education, literature, and giving back. In her free time you can find her engaging in youth philanthropy, working with local schools, practicing photography or reading a good book.
Ilana Ginsburg is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She went to Temple University and studied human development and community engagement with concentrations in childhood mental health and community-based education. Outside of school, she enjoys spending time with friends, reading and anything related to sports or art. Ilana was one of the founding members of the youth advisory board and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in intercultural communications.
Talia Ginsburg was one of the founding members of the youth advisory board and is originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She attended Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts with a major in psychology and minor in education. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
Kerrivah (Kerri) Heard is a Philadelphia native with a BA/MS in communications and journalism from Drexel University. She has dedicated her time to creating a rather extensive portfolio of multimedia journalism – including print, digital, social media, video, and broadcast experience. Outside of school she enjoys encouraging, educating, mentoring, and giving back to other youth.
Sarah Hinstorff was the chair of CPTC’s youth advisory board for three years. She is originally from Palo Alto, California and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, with a major in International Relations and minors in International Development and Hispanic Studies. She received her Masters in Nonprofit Leadership from Penn. She has experience working for political campaigns and nonprofits of all sizes, and she hopes to devote her career to designing creative approaches to social change. In her free time, she loves to run, travel, and listen to way too many podcasts.
Maria Marungo is from Chicago, IL and attends the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. She loves being part of communities that welcome people regardless of differences and believes people of any race, gender, and socioeconomic status deserve to have the same rights and opportunities. She is passionate about working toward social justice.