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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 a sophomore at St. Catherine’s University. 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 works at Anwatin Middle School after school, where she leads a club for multi-cultural girls. 
Photograph of  Aamira  Redd

Alaysha McCall-Davis

Alaysha is a junior at St. Louis Park High School. She is currently taking an advanced placement course in psychology. Previously she worked as an intern at Nagell Law PLLC, a firm helping undocumented immigrants obtain visas and citizen status. She is currently volunteering as a tutor in math, reading and writing for children in elementary school. Additionally, she volunteered for a program preparing meals and activity event planning for disadvantaged families. Alaysha is aspiring to become a criminal defense attorney and wants to major in political science and Psychology. 
Photograph of  Alaysha  McCall-Davis

Amal Muse

Amal is a junior at the University of Minnesota. She is studying Journalism and Political Science, and aspires to become an immigration lawyer. She is one of the co-founders of Sisterhood Boutique, a business venture that is designed to help young East African girls gain leadership and work experience. Currently, Amal is the president of Students for the Horn of Africa (SHA) a student group that advocates and educates the university community about the transnational migration and human rights violations occurring in the Horn of Africa.
Photograph of  Amal  Muse

Andrea Duarte-Alonso

Andrea is a third-year student at St. Catherine University, where she is studying Political Science, Women's Studies, Communications and Journalism. Andrea is currently a college writing tutor in the O'Neill Center and a Program Assistant in the Center for Women at St. Kate's. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of Her Campus St. Kate's, an online collegiette blog, and the Co-President of the Political Science Club. In the past Andrea has interned with the communications department in the Governor's Office and most recently interns at America Votes.  
Photograph of  Andrea   Duarte-Alonso

Anika Ahluwalia

Anika is a junior at Wayzata High School. She is very interested in computer science, is a BPA state-champion in Visual Basic Programming, and works actively to recruit more girls in her school and district to participate in STEM activities. She created the Girls Got IT Scratch Camp to teach middle school girls basic computing concepts through Scratch software. Anika is also involved in mentoring freshmen in her high school by being a Link and PEACE Leader. On weekends, Anika teaches Hindi to young Indian-American children through the Chinmaya Mission Organization. She has played varsity tennis for two years.
Photograph of  Anika  Ahluwalia

Anna Singhathip

Anna is a senior at Champlin Park High School, but does full time PSEO at the University of Minnesota. She is a volunteer at Woodland Elementary School in Brooklyn Park, where she tutors students. Anna is also part of the National Honor Society program that has allowed her to volunteer on various projects, such as putting together medical kits and cleaning up parks. In her spare time, Anna enjoys reading, playing the piano, spending time with her friends and family, and volunteering to help supervise the children at her church. 
Photograph of  Anna  Singhathip

Brianne LaDuke

Brianne is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, where she is studying Psychology and Anthropology. During her studies, Brianne plans to travel to Germany. Following her undergraduate degrees she plans to attend law school with a focus on family law. Brianne does volunteer work with many community events in her hometown such as an Easter Egg Hunt for youth and the Walk to Remember, fundraiser for Alzheimer’s. She plans to continue to help underrepresented youth and families as her journey leads her into a career.
Photograph of  Brianne  LaDuke

Brook LaFloe

Brook is currently earning her Master’s in Education from Loyola University-Maryland. She works with the Montessori American Indian Childcare Center as a guide and developmental assessor. Previously, she tutored children from 1st-8th grade in all subject areas at the America Indian Magnet School. Brook earned two Association Montessori Internationale Diplomas at the Montessori Institute of San Diego, for infancy years 0-3 and primary years 3-6. She earned her B.S. in Neuroscience and Anthropology from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. During her time in college, she was part of the Tulane women’s basketball team and is a Gates Millennium Scholar.
Photograph of  Brook  LaFloe

