2019 Grove Fellowship Cohorts

Cohort Leader: Carol Jenkins

Carol Jenkins CohortTop:
Cristy St. John (ERA Coalition)

Goldie Junik is a Brooklyn native with a demonstrated passion for helping underserved communities. Upon graduating she is interested in working on a wide range of social justice issues such as immigration, LGBTQ+ rights, and equality in all forms. She has volunteered at a soup kitchen, suicide hotline call center, and has recently been appointed to a membership advisory council for the organization Footsteps. She is currently a social work student graduating in Spring of 2020. 

Raised in South Florida, Alexis Fisher is grateful to have grown up in such a diverse place. She is interested in the intersection of labor rights and women’s rights, and hopes to utilize her Chinese language skills to create a more equitable workplace for women across the globe. Alexis organizes in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers through the Student/Farmworker Alliance and volunteers often with New York Cares. Major: Chinese, Certificate: Public Policy 

Yasmin Hassan is an Arab-American senior graduating in the Spring of 2019. She is minoring in International Relations and pursuing a certificate in Human Rights. She has interned with the IRC as an Immigration Legal Intern and is currently a Chapter Director with Generation Citizen. She is passionate about the intersection of United States law and Human Rights, and aspires to become an attorney who works with the immigrant population of NYC. Major: Political Science 


Kirsten Ebenezer is a Roosevelt and JFEW Scholar pursuing a Human Rights certificate. She has volunteered in the public health and service field and currently interns at the NYS Division of Human Rights. As the Head Delegate for Model United Nations and Vice-President of the Pre-Law Society, Kirsten hopes to pursue a degree in Human Rights Law with a Masters in Public Health in order to address the intersection of policy and health on vulnerable populations. Major: Political Science, Human Biology 

Carol Jenkins

Kira Spry is a Nicaraguan American from downtown Manhattan. Born and raised in the city of New York she is passionate about community development and social justice. With a concentration in criticism and analysis of the media, she hopes to move forward developing more ways to reach out to people and better our communities subsequent to graduating in the spring of 2019. 

Cohort Leader: Dorchen Leidholdt

Dorchen Leidholdt CohortTop:

Alaina Brophy is a junior, graduating in the spring of 2020, who majors in history and is pursuing a certificate in human rights along with a minor in political science. Her historical studies focus on the founding moment of American society and early United States history. Alaina plans to attend law school after graduation and intends to advocate for those misrepresented or abused by the criminal justice system. Alaina is also interested in criminal justice reform. 

Andrew Shkreli is a Thomas Hunter Honors student majoring in English Literature with minors in Public Policy and Human Rights. He is interning at the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit and has interned at the Legal Aid Society. Graduating after Fall 2020, he intends to pursue a joint JD/MPA degree and work in either the government or nonprofit sector to defend human rights through comprehensive policy reform and implementation.

Second Step:
Dorchen Leidholdt

First Step:

Adia Stuart is a senior at Hunter College graduating Spring 2019. Her interest in public service has been long standing as she began volunteering for non-governmental organizations and non-profit organizations by the age of 9 – she has since expanded to governmental & international organizations. Adia looks forward to pursuing public service on a global platform as she aspires to work for the State Department as a foreign service officer to better serve her community and country. 

Melanie Thompson is a junior pursuing her BSW. She strives to open a non-profit organization to assist victims of Human Trafficking and Foster Youth. Her passion to speak out against injustices led her to become a public activist at 15 years old. Melanie aims to use her voice to end human trafficking internationally and serve as a liaison between foster youth and foster care agencies. Upon obtaining her MSW, Melanie plans to obtain her LCSW. 

Street Level:

Lila Tabor is a current sophomore and Macaulay Honors Scholar. She is double majoring in History and Comparative Literature, and plays on the Macaulay Marauders Quidditch team. She spends her free time volunteering as a Court Navigator at the Queens County Civil Court, and upon graduation, plans to pursue a J.D. and practice Civil Rights, Family or Health Care Law to serve the public. 


Cohort Leader: Michael Gecan

Michael Gecan CohortTop:

Anna London is a senior majoring in Urban Studies with an AFPRL minor. A proud Lower East Side native, she is passionate about fighting hyper-gentrification and displacement through housing. Her work with tenants’ rights group GOLES; activist law firm Brooklyn A; and on numerous local political campaigns, have shaped her goals to become a legal advocate and community organizer, create affordable housing policy and law, and challenge the bar currently set for true affordability. Major: Urban Studies 

Michael Gecan

Maya Stansberry is a senior studying Community Health Education. She works at KCC Urban Farm where she leads students in analyzing food systems issues through organic farming and food education programming. With her combined interests in food, healthcare, and housing issues Maya aspires to develop policies that will eliminate health disparities in low-income communities. Major: Community Health Education 


Sarah Russo is a junior Roosevelt Scholar, Thomas Hunter Honors Program Scholar, and JFEW Scholar. She is the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the New York Public Research Group and has interned at the Welfare Rights Initiative and NYC Law Department Family Court. In her free time, she competes for the Hunter College women’s fencing team. After graduating from Hunter, Sarah aspires to pursue a law degree so that she can become a more skilled advocate for the public interest. 

Anna Shvetsova is a Roosevelt and Thomas Hunter sophomore scholar majoring in political science with a certificate in human rights. After immigrating from Ukraine in 2013, she has explored issues in healthcare, education, and disaster relief by volunteering in a hospital, mentoring youth, and working for nonprofit organizations. Currently, Anna is interning for a civil rights attorney and teaching health through Peer Health Exchange. After graduating, she plans on working for a human rights non-profit. 

