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Young Women's Cabinet

The Young Women’s Cabinet, a joint initiative of the Governor's Office and the Minnesota Women's Foundation, is comprised of 25 young women and youth leaders (ages 16-24) from the eight designated communities, will ensure that the efforts of the Working Groups and Council stays grounded in the lived experiences of the young women and youth from each community and the community-specific challenges and solutions they identified, and remains guided by their leadership.

Aamira Redd

Aamira is junior at Minneapolis College earning her degree in Film. Previously, she was a volunteer at the Home Free Women’s Shelter and was later hired as a Child Advocate. She has also served as a Youth Member for a council that spread awareness about domestic violence. Aamira is passionate about storytelling and hopes to tell stories through the art of filmmaking. In her free time, she runs a magazine called Fortune Magazine showcases the accomplishments of young women in Minneapolis.
Photograph of  Aamira  Redd

Alaysha McCall

Alaysha is a senior at Augsburg Fairview Academy High School. Previously she worked as an interned personal assistant at Nagell Law PLLC, a firm helping undocumented immigrants obtain visas and citizen status. She is currently volunteering as a tutor in reading, writing and secondary languages for children in elementary school. Additionally, she volunteered for a program preparing meals and planning activities for disadvantaged families. Alaysha aspires to become an immigration attorney and wants to major in political science and psychology.
Photograph of  Alaysha  McCall

Alyse Dees

Alyse Dees is a senior at Burnsville High School from Burnsville, Minnesota. Alyse is a delegate for YMCA Minnesota Youth in Government, serving as the Presiding Officer Elect for the National Issues Forum and as the Director of Elections at Model United Nations. Alyse is looking forward to studying political science and public policy and is excited to put her experience at Minnesota YMCA Youth in Government to use. Alyse is also a proud member of Governor Mark Dayton’s Young Women’s Cabinet, where she has been able to work on and influence policy going through the Minnesota legislative branch. She enjoys gymnastics, theatre, playing the violin, and volunteering with her church and with Special Olympics Minnesota. She hopes to continue to use her voice as her journey leads her into her future.
Photograph of  Alyse  Dees

Amal Muse

Currently in her senior year at the University of Minnesota, Amal Muse is a journalism and political science double major who aspires to become an immigration lawyer. At the University of Minnesota, Amal served as the President of Students for Horn of Africa (SHA), a student activist group that educates the community about realiites of transnational migration and human rights violations occurring in the Horn of Africa. Amal is currently on a semester long exchange at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. where she has been given the opportunity to learn diverse political views from renowned political scholars. Amal also works with the University of Hawaii STAR team to help foster student success by helping students navigate through the vast array of student services and academic outlets offered by the school. One of Amal’s proudest accomplishments is that she is one of the co-founders of the Sisterhood Boutique, a business venture that is designed to help young East African girls gain leadership and work experience. Amal has also worked as a research assistant at the Hubbard School of Journalism, a Government Relations intern for the PR and lobbying group Goff Public, and a member of the Minneapolis City Attorney’s Office. As a part of her involvement with the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, Amal worked with the Micro Grant Committee.
Photograph of  Amal  Muse

Anika Ahluwalia

Anika is a senior at Wayzata High School. She is very interested in computer science and is a BPA state-champion in Visual Basic Programming and state-finalist in Java Programming. She is a National Merit Semi-Finalist, National AP Scholar, recipient of the Minnesota Scholar of Distinction in STEM Meritorious Award, and a Minnesota winner of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Award. As the Captain of her Science Olympiad Team (2nd Place team in State) and a BPA Officer, she works actively to recruit more girls to participate in STEM activities. She created the Girls Got IT Programming Camp to teach middle school girls basic computing concepts and has been running it successfully for the past two years. Anika is also involved in mentoring freshmen in as a Link and PEACE Leader. On weekends, she teaches Hindi to young Indian-American children through the Chinmaya Mission Organization. Last year, Anika was elected to serve on the Field Grants Committee of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and helped develop and run a leadership workshop for girls in the 2018 MN Economic Opportunity Summit. She has received the President’s Volunteer Service Award Gold medal and is a member of the National Honor Society. Anika has played varsity tennis for three years.
Photograph of  Anika  Ahluwalia

