Our Team
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ISABEL HOPE

Founder (she/her) @isabama

Hi! My name is Isabel Hope and I am a 17-year-old youth activist from Tuscaloosa, AL. Aside from my work with Meddling Kids Movement, I am the Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Yellowhammer Youth, a student run digital space for young people in Alabama to share their voices through opinion writing. I have also led the Alabama Youth Climate Strike, served as President of March For Our Lives Tuscaloosa, was Social Media Manager of Students Demand Action Montgomery, AL, and volunteered on 4 election campaigns. I am super passionate about youth rights, gun reform, and political comedy. I also love cats. 

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SHAYNA RUTMAN

Executive Director (she/her) @shaynajrutman

 

Hello! My name is Shayna Rutman and I am 18-years-old from San Diego, CA, but I currently attend American University as a Political Science major. I am the second executive director for MKM! Outside of this work, I founded Purses for a Purpose- San Diego, serve as the Head of Outreach for NOW YFTF, act as Secretary for Behind Books, and am the Programming Director for the Jewish Student Association at my school! Fun fact: I also box and love my puppy Lyla and fish Beta Bernie.

SEAN POWELL

Field Director (he/him) @seanpowell.12

Hello! I am Sean Powell, born and raised in Gainesville, Florida, and I am 16 years old. Throughout my life I have found passion through others, and I have always viewed myself as a compilation of the things I have experienced. Most recently I have been happily introduced and enveloped into the activism community through personal friends, and the ideology behind events such as MUN. Likewise, I have always been interested in graphic design, art, formating, and what is naturally appealing to the complexes and intricacies of the human mind. The two stated before, art and activism, are naturally intertwined; and activism is naturally a form of art in itself. By combining my personal passions of art, justice, medicine, and analysis, I hope I can convey what it means to be a leader of the mind and heart; naturally, by presenting the idealisms of our community in the most accurate and effective way possible. 

MADDY STEVENS

Graphics Director (she/her) @maddy_o25

Hi there! My name is Maddy Stevens, I am an 18 year old activist, entrepreneur and college student. I attend College of the Atlantic in Maine but currently live in Connecticut. I run an Etsy shop and have for four years. I have only been doing activism for a few years, focusing on climate change. I create animations and graphics like logo design as well as non digital art such as stop motion and sewing. I am also learning to play the banjo but it’s not going smoothly.

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AVA RICHARDS

News Director (she/her) @_avarichards

Hi! I’m Ava Richards, a 17-year-old from the Bay Area, California. One of my greatest passions in life is telling the stories that really matter, whether it be through written articles, podcasts, or video stories. I’m super excited to be a part of the News Team for the Meddling Kids Movement to help continue my love for creating and expand the impact that my work can have on the world. Besides this, I also work on three other publications. I am a staff writer for my school’s newsmagazine, the managing editor of podcasts for my school’s broadcast journalism program, and the Editor-In-Chief of a student-run literary magazine called All That’s Lit to Print.

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JASMINE LUNIA

Student Rights Director (she/her) @cosmic_athena

Hey! My name is Jasmine and I am a 15-year-old climate and human rights activist from Dallas, Texas. Outside of MKM, I work with several other organizations including Zero Hour, Sunrise Movement, and am the leader of the STEMteen Dallas chapter, in which I help students from underprivileged backgrounds learn STEM topics beyond what they have been taught in school. In addition, I am a co-president of my school’s environmental club, where we have done work such as climate striking and advocating for less plastic use in school and in the county. I'm also an artist, writer, and science nerd who is extremely in love with cats and plants. I hope to go into research science when I am older and am extremely excited to be a part of MKM. 

ELIANA CORTEZ

Art Activism Director (she/her) @elianaacortez

Hi! My name is Eliana Cortez, and I’m a 17 year old from NYC. I’m so excited to be the Art Activism Director! I‘ve always been super passionate about art. In the past, I’ve participated in many art programs, and I’m currently an art major at my high school. I’m also a part of the social justice program at my school. In it, we discuss global issues, volunteer, and run educational events and fundraisers. I also really love learning about different laws and their effects on people of all walks of life. Because of my interest in public policy, I’ve become involved in public forum debate and my District Attorney’s Student Advisory Council. I love that MKM amplifies the voices of kids who are inspiring social changes and changes in public policy. Some fun facts about me are that I love watching Survivor, listening to music, and kickboxing. 