Cierra Wittner

Cierra Wittner is a senior Cass Lake-Bena High School and simultaneously a sophomore at Bemidji State University, where she is working towards becoming a Mixed Veterinarian. Cierra also takes college classes at her high school through the PLTW program. Cierra will attend the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities to finish her degree. She has dedicated much of her time to working with animals and helping with the fight to end Suicide and Depression. Cierra is also a part of one of the world's first all-girls robotics team called the Accelerators at her school.
Photograph of  Cierra  Wittner

Eron "Winnie" Godi

Winnie Godi was born in Kampala, Uganda resettling in the U.S. when she was two years old. She received a Bachelor’s in International Relations and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies from Augsburg University and graduated cum laude. As a Community Partnership Specialist at Girl Scouts River Valleys, Winnie provides all-girl inclusive programming to 200 girls of color within the Twin Cities. As former President of the Augsburg Pan-Afrikan Student Union she created spaces deconstructing misogynoir. She was a LEAD and Norway Peace Scholar, Augsburg 2017 Commencement Speaker, Outstanding Senior Leader of the Year (2017) and was inducted into the Augsburg Senior Leadership Society (2017). Winnie has also created an online publication, African Pearl Magazine. 
Photograph of  Eron

Grace Espinoza

Grace Espinoza is a senior at Saint Cloud State University with a major in Social Work and a minor in Women’s Studies. She has been employed through the Women’s Center at Saint Cloud, for two years now, as a Programming and Outreach Assistant. In addition to this, she is also an intern for NARAL as the Saint Cloud State Campus Representative. During the summers she also serves for AmeriCorps with the Yes Network working with low income youth and families.
Photograph of  Grace   Espinoza

Haleigh Ortmeier-Clarke

Haleigh is a senior at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, where she is studying Plant Science with minors in Leadership and Agricultural and Food Business Management. She served as the Vice President of her college’s student board and is currently a National Student Advisor for Agriculture Future of America.  Her family farms on a fifth-generation farm in southwestern Minnesota.  Haleigh has a passion for rural living, agriculture, and youth development. Someday, she plans to return to rural Minnesota and hopes to run for public office.
Photograph of  Haleigh  Ortmeier-Clarke

Hope Hoffman

Hope Hoffman is a Young Women's Initiative Cabinet member representing young women with disabilities. Hope lives with Spina Bifida and manages her blog CamoGurl, providing advocacy and support to other young women living with disabilities. Hope is an active part of her community having written legislation and published articles and through her many public speaking engagements. She is 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 is currently a policy intern with Office of Governor Dayton and Lt. Governor Tina Smith.
Photograph of  Hope  Hoffman

Katelyn Vue

Katelyn is senior at North High School while taking college courses at the University of Concordia in Saint Paul. She is a student reporter for Threesixty Journalism, a nonprofit program through St. Thomas. In her position, she interviews and tells stories of youth from diverse communities with a team of media and journalism professionals and high school students all over Minnesota. She is employed at Golden Harvest foods, where she was awarded Cashier of the Year.  She also volunteered as a mentor and director of Hmong cultural performance plays at Richardson Elementary, which focused on Hmong history and cultural identities.
Photograph of  Katelyn  Vue

Katherine Santamaria-Mendez

Katherine serves as a cabinet member of the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota. Born in El Salvador, she was brought to the United States at the age of two years old. Growing up watching the struggles of the Latinx community has inspired her to create change in the way her community is treated. 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. She is currently a freshman at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.   
Photograph of  Katherine  Santamaria-Mendez

Ling Debellis

Ling serves as a member of the Young Women’s Initiative Cabinet, and is a junior in high school at Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul. Ling 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 a 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 sophomore at St. Olaf College, where she is studying political science, Spanish and women’s and gender studies.  At St. Olaf she is involved in the Student Government Political Awareness Committee, Alpha Phi Omega, and SARN (sexual assault resource network). She volunteers by teaching adult immigrants how to speak English through St. Olaf’s ESL club. Previously she was an executive office intern at Womenwinning and tutored kids who were deemed at risk of not graduating. She graduated with honors and was a member of the National Honors Society at Farmington High School. 
Photograph of  Lulu  Regules Verduzco

