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Are you a high schooler in the DC, Maryland, or Northern Virginia area looking to create meaningful change in your community? Do you have an idea for how you would like to create a positive impact?

Vital Voices is proud to announce the re-launch of Rising Voices Clubs, a unique opportunity for high school leaders in the DC area to amplify their community impact. Rising Voices Clubs will bring lessons in advocacy and organizing to young leaders in the DC area to help turn their bold ideas into bold actions. High school club leaders will serve as youth delegates, working closely with Rising Voices staff to create curriculum, decide on training focuses, and design their school club’s impact project. Rising Voices staff will provide facilitation materials, advocacy toolkits, and mentorship to support each club in carrying out their project design. 

Club members will also be invited to team building gatherings and key Vital Voices events throughout the program, giving participants the opportunity to interact with each other and the wider Vital Voices network. 

APPLICATION INFORMATION:

Applications for the 2024-2025 Rising Voices Clubs will launch in August. Check back for more details!

High school girls and non-binary people are welcome to apply and should have a particular project focus in mind. Applicants will be asked to explain why they chose their club focus, what their unique contribution will be, and contact for a school sponsor.

TIMELINE:

The Rising Voices Clubs will be carried out during the 2024-2025 school year. Youth delegates will attend twice-monthly meetings and establish school-based clubs. Club members will be invited to key events at Vital Voices Global Headquarters for Women’s Leadership throughout the year.

Meet Past Club Leaders

Annai G.

2022 Fellow, 2022 Rising Voices Club Leader

Annai is a senior in high school in Idaho. She is a strong believer that every person should have access to higher education and have the resources and support to turn their dreams into realities. Annai is involved in activities that allow her to demonstrate leadership skills and give back to her community, including student council, National Honor Society, and TRIO Upward Bound.

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Cassia C.

2022 Fellow, 2022 Rising Voices Club Leader

Cassia is a junior in high school in New York. She has a keen interest in advocating for racial justice, particularly for her Asian-American Pacific Islander community. She was selected to participate in the summer 2021 ACLU Advocacy Institute for high school students.

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Adrianna B.

2022 Fellow, 2022 Rising Voices Club Leader

Adrianna is a sophomore in high school in Ohio. She is passionate about education and helping others, which is why her mission is to inform her peers and classmates about the importance of wearing a mask during the current pandemic. She is very active in her community, and she recently joined the new Advisory Board for Pathway Caring for Children, which focuses on foster care and mental health.

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Parker G.

2022 Fellow, 2022 Rising Voices Club Leader

Parker is a sophomore in high school in Ohio. She is passionate about research within the field of pediatric cancer, prompting her to start a club/non profit about it. She is inspired by her little sister’s fight and her friend’s ongoing struggle with their respective cancers. Parker is excited to learn more about this program and is so excited to be a part of it.

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Meet Past Club Mentors

Jenna Smith

2019 Fellow, HERlead Fellow

Jenna is a first-year Robertson Scholar at Duke University studying International Comparative Studies. She is passionate about criminal justice reform, education, storytelling, and the intersections that exist within these fields. In service of these interests, Jenna serves as the Programming Director of Kidz Vote, an organization dedicated to expanding access to civic education and rectifying historical disenfranchisement from the political process.

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Madison Vorva

2012 Fellow, HERlead Fellow

Madison is a 2012 HERLead alumna. She graduated from the University of Cambridge with a master’s in environmental economics and law in 2019. She was honored as a United Nations Forest Hero for her campaign to get Girl Scouts USA to source sustainable palm oil in its cookies.

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Maria Wilkinson

2013 Fellow, HERlead Fellow

Maria is a senior at Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages in Taiwan. She is passionate about advocating and educating for the abolition of the Death Penalty in both Taiwan and the US. Currently, Maria is participating in a research internship at Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty to gather field research for her Master’s Thesis ‘On Death Penalty: A Comparative Discourse Analysis of Elites’ Strategic Narratives in Taiwan and the US’.

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Angela Sutton

2015 Fellow, HERlead Fellow

Angela is in her third year at St. Joseph’s college where she is a double major in Mathematics and Philosophy. She is passionate about addressing inequalities in education and healthcare. Angela was awarded a congressional medal of merit her senior year of high school for her academic and community service efforts, particularly in providing tutoring and school supplies to her peers.

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Stephanie Villanueva-Villar

2015 Fellow, HERlead Fellow

Stephanie Villanueva-Villar is the Founder & Executive Director of Your Girl for Good, a D.C. based non-profit organization that equips young girls of color with successful female mentors in the STEM, Art, and Political sectors. Since 2016, Stephanie has created summer mentorship programs, workshops, and summits that focus on reminding young girls of their limitless potential by connecting them with a network of supportive, professional women and exposing them to an array of career fields, college guidance, and mindfulness practices. Stephanie is passionate about the advancement of communities of color and has collaborated with the Smithsonian, Girls Who Code, DC Public Charter Schools, and Harvard’s Graduate School of Education to develop and implement diversity and inclusion programs that uplift the voices of marginalized students. Stephanie is a senior at Virginia Commonwealth University and is double majoring in International Social Justice and Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies with a minor in Political Science. She is a Vital Voices member, Herlead Ambassador, and RockStar Award Grantee. In her free time, Stephanie loves to draw, bake banana bread, and go on long scenic walks with her 12-year-old yorkie terrier, Lucas.

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Nadyah Hilmi

2013 Fellow, HERlead Fellow

Nadyah graduated from The George Washington University in 2018, with a B.A. in International Affairs and Development. She is passionate about global development, geopolitics, and youth and womens’ rights. She is currently an Associate at the global public health NGO Resolve to Save Lives, where she supports Former CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden directly with strategic crisis communications and global policy responding to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Nadyah has previously worked with Plan International, UNFPA, the US Department of State, and Albright Stonebridge Group.

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