Bridge 

Ambassadors 

Meet Our 

Australia

Ambassadors from Australia

Lucy Arundell l Australia

Lucy is currently completing Year 12 in the small town of Orange, Australia. Once she finishes, she hopes to take a gap year and go overseas. She loves meeting new people and experiencing new cultures and wants to travel to every continent over the next ten years. Last year, she attended Yale Young Global Scholars in Singapore, an opportunity she is incredibly grateful for, as it allowed her to discuss politics and culture with fellow high schoolers from around the world. Writing is her favorite mode of communication, and she hopes to bring change to politics and society as she pursues a career in journalism. She is excited to participate in Bridge the Divide and to help bring peace to the divided politics and cultural issues of our world.

South America

Ambassadors from South America

Carolina Ranfagni | Argentina

Carolina Ranfagni is currently a senior at the Goethe Schule, Buenos Aires, a German international school. She speaks Spanish, German, and English fluently. Carolina has conducted various two month exchanges with schools in Germany and has travelled to many countries around the world. This coupled with her dual citizenship, Argentinean and German, has led her to look at the world as not divided but as a mix of cultures. She is very interested in the STEM field and has participated in programs and camps relating to science in both Chile and Germany. She also has a strong interest in the economy and politics. Every day, she reads the news to find out what is happening in the world.

Sidra Virk | Pakistan

Sidra Virk is currently pursuing the degree of international relations at University of Management and
Technology, Lahore, she is extremely passionate about youth as well as women empowerment in policy
making and policy implementing sector. she have been involved with various NGOs in my country and
now she have her own NGO which works for the betterment of the lives of kids and female relatives of
prisoners, she have been associated to Human Rights Commission as intern and currently volunteering
at Center for Human Rights and Justice. She started raising voice for the social injustices in her society In
2015 when she started public speaking for awareness and also started MUNs in her university while
serving as the media secretary of The Debating Society, apart from that she attended the Asia-Pacific
Future Leader Conference 2017 where she Represented her country Pakistan.

João Campos | Brazil

João Campos is a graduate from Colégio Loyola in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. He is involved with Student Council and Model UN, and teaches English at a local school. He is passionate about human rights, social activism and international affairs, and plans to attend the University of Pennsylvania in the fall. For him, bridging the divide is about debating and conciliating different points of view in order to avoid extremism and polarization, especially in today's times.

Lea Bristol l Trinidad and Tobago

Lea is currently a first year law student at the University of London International Program. She is a part of her local Youth Ambassador group, the Trinidad and Tobago Youth Ambassadors, where she advocates for the rights and well being of young people. She is also a part of the Trinidad and Tobago Volunteer Association. Lea is most passionate about education, international relations, and human rights. She is currently registering her own NGO which will inform youth on career paths and lifestyle choices. She also hopes to address issues such as depression and emotional abuse.

Europe

Ambassadors from Europe

Dea Cakrani | Albania

Dea Cakrani is currently in 10th grade at Shkolla Jopublike Nr.1 in Vlore, Albania. She speaks fluent English, Italian, Spanish, German, and French and hopes that these languages will be useful in her future political career. As an activist raised in a developing country, she believes that being an ambassador for Bridge the Divide will help organize her ideas on how to improve the state of her country. She is most passionate about international affairs and immigration rights.

Alex Choi l England

Alex Choi is an A-Level Student in London, United Kingdom and also is founder of student run company Arlix Technologies. Outside of software development at Arlix Technologies, Alex also runs the world's largest student entrepreneurship conference called ArlixMeet, which brings together teen entrepreneurs in cities across the world annually. Alex loves to get involved in politics and debates, particularly due to the rapidly changing political climate in the UK, which he thinks is important to be aware of in business.

Eugenie Budnik | England

Eugenie Budnik is currently finishing up her freshman year of high school at Alconbury American High School in Alconbury, England but will be moving to California to finish out the rest of her high school career. Eugenie likes to consider herself as a global citizen as she was born in Japan, lived 1/3 of her life in England, and has visited many countries. Eugenie has been involved in Model United Nations for one year, and has recently gone to The Hague International Model United Nations conférence and has also visited the UN headquarters in Mew York. Eugenie Budnik hopes to one day work as an American Foreign Service Officer, and maybe even as US Secretary of State! Eugenie’s passion for politics began in the eighth grade after she organised a political awareness campaign in her school. 

Ruri Protopopescu l England

Ruri Protopopescu is a Romanian student of Business Psychology at Loughborough University in the UK. Her main interests are psychological research and education, which she regards as viable pathways to promote political awareness among young people. Throughout high school, she trained in youth work, focusing on equipping young people with the skills to become competent and active citizens. Additionally, she was a Student Advocate in Student Council, liaising between students and educational institutions to promote the educational interests of the youth. However, Ruri’s ultimate focus is on how disabilities affect young people’s perception of themselves. Being a hard-of-hearing student herself, she has personally experienced insecurity. She intends to address fellow disabled people’s insecurities by helping them enter the labour market with safety and confidence.

Enrique Fernandez de Frutos l Spain

Born in Madrid, Enrique is currently finishing his degree in Economics and Finance at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, and he will take the International Relations Master in Comillas Pontifical University (ICADE). He will be attending Georgetown University next year. Since his beginning in the economic field, he has shown great interest in the international relations framework and its economic impact in the world. This interest has led him to attend to summer schools such as Prague Summer School, win finance contests such as ‘Auditor for a Day', and participate in several seminars about international relations, finance, and leadership. He is committed to social matters, as shown by his achievement of setting fair trade coffee in the Economics faculty of his university. He is a member of the World Youth Alliance, where he discusses human rights and political issues.

Esther Brito | Spain

Esther Brito was born in Madrid, Spain, but has since also lived in Germany, the UK, the US, Korea, and Brazil.  She is currently a fourth-year student pursuing a double degree in International Relations and Business Administration at the ICADE Business School, and her interests in art and design have led her to undertake an Associate's degree in Illustration. While in college, she participated in the European Youth Parliament, was recognized as a “Young Talent” at the Freedom & Solidarity Forum in Caen, and participated in the USA Youth Debate. In 2015, she attended the Stanford Summer Quarter, where she became a member of the Stanford Summer Marketing Team and was hired as a Stanford Summer Global Ambassador. Esther has volunteered with numerous charities and NGOs, has been the assistant manager of ICADEs student magazine, and participated in the Akademia Project at Bankinters Foundation of Innovation, which sought to foster entrepreneurship among students.

Laura Brito l Spain

Laura Brito was born in Madrid, Spain, but has since also lived in Germany, the UK, and Brazil. Having finished her Bachelor's in Pharmaceutical Studies at Alfonso X el sabio University, she is pursuing the path of becoming an advanced hospital pharmacist. This has given her the chance to study in-depth matters as important as pharmacogenetics, biochemistry, and microbiology. Her center in science offers a different perspective to the debate, and combines with her international background to establish a new approach to national policy and international discussion.