Anna Singhathip

Anna is a freshman at the University of Minnesota planning to study physiology. She was previously a volunteer at Woodland Elementary School in Brooklyn Park, where she tutored students. Anna is the first Hmong and Lao Asian young woman to be a Brooklyn Park Ambassador, representing and supporting the community of Brooklyn Park. Anna is also a part of her church’s choir and is her church’s youth group Vice-President. In her spare time, Anna enjoys reading, playing the piano, and spending quality time with her friends and family.
Photograph of  Anna  Singhathip

Beyza Pierre

Beyza Pierre is an upper-class student at Saint Cloud State University (SCSU) studying Criminal Justice and Human Relations. As a Transitions Intern for the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Beyza assists incarcerated women access resources upon release from prison. As former President of the Organization for the Prevention of AIDs (OPAA) in Africa at SCSU, Beyza is still actively involved in HIV/AIDs awareness and sexual health advocacy. From 2016-18, Beyza worked as a full-time Women’s Domestic Violence Advocate at Anna Marie’s Alliance Shelter helping women escape domestic situations and find resources to achieve stability and independence from abusers. Beyza was also a 2018 summer intern for Carver County Probation. In the future, Beyza hopes to work in restorative justice to help ease community integration, specifically for formerly incarcerated youth, young women, and girls.
Photograph of  Beyza  Pierre

Brianne LaDuke

Brianne is a junior at the University of Minnesota, where she is studying Psychology and Anthropology. Currently she is highly involved with Greek life on campus, specifically her sorority - Lambda Delta Phi - where she has the opportunity to lead and participate in philanthropic and social service events throughout her college career. Following her undergraduate degrees, she plans to attend law school with a focus on family law and hopes to one day be appointed as a judge. Brianne plans to continue to help underrepresented youth and families as her journey leads her into her career.
Photograph of  Brianne  LaDuke

Deisy Castro

Deisy Castro is a senior at South High School. Throughout her childhood, she saw the struggles her Latinx community faced, so she is dedicated to gaining more knowledge and advocating to support the rights of Latinx people. Also, she is part of UNIDOS, an after-school group in which she is the President. Her goal in this group is to bring all Latinx students together at South High School to support each other and have a positive and increased representation in school.
Photograph of  Deisy  Castro

Edith Ferrufino

Edith is a junior at Metropolitan State University and is currently studying pre-social work. She keeps herself occupied with two jobs and taking care of her three children. Edith immigrated to Minnesota with her family from Mexico at the age of four. She is passionate about advocating for women, and specifically for Latinx women. She is also hoping to raise awareness about sexual assault and the long-term impact it can have on the survivor.
Photograph of  Edith  Ferrufino

Hope Hoffman

Hope is a disability advocate living with Spina Bifida and manages her blog CamoGurl providing advocacy and support to other young women living with disabilities. Hope is an active member of her community having written legislation, published articles and participated in many public speaking engagements. She is currently pursuing her two-year general education degree and plans to major in political science. Hope has previously interned with The Honorable Federal Judge Donovan Frank and the Office of Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith as a policy intern.
Photograph of  Hope  Hoffman

In’am Al-Hammouri

In’am Al-Hamouri attends Augsburg University where she is a psychology major and member of the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. She plans to attend law school, where she will focus on litigating. She has previously volunteered with Palestinian and Syrian refugees in the Middle East. In 2016, she volunteered at Unity Hospital to provide aid to women who had been abused. Most recently, she interned with the lawyer Lee Hutton at Barnes & Thornburg LLP in Minneapolis. In’am grew up watching the struggles of her Middle Eastern community: particularly how women struggled to gain equality. As she got older, she realized that the system in America was not offering many opportunities or resources to help her community, so she became determined to create those opportunities herself. She has resolved to consistently advocate for Middle Eastern women by championing women’s rights, gender equality and supporting women as leaders and public policy makers. In her free time, In’am enjoys playing the piano, exploring the city and making new friends.
Photograph of  In’am  Al-Hammouri

