Girls Inc. Welcomes 8th Cohort of the National Teen Advocacy Council

Girls Inc. Welcomes 8th Cohort of the National Teen Advocacy Council

Girls Inc. is thrilled to welcome the newest cohort of the National Teen Advocacy Council (TAC). The TAC is a leadership body of Girls Inc. participants (grades 10-12), who advise and inform our organization’s advocacy by sharing their life experiences and views about issues facing girls and youth in their schools and communities. Throughout this year-long leadership position, TAC members develop their advocacy skills, represent Girls Inc. in a variety of settings, and lead Girls Inc. policy efforts through activities such as social media campaigns and lobbying Congressional offices. 

The 2023-2024 Teen Advocacy Council is composed of twelve inspiring students passionate about advocacy. They represent eleven Girls Inc. affiliates and all Girls Inc. regions across the U.S. and Canada. Get to know more about these outstanding leaders below!


Gabrielle Adair, Girls Inc. of Durham

Hi! My name is Gabrielle, I am a grade 12 student from Ontario, Canada. In my free time I really enjoy reading, whether it’s romance, fantasy, or dystopian – I’m your girl. My hope is to pursue post secondary education, gaining an undergraduate degree in film. I aspire to work in the film industry, endlessly captivated by everything it represents. I am honoured to be a part of the TAC, looking forward to the difference I, along with the other members can make.

Areli Anacleto, Girls Inc. of San Diego

Hi, my name is Areli. I am 17 and a senior in High School. I love making anything involving the kitchen and watching documentaries about all social studies. One of my main interests is the study of the human mind and behavior.

Naima Criss, Girls Inc. of Denver

My name is Naima Criss. I’m a 16 year old junior in high school, born and raised in Colorado. I’m particularly passionate about educational equity and environmental science. I most enjoy gardening in my room and reading action packed fantasy adventure series.

Michelle-Dallow Elliot, Girls Inc. of Minneapolis

My name is Michelle-Dallow. I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I’m 16 and a Junior in high school. Some of my favorite things to do are baking and reading.

Breanna Jimenez, Girls Inc. of San Antonio

Hi, my name is Breanna Jimenez and I am a high school senior in Texas! I have a passion for advocacy and educating communities on issues such as mental and sexual health by providing access to digestible and comprehensive information. My passion for advocacy often trickles into some of my hobbies like graphic design and community engagement. I enjoy traveling as a means to constantly learn and experience new things while broadening my view of life. In my spare time, I like hanging out with my friends, reading, and thrifting!

Sincere Manka, Girls Inc. of New York

Hi, it’s Sincere and I’m 16 and a junior. I like to listen to music, mainly K-pop. I enjoy journaling and writing mini quotes that I post on social media to connect with people who feel the same way. I’m an open minded and caring person that also appreciates deep talks. You can catch me binge watching shows and movies. My goal is to travel the world and spread various cultures of positivity.

Oluwademilade Okusanya, Girls Inc. of Boston and Lynn

Hi, my name is Oluwademilade Okusanya, I’m 17 years old and Nigerian. In addition to being a Certified Nursing Assistant, I am also a Teen Health Ambassador at Girls Inc. of Lynn. My hobbies include listening to music, watching K-dramas, and pampering myself with skin care products. I am interested in Public Health. Being a part of the Council is a great opportunity for me to make a positive impact. I’m looking forward to everything we’ll accomplish together!

Joy Parker, Girls Inc. of Washington, DC Metropolitan Area 

Hello, I’m Joy Parker, a vibrant 16-year-old currently navigating the challenges and joys of 11th grade. Beyond the classroom, you’ll find me immersed in various activities that fuel my passion for both personal and community growth. As a dedicated member of the volleyball team, I embrace the spirit of teamwork and competition. Engaging in the National Honor Society reflects my commitment to academic excellence and community service. I’m also an active participant in girls advocacy, advocating for the empowerment of young women. A lover of language and expression, I find solace in crafting poetry. Outside of these pursuits, I enjoy the artistry of hairstyling. I’m thrilled to embark on this new journey with the TAC cohort, bringing my diverse interests and energy to the community.

Devina Siriram, Girls Inc. of Durham

Hi, I’m Devina Siriram, a 17-year-old in my final year of high school. I love drawing, watching animated movies, traveling with friends and family and want to explore reading and bracelet making. I’m also interested in diverse art forms like video creation and instrumental music. My goal in life is to travel across the world and learn as much as I possibly can to help better myself and others around me, creating a healthier and stronger community.

LaShay Vera, Girls Inc. of Owensboro-Daviess County

My name is LaShay Vera and I am 16 years old, and am a sophomore. I enjoy the game of basketball, writing poetry, and debate. My heart is with law and the idea of one day bringing justice to people motivates me, because justice is blind and everyone is entitled to their rights regardless of public opinion. So embark on this journey with me on restoring our justice system while remembering to remain respectful to each and everyone.

Katherine Yevzerov, Girls Inc. of the Greater Capital Region

My name is Katherine. I am 16 years old and currently a junior in high school. At school, I’m involved in a variety of activities, including student tech support and Latin club. I also enjoy working backstage in school plays and musicals. Outside of school, I am a second-degree black belt in karate, I also love crocheting, reading, and baking. In the future, I plan to pursue a STEM career where I can help others and give back to my community.

Tiana Zhang, Girls Inc. of Orange County

Hi all! I’m Tiana Zhang, a sophomore studying in California. In the future, I hope to work at an intergovernmental organization and am focused on promoting environmental justice, socioeconomic equity, and gender equity. You can find me writing, watching Formula 1, or rock climbing in my free time. My favorite composer at the moment is Kris Bowers and I dream of traveling to Iceland when I’m older.