CYACA Executive Board Members
Paty Calderon is a junior at Whitney M Young Magnet High School, and was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. In her freshmen year of high school, she realized how critical the situation of our environment is and she knew she had to act. Ever since then, she has been involved in various projects to impact and better the environment; and she hopes to pursue environmental studies in her higher education and career. She is a part of the IIT Global Leaders Program, the Ecology Club at her school, and is currently leading a project completely dedicated to climate change and air pollution for GLP. Through CYACA, she hopes to inspire others to make change. She looks forward to all opportunities to come that will allow her and her CYACA board members to make the world a safer place for future generations.
Brian Gomez is a Sophomore at the Illinois Institute of Technology focusing on Social and Economic Development and is interested in business and impact investing. Brian has worked at Nonprofits like the Shedd Aquarium in education and technology as well as social entrepreneurship companies like Sprouting Out, a community based business run by young people. Having participated in the Alliance for Climate Education’s 2014 Fellowship Brian has continued to be involved as is currently a volunteer at Sierra Club and Plant Chicago on the city’s South Side. He is interested especially in the issues of community development and their intersection with economic empowerment and environmental Issues. In his free time you can find him rock climbing, reading books, or sketching in class.
Quincy Hirt is currently a Junior at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School on the southwest side of Chicago. At Whitney Young, he’s a member of the boys volleyball team, the Jewish Student Connection, the student council, and the Freshman Mentors. Outside of school, he plays for the Chicago Elite Volleyball Club. He is a part of the Voices Teen Alumni Foundation, and he always enjoys a warm cup of hot chocolate on a cold day. After a year of ACE’s Action Fellowship helped him better his understanding of climate education, Quincy was interested in continuing his Climate Action and was intrigued by starting an organization to do just that. Quincy is excited to be working with his peers in an youth-led climate action organization.
Andrea Martinez is currently a Sophomore at Lindblom Math and Science Academy. She has always been interested in how she can help the environment, the animals, and the people. She has been a proud vegetarian and animal rights activist for three years. Andrea loves attending panel discussions and lectures mostly on the topics of climate change, animal rights, women’s rights, and education & sanitation in third-world countries. Andrea wants nothing more than to make the earth sustainable for humans to live on. She hopes to become an engineer to develop solutions and innovations that will change the world’s current energy system to help combat climate change. She participates in figure skating, math team, science fair, robotics, CYACA, and volunteers at a local bike shop that repairs bikes for refugees & general customers, and sends bikes to countries in Africa and Latin America.
Kayla McWard is currently a Junior at Whitney Young Magnet High School. She has been passionate about protecting the environment and fighting climate change for most of her life, and began to become involved in environmental activism in 7th grade. She participated in the ACE Fellowship last year, and is eager to continue the work she started. Kayle believes that in order to fight climate change, it is going to take widespread awareness and education on the issues, community involvement, and political activism. She is excited to be helping to start CYACA, working to bring these forces together and enact real change.
Gloria Oladipo is currently a Junior attending Whitney Young Magnet High School in the South Loop. For most of her life, climate change has been something that she wanted to fix, but never knew how. With more education on climate change from her freshman biology class, she learned more about how global warming affects her and how she and her peers can make a change. One of the things she’s done to fight climate change is join the ACE Fellowship. She strongly believes that in order to fight an issue as severe as global warming, a community effort is needed. She joined the Fellowship in order to connect with her generation and help fight the good fight. Besides trying to save the environment, she enjoys traveling to various places around the world, participating in Model UN and debate, and playing goalie for her lacrosse team.
Eve Robinson is excited to be a part of the Chicago Youth Alliance for Climate Action. She has built her climate activism resume over the past three years through launching climate awareness campaigns, scheduling rallies, and all things activism. Last year, along with Maria Sanchez, she was interviewed by Melba Lara on the WBEZ's the Afternoon Shift to discuss CYACA's climate goals. She believes finding a permanent solution to climate change is not only something we must fight for locally in our communities, but also demand from our government. She is a junior at Whitney Young Magnet High School and aspires to work in foreign policy to help create international solutions to our climate crisis. She is fluent in French and conversational in Mandarin Chinese. In her spare time she tutors in French, mentors first year policy debaters, competes on the national and local Chicago circuit for policy debate, reads up on foreign policy, and writes slam poetry.
Maria Sánchez is a proud Senior at Northside College Prep! As a young climate leader in her city and state, Maria has helped organize and has spoken at climate rallies, has been interviewed on WBEZ's Afternoon Shift along with Eve Robinson about their work as Action Fellows at ACE, has spoken at a Sierra Club celebration event, and has helped collect petitions in support of the Clean Energy Jobs Bill. After learning that the Action Fellowship they had joined would not be continued for another year, Maria and the rest of the ACE fellows decided to create an organization that would help other students in Chicago get educated about climate issues and feel empowered to take climate action. Aside from being a climate organizer, she is also a captain of the varsity debate team at her school, where she competes at the national and local circuit.
Shania Santana is currently a Junior at Whitney M. Young High School. She is passionate about helping others and working together to create solutions. In her freshman year of high school she took small steps to help fight climate change when she and a group of friends participated in the 15-week long, Mycelia Project, for biology. She knew that action to protect our environment had to be taken immediately. They began to get involved their communities in an attempt to make them better through a variety of different mini-projects. After that, with determination, she stayed involved to better the environment. Shania is in the Ecology club at her school and is an ACE fellowship alumni. She loves listening to music, dancing, EATING, laughing, animals, and avocados. She hopes for nothing but the best on this CYACA journey; inspiring change and motivating others.