Jessica Quiroz SanchezMexico (Org: Homeboy Industries)
Jessica Sanchez was born in Michoacán, Mexico, and at a young age, she was sent to live in South Central Los Angeles, California, which became her home. Currently, she is working towards earning her High School Diploma at Twilight Charter High School with the intention of attending UCLA, where she plans to major in psychology. For the past six years, Jessica has been a Social Justice Advocate in the Government Relations Department of Homeboy Industries, focusing on serving the formerly incarcerated and underserved minorities in Los Angeles County and beyond. Her work revolves around empowering marginalized communities by facilitating the transfer of power to them. Notably, Jessica has led advocacy coalitions to successfully pass bills like SB731, which will provide over one million Californians with increased employment, housing, and other crucial opportunities. Through her efforts, she has established essential relationships with influential political figures who support Homeboy Industries’ mission as the world’s largest reentry organization for formerly incarcerated and gang-involved individuals. In addition, Jessica has managed voting flex centers, educating individuals on candidate research and policies to enable informed voting decisions, resulting in hundreds of first-time voters. She has also taken the lead in developing and facilitating educational classes that empower individuals and communities to advocate for their rights and navigate the legislative process.
Cynthia KalalukaZambia (Org: PATH)
Cynthia Changufu-Kalaluka has over fourteen years of experience in public health. Cynthia has a Master’s degree in Public Health and a Bachelor of Science Honors Degree in Pharmacology which she obtained from Leeds Beckett University and the University of the Witwatersrand respectively. She has worked for large international organizations such as Population Services International (PSI) and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI). She is currently working for PATH which she joined in 2016. Cynthia is particularly passionate about working with vulnerable populations that have been disadvantaged because of socio-economic status, gender, age, disability status, and those living with chronic conditions. Cynthia was born with Sickle Cell Disease (genotype: Haemoglobin SS), and she is passionate about raising awareness and advocating for improved services and management of the disease in her country of birth, Zambia.
Samanta FarahnazBangladesh (Org: BRAC)
Samanta Farahnaz is a development professional with eight years of experience and a Master’s degree in Economics. She has experience working in projects with multiple stakeholders, including the government, non-government organizations, and the private sector. She has led the design of holistic and inclusive development and humanitarian projects with cross-cutting teams and partners in South Asia. As a process-oriented and results-driven person, she has a proven track record in effectively managing large-scale projects.
Kelvin KapuyaMalawi (Org: Partners in Health)
Kelvin Kapuya is a professional with over two years of experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors. He holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Malawi. Currently, Kelvin works as an Health & Data Systems Specialist with Partners In Health in Neno, a remote district in Malawi. In his role, Kelvin focuses on Electronic Medical Records and mHealth Systems, working to digitize paper-based systems in clinical settings and operations. He has played a key role in improving data management by utilizing mobile health technology for data collection by Community Health Workers. Kelvin has also provided training to program teams on reporting visualization tools and online office tools, enhancing their productivity and efficiency. Prior to his work with Partners In Health, Kelvin served as an IT Specialist at Afrimax Ltd, a private internet service provider company. In addition to his professional experience, Kelvin has been actively involved in volunteer initiatives and youth and leadership development roles, which have further strengthened his leadership and management abilities. He is passionate about social justice and actively engages in discussions related to youth leadership, development, and personal and professional growth.
Mariella MunyuzangaboRwanda (Org: Partners in Health Rwanda)
Mariella Munyuzangabo is a professional in the nonprofit sector with a background in global health. With a Bachelor’s degree in Global Health and a Master’s degree in Reproductive and Sexual Health Research, she brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her current role as the Associate Director of the Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Program at Partners in Health Rwanda. Her responsibilities include project planning and implementation, team management, collaboration with stakeholders, and ensuring evidence-based programs that meet community needs. Mariella’s research experience, particularly in maternal and child health in conflict settings, has equipped her with skills in project management, implementation research, and evidence-based decision-making. Her passion for health and gender equity, particularly in improving sexual and reproductive health and rights for young women, drives her commitment to making a positive impact in her field. https://www.linkedin.com/in/mariellamunyuzangabo/
Shahrukh MirzaBangladesh (Org: BRAC)
Shahrukh Mirza is an international development professional with over ten years of experience, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Shahrukh holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Warwick and a Master’s in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Currently serving as Senior Manager, Strategy and Operations at BRAC International, she provides support in strategy development, organizational planning, and communications and advocacy. Shahrukh has extensive experience in program design, proposal development, and managing annual planning and reporting across multiple countries in her previous roles at BRAC and WaterAid. She is passionate about community-driven solutions and leveraging her skills to address poverty and inequality in the Global South.
