Meet Our 2015 Summer Fellows!

2015 FellowsThis summer, the Oregon Working Families Party is hosting a summer fellowship to train and develop a new generation of leaders. We are proud to introduce our six summer fellows who will be having thousands of one on one conversations with Oregonians and registering them with the Oregon Working Families Party. In addition, fellows are taking part in workshops, trainings, and discussions to gain concrete organizing skills and learn about the progressive movement in Oregon.

This week, we learned about the history of the Working Families Party, fusion voting and about policies like paid sick days, debt-free higher education, and expanding democracy. Yesterday, we toured the offices of PCUN, Oregon’s farmworker union, and hearing from Ramon Ramirez, president of PCUN and co-founder of the immigrant rights organization CAUSA. Our fellows are hearing first-hand from one of Oregon’s most vulnerable communities about the importance to fight for worker protections for ALL workers!

We have a packed agenda for the summer and with your support we can ensure that our fellows have the best experience possible. Will you support our 2015 Summer Fellowship with a $25 contribution? Your support will help us offset the costs of food, travel and printing for our fellows.

Help us prepare and train the next generation of leaders in Oregon. Support our fellows with a $25 (or $15, $10, $5) gift today!


Meet our 2015 Summer Fellows

Carolina Sanchez

Carolina is a recent graduate of Roosevelt High School and will attend the University of Portland this fall. Her family immigrated from Cuba when she was 2 years old to pursue a better life in a country with more opportunities. She is inspired to learn more about politics and work with a political party that protects the rights of her family, her community and herself.

Elise Brown

Elise Brown is a junior at Wellesley College studying Political Science and Music. Elise’s passion for politics led her to engage her working class community in electing progressive legislators like Rep. Brent Barton. Last summer, she helped the Bus Project register voters and she’s thrilled to sharpen her community organizing skills to serve her fellow Oregonians in the fight for social justice.

Maximus Neel

Maximus Neel will be a high school junior next year and is a regular volunteer with the Oregon Working Families Party. Max supported Oregon Working Families by circulating a petition at his school in support of Pay It Forward. He collected over 100 signatures! He sees the fellowship as an opportunity to continue to learn and create positive change in his community.

Melissa Palavecino

Melissa is currently working on a Biology degree at Portland State University with a certificate in Chicano/ Latino Studies. Her passion for social justice and advocacy was sparked by a Chicano studies course she took to fill a gap in her schedule. That course opened her eyes led her to volunteer with VOZ Workers’ Rights Education Project for the past year. Melissa is excited for the opportunity to work with the Oregon Working Families Party.

Nikko Bilitza

Nikko Bilitza is a junior at American University in Washington D.C. Nikko learned the nuts and bolts of grassroots campaigns by joining the Mayoral campaign for progressive champion, Tommy Wells in D.C.. Nikko is no stranger to Working Families. He has volunteered with the D.C. branch helping them with their upcoming campaign to raise the minimum wage. Though not yet an Oregonian he hopes to become one.

Yesenia Silva Hernandez

Yesenia was born in Oaxaca, Mexico. She is a senior pursuing a degree in Community Health Education at Portland State University. She’s discovered a passion for supporting underrepresented communities through her studies. Yesenia voluteers with The Center for Intercultural Organizing and Causa. Bettering the community is part of who she is, and the knowledge that she can make a difference motivates her everyday.