Born in Ethiopia and raised in Harlem, Asmerom Nur is a Political Science Major who has taken part in canvassing for candidates such as state senator Jessica Ramos. Criminal justice reform and healthcare are issues he holds most important. Asmerom is a member of the Hunter College Model U.N team and went on the Mississippi Service Grove Trip in Jan 2019. He has aspirations for law school after graduating in the Winter of 2020. 


Cohort Leader: Howard Glaser

Howard Glaser CohortTop:
Howard Glaser

Second Step:

Murad Razzak is a sophomore at Hunter College graduating in Spring of 2021. He is a Pre-Medical student majoring in Human Biology and minoring in Psychology. Murad is currently the secretary of Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students (MAPS), the largest Pre-Medical club at Hunter. With his Pre-Medical background, Murad is aspiring to fight the socioeconomic disparities in cancer treatment. Murad is from Bangladesh and immigrated to the US in 2010. Major: Human Biology 

Elizabeth Hodges is a military brat with a passion for public service. She has interned at the NYC Campaign Finance Board, Brooklyn Borough President’s Office, and various nonprofits. She will be writing her public policy capstone on military veteran reintegration into civilian life this upcoming semester. Upon graduation, Elizabeth’s goal is to get her masters degree in Urban Policy and Planning and work for a Nonprofit or Community-Based Organization that directly works with underserved communities. Major: Urban Studies 

Bottom Step:

Arifa Ali is a junior majoring in Political Science and minoring in Human Rights. This previous summer, Arifa was the Communications Intern for Literacy Partners, an organization that partnered with the MTA to start the Subway Reads Campaign to provide riders with free excerpts from over 200 books. Arifa has always been passionate about social justice issues. Upon graduating, she wishes to attend law school to advocate for immigrant and minority families in need. 

Conor Hosford is a Thomas Hunter Honors Junior from the town of Olathe, Kansas, expecting to graduate in 2020. At Hunter College, Conor is pursuing a degree in Urban Studies, a certificate in Public Policy, a minor in Economics, and an interdisciplinary Honors degree in Jazz Studies. Conor is an ardent urbanist committed to creating equitable and sustainable metropolitan environments through strategic policy/planning. Additionally, Conor has interned in both the private and public sectors. 


Cohort Leader: Karen Hunter

Karen Hunter Cohort

Maryam Asker is a sophomore studying English Linguistics and Rhetoric with a minor in Arabic Studies. She believes education and knowledge are most beneficial when one engages in the betterment of the local community. She looks forward to growing from her experience as a Grove Fellow and to future endeavors. 

Ashley Roth is a senior majoring in Media Studies with a minor in English and will be graduating in May 2019. She is interested in helping those in need, supports human rights, and wants to make the world a better place. In the summer, Ashley served as an intern at Avodah, a non-profit that fights against poverty. Upon graduation, she plans to work in a non-profit organization. 

Karen Hunter

Shakila Khan is a Roosevelt Scholar and Jeannette K. Watson fellow at Hunter College interested in policymaking and its impact on the lived experiences of different communities. She created a film, later screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, with incarcerated women at Rikers Island about their personal experience with incarceration. Last summer, Shakila did penal research at the Open Society Justice Initiative and she plans on further exploring advocacy work through art and the law. 

Sergio Mota is a pre-law senior and political science major. As a participant of the CUNY-Hunter Detroit Service Corp program, Sergio worked with Mid-Town Detroit Inc. to analyze the potential impacts of revitalizing open lots in Detroit. Previously Sergio ran for City Council in the City of Sebastian where he served on the municipal budget and charter committees. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for a nonprofit media company called Vero Communique. 


Cohort Leader: Gara LaMarche

Gara LaMarche CohortTop:

Janna McPartland is a junior at Hunter, studying Film and Human Rights. Last summer, she was a Community Engagement Intern at DOHMH, where she organized film screenings and secured panelists to discuss health equity with local communities. Her dream is to make films that address human rights issues, in the hopes of stirring further activism.

Subhajit Saha is a junior pursuing a major in Political Science and graduating in the spring of 2020. He is an NGO Youth Representative to the United Nations for the Dayemi Foundation and serves as a member of the United Nations Department of Global Communications Youth Representatives Steering Committee. After graduation, Subhajit aspires to attend law school to pursue a career in international human rights law. Major: Political Science 

Gara LaMarche

Libby Pollak is a senior at Hunter College, majoring in psychology and minoring in linguistics. She is graduating in the spring of 2019, after which she plans to obtain a PhD in clinical psychology and provide bilingual therapy services for communities in need. She has volunteered for SOVRI (Support for Orthodox Victims of Rape and Incest) at Beth Israel Hospital and currently gives advice via her YouTube channel to people transitioning from insular backgrounds to the secular world.


Alice Darakhchava is a sophomore in the Roosevelt Honors cohort and she is graduating in 2021. She is majoring in Political Science and minoring in Spanish and Human Rights. In the future, she hopes to study immigration law and practice right here in New York City. Her interest in the field stems from her own personal experiences as an immigrant from Belarus.

Cindy Zhang is a Junior. One of her best experiences was interning at the Asian American Federation that empowers Pan-Asian communities in NY. She saw how policy, advocacy and community organizing were applied for detention and detainment cases. She hopes to experience multiple fields of public service. In her free time, she volunteers at her local church. Majors: Political Science, Human Rights Certificate 




(All captions are from Left to Right)