Laura Bockoff joins us as a Youth Initiative Scholar. She is Senior at Penn State University where she majors in Biobehavioral Health (BBH) . Laura is currently pursuing her Masters in Public Health through an accelerated integrated graduate program at Penn State. Laura is involved in several volunteer positions including Jeannie Geiger Crisis Center- a Domes3c Abuse Organization. In addition, Laura is a member of the BBH Society and volunteers monthly at the American Red Cross blood drives. As a Public Health student, Laura is looking forward to getting more involved with community intervention programs and work to reduce HIV/AIDS prevalence.
My name is Ramirez Brown. I’m 22, I’m originally from L.A but moved to the Bay Area in 2017 after graduating from Lawndale High. Currently I’m ascending Academy of Art University and graduating this fall with a degree in Fashion Merchandising.
Frances Dean is a second-year dual degree student pursuing an MPH in Epidemiologic Research Methods and Applications and a MSW in Interpersonal Practice (Integrated Health, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse), with a Social Epidemiology certificate. Her interests include minority health and health equity; patient-centered research; HIV and STD/STI surveillance, prevention, and care; community-based participatory research; interprofessional education (IPE); and mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders (MBDDs). Frances obtained her BSHP in Health Promotion and Behavior and a Global Health minor from The University of Georgia. As a New Orleans native, she likes cooking, singing, and traveling outside of school. Most importantly, she hopes to collaborate with other Youth Initiative Scholars and partner with an HIV-focused agency on implementing projects that has HIV prevention and care as an intensive focus.
Anna Dobbins graduated with her BS in Community Health Sciences from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2020. She is currently an MPH student with an emphasis in social and behavioral health. Anna works as the Associate Director for the Center for Public Health Partnerships within the Trudy Larson, MD Institute for Health Impact and Equity. In this position, Anna serves as the Executive Director for the Association of Accredited Public Health Programs and the Nevada Public Health Institute. Anna also works with faith leaders across the state of Nevada to bring the conversation of HIV/AIDs into places of faith. Anna is passionate about global health and has conducted health education projects in Paraguay, Rwanda Peru, and Turkey.
Angela Gonzalez is an undergraduate student at the University of Portland studying Biology and Spanish. On campus, she is active in organizations including Latinx Student Union, the Body Positivity Club, and Womxn of Color. She has spent the last year volunteering as a bilingual Domestic Violence Advocate for Latina Safehouse, a nonprofit organization working towards connecting Latinx survivors of domes3c violence to resources in the Colorado area, and has also volunteered with Mission Citizen, an organization that teaches free bilingual citizenship preparation classes to community members in Portland, Oregon. Her passion for health equity and her experiences working with underrepresented communities, have led her to currently work as a Patient Navigator with the HIV Health Services Center in Portland, Oregon. Angela provides care coordination to clients that are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS and helps them get connected to resources and engage in medical care. Angela is hoping to continue working with clients and become a Community Health Nurse where she will be able to continue to advocate for clients and contribute to bilingual HIV/AIDS healthcare.
Ashley Hibbs is a recent graduate from Penn State University where she majored in Biobehavioral Health. While at Penn State, Ashley was involved in many organizations like the Biobehavioral Health Society and helped implement a Health Humanities organization on campus. She currently ascends Penn State Hershey Graduate School as a candidate for the MPH program. She is the recently inducted president of PHASE (Public Health Association for Service and Excellence) and plans to become a better health leader that recognizes the role of health inequities as it pertains to diseases like HIV/AIDS. Ashley is excited to become more of a suitable leader to help fight against HIV/AIDS.
Alfi E. Joseph is currently the Operations Manager at the Southern Black Policy and Advocacy Network (SBPAN). In this role, she utilizes her skills in project management, operational leadership, and public affairs to advance SBPAN’s mission of achieving health equity for Black communities in the U.S. South. Ms. Joseph has a fervent passion for human rights and a strong desire to advocate for the needs of underrepresented and marginalized communities. She uses the knowledge she has acquired through her work experience, academic training, and volunteer work to help others share their stories as a vehicle to impact positive global change. Alfi is a recent graduate from the University of Texas at Dallas with a B.S. in Public Affairs. In her free time, she loves to travel, play with her recently adopted puppy, and stay up to date on current events.
