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Youth Fundraising Advisory Board 2013-2014

"The cool thing about the program is that it carves out this space for Millennials to practice philanthropy. Theoretically, anyone could raise funds for an organization, but without leadership, support, and resources, it takes a lot to do it on your own. Advocates providing all of that is what makes Y-FAB so great. It has the potential to evolve into a powerful fundraising and organizing tool... "

– Elizabeth, Y-FAB Pilot Participant, Age 24

Fundraising is another form of organizing. Individuals give time, talent, or treasure to the causes and organizations they are passionate about or that move them to act. Millennials have high expectations for involvement, engagement, and responsiveness from the organizations that they support financially and/or with which they volunteer. Furthermore, nothing less than the future of the non-profit sector depends on Millennial and youth engagement as volunteers, donors, and leaders.

In the words of one of Advocates’ young board members: “We must train our young people now to ask, and be asked, for money since it is essential to being a part of a successful non-profit organization.”

Check out who was part of the Y-FAB program last year.

What is Y-FAB?

Y-FAB is a group of 20 young people who believe that all youth have the right to lead healthy and fulfilling lives. To that end, they are passionate about learning fundraising skills and raising needed funds for Advocates for Youth’s mission to advocate for policies and champion programs that help meet young people’s rights to honest sexual health information, confidential and affordable sexual health services, and equitable opportunities to meet their full potential.
Y-FAB’s goals in 2013-2104 year include:

  • Providing young people with fundraising knowledge and skills;
  • Giving young people opportunities to test and grow their fundraising skills by setting a $10,000 goal for Y-FAB to raise by May 2014;
  • Engaging Advocates’ Board of Director as mentors;
  • Creating a pipeline of current and future Millennial donors;
  • Considering Y-FAB alumni as a pipeline for potential recruitment to Advocates’ Board of Directors and other Boards.


Click Here for the Y-Fab 2013 Fundraising Dashboard!


Advocates for Youth
Youth Fundraising Advisory Board 2013-2014
Member Biographies

Click the names below to read the Y-FAB bios:


Kathleen Adams is the co-founder of Momma’s Hip Hop Kitchen: The Soup Kitchen for the Hip Hop Soul (MHHK), which serves as a social justice community-organizing platform that educates and empowers women of color on issues that impact their lives. Kathleen is on the board two non-profits, Faith Aloud, which works to eliminate the religious stigma of abortion, and Hollaback! which works to end street harassment using mobile technology. Kathleen serves on Advocates for Youth’s Young Women of Color Leadership Council (YWOCLC) where she works to include and empower other young women of color in the fight to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Kathleen is the recipient of the 2010 “Power of Woman” award from Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio. Kathleen graduated with her Master’s in Urban Studies from Fordham University.

Lindsay Ayers is a twenty three year old Georgia College and State University graduate with a degree in Health Education. She is currently working in the nonprofit sector for a national health organization in a fundraising position. Lindsay is passionate about HIV/STD prevention and education in teens and young adults and providing out youth with the correct information to make the right choices about their future. 


Erin Carhart is senior at Syracuse University studying Public Affairs and Women's and Gender Studies. She hails from Syracuse, NY, a city deeply rooted in the anti-slavery and women's rights movements. Her passion for reproductive and sexual health stems from a long family herstory that has shaped Erin and continues to motivate her. She plans to change the world - one student, one legislator, one donor at a time. 


Nicole Sheri Chisolm is a 2011 alumna of the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina. As a former state advocate in AFY’s South Carolina Youth Activist Network, Nicole plans to continue engagement with the community through community based research efforts and ongoing advocacy. She is currently pursing her Master of Public Health in Epidemiology at Drexel University with interests in infectious disease epidemiology and health disparities research. It is her ultimate goal to pursue a doctoral degree and dedicate her career work to the elimination of health disparities that exist among disenfranchised and minority populations.

Ramey Connellyis a community organizer and reproductive justice advocate in Philadelphia, PA. Through her work as a full-spectrum radical doula, she helps people navigate their pregnancies healthily, regardless of the outcome. She loves playing the ukulele, and she likes dinosaurs a lot.

