Hannah spearheads community building and engagement across the Changemaker Schools Network. A flannel-wearing, snap-peas-into-peanut-butter-dipping, story-telling, exorbitant-amount-of-coffee-drinking, northern-woods-exploring, guitar-strumming Minnesotan, Hannah is passionate about empowering young people to find and embody their freest most authentic selves. She studied biology and health policy at Harvard University, where she found her own freest self while leading backpacking trips on the Appalachian Trail and directing a peer counseling group working to address eating and body image concerns. Hannah feels incredibly lucky to be surrounded by passionate people and adventurous explorers who challenge her to think in new ways while sharing with her the values of open-mindedness, everyday kindness, authentic knowing, and a genuine appreciation each day of the fact that we are alive and free.
Lorena Garcia Duran
With a desire to discover the conceptions about Mexico abroad, Lorena studied French at the University of Sorbonne in Paris. Returning to Mexico, she continued her studies this time in Communications. Once again abroad, this time in Spain, she finished her major with a specialization in Audiovisual Communication at the Universidad Pontificia of Salamanca. During her time in Spain, she achieved an important sale of Mexican organic coffee to the largest Spanish department store, entering in contact with the challenges between small farmers and the private sector. In November of 2008, thanks to her passion in social innovation, she began her work at Ashoka where she focuses on building bridges between social and business entrepreneurship. She launched Ashoka in Miami and hosted the first Ashoka Support Network (ASN) Global Summit. She now lives in Los Angeles and leads the ASN efforts for the US.
YeSeul is the North America Operations & Strategy Manager. Prior to Ashoka, she worked as a consumer researcher for Procter & Gamble and Innovation & Insights consultant for Fortune 1,000 tech, mobile, and financial services companies. YeSeul is the founder of the MIT Leadership Training Institute, a student group that believes in sparking a pay-it-forward movement. She is also the co-founder of the ATASK Community Leadership Council, is a StartingBloc alum, and was the Director of Operations & Strategy at Our Commonwealth. She has a B.S. in Urban Planning and Masters in City Planning from MIT.
Brittany works with the 200+ Ashoka Fellows in the United States. Before coming to Ashoka, she spent three years in Barcelona, where she researched & wrote about social innovation as a Fulbright Scholar, taught youth entrepreneurship, and led efforts to launch the Barcelona Impact Hub. She has also worked with AshokaU to design a number of trainings and convenings for social innovation leaders in higher education. Brittany is active in the Washington DC community as an improviser and a dabbling filmmaker. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Innovation & Civic Leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Romina joined Ashoka in 2005. Among her many roles she has helped Youth Venture (YV) expand in LATAM, develop the YV Summits, run online competitions and led YV's social media strategy. She now primarily focuses on strengthening its global network of young changemakers. Originally from Cyprus, she is an active member of the peace movement and has done extensive work around the use of Structured Dialogic Design Process in conflict resolution. She has completed her undergraduate work at Macalester College (MN) and holds an MA in Int'l Relations (University/Chicago). When not at work Romina enjoys reading, writing, swimming, dancing, & travelling. She recently organized TEDxYSE and TEDxAshokaU.
Spectra Myers is a manager with Ashoka based in the Twin Cities. She joined Ashoka’s Youth Venture in 2007 to develop curriculum for a workshop series to help young people launch social ventures. She also coordinated Youth Venture’s first two national impact evaluations and managed a partnership with the Best Buy Children’s Foundation for three years. Spectra now splits her time with Ashoka’s US team engaging social entrepreneurs, youth, companies, CSOs, colleges and universities, and the media to foster changemking in the Twin Cities. She received a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Macalester College and previously worked in advertising as a brand planner.
Elisha is the Executive Director of Ashoka Canada. She has been with Ashoka since 2009, as a volunteer and a member of the Canada, USA and Changemakers teams. Elisha is drawn to the systemic change approach at the core of Ashoka's work. Elisha has developed new operational systems and financial models within Ashoka, and launched Canada's first country-led Changemakers competition.
Prior to joining Ashoka, Elisha worked primarily in youth development, building and running programs in Toronto, New York City and Syracuse. She has launched youth conflict-resolution and peer-mediation programs and developed a green business advisory for small business owners. Elisha has an MBA from Schulich School of Business at York University and a BA in Psychology from McGill University.
Valentina leads strategy and storytelling in media and events for Start Empathy's network of Changemaker Schools and Empathy Fellows. Having grown up in Birmingham, Alabama in a cross-cultural, multi-religion household, Valentina has long acted as a dialogue facilitator within her family, schools, and communities. Before coming to Ashoka, Valentina co-founded IMPACT Magazine, a student-run solutions journalism publication that continues to elevate the stories of changemakers at her alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. She now applies these personal experiences to her work at Ashoka, facilitating opportunities for the network's leading educators and social entrepreneurs to share their stories at events, conferences, and media platforms that can catalyze framework change in the field of education. She is also launching her newest entrepreneurial endeavor, JournalUp: an educational program that empowers student voices in their schools and communities via their daily practice of writing and storytelling in an online journal.