IGNITE Fellows are changing the face of leadership in communities across America. 

We are currently accepting applications for our Baltimore, MD Fellowship. The deadline to apply is Sunday, December 13, 2020

You can reach out to the Fellowship Program Director, Tierra Stewart at Tierra@ignitenational.org for any additional questions.

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A premier fellowship program for women in or just out of college who want to jump-start their public service careers. 

Every year IGNITE recruits a cohort of diverse and passionate women in communities across America and provides them with resources, training, and networks to flex their political power and mobilize women on their campuses and in their communities to become civically engaged. Fellows serve as ambassadors for IGNITE’s mission and vision and play a valuable role in our efforts to spread a national message that it is time for young women to step into political power.


Locations for the 2020-2021 Fellowship


2020-2021 Fellows

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Uniqua Adams serves as our Milwaukee Fellow. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside with a bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and Sociology and is currently pursuing her master's degree in Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milkwaukee. She is passionate about improving the societal experience for Black girls and women and about providing equitable education for Black and Brown youth. Through her work with City Year Milwaukee, Uniqua helps to mobilize young people to break the status quo and create change. She is part of organizations such as Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc, Queens with Purpose, and BlackAF. Uniqua's ultimate goal is to one day serve on the Milwaukee Public School Board so she can be a voice for the students. For Milwaukee inquiries, contact uniqua@ignitenational.org.

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Leslie Elizabeth Aguirre serves as our Southern California Fellow. She is a senior at CSU Northridge (CSUN) pursuing her bachelor’s in Political Science with minors in Sustainability and Civic and Community Engagement. On campus, Leslie has served as the President of the Political Science Student Association and Chair of Legislative Affairs. Off campus, Leslie serves as a board member for her neighborhood council and as a council member for LA Metro’s San Fernando Valley Service Council. 

Leslie is a proud San Fernando Valley native. She is passionate about improving the quality of life for her neighbors through innovative urban policy initiatives. She first realized her power to create change as a high school volunteer for a local political campaign. Leslie plans to run for local or state office. For Southern CA inquires, contact leslie@ignitenational.org.

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Maggie Ash serves as our Columbus Fellow. She is a recent graduate of The Ohio State University where she majored in English with minors in Public Policy and Business. In addition to her service to IGNITE as our fellow, Maggie will also be serving the Legislative Service Commission Fellowship with the Ohio Statehouse where she hopes to serve her fellow Ohioans and further her experience with the legislative process. Maggie served her undergraduate student government throughout her entire time at college, where she developed a love for service and community through various projects and leadership roles focused on enhancing student success, belonging, and opportunity. Maggie plans to further her mission to promote active citizenship and elevating stories and voices. For Columbus inquiries, contact Maggie at maggie@ignitenational.org.

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Rapunizal Boykin serves as our Birmingham Fellow. She is a recent graduate of Auburn University at Montgomery, holding a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a concentration in Health Science and minors in Biology and Political Science. During undergrad, Rapunizal served as the President of the AUM Chapter of the NAACP and was heavily involved in campus organizations. She plans to continue the work in community involvement, advocacy, and activism. Rapunizal was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, where she began blazing the trails for social justice at an early age. She looks forward to continuing this work with IGNITE. For Birmingham inquiries, email rapunizal@ignitenational.org.

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Anna Del Castillo is serving her second year as our Boston Fellow. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Tufts University with a bachelor's degree in International Relations and Colonialism Studies. At Tufts University, Anna served as the student body Vice President and the Senior Baccalaureate Speaker. She is currently pursuing a Master of Divinity as a Dean’s Fellow at Harvard Divinity School. On campus, Anna is a Proctor for first-year students, she serves as the Divinity School Representative on the Harvard Graduate Council, and she is a member of Harvard’s Prison Education Program and the Partaker’s College Behind Bars program. Off campus, Anna cultivates her passion for civic engagement by serving as an Andrew Goodman Foundation Puffin Democracy Fellow, where she is organizing a national fair redistricting campaign. Anna is a proud Mississippian, second-generation Peruvian-Bolivian immigrant, and faith-rooted activist for justice. For Boston inquiries, contact anna@ignitenational.org.

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Angelica Espinoza serves as our San Diego Fellow. She is a current grad student at San Diego State University where she is pursuing a Master of Science in Homeland Security and where she also earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Security and Conflict Resolution. At SDSU, Angelica served as the Vice President of External Relations -- the first Latina to serve in over 15 years. Angelica also served on the Board of Directors for the CSU Student Association and as a council member on the College Area Community Council. 