Ignacio Cruz is a third year student at the University of Texas at Austin. He is majoring in Corporate Communication Studies and earning an interdisciplinary certification in Human Rights and Social Justice. A proud student leader from the Mission, Texas in the Rio Grande Valley, Cruz advocates for social issues including gay rights, HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, amongst other issues on his campus. In his opinion, working together as a whole through education and awareness is the key to solving these social issues. There is a lot of progress to be made; however, he believes that by working collectively as one will bring us one step closer to a solution.

Kelsey Deforest is a campaign manager and legislative aide with the Virginia House of Delegates. She recently graduated from Hollins University with a Bachelor's degree in political science. While at Hollins, she also studied economics, gender studies, rhetoric, and Spanish. She first became involved with Advocates for Youth when she attended a One Voice Summit during high school. Since then, her passion for women's rights and sexual health have carried her to work in an abortion clinic, a rape crisis center, a political campaign, and various nonprofits and political organizations. When she discovered how much impact she could have raising funds for the causes she cared about, she knew she had to pursue developing her fundraising skills.

Elizabeth Gallagher A Southern California native, Elizabeth Gallagher is an enthusiastic and motivated individual with a passion for community-based service and outreach. With over five years of fundraising experience under her belt, she is very excited to be working with such a (personally) motivational organization. As a recent graduate from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL with a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and a Minor in English, she is passionate about higher education.  She hopes to attend Law School in the Fall of 2014 and to someday work in Public Policy, as a Lobbyist or as a Prosecutor.

Milla Impola is the campaign coordinator for Camino Public Relations, a NYC-based communications firm working with nonprofits to spark social change in issues such as immigration reform, comprehensive sex education and reproductive justice. Her work includes writing a weekly report for clients analyzing how the media portrays youth sexual and reproductive health and rights. After moving from Finland to Texas as a teenager and witnessing the scare tactics used during a high school abstinence-only program, Milla decided to become an advocate for comprehensive sex education. As a Healthy Sexuality Peer Educator at The University of Texas at Austin, she conducted sexual health promotion, workshop facilitation, and patient education for fellow students. As a volunteer member of the Austin Independent School District (AISD) School Health Advisory Council, she evaluated sex education curricula and helped devise comprehensive recommendations to the AISD Board of Trustees to improve sex education policies within the district. She graduated from the University of Texas in 2012 with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Education. Through her current volunteer work with LifeBeat: Music Fights HIV/AIDS, a national nonprofit focused on educating America's youth about HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, she continues to advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Meron Keberab is a consultant at The Women’s Collective, a local AIDS service organization, where she implements a female condom training program designed to enhance medical providers’ knowledge of female condom use as a risk reduction option for their patients. She has also facilitated advocacy skills-building trainings for women living with HIV to increase their visibility and voices around public policy initiatives that affect their health. Meron discovered her passion for sexual and reproductive health and rights when she became a member of the 2010-2011 International Youth Leadership Council and she is very excited to reunite with the Advocates for Youth family as part of the Y-FAB team.

Emily Kitchen graduated from Indiana University where she received a Bachelor's degree in Nonprofit Management. She interned with Advocates for Youth's Education & Outreach department for seven months during her junior year. Afterwards she became a part of Advocates' Great American Condom Campaign as a Safe Site Representative for two semesters giving out a total of 1,000 condoms on campus through various events. She spearheaded the first SlutWalk in Bloomington, Indiana. She is now based in DC and working as an administrative assistant with the nonprofit organization Patient Access Network Foundation.

Athena Matyear is the Community Outreach Coordinator for La Mujer Obrera, an economic justice organization in El Paso, Texas. Her mission is to support local movements by securing funding and resources for economically disadvantaged and underserved communities in El Paso. Previously, she participated in the Advocates for Youth Great American Condom Campaign and focused on reproductive justice issues while she studied Organizational Communication at the University of Texas at El Paso. Athena is very excited to be a member of Y-FAB where she will work with amazing people and gain valuable skills.