Mori Moses SworoSouth Sudan (Org: Norwegian Refugee Council)
Mori Moses Sworo is a lawyer with a focus on humanitarian service, specializing in Housing, Land, and Property (HLP) rights. With over four years of experience, Mori has worked on issues such as customary land rights, land registration and titling, land administration and management, women’s HLP rights, conflict resolution, and project management. He holds a Master’s of Law and a Bachelor’s of Law degree from the University of Juba. Mori has conducted interventions to promote proper land use and natural resource management through information sharing, capacity building, and the development of training materials on HLP rights and Collaborative Dispute Resolution mechanisms. Currently, Mori serves as the Field Office Coordinator for the Norwegian Refugee Council in South Sudan, where he continues to advocate for justice and equal treatment while empowering communities with legal expertise and advocacy skills.
Zipporah Kageha KaraniKenya (Org: Heifer International)
Zipporah Kageha Karani has over ten years of experience in the communications profession. Zipporah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media Technology from Maseno University in Kenya. She currently serves as a Communications Specialist for a USAID grant-funded project in Kenya. Prior to her career in journalism, she volunteered at an HIV/AIDS network. Zipporah was a finalist nominee for the CNN Journalist of the Year Award in 2010, specifically in the HIV and AIDS category. She also served as a mentor journalist for the British Council BBC School news project in both Kenya and the UK. Zipporah’s professional experience includes supporting communications in various grant-funded projects in Kenya and South Sudan. Zipporah is committed to facilitating change within communities, using innovative communication interventions to address social and cultural barriers. Zipporah is passionate about environmental issues, mentorship, youth development, gender and women’s issues, humanitarian relief, and leadership development.
Eunwoo SongSouth Korea (Org: ECPAT Korea)
Eunwoo Song was born in Changwon, the Republic of Korea. She has completed her Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and Language at Konkuk University and her Master’s in Korean-English translation at Graduate School of Translation and Interpretation of Ewha Woman’s University. Eunwoo has been working in ECPAT Korea (Tacteennaeil) for almost a year as the manager of international cooperation, tackling child rights advocacy through communication with international child rights organizations. Prior to this work, she worked as a translator at the Department of Refugees at the Seoul Immigration Office, interpreting refugee screening interviews. Eunwoo also translated money laundering and counter-terrorism reports at the Finance Services Commission. Social issues that concern her these days pertain to refugees, migrants, and children with her career path deepening knowledge and information on the issues and making her see the serious challenges and problems facing these groups of people in their lives.
Olabanjo OjoNigeria (Org: SOS Children's Villages Nigeria)
Ojo Olabanjo, currently living and working in the southwest region of Nigeria, has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Delta State University Abraka. He works with SOS Children’s Village and brings a decade of experience in humanitarian and developmental programs. His current position at SOS Children’s Village is Livelihood Officer in the Family Strengthening Program which has the goal of preventing family separation in at-risk households. His focus is on providing quality care and support for the most vulnerable members of the society.
Fernando Lara is a youth empowerment advocate with over four years of experience in the non-profit sector. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering at UNIAG University in Nicaragua in 2012. Since then, he has focused on environmental development, guiding and supporting more than 200 young volunteers to create and implement environmental campaign strategies to mitigate deforestation, promote ecological farming practices, and raise awareness of climate change in local rural communities while also collaborating actively with project partners and community leaders. Since 2016, Fernando has volunteered as a Facilitator in different projects and lately as an Operations Officer in Raleigh Costa Rica, supporting international volunteers during their deployment to projects in communities, national parks, and a leadership trek, providing pastoral support to team leaders, establishing safety and safeguarding measures and monitoring project results. Through these experiences, he has developed skills in capacity building, leadership development, and project planning and implementation. Fernando strives to reduce the impacts of climate change by promoting positive environmental practices while empowering youth capacity development.
Kathia Salazar is a development professional with over five years of experience. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Global Affairs from Tsinghua University as a Schwarzman Scholarship Recipient. Kathia leads fellowship program operations at Latitud, supporting founders building world-class tech companies in Latin America. She is a Global Changemaker Alumni and co-founder of the organization’s mentorship program, supporting youth through skills development and mentoring. Her involvement in entrepreneurship, innovation, and social impact has made her collaborate with different international and civil society organizations and the private and startup sectors. Kathia has been an External Youth Expert at the I-CoDI Challenge by the UN International Telecommunications Union to develop innovative solutions to youth challenges, an Online Moderator at UNESCO MGIEP to lead a series of discussions on Education and the Environment, and a Mentor at UNMGCY. As a former finance professional working in the banking sector, Kathia’s mission is to mobilize capital for development and bridge opportunities and talents to empower the next generation of leaders, especially youth and women from underrepresented communities.