Maria Carmen Martin | Spain

Born in Madrid, María Carmen Martín is currently finishing her double degree in Business Administration and International Relations in Comillas Pontifical University (ICADE). She has combined her study years in Madrid with an exchange semester at Copenhagen Business School, and has participated in different seminars in Stanford University, the University of Navarra, and EOI. Her passion for International Politics has led her to participate in the International Model of United Nations in La Sorbonne University of Paris and in the Imperial College in London, as well being chosen to work at The Elcano Royal Institute, a think tank in Spain. Her active academic interest was key for her to be selected as the personal research assistant of the Dean of Economics of ICADE and to become the Student Representative at the Faculty meetings. 

Roberto García Rodríguez | Spain

Roberto García is a junior at Nuestra Señora de las Maravillas, La Salle, in Madrid. He has spent a year abroad at the Millfield Prep School, a boarding school in England, and in his sophomore year, he attended The Taft School, a boarding school in the US. These experiences and his double citizenship (Spanish/American) has permitted him to possess a global perspective of the world, instead of a nationalist one. Debating about politics and playing soccer and tennis is what he enjoys to do with his friends. By being an ambassador for Bridge the Divide, Roberto looks forward to showing others how to think critically about all policy issues, as it is the only way to stop the polarization of today’s society. 

Emma Zemlickova | Switzerland

Emma is a Junior at the International School of Geneva, Switzerland. Her international education has given her the opportunity to be able to speak English, French, Czech, and Spanish fluently, as well as creating in her a love for traveling. Passionate about human rights and inspired by civic activism, she hopes to pursue a career in those fields. Currently, she takes part in many activities that help fuel her interests, such as working closely and personally with refugees and participating in Model United Nations whilst playing competitive volleyball. With Bridge the Divide, she hopes to find a way to communicate her thoughts and opinions, educate herself, and mostly to hear what other individuals have to say on the issues that matter. 

Pacific-Asia

Ambassadors from Pacific-Asia

Archana Reddy l Fiji

Archana is currently pursuing her Masters in Business Administration in Bangalore, India. She is dedicated to exploring new ventures and engaging herself in social, political, economic, and environmental concerns. Archana is a brand ambassador and writer for SAFIGI ("Safety First for Girls") Outreach Foundation, a youth-led NGO based in Zambia. She is also a UN Love and Care Coordinator; its vision is to free families from violence and aid communities where children and women are affected by family violence, empowering them to rebuild their lives. Archana has also been a Youth Parliamentarian, wherein she debates and discusses Fiji's political and economic dilemmas.

Fadhil Hazmi Musyaffa l Indonesia

Fadhil Hazmi Musyaffa is a recent graduate from the International Relations Department, Parahyangan Catholic University, Bandung, Indonesia. He is now a Multilateral Engagement Officer at ID-SIRTII/CC, a public service agency of Ministry of Communication and Information in Indonesia. He lives in Depok, a satellite city that is located south of Jakarta, Indonesia's capital city. He loves writing through blogging, playing music, and traveling. Through joining BTD, Fadhil hopes to lead concrete actions to keep his surroundings peaceful.

Hermanto l Indonesia

Hermanto is currently a senior at the Internasional Batam University in Batam, Indonesia where he studies under the Faculty of Law. He is currently an intern at the Competition Authority Regional Office Batam, also known as the Komisi Pengawas Persaingan Usaha Kantor Perwakilan Daerah Batam. He loves to participate and engage in discussions about competition law and politics at border regions. He also enjoys exploring the legal dimensions of the politics of the sea.

Asia

Ambassadors from Asia

Abbas Gulistani l Afghanistan

Abbas is currently a 4th year geosciences student of Kabul University in Afghanistan. He is dedicated to exploring new ventures and engaging himself in climate change and environmental concerns. Abbas is also a Forecaster in the Forecast Center of ACAA (Afghanistan Civil Aviation Authority). He has graduated from the IT (information technology) and English of Faculty Admin at Kabul University. He is proficient with web designing, networking and geographic information systems. As an ambassador for Bridge the Divide, Abbas hopes that today's generation can salvage the world from its currently fragile situation.

Zarifa Adiba l Afghanistan

Zarifa is currently in grade 12 at Afghanistan National Institute of Music, where she plays viola and conducts the first female orchestra in Afghanistan. She loves classical and Afghan traditional music, especially the Rubab (Afghan instrument). Despite growing up in a society that shuns and fears music (only her parents know what she studies), she has loved it and pursued her possessions. This negative stigma pains her but also pushes her to work harder and improve. Her immediate family - mother, step-father, and younger siblings - are her motivation to learn and grow, and the reason she continues her fight to survive in Afghanistan. She is a graduate of YYGS 2016, an alumni of YSEL (Youth Solidarity and English Language) in Turkey, and currently teaches in Rawana Star Educational Society.

Rubiat Saimum | Bangladesh

Rubiat am currently pursuing my master's degree from University of Dhaka. I have completed my graduation from the same university in 2017. I am involved with Debate, Model United Nations and other extra-curricular activities. I am interested in political discourses prevailing around the world. I love to learn about new cultures and traditions. I personally believe that intolerance originates from ignorance. The education system should focus on informing people about the diversity of our world in terms of culture, religion, political opinion etc.

Ameya Aatman l India

Having just graduated from Cluster Innovation Center, University of Delhi, Ameya is the co-founder of two non-profit ventures, one of which deals with social life and the other in enhancing scientific communication among the masses. He is quite ardent in the field of international affairs and the environment and is intrigued by topics from machine learning to literature, which are reflected in his undergraduate studies. He is also involved in various research activities with think tanks, hydropower development companies, and Research Council (University of Delhi) and has published and presented research papers concerning education and the environment. He is fluent in English, Hindi, Awadhi, and French. He is currently enrolled in a PG diploma program on 'International Law and Diplomacy' from the Indian Society of International Laws, an allied institute of the Supreme Court of India.

Tanya Singh l India

Tanya Singh is a poet, editor & an entrepreneur from Chandigarh, India. Their work has appeared in Gone Lawn, Eunoia Review, Polyphony H.S, and elsewhere, and has been recognized by Times of India and The Great Indian Literary Festival, among others. They enjoy being on the editorial teams for Siblini Arts Journal, Moledro, Half Mystic, Redefy, and several other places. They are the founder & editor-in-chief of The Cerurove, a literary magazine that celebrates original works of quality and the spirit of humanity. They like the expression, "liberalism in literature," and they are happy to utilize the narrative power of art to talk about social and political issues. 

Archit Gupta | India

Archit is currently a junior at a high school in New Delhi, India. He is extremely passionate about political activism and policymaking which is reflected in his blog where he regularly writes about his views on politics and the society. He has regularly participated and won several Model UNs as well as debate competitions and is on the editorial board of his school's Political Science and Environmental magazines. Being an ardent advocate of universal healthcare, universal education and minority rights, he hopes to bring positive change to the world.

Vishal Balasubramanian | India

Vishal is currently pursuing his Bachelor of Engineering in the field of Electronics & Communication at Rajalakshmi Engineering College, India. He is an altruist who wants to make a mark in this world. He is a person who wants to change the world with his revolutionary technological ideas. Presently he is drafting a constitution/a type of government that can be a boon to the whole of humanity. He believes that slowly several countries will accept his idea that ensures transparent and clean governance. World Peace has always been his long-term dream and will soon start working on it as well.   