Januari McKay is a youth advocate in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area. While obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Minor in Health Education at North Carolina Central University, Januari joined Project Save a Fellow Eagle (Project S.A.F.E.). Her time within the Department of Health at NCCU and volunteering with Project S.A.F.E. helped to shape her passion for working with youth and preventing the spread of HIV and other STIs through education, outreach, and advocacy. Since graduation, Januari has continued to work on preventing the spread of HIV and others STIs in the Washington, D.C. area.  Januari has served as a peer educator with the Women's Collective, assisted in program implementation with Promising Futures, volunteered as an Education and Curriculum Coordinator with Metro TeenAIDS, served on the DC Community Coalition Youth Core where she assisted in planning events for the 2012 International Conference on AIDS and has also been a vital member of the Young Women of Color Leadership Council with Advocates for Youth, where she was inspired to create The Rubber Runway. The Rubber Runway is an event, which uses a combination of visual arts, fashion, music and education to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS, condom use, healthy relationships and reproductive health. Because of her exemplary commitment to HIV/AIDS education and prevention through volunteerism and service in the District of Columbia, Januari was selected as the 2012 Mayor’s Community Service Award recipient for The Advocate Award for HIV/AIDS. Januari is committed to advocating for the rights of young people and glad to continue contributing to the organization as a member of Y-FAB.

Molly McShane is an undergraduate student at Middlebury College and she intends to pursue a major in International Studies and a minor in Global Health. Previously, Molly has worked in health clinics in Mile 91, Sierra Leone and Tembisa, South Africa as an administrative aid to HIV/AIDS researchers. Seeing the implications of a lack of sexual health information on young mothers and other youth in those experiences has been an inspiration to start working with Advocates for Youth and spreading the word about youth health rights. She has also held fundraising and development operations internships at the Center for International Policy and the American Red Cross in the National Capital Region. She is very excited to learn about fundraising for reproductive and sexual health as a member of Y-FAB!

Eric Santiago graduated from Columbia University in 2012, where he focused on understanding pre-modern Japanese literary perceptions of homosexuality. However, after coming back from a year abroad in Japan, Eric's career path shifted from academia to social justice and youth development because he wanted to dedicate himself to mobilizing communities. In his day-to-day life, Eric is the College Success Program Assistant at The Opportunity Network, a non-profit organization that provides intensive career development, college access and success programming to low-income NYC public school youth. Most of his time is devoted to the programmatic side of the organization in which he assists students in their transition to college, ensuring they have meaningful college careers. However, Eric is curious about the development side, and wants to continue diving into other social justice issues, such as sexual health awareness for youth. 

E. Anise Simon is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Latin America and the Caribbean Studies. A West Indian native who has lived in South Florida and North Carolina's Research Triangle, Anise has always been interested in the Afro American diaspora as it relates to women of color, sexual health, and gender-based violence. Anise is the policy assistant at Ipas, an international NGO that focuses on sexual health and rights in the global south. At Ipas, Anise co-authors @IpasYouth and works on a number of youth projects. She also devotes time to developing youth participation at UN meetings through WomenNC. Anise lives in Durham, North Carolina. You can catch her at a local Hip Hop show or on Twitter ranting about reproductive justice under the handle @Aniseyy.


Renee Truesdell recently graduated Summa Cum Laude from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Family Studies. Her experiences are rooted in education, network connections, volunteer work, and the ten family life education content areas associated with the National Council on Family Relations. In addition, she is a firm believer in the importance of youth exercising their rights to obtain accurate reproductive health information, as well as quality services. Renee first became familiar with Advocates for Youth during the process of her baccalaureate research paper, which focused on the significance of comprehensive sexual education and parent-child sexuality communication, along with the benefits of the European approach.

Jahmila Vincent recently graduated from Fordham University with a MA in Urban Studies. Before graduating Jahmila wrote her masters thesis titled New York's Domestic Workers: Non-profits, Urban Community Organizing, and the Implementation of the Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights. While conducting research for her thesis Jahmila worked as a research intern for Domestic Workers United. Through her research and work with Domestic Workers United Jahmila realized how much she enjoyed working with the community organizations. She grew particularly interested in organizations that facilitated positive changes in urban communities. Jahmila has recently moved from her hometown Brooklyn, New York to Suitland, Maryland to work with community organizations in the DMV area. 
Jahmila received her BA in Political Science from Morgan State University. She comes from a huge family and credits her success to their love and support. Jahmila's biggest accomplishment was receiving a Fulbright Scholarship to Vietnam. Because of her experiences in Vietnam, Jahmila loves to travel and hopes to revisit Vietnam soon.    

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