Jaidyn Probst

Jaidyn Probst is Bdewakantunwan (Spirit Lake Dwellers) Dakota and comes from Cansayapi (Where They Paint the Trees Red), otherwise known as Lower Sioux. Jaidyn is a senior at Redwood Valley High School but is enrolled in PSEO courses through the University of Minnesota. Jaidyn is a senior class officer, the president for the Cansayapi U.N.I.T.Y. (United National Indian Tribal Youth) chapter, and the president of her school’s National Honor Society. Jaidyn also serves on the Lower Sioux Health and Human Services Committee as a youth ambassador. Jaidyn completed a STEP-UP (Short Term Research Experience for Underrepresented Persons) internship this summer, presented her findings at the National Institutes of Health, and became a published researcher. She hopes to earn her Bachelor of Health Sciences from University of Minnesota-Rochester, before moving on to medical school for pediatrics. Jaidyn also enjoys varsity track, competing at state-level art competitions, tutoring, and continuing her education of Dakota language.
Photograph of  Jaidyn  Probst

Katelyn Vue

Katelyn is a freshman at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. She studied for two years as a PSEO student at the University of Concordia in Saint Paul. She plans to major in journalism and won first place in the Better Newspaper Contest 2018, Minnesota Newspaper Association “Arts and Entertainment” Category. She is passionate about storytelling and hopes to tell the stories of the Hmong community through writing. She also volunteered as a mentor and director of Hmong storytelling plays at Richardson Elementary, which focused on Hmong history and cultural identities.
Photograph of  Katelyn  Vue

Katherine Santamaria-Mendez

Katherine was born in El Salvador, but she was brought to the United States at the age of two years old. Growing up watching the struggles of the Latinx and immigrant community have been the key aspects that have inspired her to want to create change. At the age of 15, she also became a young mother. She beat all odds and graduated high school along with her Associate in Art’s Degree from Saint Paul College. Over the past year she participated in the Capitol Pathways internship program and in the Urban Scholars program with Hennepin County. She is currently a senior at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities majoring in Chicano/Latino Studies. She plans on applying to law school next year with the hopes of becoming an immigration and criminal defense attorney.  
Photograph of  Katherine  Santamaria-Mendez

Ling Debellis

Ling is a senior in high school at Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul. She is a lifelong Gillette Children's patient, and she fundraises for its mission to give specialized healthcare to special needs kids. Ling plans to attend college or university and earn, dual M.D./PhD degree in the biological sciences. Ling wishes to work as a medical researcher for public or private institutions such as the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control, or pharmaceutical companies.
Photograph of  Ling  Debellis

Lulu Regules Verduzco

Lulu is a junior at St. Olaf College, where she is double majoring in Political Science and American Studies, with a concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies.  At St. Olaf she serves as the Campus Outreach Coordinator for the Student Government Association’s Political Awareness Committee, Events Coordinator for Women for Political Change, and the Student Outreach Director of College Democrats. Most recently, Lulu interned at the MN Department of Human Services as a Policy Analyst in the Child Safety and Permanency Unit.  Her research at the Department of Human Services guided the development of a Human Trafficking Response Guide that will be used in MN’s Child Protection and Child Welfare system. Previously she was an executive office intern at Women Winning, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping pro-choice women run for public office.
Photograph of  Lulu  Regules Verduzco

Myrka Zambrano

Born and raised in Minnesota, Myrka Zambrano serves as a cabinet member representing the Latinx and LGBTQ+ communities. She is a senior at Benilde St. Margaret’s High School. There, she participates in activities such as, Speech, Latinx Affinity Group, Medical Club, Volunteer Corps and as Captain of her Mock Trial team. Outside of school, Myrka volunteers at Park Spanish Immersion Elementary School where she tutors kids and exposes them to the Spanish language. Myrka was also selected as a Bank of America Student Leader, as part of this program she presented a proposal that sought to represent underrepresented communities in Minnesota through public works of art. Myrka is especially proud of her Latinx heritage and hopes to one day work as an immigration lawyer, she also hopes to be part of empowering young Latinx people to be successful and be leaders in their communities. 
Photograph of  Myrka  Zambrano