Mayank Karnani l India

Computer engineer by profession and social activist by choice, Mayank Karnani (or as his friends call him, Max) has keen interest in the fields of International Relations, Public Policies and Social Entrepreneurship. He has represented India as a youth ambassador to multiple international forums including Youth Forum on Justice and Rule of Law, Bangkok (by Thailand Institute of Justice) and RYS Nepal (by Universal Peace Federation). In addition, Mayank has been actively involved in the 'Aman Ki Asha' (India- Pakistan peace initiative by The Times group and The Jung group), winning the 'High Commendation' award at first edition of the conference and acting as Undersecretary, Foreign Affairs in the second one. He is also one of the leaders of the movement called 'Parliament Direct', that is working in the field of legislative reforms and is trying to make Indian Parliament more accessible and accountable to the masses. A sports fanatic, Mayank enjoys travelling, dancing and playing cricket in his spare time. Through Bridge the Divide, he hopes to connect with the like-minded people from diverse backgrounds and explore new ideas for sustainable and inclusive growth through political channels.

Snehal Verma l India

Snehal is an engineer turned social-sector leader, with expertise in non-profit organization and management; she is currently an MBA candidate at the prestigious Indian Institute of Forest Management. She has a diverse profile of achievements in the fields of of arts, sports, debates, volunteer work, and writing. Snehal has also been an active participant in various conferences and forums of national and international importance, while interning and volunteering with organizations like HelpAge, UNEP, SECMOL, and COP21. She has been associated with organizations such as WAAREE and RAKSHA, leading various projects and teams. Causes such as environment and sustainability, wildlife conservation, humanitarian causes, livelihood and community development, and peace-conflict resolution drive her forward. She believes in the power of youth to be collectively be responsible to make this world a better place by raising our concerns. After all, the world has never been younger!

Khanh Ton l Israel

Khanh Ton comes from Vietnam, but she is now studying at Eastern Mediterranean International School in Tel Aviv, Israel. Music and debating have always been her deepest passions - she sings in a band, and has participated in several MUNs. She advocates for LGBT rights and immigration rights, and is developing interest in environmental issues.

Nicole Hazou | Israel

Nicole Hazou is an A- level student at Rosary Sisters’ High School in Jerusalem. Her first MUN experience, almost 4 years ago, has generated her curiosity in human rights. So, she started to get really engaged in this field because she appreciated how perquisite it is and yet how many related topics are still obscured in numerous communities including her very own. She is a Yale Young Global Scholars alumni, and the Secretary General of her school’s international conference, ROSMUN 2018. She is very excited to start working with youth from diverse backgrounds to voice out perspectives and, literally, bridge the divide. 

Toni Valencia | Japan

Toni was born in the Philippines, though has also lived in Singapore and Japan. She is currently a high school senior at United World College ISAK Japan. Through living in an international boarding school, she immerses herself in languages and currently speaks English, Tagalog, French, and Japanese. Heavily involved in Model United Nations and Debate clubs since the 6th grade, she loves engaging in any type of discussion and learning more about international relations. In her free time, she works alongside her team members to form Project B-Right to help Burmese migrants in Thailand receive a proper education. For her, Bridge the Divide is an opportunity to engage in current and historical political events from different nations around the world. 

Maen Aloquili l Jordan

Maen Aloquili is a Project Assistant Cultural Orientation Trainer at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) based in Jordan. Although Maen resides in Jordan, he graduated with a Business Administration honours degree from Coventry University in the United Kingdom. Currently, Maen is doing his Master’s Degree in International Relations & Contemporary War at King’s College in London. He was selected as an “One to Watch Ambassador” from 15 million members on LinkedIn, and received an award from the Chartered Management Institute as First Line Manager in leadership. He is a fellow member of a Rotaract Club of Amman West in Jordan. In addition, Maen was also awarded a Mosaic Leadership program and holds professional certification from the following course (From Poverty to Prosperity: Understanding Economic Development) from Oxford University.

Maralmaa Chinzorig l Mongolia

Maralmaa Chinzorig, marketing management and East Asian studies major, founded MMLC NGO in 2015. Maralmaa’s interest in children’s issues started in 2014, when she participated in Miss World Mongolia. Then, determined to bring equality and prosperity for rural children in Mongolia, she initiated numerous programs, including education, early childhood development and gender equity. As an aspiring researcher, she also conducted hundreds of studies concerning primary health care and nutrition. “Each child should develop and prosper, regardless of his or her circumstances," she said during a training workshops for children's education. She speaks Mongolian, English, Russian, Chinese, Korean and French, and is a main vocalist and lead dancer for “Chrysalis," a girl group.

Aung Myo Htun | Myanmar

Aung is currently studying Politics and Public Policy at the Myanmar Institute of Politics and Public Policy (MIPP), with plans to become a political scientist. He is the communication coordinator at Youth Empowerment and Debate Education Program at Free Funereal Service Society (FFSS) and is also serving as Master Facilitator (Co-Trainer) at EduLife School of Youth Development. After aiding in striking down dictatorship governments in 2004 and 2007, Aung has become interested expressing his political opinions. Aung has continued to be politically passionate and an advocate of the involvement of youth in political dialogue and panel talk discussion. He is currently in the process of founding the Youths' Ecotourism Arts and Health (YEAH) Program for youth who want to study political issues in Myanmar. Through Bridge the Divide, he is hopeful to further his political interests and encourage others to share their political voices as well.

Naw Phaw Wah Hay Ywar | Myanmar

I am 18 years old and I am studying Social Studies at Myanmar Institute of Theology.I am one of the student council members of Liberal Arts Program. I am actively volunteering in knowledge sharing activity and teaching English for children and adult in Tharapar Educational Training Center. I am working as a volunteer teacher in every summer at Christian Education Center and some country sides of Myanmar.I am so interested in women empowerment and gender equality issues in Myanmar. Studying at Myanmar Institute of Theology is my great chance to learn about Gender Studies and Civic Education. I am willing to make my society a better place and I want to be an icon of youths in Myanmar and I am so excited to help youths in Myanmar to know and interested about politic,gender studies,human rights and civic education through Bridge the Divide.I am also still learning about them and want to know more.

Manasa Pradhan | Nepal

I just finished grade 12 from St. Mary's High School and am looking to pursue law for bachelors. I am involved with WomenLead, a non-profit NGO with a vision to empower young girls to be changemakers. I, as the current team leader, am planning to expand our project "Aawaaz" which focuses on educating grade 3-12 students on gender, consent, body rights and harassment, to various underdeveloped parts of Nepal. Side by side, I plan to advocate for inclusiveness especially for youth and women's participation in fundamental civic engagements. I also want to aware the upcoming generation to be active in the matters of politics, changing the mindset of it being just a "bad game".

Surendra Koirala l Nepal

Surendra Koirala is a graduate student of Development Studies at Kathmandu University, Nepal. He is the Chairperson at Chetana Forum, a youth-led, youth-run non-profit working in Nepal since 2015. He works closely with youth in Nepal from diverse background, especially youth with poor economic and social background. His organization, Chetana Forum, reaches about 3000 youth every year with programs, activities and discussion events. Surendra aims to be a social entrepreneur in Nepal.