Gillian Kay joins us as a Youth Initiative Scholar. She is a recent graduate of The Pennsylvania State University, University Park. Gillian graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biobehavioral Health and a minor in Women’s Studies. She is currently working towards completing her Master of Public Health degree in global health. Gillian worked this previous summer as the Health Innovations Intern with a local food bank where she designed and implemented a diabetes prevention program. During her studies, she focused much of her research around reproductive justice and sexual health issues. Gillian is excited to be a part of NMAC and to help empower individuals in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
My name is Tre’Von Mcclain-el. I was born and raised in the DC metropolitan area. I’m 25 years old, currently ascending Southern New Hampshire University where I study public health and policy. January of 2020 I joined the Damien Ministries staff as a program coordinator where we provide a workforce ready program. I still hold that position today. My hopes is to grow in this space in efforts to become great advocate and support system through policy for those who suffer from health, social, and mental disparities.
Hello, my name is Grecia Parra. I work with the Valley AIDS Council under Casa Orgullo as the Youth Advocate. One of my roles in Casa Orgullo is to bring families and youth together through our events, presentations, and showing up in different community events. During my time with the Valley AIDS Council, which will be a year in December, I have had the opportunity to learn and work with other non-profits in the area. We are creating safe/brave spaces, both virtually and in-person for LGBTQIA+ youth to find resources, support, or simply be. Having the opportunity to be part of NMAC is amazing. I cannot wait to apply all the skills I will acquire here to help the fight to end the HIV epidemic.
Jordan Patrick is an undergraduate senior at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. He is pursuing a double major in Biochemistry with Nutrition as well as Global Health Studies and a double minor in Chemistry and Psychology. Throughout his time at the University of Miami, he established the university's first Black pre-health organization, 100 Strong. In addition, he is also the president of AW4L (A Week 4 Life), which is an organization dedicated to HIV awareness and destroying the negative stereotypes and stigmas surrounding HIV within Miami. He is a licensed HIV Outreach Counselor employed at the University of Miami's Miller School of Medicine, where he performs HIV/STD testing, treatment and educates adolescent youth about sexual health. Jordan is overjoyed to be a part of the 2021 Youth Initiative and hopes to make a difference in the Black community, particularly those living with HIV.
Kedron Pryor joins us as a Program Associate. He is a recent graduate from The LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis, TN. At LeMoyne-Owen, he majored in Criminal Justice. During his time at LeMoyne-Owen he became involved in many organizations such as student leader, and became a member of the first Black Greek Organization of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, President of his chapter, Mr.Ivy, and Mr.Senior. Within his roles in these organizations, he was able to uplift his community via advocacy and community service within his fraternity chapter. He also volunteered at The Haven Memphis Clinic that offers free HIV/STD testing, group conversations, and fighting to end the stigma of HIV/AIDS, located in Memphis, TN . Kedron is very excited to work at NMAC and to help fight to end the disparities in HIV/ AIDS.
Liam Warner-Shiffett (he/him/his) is a current undergraduate premedical student at Northwestern University where he is majoring in Social Policy and Biology and minoring in Data Science. At Northwestern, Liam is a research aide in Feinberg School of Medicine’s departments of Medical Social Sciences and Pediatrics. His research contributions have been featured in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and Northwestern’s Undergraduate Research Symposium. Liam is also an affiliate of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Consultant for research projects on technology-based interventions tailored towards youth at risk or living with HIV. As an advocate for community interventions inclusive of diverse social dynamics, Liam is thrilled to have the opportunity to be a Scholar for NMAC’s Youth Initiative Program.
Maria Fernanda Zorrilla
Maria Fernanda Zorrilla works as the WICY Linkage to Care Continuum Specialist at the Westbrook Clinic/ Valley AIDS Council in McAllen, TX. Living in a border town, she was raised in Mexico and the United States. She ascended The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where she majored in Rehabilitation Services and minored in Medical Spanish. While at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, she was part of the Student Association for Medical Spanish, which emphasized the importance and the need the Hispanic community has in having appropriate translation services while accessing medical care. At the Valley AIDS Council, she works with the youth population and helps conduct the youth support group.