LILLIAN HEINTZ

Gun Violence Prevention Director (she/her) @lillian.heintz

 

Hi! I’m Lillian Heintz, she/her, and I’m 13 years old from West Hartford, Connecticut. I got involved in activism at an early age, when my mother took me to Women’s Rights and Black Lives Matter protests. Last year me and some close friends organized a Black Lives Matter protest and that's when I got more interested in activism and felt the need to help and learn more. As a student I feel that our children shouldn’t have to fear that their school could get shot up anyday, I believe guns are too accessible to the general public. Some things about me: I have two cats, I adore ballet, and all types of cooking and baking. I aspire to be a chef in a french restaurant or own my own restaurant. 

KAITLYN LEITHERER

 

Climate Justice Director (she/her) @kaitlynleith

 

Hi! I’m Kaitlyn Leitherer, a 16 year-old from Baltimore, Maryland. I live in the beloved Chesapeake Bay Watershed, where I work my hardest to protect it as a Chesapeake Bay Foundation student leader and Secretary-Treasurer of my school’s Environmental Coalition. What I love most about sustainability is that it isn’t just a tree-hugging-hippie philosophy. To have a sustainable future, topics that seem unrelated, like social justice and economics, MUST be addressed, and for that very reason, I’m beyond excited to work with such a multi-faceted organization. Besides being a full-time climate activist, I enjoy camping, learning about classical music history, and playing the harp.

ZHI ZHI (CHIA) STERLING

Gender Equity Director (she/her) @s.czhizhi

Hello! I am Zhi Zhi–an 18-year-old feminist from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Aside from being a member of the Outreach Team on MKM, I am also the founder of a feminist blog called Feminist Apprentice where I write about my views on various feminist topics. Furthermore, I am a Malaysian Youth Ambassador for World Literacy Foundation, a young journalist for the Star (a national newspaper), and a volunteer at Amnesty International Malaysia. I do not like anything spontaneous, I have 5 dogs, I am obsessed with FRIENDS, I unwind by having a secret dance party with myself and my iPod, and as nerdy as this may seem, I actually enjoy studying. 

DIVYA MALHOTRA

Mental Health Awareness Director (she/her) @_durianmalhotra_

Hi, I’m Divya, I’m 16 years old and I am from India and currently living in the UAE. My first brush with mental health support was when I became one of the UAE’s first teen mental health first aiders. I later went on to intern for an online therapy counselling where I graduated with honours. Some of my favourite books to read include The Great Gatsby and Northanger Abbey. I’m currently aspiring to go into the medical field and I’m super excited to be working with a group of wonderful individuals for the importance of mental health.

STHUTHI SATISH

LGBTQIA+ Rights Director (she/her) @sthuthi.satish

Hey! I’m Sthuthi Satish, and I’m a high school junior pursuing the IBDP! I’m a youth activist and aspiring medical doctor from Bangalore, India! I’m extremely passionate about life sciences, and hope to pursue a career in medicine. I’m passionate about gender equity, LGBTQIA+ rights, mental health, human rights, and the intersections that lie within. I currently serve as the Director for the LGBTQIA+ Rights team for MKM, and previously have been the International Director and Financial Director. Apart from my work with MKM, I’m the Girls in Science Spokesperson for the Royal Academy of Science International Trust, Ambassador for Bytes of Code, and hold other positions at various youth-led organizations.

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Immigrant Rights Director

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DESHAWNDE DAVIS

Racial Justice Director (he/him) @deshawndedavis

 

Hey y’all, I’m Deshawndé Davis.  I’m 17 years old and live in Indianapolis, Indiana. My favorite quote is by Martin Luther King: “In the end, will not remember the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends”.   I love activism and getting involved in any way possible.  Outside of MKM, I help lead the We Care group at my school, a student lead activist group working to make our high school experience more inclusive.  I also help bring together my school’s “R Family Day”, a day where students are asked to present their cultures and countries of origin to our community through presentation boards, food, dancing, a fashion show, and so much more.  Besides that I currently write articles for “Students For BIPOC”, and in my free time I enjoy reading, dancing, and listening to Beyoncé.  I’m passionate about youth activism because I feel like the older generations still believe in this idea of how the world was when they were growing up.  Society has changed drastically, and listening to young people, who are actively shaping the future of our society, the older generations can learn about the new ways in which we interact with each other.  The younger generations have shown time and time again that our progressive beliefs were the right ones. Children have a voice, and I feel like the only way for what we're saying to hold any weight is by getting out the voices of other teen activists.