Hajira Niaz | Pakistan

Hajra Niaz graduated from Army Burn Hall College in Pakistan and is enrolled in M.B.B.S. program at Ayub Medical College. She enjoys writing and painting, and has excelled in public speaking. As an activist and self-described optimist, Hajira strives to spread hope and positivity throughout the world, beginning with the work of political activism and bridging the political divide. 

Haseeb Ullah Khan l Pakistan

Haseeb Khan is an inquisitive person who has been engaged in the cause for "Peace Through Dialogue" for the last 2 years. He is a writer for a local newspaper, writing on issues like terrorism, corruption and education. Noam Chomsky, Bertrand Russel and Elif Safak's writings inspire him. Haseeb was the 2nd Best Cadet at his Military Institution. He has been participating in debates and MUNs for the past 5 years. He believes in truth, justice and hard work.

Hussain Usmanrch | Pakistan

Hussain Usman Rasheed Chaudhry is a grade 12 student from Lahore, Pakistan. From an early age, he has felt that the current system is unfit for creative and intellectual growth. In 2014, he founded DREAMERS to empower youth and inspire young minds to think beyond their limits. He has been involved in many projects involving development and social change as a delegate to the International Young Leaders Conference in 2014. He was also a participant at the International Summer Camp at Jacobs University Bremen 2016, where the area of his workshop was “Globalization and Well-being”. Presently, he is an ambassador at The First Step Organization and an active volunteer at Fountain House in Lahore, Pakistan. He is an art enthusiast and tries to portray a message of self-discovery through his paintings and novels. He is a member of his school’s debating society and of the Model United Nations Society. He aims to study different aspects of human cognizance and develop a new model to define intelligence.

Muhammad Furqan Khan | Pakistan

Muhammad Furqan Khan is a student of mechanical engineering at the University of Engineering and Technology in Peshawar. He is from from the Federal Administered Tribal Area (FATA) of Pakistan. He has been working with the British Council, American Society of Mechanical engineering (ASME) , WWF, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, and was also selected as the only Pakistani in the Asia-Pacific Future Leader’s Conference 2016 in Malaysia. He hopes to incorporate his studies in engineering with a passion for social entrepreneurship and politics to work towards a brighter future.

Qurat-ul-Ain Khan l Pakistan

Qurat-ul-Ain is a senior at County Girls College in Hyderabad, Pakistan. She has always been passionate about representing her country and its rich culture to people around the globe in order to break the stereotypes people have about Pakistan. She was selected to represent Pakistan at the highly selective Kennedy Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES) in 2014. During this program, she gave several presentations at her host American high school about Pakistan, its people, its diverse culture and her religion, as well as be a guest speaker at a Model United Nations conference. Her exchange year helped her grow as an individual and introduced her to a whole new perspective of the world. It made her more self aware and gave her a new purpose of inspiring other young individuals and encouraging them to get out of their comfort zones. Since her return back to Pakistan, she has been working with the YES Alumni team in her city to organize community service projects, highlighting some social issues like importance of interfaith harmony and climate change. She looks forward to contributing to Bridge The Divide and working with young individuals from around the globe to discuss world issues and experience the world from a perspectives different than hers.

Syed Muhammad Mansoor Aamir l Pakistan

Mansoor is an undergraduate student at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) majoring in Economics. Placed on Dean's Honor List from his freshmen year for his excellent academic performance, he has been very active in student societies. Currently, he is the Vice President of LUMS Economics Society, the official student-run organization responsible for organizing events that stimulate students' interest in economics, foreign policy, and international politics. Previously, he was a member of Student Council and high school business team captain. His political interests reside in sustainable development, international relations, and economics. Through Bridge the Divide, Mansoor hopes to connect with other young people around the world passionate about bringing change through political dialogue.

Tallal Ahmad l Pakistan

Tallal is currently working as a Research Associate at the Innovation for Poverty Alleviation Lab (IPAL) at the Information Technology University, Pakistan. He completed his Bachelor’s in Computer Sciences from the Islamia University of Bahawalpur in 2015. Previously, he has worked with Teradata GDC in Managed Services department and with their IPAL flagship project Har Zindagi: Every Life Matters, as a Research Associate. His core interest lies in ICT based solutions, including UI design for regions with low literacy rates. Tallal is adept in many technical tools and platforms, particularly databases, data-warehousing, and query language programming. His research interests include human-computer interaction (HCI) and mobile based application design. He has also worked on research related field activities, administering and designing questionnaires and surveys. Currently, he is working on a maternal and child health UNICEF funded project. He is responsible for content creation for their health hotline, field research, literature reviews and co-ordination between technical and research team. 

Alexandra Jane Fabella l Philippines

Alexandra Jane Fabella is a graduate of Adamson University with a Bachelor's Degree on Political Science. She is highly involved in different organizations such as AdU-PULITIKA, The Academic Scholars Alliance of Adamson University and a member of the Association of Political Science Organizations of The Philippines. She was the Executive Secretary of AdU-PULITIKA and the Associate Editor of Glasnost Pulitika which was the Official Newsletter of the Political Science community. She was also a proud scholar of the Commission on Higher Education of The Philippines. She believes that education is paramount to a better society and striving for change in her country, she hopes to give back by becoming a successful lawyer. Alexandra believes that Bridge the Divide is an avenue for knowledge expansion and the formulation of decisions that will help enervate "the imbroglio that the world is enveloped in today."

Aldrin Aujero | Phillipines

Aldrin is a rising junior from the International School of Manila. He is passionate towards the environment and social issues especially pertaining to poverty alleviation and development economics. He serves as the Secretary General of EarthSavers, a UNESCO Club involved in tackling social issues through educational initiatives and was recently awarded one of the most outstanding clubs in Luzon by the NAUCP. He also serves as the Vice President of his schools Debate and Forensics Team, the Parliamentarian for the school Model United Nations Club, PRO of Green Earth Philippines Club, and the Secretary for the school Investment Club. Outside of school, he serves as one of the Philippine ambassadors of Tunza, an environmental platform founded by UNEP. He has completed various environmental projects including one that was awarded as a finalist in an international competition, the Paradigm Challenge. He has also participated and represented his school in Global Issues Network Manila and Shanghai. Having a strong zeal to learn more everyday, he dedicates his freetime reading articles, and podcasts from sources pertaining to the environment and economics. He is an ardent reader of the Economist, the Atlantic, the New York Times and frequently listens to Freakonomics and Radiolab. When not reading, Aldrin often devotes his time swimming and doing investment simulations.

George Christian Cabatay l Philippines

George is currently a 4th year civil engineering student and the president of the College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology at De La Salle University - Dasmariñas. He is an aspirant of the De La Salle Brothers and a former Philippine Representative at the ASEAN-Korea Youth Center, which was held in Seoul and Incheon. Being an advocate of the poor who aims to try and inspire everyone to make a difference in this world, George hopes to help change the world one discussion at a time.

​Omar Kausar | Phillipines

Omar Kausar is a Junior at the International School Manila in the Philippines. He is 17 years old and comes from Pakistan, however, he has Italian nationality and was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia before moving to Manila, Philippines. With his background, he proudly considers himself a third culture kid. Omar can speak a total of 4 languages which consists of English, Pakistani, Indonesian and Spanish. His passion for international relations and politics began four years ago alongside his Model United Nations (MUN) journey. Throughout his MUN career, Omar has attended seven conferences and served as a delegate and chair in many. Omar has also served as a Deputy Chair for the General Assembly 1 at the 13th Annual Session of The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN) Singapore Conference in November 2017. Omar also enjoys service work and giving back to others especially in the Philippines, and following daily international headlines. He also wishes to major in international relations and politics in university. Other than his love for international relations, you can find him reading about world leaders or playing tennis or badminton. 