Angelica’s upbringing in San Ysidro, a border town in CA, and as a child of immigrants truly instilled the importance of advocating for the most marginalized. She is eager to create an empowering environment where young women can discover their own unique ways to be civically engaged and learn how to use political institutions and their own narratives as a vehicle for change. For San Diego inquiries, contact angelica@ignitenational.org.

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Jeneisha Harris serves as our Tennessee Fellow. She is pursuing a double major in Biology and Psychology with a minor in Political Science at Tennessee State University. As an aspiring Pediatric Psychologist, Jeneisha wants to merge mental health and advocacy with effective programming aimed at those who do not have access to mental healthcare resources while advocating for mental healthcare policy reform and justice. Jeneisha is also an HBCU White House All-Star Ambassador Alum, the Founder of Reading for Liberation, Co-Founder and President of The National Black Action Committee, Founder of The Free Breakfast Program, and Founder of the Barbara J. Harris Scholarship. Through these many programs, Jeneisha organizes young people through community building, political education, and sociopolitical engagement. For Tennessee inquiries, contact jeneisha@ignitenational.org.

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Julia Jannon-Shields serves as our Seattle Fellow. Julia is a fourth-year undergraduate student at the University of Washington pursuing degrees in Community, Environment & Planning and Communication with a minor in Diversity Studies. Post-graduation, Julia aspires to creatively engage communities and combat environmental injustice to establish a more sustainable and equitable future. In the community, she has served as the voice for womxn-identifying students on the UW campus through her role as Director of the ASUW Womxn’s Action Commission for 2019-20, where she hosted intersectional programming and advocated for womxn’s rights. Julia continues her commitment to equity and engagement through various other organizations both on and off campus and is incredibly proud to be working with IGNITE in a period of such monumental change. For Seattle inquiries, contact julia@ignitenational.org.

 

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Jessie Jennett serves as our Denver Fellow. She is currently pursuing a B.A. in Global Development and Public Policy, focusing on Women in Leadership at the Metropolitan State University of Denver. Since high school, Jessie has been passionate about social justice. Attending MSU Denver, she experienced first-hand the immense barriers faced by students and young people. Financial challenges pushed Jessie to leave college briefly to work full time under Senator Brittany Pettersen and Representative Kerry Tipper as one of their lead field organizers in the 2018 election. She also worked as a Legislative Aide for Colorado State Representative Monica Duran during the 2019 legislative session. Upon returning to college, she continued her work in the Colorado House of Representatives.  Additionally, Jessie is the Denver Development Director for Far Away Friends, raising money to equip kids with tools to break cycles of poverty. She also serves as the Vice President and Delegate of the Alpha Xi Chapter of the Thera Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority and is an Enumerator with U.S. Census Bureau for Census 2020. For Denver inquiries, contact jessie@ignitenational.org.

 

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Kaya Jones is serving her second year as our Philadelphia Fellow. She recently obtained a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Journalism from Temple University. On campus, she served as Vice President of External Affairs of Temple University Student Government and as a Diversity Peer to facilitate conversations around social justice. Throughout her career, she has interned with Angela Rye, Inc. and IMPACT Strategies where she served as a Policy Cohort Intern, and for The Office of State Representative Joanna McClinton as a Legislative Intern. Kaya is committed to advancing equality, diversity, and inclusion for women and minorities in leadership positions. She hopes to continue her work in empowering young women to be more civically engaged and help them step into their political power. Kaya's goal is to start her own political consulting firm in the future. For Philadelphia inquiries, contackaya@ignitenational.org.

 

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Jay Matrecito serves as the Phoenix Fellow. She is studying Political Science and English with a minor in Media Analysis at Arizona State University. Jay is passionate about driving change in local and national public sectors and has served in multiple leadership capacities to spark change through volunteer work, phone banking, student organizations, and fundraising efforts. As a Latinx first-generation college student hailing from a low-income community, she believes that activism has allowed her to understand the impact government has on the livelihoods of constituents. Jay hopes to empower more women with the resources, knowledge, and confidence necessary on their path to enter and own the political sphere. For Phoenix inquiries, contact jailene@ignitenational.org.

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Yasmeen Metellus serves as our Miami Fellow. She recently graduated from Columbia University where she earned her bachelor’s in Political Science. At Columbia, Yasmeen served as the co-founder and president of Columbia University Black Pre-Professional Society, an organization that provides career resources for underrepresented minorities on campus. 

