2016-17 Brooklyn Youth Fellows


Daniel-Joseph Cyan

Glendale (Queens), Age 20
Organizational Partner: Brooklyn Community Pride Center
Focus: LGBTQIA and Trans* Justice

Daniel was born in Guatemala, and moved to New York City at an early age. Daniel wishes to give voice to gender nonconforming individuals, and other minorities groups in the queer community. He attends Hunter College, majoring in Film to use the arts as activism for the queer community. Daniel is a second year Fellow.

Peace Titilawo

East New York, Age 22
Organizational Partner: United Community Centers of East New York
Focus: Food Justice

Peace is an alumna of the East New York Farms! Youth Internship program.   Peace was hired in 2013 as the Farm Education Assistant and led over 1000 school-aged children as a part of the ENYF Farm Tour series. Peace hopes to build a prominent career in the public sector, addressing issues like youth services and food insecurity in Brooklyn. Peace is a second year Fellow.

Marline NkouNkou

Crown Heights, Age 18
Organizational Partner: Five Myles
Focus: Gender and Racial Justice

Marline was born in Congo Brazzaville. At 14 she moved to New York to join her mother and her siblings. Marline is a graduate of the International High School at Prospect Heights. She speaks French, English, Yoruba and Lari, and interns at Brooklyn Hospital. Marline’s dream for the future is to create a not-for-profit to advocate for women’s and children’s rights in the world, and particularly in Africa. Marline is a second year Fellow.

Raquan Graham

Brownsville, Age 18 
Organizational Partner: Brownsville Community Justice Center
Focus: Racial justice and Juvenile Justice

Raquan (Ray) is a lifelong Brownsville resident. He attends Brownsville Academy and is an aspiring actor. Ray joined the Brownsville Community Justice Center in 2014, and has been Peer Advocate intern working on anti-violence, school engagement, and healthy relationship initiatives. He hopes that the work the Justice Center is doing in Brownsville could inspire youth in other communities to get involved with their communities. Ray is a second year Fellow.

Alexander Davis

Crown Heights, Age 22 
Organizational Partner: Center for Nu Leadership
Focus: Criminal Justice and Youth Power

Alex was born and raised in Crown Heights, and is an aspiring artist and activist who has experienced firsthand the struggles and impact of the drug war, the foster care system, and the criminal justice system in his community. Alex is a graduate of the Institute for Collaborative Education and is laying the foundation for pursuing college education. He is an avid music lover and cook. Alex is a second year Fellow.

Shafrarisi Bonner

Bed Stuy, Age 16 
Organizational Partner: Sadie Nash Leadership Project
Focus: Gender and Racial Justice

Shafrarisi Bonner is a proud resident of Bed-Stuy, one of four sisters, and is entering her senior year at St. Joseph's High School.  She is a journalist and artist in various media and is committed to spending her time educating (in a fun way) her peers about social issues and injustices. Shafrarisi has led multiple grassroots actions against the shaming of young women’s bodies, the school-to-prison pipeline and gentrification. She also serves on the Board of Sadie Nash Leadership Project and believes that activism is more powerful when she fights alongside her sisters for justice. Shafrarisi is a first year Fellow. 

Nirmeen Shumman

Downtown Brooklyn, Age 16
Organizational Partner: The Arab American Family Support Center
Focus: Immigration

Nirmeen is a fierce Palestinian American filmmaker who is not afraid to speak her mind on social justice issues and activism. She has been a participant of the Arab American Family Support Center Youth Program for over five years and has been consistently engaged in initiatives towards community building. Nirmeen has been active on social issues such as Palestinian occupation, police brutality, Islamophobia, immigration, and racism through her films. She has been an active part of the "We Are Not Invisible" photo campaign that highlights portraits of Arabs and Muslims in the community as form of resistance to anti-Muslim bigotry. Nirmeen is a first year Fellow. 

Vidal Guzman

Harlem, Age 25
Organizational Partner: Drive Change
Focus: Criminal Justice Reform/Re-entry

Vidal is an activist, a hard working individual, and a loyal friend. He was incarcerated for five years and returned home to be connected to Getting Out Staying Out, where he instantly excelled. Vidal got a job at the bakery Ovenly, and worked his way up to head porter. He then became a Drive Change Fellow where he continued to work hard and was able to activate his voice. Vidal recently took a full-time job as a butcher at Marlow and Sons. On the side, he is a fitness nut and he has ambitions to be a personal trainer. Vidal is a first year Fellow. 

Gabriela Ponce

Sunset Park, Age 18
Organizational Partner: Center for Family Life
Focus: Economic Justice

Gabriela will be attending St. John's University College of Education this fall. She was born in Brooklyn and is the daughter of Mexican immigrants. In high school, she volunteered at an after-school program where she served as a role model for boys and girls in elementary school. Her interest in education was sparked by her own experience in the education system and her work at the after-school program. She hopes to continue to make a difference in schools for children who feel like their background limits their possibilities to succeed. Gabriela is a first year Fellow. 

Ray-Ana Hill

Red Hook, Age 16 
Organizational Partner: Red Hood Initiative
Focus: Youth Development and Leadership

Ray-Ana began at Red Hook Initiative's Middle School Program and is now enrolled in its High School Programs. She graduated from the Youth Leaders in Training career readiness program, participates in the LGBTQ/Allies support group, and has also been a Teen Chef and a Peer Counselor. Her current program at RHI will support her to follow her dream of becoming an entrepreneur and opening a cosmetics business to empower and inspire self-love in others. Ray-Ana is committed to creating a supportive, welcoming, and joyous space for her peers, friends, and family. Ray-Ana is a first year Fellow. 

Alanis Lantigua

Flatlands, Age 17
Organizational Partner: Dance Theatre Etcetera
Focus: Youth leadership

Alanis grew up in the Marble Hill section of the Bronx and moved to Brooklyn when she was 12. She has participated in trainings with Project Reach Youth and interned at the Children's Law Center. She was also part of the Big Brother Big Sister Mentorship program, and was a member of the Red Hook Community Justice Center's Youth Court. Alanis is currently taking college courses at City Tech in addition to her work at her high school. Alanis has been a media maker in Dance Theatre Etcetera's In Transition Media program as well as with a BRIC Media program in her high school. Alanis is a first year Fellow. 

Rachie Lipkind

Crown Heights, Age 19
Organizational Partner: Footsteps
Focus: Economic Empowerment

Rachie is a creative and passionate woman who grew up and lives in Crown Heights. She is an artist and community activist who is very connected to her Crown Heights neighborhood. She has worked on an art and activism project in Crown Heights to highlight the issues women in the Chabad community face regarding gender roles and modesty requirements, using art as a medium for social justice and community empowerment. She is hoping to build a career in film/arts. Rachie is a first year Fellow.