Jose Mateo Dela Cruz l Philippines

Jose Mateo Dela Cruz is a Youth Development Specialist and a Global Goals Advocate from the Philippines. He has served as Chairperson of the UNFPA Philippines Youth Advisory Panel, Global Leader of Restless Development's Youth Power - a campaign network for Global Goals accountability, and Country Coordinator for the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning. Now, he concurrently serves as a Youth Advisory Panelist for UNESCO GW Asia-Pacific, Youth Advocate for Global Partnership for Education, and as a Member of the Family Planning 2020’s Experts Advisory Community. He has been selected as ASEAN Youth Eco-Leader in 2013 and as Mentor to the ASEAN Youth Heritage Leaders in 2014 under the ASEAN Youth Volunteer Programme of the National University of Malaysia, supported by the Ministry of Youth of Malaysia, and the ASEAN Secretariat. During the World Conference on Youth in Sri Lanka, he is one of delegates representing the Republic of the Philippines during the intergovernmental negotiation for crafting the Colombo Declaration on Youth.

Natasha Fernando | Sri Lanka

Natasha Fernando (23 years old) is a LLB (honours) graduate from University of London International Programmes currently affiliated at the Sri Lanka Law College. As an aspiring lawyer she believes progressive voices are needed in politics and public sphere. She is also a graduate from the University of Kelaniya with a BA in International Studies. She publishes with UNDP Unlocked blog series of Sri Lanka and was involved with Oxfam Sri Lanka as an intern. She is currently researching the nexus between national security and human rights with a gender focus taking an inter-disciplinary approach of political theory and law. Her passions include blogging, travelling and photography.

Africa

Ambassadors from Africa

Daniella Ineza | Burundi

Daniella is a Senior at Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology in Rwanda, but lives in Burundi. She would have not left her country to study abroad if it was not for the political crisis that broke out. She did not typically follow political news until she saw the impact that the divisiveness had on her country. Not being allowed to express her concerns on a public platform, Daniella joined Bridge the Divide where she found other young people who felt the responsibility to be aware and contribute actively to the political health of their respective countries as well as the need to overcome their differences for social development and promotion of humanity.

Kouamélan N'Drin Pacôme l Côte d’Ivoire

Born in Côte d’Ivoire, Kouamélan N'Drin Pacôme is currently studying Masters of Sciences of Education at ENS in Côte d’Ivoire. He enjoys traveling because it allows him to make new friends and learn from other people's views and culture. He dedicates his spare time in teaching people in his community because he believes that education plays a key role in the development of the community. He likes talking to other youth about what can be done to ensure the better future of everyone and Bridge the Divide is going to help him keep doing what he likes most. He likes volunteering and is always smiling.

Mugisho Ndabuli Theophile l Democratic Republic of Congo

Born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mugisho attended primary and secondary school at the Institut Weza, where he attained his degree in General Education. Subsequently, he received his Bachelor’s Degree in English at the ISP-Bukavu College, and he also holds a Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies from the University of KwaZulu Natal-UKZN in South Africa. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD program in Gender and Development in the same university. He has ample experience in teaching and currently teaches at the American University Program Kepler in Kigali, Rwanda. Mugisho is also a prolific writer, and his books mostly regard women's issues. He is married with three children, and his family is dedicated towards helping victims of rape and domestic violence through COFAPRI, an organization he and his wife co-founded in 2009. Although they have relocated to Rwanda due to the instability in the DRC, Mugisho often crosses the borders to visit the women and children they are empowering.

Alain Honore Kubwayo l Ghana

Born in the Western part of Rwanda, Alain is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Computer Engineering at Ashesi University in Ghana. He enjoys traveling because it allows him to make new friends and learn from other people's views and culture. He dedicates his spare time to teaching senior high school girls in his community, because he believes that their education plays a key role in the development of the community. He delights in discussing with other youth about what can be done to ensure the better future of all of mankind. Thus, through Bridge the Divide, he continues what he likes doing the most. 

Francis Ametepey l Ghana

Francis is a Global Youth Power leader who seeks to hold leaders accountable to their promises regarding Sustainable Development Goals. He is currently a Communication and Social Media Officer at Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG) and is also serving as the International Liaison Officer for YAG Youth Board and Ghana Health Service Youth advisory Council, a youth advisory body which brings young people’s perspectives, concerns, and ideas on how to meaningfully engage young people on adolescent reproductive health programs. Francis recently volunteered on International Citizen Service's program as a junior business consultant with Challenges Worldwide. He is also a member of the Ghana Accountability Advocates Network and a promoter of young people's participation in the SDGs monitoring process. With his social media skills, Francis hopes to engage a wide network of young people, policy makers, and duty bearers on developmental issues and how to improve African Youth participation in shaping the development agenda on the continent.

Simeon Workar | Liberia

Simeon hails from Rural Nimba County, one of the controversial political subdivisions of Liberia that was devastated after 14 years of war. After the war, Simeon migrated to live with his Uncle in the country's capital, Monrovia, to continue his education. During the General and Presidential elections of 2011, Simeon was Zonal Secretary for a political party his uncle supported. When he was later asked by his uncle to join the campaign, Simeon refused. Subsequently, his uncle withdrew his support and asked him to leave his residence. Today, Simeon works with the U.S. Embassy of Monrovia, helping his peers to bridge the political divide through understanding their civic responsibilities. 

Eucharia Chioma | Nigeria

Eucharia is an activist and undergraduate student at the Covenant University in Nigeria, studying International Relations. From a very young age, she has been passionate about international politics. Her passion for politics has played a vital role in her diverse internship experiences with the government to get a closer view of how policies are formulated, analyzed, and implemented and her personal efforts to create awareness on issues bordering on human rights. During her free time, Eucharia collaborates with student groups at her university to make an impact on relevant issues. She is extremely self-motivated and enthusiastic about what she does. In the future, she aspires to become a renowned policy analyst and policy maker, as well as to establish an NGO which would partner with super-power countries to enroll destitute children from across the world in good schools to acquire quality educations. As an ambassador for Bridge the Divide, Eucharia seeks to channel her passion and drive for political issues to a global platform and be a major actor in bridging the divide in a polarized world.

Kolapo Imam | Nigeria

Kolapo is currently a student at Kwara State University, Malete and speaks English, Arabic, and Yoruba.  He believes his enjoyment of government-provided education has opened his eyes to the world of politics and how it affects Nigeria's citizens on an individual level. He studies political science, writes, and is a digital marketing expert and front-end developer in the making, working on diverse issues, such as education, politics, entrepreneurship, and digital media.

Ogadi Emmanuel l Nigeria

Ogadi is a second year medical student at the University of Nigeria. His interest in politics began during his first year at college, after an incident wherein students were illegally extorted by lecturers. He enjoys discussing corruption, terrorism and counterterrorism, and human rights and he is also involved in a local church organization. In his free time, Ogadi loves to explore new technological gadgets. He’s passionate about helping people, particularly those less privileged. Ogadi learned of Bridge the Divide and thought to himself, ''Why don't you start from here?’'