Yasmeen interned for NY State Senator, Alessandra Biaggi, America Needs You, and Venture for America. In addition to serving as a Fellow, Yasmeen is also the Campaign Program Facilitator for Chad Klitzman for Broward Supervisor of Elections. Yasmeen is passionate about voter education, diversity, and community engagement. For Miami inquires, contact yasmeen@ignitenational.org.

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Tyler Musgrave serves as our Detroit Fellow. Tyler is a first-year Ph.D. student at the University of Michigan's School of Information where she is researching transformative justice frameworks use cases in online communities and immersive technology. In the past, Tyler has served in both the AmeriCorps and US Peace Corps programs, and spent her undergraduate years immersed in the Occupy Movement. She is interested in restorative justice and her goal is to become a political mobilizing champion in her communities -- online and in-person. In the future, Tyler hopes to work within research and policy related to technology and safe communities. For Detroit inquiries, contact tyler@ignitenational.org.

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Kasandra Negrete serves as our Chicago Fellow. She earned a bachelor's degree in Economics with a minor in Psychological Methods at DePaul University. In the past, Kasandra has interned with the Obama Foundation as a Civic Engagement Intern, where she engaged with young people across the city. Currently, Kasandra works for the City of Chicago as an investment analyst and, as an active community member, is working to combat education inequality in the Chicago Public Schools. Kasandra is passionate about eliminating Chicago's wealth gap and promoting economic mobility and access for low-income communities. She is committed to empowering young people in politics, and wants to provide them with the tools to tackle local issues. For Chicago inquiries, contact kasandra@ignitenational.org.

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Julia Perrotta serves as the Raleigh-Durham Fellow. She is pursuing her bachelor's degree in Political Science with a minor in Spanish at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Throughout her life, she has been passionate about empowering female leaders in politics. Julia is currently a Creative Specialist in the Communications department of Student Government, an ambassador for the admissions office, and a former volunteer/intern for Gina Collias, a Congressional candidate running in her hometown district of NC-11. Julia plans to continue involvement on campus to boost civic engagement and voting opportunities, raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault, and support the fight against systemic racism. Julia's goal is to attend law school and study international or constitutional law so she can fight for women’s civil, human, educational, and political rights in international organizations and nonprofits. For Raleigh-Durham inquiries, contact juliap@ignitenational.org.

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Saha Salahi is serving her 2nd year as the Las Vegas Fellow. She is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Communication with a Brookings Public Policy Minor at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. She is currently a Student Researcher at Brookings Mountain West and the Lincy Institute, as well as the Congressional District 3 Coordinator for the Nevada Center for Civic Engagement. Saha is dedicated to the Las Vegas community and has served as a District Intern for Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford. She has also completed over 150 volunteer hours which span from being a teacher’s assistant for elementary-level students to organizing food and book drives for local K-12 schools. As a product of Afghan-American parents, Saha hopes to be an advocate for minority groups and use her voice to bring about equal representation at a local and national level. For Las Vegas inquiries, contact saha@ignitenational.org.



 

 

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La-Tieka Sims serves as our San Antonio Fellow. She is currently a senior at Texas A&M University-San Antonio and is pursuing her bachelor's degree in Business Management. She earned her associate degree in Business Administration at San Antonio College. La-Tieka is an active campus leader and has served in roles such as Treasurer of the Black Student Union, President of the Campus Activities Board, and President of the Student Government Association, and she is a current member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated. She is developing her role as a community leader and furthering her career by interning at the City of San Antonio District 2 City Council office. La-Tieka hopes to run for office in future. For San Antonio inquiries, contact latieka@ignitenational.org.

 

 

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Alicia Smith serves as our New York Fellow. She holds a master's degree from New York University’s Silver School of Social Work. Alicia's passion is to help communities identify pressing problems, design interventions, and implement strategies to improve the lives of community members. She is also committed to educating young people to become civically engaged. As a student, Alicia developed student advocacy programs and activities with NYU campus staff to empower students. Currently, she is advising young women who are running for office. As a second-year IGNITE fellow, Alicia hopes to help individuals tap into their hidden potential and become active change agents. For New York inquiries, contact alicia@ignitenational.org.

 

 

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Loren Walter is serving her second year as our Atlanta fellow. She is a senior at Agnes Scott College, pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Loren joined IGNITE in 2018 as a college chapter member. She is deeply passionate about engaging young people, specifically in marginalized communities, in the civic and political process. At Agnes, Loren also serves as a Senator in the student government where she has co-founded the Civic Scotties Coalition which assists with the development of the university’s Civic Engagement Plan. Loren will run for office to further public education and voting policies. For Atlanta inquiries, contact loren@ignitenational.org.

 

 

Meet our Former IGNITE Fellows