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Introducing PEP's Young Women's Leadership Council

PEP Young Women's Leadership Council

PEP’s Young Women’s Leadership Council is made up fourteen exceptional young women from accross the country who are in some way involved in the sexual and reproductive health and rights movement. PEP is welcoming ten new members to our council this year.

Lani Blechman is a junior at Hampshire College in Massachusetts who grew up in Florida and is still adjusting to northeast weather. This fall, Lani will be studying in Chiapas, Mexico and is eager to learn more about the international feminist scene.

Nicole Clark, already a seasoned reproductive rights activist, recently graduated from Spelman College and is aspiring to continue her work with HIV/STI education for young, disadvantaged black women in the South.

Nondace Garrett is a junior at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton. An avid athlete and skilled synchronized swimmer, Nondace now helps coach younger girls in her area, and is excited about becoming involved in the reproductive justice movement.

Tiffany Jules is currently a health educator and HIV Pre/Post Test Counselor at Brooklyn AIDS Task Force in the Youth and Young Adult Unit. This fall, she will be studying at Columbia University toward a dual degree in public health and social work, which she hopes will help her to become a more skilled advocate for adolescent sexual health.

Shelby Knox will be a senior at the University of Texas at Austin this year. Shelby’s reproductive rights activism was highlighted in the film “The Education of Shelby Knox” which documents Shelby’s experiences with the Lubbock, Texas school board and her attempts to get comprehensive sexuality education passed in her school district.

Lauren Mitchell is currently in her senior year at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA, where her studies will culminate in a thesis concerning midwifery and reproductivity in literature. When she isn’t spending all of her time reading, writing and generally being a budding academic, she is a Gynecological Teaching Associate at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Willo Radgens discovered her life’s passion in working with teens and reproductive health issues. After obtaining her master’s, Willo began working for Planned Parenthood of South Central Michigan as the Youth Program Coordinator. Willo’s life has now taken another big turn to that of a stay-at-home mother. She now enjoys the challenge of raising her son and continuing her activism through volunteer opportunities such as the Young Women’s Leadership Council.

Lindsay Swisher is a student at Indiana University currently studying French and Marketing through the Kelley School of Business. Through her involvement with Advocates for Youth, and the cutting edge peer education program Project T.R.U.S.T., Lindsay makes a valuable addition to the YWLC team.

Rashi Venkataraman is currently a junior at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. She is studying Biological Science with an additional major in Ethics, History, & Public Policy. After graduating she hopes to have a career in public health, especially pertaining to maternal and children’s health for underprivileged communities.

Jessie Yousif is is a Freshman at Oakton Community College in Illinois and is studying to become a Veterinarian. In high-school, she was an active member of her local Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Chapter, and hopes to continue her activism with the LGBTQ and reproductive rights communities through the YWLC.

They will join our veteran members, Alexandra DelValle, Leslie Hu, Jana Priestley and Celica Whitley in advising PEP’s programs and developing their skills as young leaders in the pro-choice movement.

We must also say goodbye to four women who have given their time and passion so generously to PEP over the past few years: Ebony Barley, Chanel Haliburton,Jennifer Heitel-Yakush, and Meghan Rapp. We will miss them terribly. You will find two of their farewell reflections toward the end of this issue. 

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