Christophe Rukundo l Rwanda

Christophe was born and grew up in Rwanda, where his father was a teacher and his mother was a farmer. Orphaned at a young age, he embarked on a new journey of life, where he learned to be himself through hard work and persistence. Three years ago, he was given a chance to enroll into a fully funded Bachelor’s program in Rwanda. He has benefited greatly from the program, learning problem solving skills as well as how to give back to his community. The program's focus on social inclusion guided him in networking with students and guest speakers from around the world. He currently dedicates himself to giving back to the community in a myriad of ways, ranging from service projects to skill education. 

Deborah Ishimwe l Rwanda

Deborah is a senior student at the Gashora Girls Academy in Rwanda. At the age of 11, she was taken by to a foreign country to pursue her primary studies, having thus no chance to spend time with her parents and learn about what happened in her country during the 1994 genocide. Her fellow students in Uganda insulted her with tribal names and her painful experiences have built Deborah's eagerness to engage in respectful and civil discussions global and personal identities. 

Rugema Innocent l Rwanda

Rugema is a senior student at the University of Rwanda and a marketing manager at Afrixperts Ltd Rwanda, an education consulting company.  He serves as the Vice Chairman of the World Student Innovation Fund, a social enterprise that aims to raise $10 million by 2020 to help foster innovation in Africa. Last year, he worked with the World Economic Forum on Africa in Rwanda, allowing him to discuss development, politics and culture with fellow young African leaders. He is excited to, through Bridge the Divide, help bring peace, unity and reconciliation to the divided cultural issues of our world.

Ahmed Abdirahman l Somalia

Ahmed is a Somalian medical student currently residing in Tanzania. He is an African politics analyst and youth activist involved with African Students for Liberty, Young African Leaders Initiative, and the Association for African Universities. Ahmed is fluent in English, Kiswahili, Somali, and Arabic, and in his free time, he enjoys running marathons, traveling, and learning about new cultures.

Amal Zayani | Tunisia

Amal is a student of Business and Management in IHEC Carthage, but received her baccalaureate degree from Bourguiba Pioneer High School in Tunisia. Since she discovered her political passions, she has joined many associations and organizations, such as BIL conferences, Club Radio EFM, TAD, and Lead Academy. Amal has been a project and community manager as she developed new paths of social media communication with many NGOs. She has manifested her interests in politics, international relations, and foreign affairs by attending related events in the American Embassy, political forums, and summits. Her team covered the announcement of the Ministers' country development plan in 2015, when she also participated in the Youth Dialogue about her region's situation. Her leadership qualities have aided her in becoming President of the Tunisian-American NGO United Colleges Association of Carthage as well as VP of the National Board, which works on promoting civic engagement through diplomacy and intercultural exchange programs.

Mayssa Abidi | Tunisia

Mayssa is a student of English Civilization Linguistics and Literature in the Higher Institute of Languages of Nabeul. She discovered her interests through her involvement with NAIMUN, Cisco, LDA International, and World Merit. Mayssa is currently working to raise awareness about and organize workshops that empower youth to save them from addiction. She is passionate about engaging in youth projects and programs, and through Bridge the Divide, she is excited to see this vision become a reality.

North America

Ambassadors from North America

Erin Sullivan l Alabama

Erin Sullivan is a freshman at the University of Alabama. She hails from the small town of Abingdon, Virginia. She loves science, animals, Netflix, and most importantly, politics. She has worked for the Virginia Senate as a Page and was selected for the United States Senate Youth Program in 2017. She is also a member of UA's College Republicans and Turning Point USA. As a strong-willed conservative, she has experienced firsthand the negative reactions towards other conservatives and witnessed the same reaction about liberals. Erin hopes to alleviate the polarization of American politics, one conversation at a time.

Tasha Elizarde | Alaska

Tasha Elizarde is a born and raised Alaskan from the state's capital city, Juneau. She got her start in politics when she joined her high school's Academic Decathlon and Debate teams, where she was inspired by her articulate and involved peers to begin staying up-to-date with current events, too. From there, her pursuit of knowledge transformed into a love for civic action and political involvement. In high school, Tasha was involved in different activities and jumpstarted multiple projects related to health education, youth empowerment, and environmental preservation. Since graduating high school in 2017, Tasha has worked for lawmakers on both the federal and state level, organized community events on behalf of nonprofits across the state, and published writing prolifically through her freelancing business. Tasha is attending Mount Holyoke College this fall to develop her skills and passion for public service, and she welcomes the opportunity to openly promote the importance of bipartisanship and collaborative discourse as a BTB ambassador.  

Ali Cohen l Arizona

Ali Cohen is a sophomore at Chandler Preparatory Academy in Chandler, Arizona. She is very involved in her school's community, as President of its Speech and Debate team. She has found local and national success in debate and is currently ranked in the Top 20 in the US in Congressional debate. Ali also enjoys giving back to her community, which prompted her to found Girl Up Chandler, a UN-backed club that empowers girls to become leaders, and The Welcome Project, an organization that raises money and awareness for the Syrian Refugee crisis. She is very excited to be a part of Bridge the Divide, as she believes that its goals of decreasing polarization are more relevant now than ever.

Andrew Lindbloom | Arizona

Although raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Andrew is a bicultural and bilingual American who is currently a senior at Notre Dame Preparatory in the city of Scottsdale, Arizona. He is interested in a wide range of topics and has aspirations to major in Psychology and minor in international affairs. While his interests can be broad, he’s most passionate about dialogue, and its power to bring change from the smallest conversations.

Induja Kumar l Arizona

Induja Kumar is a high school sophomore from Arizona. This year, she founded a Junior State of America Club at her school, which has been successfully involved in political discourse across the country. In addition, she's also involved in Speech and Debate and is a two-time National Personal Finance challenge champion. Dancing and writing are some of her hobbies, and she writes for Metiza magazine, a locally established girl-positive space. Induja believes that any positive change is important no matter how small, and all of us can make a difference with a little bit of effort, especially in today's increasingly divisive political arena. She hopes to make a difference in her local community through Bridge the Divide.

Colin Kruse | California

Colin Kruse is a junior at Loyola High School in Los Angeles, California. He is a Chicago Cubs fan and thoroughly enjoys the comedic work of Jon Stewart. Colin plays tennis and works as an opinion editor on his school's newspaper. Ideologically, he is socially liberal on almost all major issues and fiscally moderate. He has firsthand experience in experiencing a terror attack, as he was less than a mile from where the terrorist attack in Nice, France began. In working with Bridge the Divide, Colin hopes to create an atmosphere of constructive political discourse as a response to the divisiveness we see today. 