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SARA PERERA

Gender Equity Team Member (she/her) @womeninrevolt

Hi, I’m Sara Perera from NYC!  I run an Instagram account, Women In Revolt, where I simplify and dissect political and social issues that are often misrepresented or rarely acknowledged in our society, discuss feminism, and give updates on current events. I'm an intersectional feminist, member of Little Miss Big Futures (a mentorship program for girls of color interested in STEM), Girl Talk, and Gender Sexuality Alliance. I can't wait to work with the Meddling Kids Movement!

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CLAIRE HEDBERG

Mental Health Team Member (she/her) @felix_theactivista

Hi! I am Claire Hedberg and I was born in Guatemala, but now I live in Richmond, Virginia. I work as an activist on many issues. My first time in the activist world was at the 2016 Women’s March. Since then, I have become more involved. I work with Zero Hour, Polluters Out and other organizations. I also volunteered for two political campaigns. I love reading and playing violin. I hope to someday go into politics!

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EMMA BURDEN

LGBTQIA+ Rights Team Member (she/her) @emmaburden57

Hi! I’m Emma Burden. I’m 16-years-old and live on the outskirts of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Other than being part of the MKM LGBTQIA+ Rights Team for MKM, I’m also part of the Communications Team for the Chattanooga Health Advocacy Team. I’m looking forward to volunteering as a Community Ambassador for a local contraceptives provider and joining Students Demand Action. I’m most passionate about equal rights and reproductive rights, but I’m also growing into becoming a stronger advocate for gun control. I first got interested in politics in the 2016 election, and now that we’re easing towards the 2020 election, I’m looking forward to working in my community and on a national scale to raise political awareness and to rally for the causes that I believe in. My favorite movies are the Star Wars saga and my favorite book is either The Catcher in the Rye, Postcards From the Edge, or The Color Of Water.

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ETHAN NICHOLS

GVP Team Member (he/him) @ethanrpn02

Ethan Nichols is a rising senior from Cincinnati, Ohio, and a recently accepted honors student at Xavier University, Class of 2025. Ethan is committed to gun violence prevention advocacy, and has seen firsthand the devastating effects of gun violence. He has worked with multiple political advocacy organizations, including work with Cincinnati Indivisible, Sunrise Movement, Our Revolution, March For Our Lives, and other organizations. Ethan runs Nichols Political Consulting, a political consulting firm specializing in small-budget campaigns, and has experience working on numerous campaigns, including as the Campaign Manager for both Marlena Brookfield and J. Matt Nickels, Political Director for Evan Holt for Cincinnati, and a consultant for Friends of Eric Orts (U.S. Senate Exploratory Committee), and a Field Organizer for Gabe Davis. Ethan also worked as an Intern for the Ohio Democratic Party in 2018.

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EHMA BEVERIDGE

Climate Justice Team Member (she/her) @ehmawithanh

Hi! My name is Ehma Beveridge, and I am a 13 year old from Toronto, Ontario Canada. I first got into activism in 2019 when I attended my first strike. Aside from MKM I organize with Green Teens Toronto and Climate Strike Canada where we organize mostly strikes, rallies and marches. I am also a writer for Fridays For Future Toronto’s writing cycle where we write primarily letters and LTEs. I am very passionate about intersectional climate activism  and think it’s important to take into account how the climate crisis will affect all people, especially those in the global south. Outside of activism, I love to climb, read and bake.

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HILARY DAVIS

Climate Justice Team Member (she/her) @hilary.daviss

Hi, my name is Hilary Davis and I am 14 years old from Connecticut. I have always been passionate about issues whether they be social, political or anything else that can be debated upon. My first achievement in the world of activism was organizing a protest in my town with the help of a few other of my close friends. I love to read, research, and be able to be confident in my ability to help educate. I believe as someone who is part of the younger generation that it is my duty to assist in saving the planet. So many people and animals have been forced to relocate due to our inability to take initiative, and that shouldn't have to be happening. Our planet needs to be saved. Some facts about me- I love to talk and exchange ideas, I love (ethical) fashion, I am interested in joining the FBI in the future, and I am a vegetarian!

© 2019 by Meddling Kids Movement