Ollie Kalthoff

Ollie is a senior at Mahtomedi High School, while taking all their classes at Century College, through PSEO. They have an essay published, which they wrote for the Augsburg College Youth Theology Institute, advocating for Christian acceptance of transgender and genderqueer individuals. They also wrote an article for the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, detailing the importance of their business that goes to schools and teaches the staff how to create a safe and welcoming environment for their LGBT+ students. They have been involved in many groups on issues of diversity and LGBT+ issues, both on a local level and statewide. Additionally, they have participated in theater as an actor, in the crew, and student director.
Photograph of  Ollie  Kalthoff

Oluwatobi Oluwagbemi

Oluwatobi Oluwagbemi is a political thinker and creative idea generator. She is passionate about writing, reading and teaching. She also seeks to grow as a leader so that she can encourage others to take on leadership roles within their communities. Tobi is passionate about advocating for women, becoming an author and public speaker. She also wants to be a diplomat and professor in the future. Ultimately, she wants to make a difference in the world of education, women’s empowerment and global development, just like Michelle Obama. Tobi enjoys meeting good people and hopes to be part of a board or commission that will help people of color, marginalized communities and underrepresented communities. She is passionate about black people seeing their worth and shine irrespective of what people say or don’t say about them. “Don’t let anyone dim your light simply because its shining in their eyes."
Photograph of  Oluwatobi  Oluwagbemi

Raie Gessesse

Raie is a junior attending Hamline University double majoring in Public Health and Public Service. Outside of her student life, she has served as a resident advisor on campus, a teaching assistant in the Public Health Department and a community sexual health educator for African immigrant youth through Planned Parenthood. Additionally, she has interned at the Department of Health and Human services through Capitol Pathways, and recently completed a summer internship as a CUPS scholar through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She plans on combing her leadership experiences to advancing health equity through public policy and legal advocacy. 
Photograph of  Raie  Gessesse

Shimarrion Daily

Shimarrion is originally from Chicago, IL, where she was raised by her uncle, having lost both her parents at just three years old. Growing up without her parents, Shimarrion personally experienced life in group homes and homelessness. She overcame adversity by moving to Minnesota for better opportunities for herself and her young daughter. Motivated to improve her life, Shimarrion worked hard to secure housing and learn how to parent an infant all while, interning and working with homeless youth. Shimarrion is a member of “Irreducible Grace” (a support community for youth struggling with healing and trauma). Her experience has instilled in her a passion for working with homeless youth.
Photograph of  Shimarrion  Daily

Teighlor McGee

Teighlor McGee serves as a Womxn of Color Table intern and Political Healer with Take Action Minnesota. In her role, she works to empower fellow Women of Color politically and spiritually through community engagement in the form of monthly dinners and a yearly leadership conference. She also serves as a Multicultural and International Programs and Services (MIPS) Peer Mentor and as a Peer Minister for Campus Ministry at St. Catherine University. Teighlor’s expertise is in racial and gender equity, community organizing and engagement, healthcare advocacy, LGBTQ rights, social media management, and content writing. Teighlor is currently completing her Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s Studies and English at St. Catherine University. 
Photograph of  Teighlor  McGee

Tori White

Tori White is a member of The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, she is currently pursuing a degree in STEM Emphasis, Liberal Education at the Leech Lake Tribal college. As the STEM club secretary and Student Council Student Liaison, she spends a great deal of her time on campus. Tori is also, advocating for more culturally responsive activities on her campus, such as a sweat lodge, maple syrup collecting and more student-centered activities. She is dedicated to finding ways to help other young Indigenous Native Women thrive within their communities.
Photograph of  Tori  White
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