Fatima Yousuf | California

Fatima is a junior at Notre Dame High School in San Jose, California. She is the founder and CEO of Stories for a Future, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that aims to improve the literacy of underprivileged children, and has impacted over 8,000 kids in the Bay Area. Additionally, Fatima is the Money Smarts and Financial Literacy editor for Amazing Kids! Magazine, which annually reaches over 1 million kids worldwide. Furthermore, Fatima works extensively in school leadership through her school's Student Affairs Board and DiversiTEAs team. When she isn't working with her Speech and Debate team or spending late nights as an editor for her school newspaper, Fatima loves to study philosophy, with a special focus on political theory. With a passion for literacy, Fatima tutors students in the humanities and frequently volunteers for her library. A proud conservative and proponent of limited government, Fatima looks forward to learning more about the views held by people all across the political spectrum while learning more about herself and where she stands.

Jeff Chan | California

Jeff Chan was born and raised Los Angeles, California, where he currently attends 11th grade at Flintridge Preparatory High School. Jeff is currently involved in The Flintridge Press (the school newspaper), SCAC (Student Community Action Council), ESIP (Environmental Sustainability, Innovation, and Policy Club), and the Film Production Club. His main interests reside in environmental studies, foreign policy, and economics. He recently attended a program where he learned more on environmental topics including climate change, clean energy, and sustainability. From that experience, he realized how much he loves hearing different opinions from a diverse group of young minds. He finds it so interesting and informative to hear and read about personal experiences, and he believes that it is necessary for every opinion to be heard. 

Katie McLaughlin | California

Katie McLaughlin is a junior at Notre Dame High School in San Jose, California. With a curiosity for understanding how the physical world works, Katie is involved in STEM-related activities. Outside of programming and competing on drive team with her NASA robotics team and math club, she is also part of Student Council and NHS. In her spare time, she volunteers as a peer tutor for local high schoolers and at community events introducing young girls to STEM. Through school clubs such as Students Against Modern Slavery and UNICEF, she hopes to become a more involved advocate relating to the issues surrounding human trafficking, human rights, and refugee crisis.

Emma Wennberg | California

Emma Wennberg is in 11th grade at Polytechnic School in Los Angeles. She participates in debate (through Parliamentary and World Schools formats), Model United Nations, Poly’s Jewish Student Union, and FemEd, the feminist club at her school. Emma also volunteers for Planned Parenthood and helps register voters. Among other issues, she is especially passionate about women’s rights and ending racial oppression in the criminal justice system. Last year, she lived in Copenhagen, Denmark, (where she experienced the true wonders of democratic socialism), and has also lived in Dunedin, New Zealand. Emma plays jazz piano, dances, and enjoys writing and cooking.

Victoria Liu | California

Victoria Liu is currently a senior at The Webb Schools in Claremont, California. She is passionate about debate, international relations, and journalism. She is particularly interested in the nuclear politics in the Korean peninsula. At Webb, she is currently the debate captain, leading a team of 50+ members to regional HSPDP (High School Public Debate Program) tournaments. She is also the editor of news and opinion at Webb Canyon Chronicle (the official student newspaper) and a member of the Honor Cabinet. She will head to Washington D.C. to attend the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University next fall. She spends free time watching figure skating and TV shows like House of Cards and Homeland. She is excited to join Bridge the Divide to battle against polarization and promote civility in political discussions.

Kymberley Chu | California

Kymberley Chu is a freshman studying International Relations and Cognitive Science at UC Davis where she is eager to learn about the global economy, foreign policy, and political polarization. Kym is involved in the NGO World For Refugees (WFR), and she plans to become involved in UC Davis’s International Relations Student Association (IRSA). As a Bridge the Divide ambassador, she aspires to facilitate discussions and combat misconceptions on various political beliefs to prevent extremism. 

Lili Bernstein | California

Lili Bernstein is a junior at the Marlborough School in Los Angeles, California. She is an activist for reproductive rights and women’s equality. She is the founder of the school club Girls4Change and is a firm believer that the future is female. Lili is secretary of her junior class and prior to that, she was president for her freshman class. She is an editor on her school's newspaper and has been an active member of her school community, her local community, and in communities around the world through her service-oriented summer trips. During the last two years, Lili has been a teen line listener at Cedars Sinai Hospital, fielding calls from at risk teenagers.

Noah Sugerman | California

Noah Sugerman is an incoming junior at Oakwood School where he is the captain of the track and cross-country teams and is on the board of Oakwood Students for Progressive Reform. Noah spent his last two years traveling nationally for debate tournaments. He and his partner are one of the top 8 teams in the state of California. Noah is interning at Planned Parenthood and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, where he hopes to advocate for positive change. Noah is a member of Girls Learn International, the Diversity Week Planning Committee, and the Global Nomads Group. Noah hopes to expand others knowledge of global issues through Bridge the Divide.

Brigit Ryan | California

Brigit Ryan is a seventh grader in Los Angeles who enjoys politics. She has lived in the UK, which led her to learn about the different types of governments and how they work. She has also spent lots of time in Brazil, which gave her a view of the emerging market BRICS countries. She wanted to become an ambassador for Bridge the Divide to learn more about politics, and issues around the world. Brigit has always been interested in the news. Also, her goal is to help to spread Bridge the Divide’s message to middle schoolers. Brigit comes from a multicultural family and grew up participating in family discussions about all major issues of the day. She is fluent in Portuguese and Spanish.

Sofia Sears | California

Sofia Sears is a high school junior living in Los Angeles and is a politically-minded activist for social justice and writer. She is president of the Santa Monica High School Democrats chapter and an active writer for various political and literary websites, as well as editor-in-chief of the Odyssey Zine. She is dedicated primarily to advancing reproductive rights and LGBTQ+ rights. 

Valerie Wu | California

Valerie Wu is a student at Presentation High School in San Jose, California. When she was younger, she wanted to be President of the United States. Today, her political aspirations are no longer so high, but she still hopes to pursue a career in the Foreign Service someday. Her personal goals thrive at the intersection of ethnicity, migration, and human rights, and her articles and essays have been featured in The Huffington Post, Affinity Magazine, and Teen Ink. She is unbelievably excited to be a part of Bridge the Divide, and is looking forward to using words in changing the future. 

Zoë Benjamin | California

Zoë is currently a Junior at International High School in San Francisco, California. She is passionate about women's rights and fixing economic inequality. She is a participant of the Model United Nations Club and founded the Jewish Club at her school. She lived in Mexico and is fluent in Spanish. She uses her language skills to volunteer with 826 Valencia, where she tutors English language learners in improving their writing. Zoë was also the captain of a variety lacrosse program freshman year and coached sophomore year. She is passionate about improving the world and hopes to study international relations or political science in college; though Bridge the Divide, Zoë seeks to help decrease the polarization she sees in the U.S. and that whch is taking place across the world. 

William Deo | Canada

William Deo is a grade 12 student from Toronto, Canada. He currently serves as a school prefect as well as the Academic Representative.  Academically, he is an AP Student oriented towards the Sciences with intentions to become an engineer.  He was one of the founding members of a STEM Council to promote STEM Learning and Careers, serving this year as Chair of the council. William is also the trumpet section leader in his school's wind ensemble and has had opportunities to play in district honor bands.  He is also serving as the captain of his school's varsity swim team this year and has founded the iWillSwim project that seeks to make water safety accessible to all and provide swimming lessons. In his spare time, William enjoys watching basketball and is a proud supporter of his hometown Toronto Raptors. 