Mys Helen Martin

Born and raised in Minnesota, Mys Helen grew up in the Rondo Community with her mother and grandparents. She started her first company at 19, a successful not for profit called Faces of Change, which is an organization that implements innovative programs for youth to advance academically and gain resourceful skills. At 23, she is currently the Business Specialist at Aurora-St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation, where she facilitates an entrepreneurship training program and provides business development to small businesses. In her spare time, she likes to cook, read, and enjoy an adventurous life. Her plan is to run for Mayor in 2021 and eventually take her not for profit Faces Of Change international.
Photograph of  Mys Helen  Martin

Nashel' Bebeau

Nashel is a recent graduate of Deer River High School and is currently working on her Early Childhood Education. She is actively engaged in numerous community activities. She is her community's Youth Activities Coordinator and serves as the Secretary/Treasurer for the Ball Club Local Indian Council. Nashel has also served as the Youth Representative on the Ball Club Local Indian Council and the Student Representative on the Johnson-O’Malley Committee. Additionally, she was a youth basketball coach, LINK Crew President, and has developed a Youth Council in her community.
Photograph of  Nashel'  Bebeau

Nena Abosi

Nena is currently a Senior at Central High School, where she is involved with Senior Class Council, Pan -African Student Union, and AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination program). She is also a Girls Scout and a Student Leader, a liaison supporting the freshmen class with orientation and conducting class bonding activities at the freshmen class retreat. Along with this, Nena has been preparing herself for college starting next fall. When she is not focused on her school work and extracurricular activities, Nena enjoys reading and watching comedy specials on Netflix. 
Photograph of  Nena  Abosi

Ollie Kalthoff

Ollie is a junior at Mahtomedi High School, while taking all of their classes at Century College, through PSEO. They are soon to have an essay published, which they wrote for the Augsburg College Youth Theology Institute, advocating for Christian acceptance of transgender and genderqueer individuals. They have been involved in many groups on issues of diversity and LGBTQ+ 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

Raie Gessesse

Raie is a sophomore attending Hamline University double majoring in Public Health and Public Service and minoring in Social Justice. Outside of her student life, she serves as a resident advisor on campus, a teaching assistant in the Public Health Department and previously, was a community sexual health educator for African immigrant youth through Planned Parenthood. Additionally, she is a cabinet member on the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota. She plans on combining her leadership roles into attending graduate school seeking a degree in health policy to work in state/federal institutions on equitable health policies for young women of color. 
Photograph of  Raie  Gessesse

Rakeb Max

Rakeb is a senior at South High School. She is a member of the Workshop Development and Logistics Committees for Stand Up, Speak Out, South High and is an award winning varsity debater and team captain of her school’s debate team. Rakeb has also been involved with High School Democrats and The National Federation of the Blind. Fiercely passionate about public policy and intellectual exploration, Rakeb spends a tremendous amount of her time reading books on policy research and alternative ideological lenses. Her aspiration in life is to be a policy advisor in the white house.
Photograph of  Rakeb  Max

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

Winona Goodthunder (Wambdi Ho Waste Win)

Winona comes from Cansayapi,(Chan-Shah-Yah-Pee), which means Where the Trees are Painted Red also known as known as Lower Sioux Indian Community. She is Bdewakantunwan Dakota and Tchodicii Dine (Navajo). Her passions are cultural education in the medical field, community mental health, advocating for Native American rights, and working with youth to pursue leadership and higher education. Winona works with a non-profit organization called Dakota Wicohan (Dakota Way of Life) as a youth participant, and later a youth leadership mentor, and Secretary Chair on the Board of Directors. Currently, she is a Medical Assistant/Medical Receptionist at PrairieCare and a Medical Lab Assistant at Lower Sioux Health Care Center. She resides in Bloomington, MN while she is pursuing her pre-med aspirations and Psychology degree at University of Minnesota Duluth.
Photograph of  Winona  Goodthunder (Wambdi Ho Waste Win)
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