Generation Z is one of the most socially conscious generations so far. Thanks to the internet, we have access to so much knowledge about the world around us and are more aware of the issues going on in our country. Many students want to make a difference in their community, but it’s difficult to know where to start. While there are many groups dedicated to activism and other mediums for youth to speak up and mobilize, we understand the importance of elections and have learned that campaigns open the door for our generation to create change. That is why the idea of Elect US was created to counter the lack of Gen Z involvement in elections and campaigns by connecting our members to local opportunities. Our organization has partnered with candidates across the country who are willing to work with young people on their campaigns. We connect students with candidates and give them basic training in areas like phone banking and canvassing. We also work with campaigns to help develop volunteer/internship programs oriented towards the youth and provide assistance and suggestions on ways to expand pre-existing ones.
We strongly value the non-partisan nature of our organization and want all students to have the opportunity to get involved with campaigns regardless of their political affiliation. Our goal is not to advance the interest of one party, but rather to give youth the invaluable experience of working with a campaign and give exposure to our country’s future politicians. We also value collaboration between parties and think that this is a vital part of the political process and we want to help students foster relationships with those who have opposing views. By fostering these relationships now, we can prepare this generation to be more collaborative in the future when they are they are the leaders. All parties can acknowledge the polarized state of our nation and we strive to combat that with our core value of collaboration.
Meet our team
Co-Founder and Programs Director
Isra Qadri attends Wootton High School in Maryland. She is Kashmiri-American and her background is what inspired her to seek out opportunities in politics and activism. She is currently the co-state director for March For Our Lives Maryland and is an active participant in her schools Model United Nations team. Isra’s excited to use Elect US as a way to get more young people to be involved with politics and find their passion.
Co-Founder and Campaign Outreach Director
Jackson Parrott attends the Cambridge Program at Gainesville High School in Gainesville Florida. He is active on his Varsity Football team, Student Government, Model UN, and the Math Team. He identifies as fiscally conservative and socially more liberal. He loves learning about new languages, cultures, and countries and is very interested in debate and International Politics.
Co-Founder and General Outreach Director
Deniz Sezgin is an honors student at Fort Hamilton High School in Brooklyn, New York. While head of Christa McAuliffe’s chapter of Girls Learn International, Deniz spearheaded communication with underprivileged schools and fundraised for the educational resources needed. Her activism continued when she founded a chapter of She’s the First at her high school. Throughout her academic career, Deniz has taken interest in business, law, and government and was a student of the Business and Law Academy in her middle school. She is currently a fellow of Civics Unplugged, a program that trains Gen-Z in the world of civics and builds them up to be change-makers in their community. Deniz hopes to have an active role in politics and seeks to amplify the youth voice into government through volunteering for campaigns.
Co-Founder and Director of Technology
Ily Grinberg attends Oakwood School in Los Angeles California. She is assistant editor for Girl Talk, a feminist magazine, and is co-editor of the opinion column of her school’s newspaper. She is also a member of her school’s debate team and enjoys playing the cello. Her love for politics and advocacy is what inspired her to want to help more students get involved in campaigns.
Co-Founder and President of the Board
Firdaws Hakizimana is a senior of the graduating class of 2020 at Cape Elizabeth High School and Portland Arts and Technology High School. She has been a part of her school's speech team, environmental club, and even track and field briefly. She has participated in the Can We? project, Civics Unplugged (in which she is a part of the founding class of 2020), The Telling Room, and the National Honors Technical Society. She enjoys loud prints, well-written articles, combat boots, aesthetically pleasing photographs, trench coats, and Victorian-era romance novels. She will be going to the University of Southern Maine in the fall to double major in Media Studies and Communications as well as minoring in Anthropology.
Co-Founder and Director of Volunteer Affairs
Kelsie Lopriore attends Huntley High School, in Illinois. She is a global scholars student, volunteer, and a part of the CU founding fellowship class. She loves everything from politics, to art and history.
Co-Founder and Director of Communications
Daisy Fernandez is currently a student at Kellam High School in Virginia. She is excited to be a part of Elect US as she enjoys helping other students and has always wanted to work with political campaigns. She also loves Mock Trial, Marching Band, and watching superhero movies with her two dogs, Frida and Jovie.