IDEA supports young people to recognize and become effective advocates for learning that matters to them and their communities.
Jonathan Carlisle, Sr. Fellow - Marion, AL
Jonathan Carlisle currently resides in Marion, Alabama and is a senior at Francis Marion High School. At school he participates in the Student Government Association, National Honor Society, and Future Business Leaders Of America (FBLA), as well as many other groups that focus on academics. Jonathan plans to attend Harvard University to obtain his Undergraduate & Juris Doctorate, and in 2052 he plans to run for President of the United States of America. He understands how rigorous these endeavors will be and has adjusted his lifestyle to meet the goals needed in order to accomplish his dreams. Jonathan joined 24 other students in the inaugural class of Youth Converts Culture's Perry County Project, a week-long event dedicated to using technology in a creative, globally-minded way. Watch the video and read more at the Huffington Post.
Aaron Regunberg - Providence, RI
Aaron Regunberg is the co-founder of Hope United, a school-based student organizing group active in Providence whose mission is to help high school students utilize their shared power to improve their schools and push student voice into the city and state's education decisions. Through Hope United, he teaches a political consciousization curriculum and facilitates the organization's youth-led direct action campaigns. Aaron is also active in electoral organizing in Providence and Rhode Island, as well as an ongoing campaign to tax the state's wealthy at higher rates. And he is in his senior year at Brown University, where he studies American Politics.
Neola Young - Portland, OR
Neola Young has been in the education mix since childhood, coming from a family of educators. She is currently the Program Manager for the Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC) in Portland, OR. Neola was previously the programs coordinator with Parents for Public Schools - Greater Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi. She has has become increasingly involved in researching and synthesizing education commentary with special attention to public schools and closing the opportunity gap so many children in poverty face. Neola is especially interested in promoting equity in public schools.
Javarius T. Jones - Marion, AL
For the past few years, Javarius has attended a predominantly black school (Francis Marion High School) that is located in a low-income community. As a senior in high school, Javarius is undertaking a myriad of opportunities that are conducive to positive trends in his community, school, and society: educating his peers about ways to establish a positive image, in addition to attaining legitimate success. He is simultaneously working with his peers and educators to acquire more educational tools and resources, while capitalizing on the ones they already possess. Currently, he is trying to reignite a recycling program in school along with beginning a SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) chapter and a Youth Converts Culture institute -- an initiative for propagating the student voice digitally and physically in order to produce a positive change locally and globally.
Joecephus Martin - Jackson, MS
Husband, father, son and artist, Joecephus Martin's world is colored by art. Growing up in Mississippi, a state with rich history, deep pain and great potential, Martin is a product of his environment and created the ADAM Society to address the needs of the young men in his community.