Meet Our Fellows

Asalia Arauz

Asalia Arauz

Leadership Program Fellow with Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland

Asalia is from Paramount CA in Los Angeles County. She is a Senior Creative Writing and Sociology double major at Willamette University in Salem OR. Asalia has devoted her writing and studies to better understand her Latinx identity and the communities she was raised in, with this she hopes to continue working with youth and young adults to find their passions and motivations, the way she did, in order to achieve anything they desire. She is excited to work with Boys & Girls Club of Portland.

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Erick Cooper Jr.

high school prep fellow with fiver children's foundation

Erick was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He has recently graduated from Binghamton University with a degree in Psychology. He has a wide range of experience mentoring and teaching youth of diverse backgrounds. His experience has included counseling, volunteering, curriculum development, instilling strong self awareness and character qualities through teaching whole-self classes, educating youth on isms and gender inequality, as well as conducting college prep classes for young adults. Erick’s prior experience has inspired him to continue to work with youth, challenging them to think critically of the world around them and be confident while doing so.

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Teilor Garner

post-high school prep fellow with fiver children's foundation

Teilor is from California and just recently moved to New York to get her Masters in Social Work and she just completed her first year. She briefly worked with kids in the foster care system last year and is excited to work with the Juniors and Seniors at Camp Fiver in New York. This will be a new experience for her and she is excited to grow in this opportunity and use the skills she will gain to work with marginalized communities, especially LGBTQ people of color.   

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Gabbie Ruggiero

workplace mentor program fellow with big brothers big sisters of central iowa

Gabriella is a social justice advocate that wants to provide young people with opportunities to help themselves succeed. A native of Northeast Iowa, she will be a fellow at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Iowa in Clive. She hopes to learn from her FILA fellowship to go on to a graduate program to promote policy change in the social sector.

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Lavanyaa Shralan

collegiate addiction recovery fellow with yss

Lavanyaa is a transfer student from Malaysia, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Criminal Justice and Biology at Iowa State University. She has worked with with Indonesian immigrant youth and children in Soroptimist International in the past and is currently a teaching assistant and certified Peer Wellness Educator at Iowa State University. She has always been passionate about bringing a change to the society - at least in a smaller level. Lavanyaa is excited to learn new skills and do her best make a change about addiction among youths by working closely with FLIA and Youth Shelter Services of Ames, Iowa.

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Rachel Shelton

social emotional learning evaluation fellow with boys & girls clubs of Portland

Rachel grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico and moved to Portland, Oregon in 2004. She has a BA in Child and Family Studies, a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management, and is currently working on her Master's in Business Administration, all from Portland State University. Rachel is passionate about working to empower youth to be comfortable in their own skin and to take control of their futures.

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Alessandra Tantawi

high school prep fellow with row new york

Alessandra graduated from Ithaca College with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology with a concentration in Counseling and Gender Studies. She continued her studies at Ithaca College where she graduated in 2016 with a Master's in Childhood Education. Alessandra just finished her first year at Columbia University where she is studying to receive her Master's in Social Work and is expected to graduate in the spring of 2019. She is a committed and passionate social justice activist who has worked in schools and community centers advocating for adolescents who have been systemically disenfranchised. Alessandra is also a yoga teacher and incorporates mindfulness within her work and strives to support all young people regardless of their socioeconomic identity, to appreciate and honor their ultimate potential.

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Josh Yeager

Health partnerships fellow with boys & girls Clubs of Central Iowa

Josh is a senior in standing at Drake University where he studies Sociology, Rhetoric, and Leadership. Following advocacy work and research with various nonprofits in Des Moines, he found interest in serving individuals and communities in need. Josh is confident the fellowship through Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Iowa will aid him in his future as well as create meaningful social change.

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Meet Our Alumni


Spring 2018

fall 2017

Summer 2017

Fall 2016

Summer 2016

Summer 2015