Jac Guerra | Connecticut

Jac Guerra is currently a junior at Guilford High School in Guilford, CT. Passionate about civil rights issues and human welfare, Jacqui is a volunteer at the New Haven Pride Center in Connecticut, as well as a labor volunteer at H.O.M.E co-op in Orland, Maine. Also active in academic organizations, Jac is a member of Student Council and debate at Guilford, in addition to the Spanish and Latin Honor Societies. He enjoys playing bassoon for his school's wind ensemble, as well as being a student-athlete on varsity track and soccer. As an ambassador, Jac hopes to bring focus to the issue of homelessness in American youth to the table, as well as discussion about domestic violence and abuse.

Justin Ngome Paul | Connecticut

Justin Ngome Paul is a junior at Brien Mcmahon High School in Norwalk, Connecticut. He is a Conservative Republican, member of his school's Japanese Club, and vice president for his city's NAACP Youth Council. Justin is an NSLC alumnus of 2016, having attended the conference on International Diplomacy, where he truly cherished the politically diverse and tolerant environment. He speaks French and English as his native tongues, and is currently learning Japanese and Spanish. Justine is of Cameroonian, Gabonese, and Equatorial Guinean origin on his mother's side and Haitian on his father's side. He aspires to become a Foreign Service Officer for the United States.

Mathew Krick l Connecticut

Mathew is a rising senior at Fitch High School in Groton, Connecticut. Originally from Costa Rica, Mathew grew up with a passion for humanitarian involvement. He is President of the Humanitarian Club at his school, volunteered for a cancer research organization in the summer of 2016, and volunteers among other philanthropic organizations at both the local and global communities. He is the Vice President and Salutatorian of his graduating class and is the founder and president of the United Nations club in his school. In addition to humanitarian work and global affairs, Mathew is very involved in science; he is an alum of the 2016 Biological and Biomedical Science Session of the Yale Young Global Scholars Program and a current volunteer and research assistant at a Molecular and Developmental Biology Lab at Yale University. Mathew aspires to become a physician-cancer researcher in the future and is happy to be a part of the Bridge The Divide team!

Alissa Vuillier | Florida

Alissa Vuillier is a rising senior at Trinity Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida. She was born in Ethiopia to her Ethiopian mom and French dad but also lived in Cameroon, Mali, and France, before settling in Florida. Today, she has a passion for learning about the world around her, enabling her to use that knowledge to make the world a better place. She is currently team captain of her school's speech and debate team, having competed around the country in events like extemporaneous speaking. She is also spreading political awareness as the Vice President of the Astra Center for International Analysis, a student-run think tank featuring pieces about international political issues online and on Apple News. Due to her hyperawareness of crises around the world, she has taken direct action. She has been working as a research assistant in a lab and has co-authored a published paper in the Royal Society of Chemistry's Analytical Methods Journal that creates a portable and battery-operated sample preparation device to run in PCR machines to detect infectious diseases at the point of care. This device could help improve disease diagnostics in the developing countries she has spent so much time learning about. In all she does, Alissa is determined to create real change globally.

Anna Domahidi | Illinois

Anna Domahidi is a junior at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago, IL. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s also the high school where Michelle Obama attended! When Anna isn’t listening to the BBC World News Podcast or spending time with Model UN, she enjoys playing lacrosse, writing the script and acting in her high school’s SNL Weekend Update spoofs, and playing the violin. She is a proud feminist and is passionate about women’s rights, international relations, and activism. For Anna, Bridge the Divide is a way to foster better understanding among citizens of the international community in both world and American politics. In such uncertain times, organizations like Bridge the Divide are more important than ever.

Bhavana Ravala | Illinois

Bhavana Ravala is a junior at Normal Community High School in Bloomington-Normal, IL. After spending part of her childhood in India, she has developed a culturally aware view of American politics, and often compares the two countries to advance her own understanding of government. Bhavana's interest in politics came to the forefront during the 2016 election, and she currently keeps herself politically engaged by being involved with speech, debate, and student government. Bhavana is also a 2016 HERlead Fellow and advocates for girls' rights with Day of the Girl-US and the Plan International USA Youth Advisory Board. She writes for Millennials in Action and works as a Political Consultant for JÜV Consulting. She has been recognized as a Future Politician in the NextGenVest 18 Under 18 Competition. Bhavana is extremely excited to promote Bridge the Divide in her community and hopes that she will be able to help unify the country after a divisive election.

Enrique Eguiguren | Illinois

Enrique Eguiguren is a human being from Chicago who is passionate about a variety of things, some of which will come up on the Bridge the Divide discussion boards. He loves comedy, and is always looking for new ways to use it to connect with people and influence others. Enrique works with a progressive radio group and an activist team in Chicago, where they try to get people to "get off the bench and into the streets". He hopes that Bridge the Divide will expose him to some cool people and give him the chance to find common ground through shared values. 

Jeffrey Che | Illinois

Born in Baltimore, MD and raised in Carbondale, IL, Jeffrey is a rising senior at Carbondale Community High School. Passionate about language studies, he is bilingual, speaking both English and Mandarin Chinese, and he is in the process of learning German and Portuguese. Jeff is involved with many extracurricular organizations, including but not limited to: Model UN, Student Council (served as Junior Class President), Math Team, Science Olympiad, Table Tennis Club (President and Founder), Letters for Learning (an international pen-pal program that helps facilitate learning English in countries lacking the materials), and Varsity tennis. Some of Jeff’s hobbies are photography, videography, archery, computer science, and microbiological research. Jeff is very passionate about international affairs and through Bridge the Divide, he seeks to educate and help young people understand today's global affairs. 

Ryan Longenecker I Iowa

Ryan Longenecker is a junior at Bettendorf High School in Bettendorf, Iowa. Ryan is the current President of the Iowa Student Learning Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to revolutionizing Iowa’s education through the power of student voice. He is also a fellow of the Citizen University Youth Collaboratory, a group dedicated to reviving civic participation and involvement among young people. Ryan is an integral leader in his school by leading the Raising Student Voice and Participation (RSVP) team and serving as a School Board Representative this coming school year. Ryan is passionate about increasing civic participation among students, both in schools and in their local communities. Knowing that students should be active members of their community and engaged in their learning comes first hand for Ryan as he is still a high school student. He aspires to follow a career path in the world of politics, and to bring his passion for helping others to an even broader stage. Outside of his activism, you can find him obsessing over politics, playing sports, and frequenting coffee shops.

Alex Muresianu l Massachusetts

Alex Muresianu is attending Tufts University, starting in the Fall of 2017. He has been blogging on his own website, muresianu.blogspot.com, for almost four years, largely about political issues and historical topics. In addition to writing for his school newspaper, he also organized a few panels of the most politically active students at his school to discuss the issues of the 2016 election. He considers himself a libertarian-leaning conservative, and he cares most about issues of deficit spending, taxes, and the power of government. 

Cassidy Rodrigues l Massachusetts

Cassidy Rodrigues is a freshman at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Adventurous and independent, she is a Rotary Youth Exchange student who lived in Thailand for 10 months in order to improve her Thai community and promote global understanding. She also plans on entering the medical field and is currently majoring in biology, while planning to work in the field of genetics. She has participated in various student leadership conferences, and was named "Most Likely to Change the World" at the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards. In her free time, she enjoys writing and studying languages. Cassidy is passionate about tackl