SLSI 2024 Cohort

SLSI 2024 Cohort

Yvonne Agyapong

Yvonne Agyapong (she/her/hers) is a rising junior at Yale University studying Cognitive Science to elucidate the levels between prejudice and foreign policy. She is Ghanaian-American, born in New York and raised in New Jersey. Yvonne is passionate about becoming an international human rights lawyer addressing war crimes, genocide, and violence against women and children. She is the treasurer and a founding member of the Yale Undergraduate Black Pre-Law Association, and Director of Programming for the Yale Foreign Policy Initiative, where she has examined crimes against Uighur Muslims in China. Dedicated to making international relations accessible to high schoolers, Yvonne is also actively involved in Model United Nations conference planning.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 1

Arjun Ayyappan

Arjun Ayyappan (he/him/his) is a second-year Political Science major at Cypress College. He is an Indian American, born and raised in Cerritos, California. On campus, he serves as the President of the Cypress College Student Government and Founder of the Law & Politics Club. He has worked with the California Community College system and California State Assembly as an advocate for closing the voter participation gap in youth and underrepresented populations. Arjun discovered his interest in law and recognized the inadequate rehabilitation efforts of criminal justice as an Orange County District Attorney’s Office intern. He aspires to become a public interest lawyer and address low civic engagement and criminal justice reform through litigation or legislation.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 2

Malik Clarke

Malik Clarke (he/him/his) is a second-year student pursuing a B.A. in Political Science and African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University. Outside his academic endeavors, he serves as Co-Chair of the Vanderbilt signature admissions program, MOSAIC, Recruitment and Retention Chair for the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), a Research Assistant in the Department of Political Science, a Student Assistant at the Student Center for Social Justice & Identity (SCSJI), as well as Director of Community Service for the Kappa Theta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Malik aspires to implement his passions for cultural competence, DEI, and social justice in his professional endeavors to earnestly serve and uplift marginalized communities. As an aspiring civil rights attorney and eventual United States policymaker, Malik hopes to foster systemic change in the American criminal justice system by creating sustainable policies that support equitable and inclusive spaces for underserved communities to succeed.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 3

Ajani Crenshaw

Ajani Crenshaw (he/him/his), a native of Zion, Illinois, is a rising sophomore, attending Tougaloo College, in Jackson, Mississippi. He is pursuing a B.A. in Political Science and double minoring in Pre-Law and Public Policy. His passion for community building, tied with his devotion for change in racial inequities, strengthened his passion for law and public service. In the Summer of 2023, he served as an intern in the Illinois House of Representatives. His time in the Illinois legislature strengthened his aspirations to work in public office. Upon completing his undergraduate studies, Ajani aims to pursue a law degree that will give him the tools to fight all inequities and disparities faced by his community.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 4

Natalie Dawoodi

Natalie Dawoodi (she/her/hers) is a third-year student at the University of California, Los Angeles majoring in Sociology. As a proud first-generation Armenian-American, her academic journey began at Glendale Community College, where she assumed numerous leadership roles. As Student Body President, she was driven to amplify the voices and address the needs of community college students, advocating for changes grounded in her commitment to educational equity. Upon transitioning to UCLA, she continued her dedication to leadership as a legal assistant at Tina Odjaghian Law Group, a firm specializing in catastrophic brain injury and workers’ compensation. This position has provided her with a distinct perspective of the legal profession and its potential to drive significant change. Working in this capacity has not only sharpened her legal skills but has also sparked a deeper passion for law, inspiring her to pursue a career as an attorney.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 5

Jaylon (Jay) Jackson

Jaylon (Jay) Jackson (he/him/his) is from Columbus, Ohio. He is a rising senior at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, majoring in History and Black Studies. Jay has been playing basketball since he was five years old and currently plays for Denison's varsity men's basketball team. He is deeply committed to improving his community. He is the Vice President and co-founder of Denison's inaugural Black Student Athlete Association, which promotes a safe environment for Black students involved in athletics. Jay is also the President of the Diversity and Inclusion group and a research assistant in the Black Studies Department. His passion for social justice and advocacy has inspired him to pursue a legal career. He is thrilled to be a member of the Stanford Law Scholars Institute 2024 cohort and to engage in meaningful conversations and network with a diverse group of people.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 6

Jaylon Jones

Jaylon Jones (he/him/his) is a second-year student at Stanford University, majoring in Political Science and History. Born and raised in Inglewood, California, he resided there with his mom and brother. Inspired by Black political activists, Jaylon chose to become politically active during high school and went on to found his own non-profit, The United Afro Student Organization, which aims to combat the effects of poverty in the greater Los Angeles area. Jaylon is passionate about building and strengthening communities, as well as learning from peers and mentors who have helped shape him into the person he is today. At Stanford, Jaylon has had the privilege of conducting research under professors and has developed a love for uncovering new ideas, data, or providing clarity to obscure events throughout history. He also serves as the 2024-2025 Dean of Membership for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Nu Sigma chapter.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 7

Xiyuan Lin

Xiyuan (Dora) Lin (she/her/hers) is a proud Fuzhounese immigrant and a rising sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania. She plans to double major in Gender, Sexuality, & Women’s Studies and Political Science with a minor in Legal Studies and History. At UPenn, she is involved in the Admissions Dean’s Advisory Board, Wharton First-Generation Limited-Income (FGLI) Affinity Group, and University Honor Council. She also helps high-achieving, low-income high school upperclassmen apply to college via Matriculate. Born and raised in rural China, Xiyuan is passionate about empowering marginalized women. The rampant misogyny she witnessed and experienced fuels her dream of fighting for equity. Ultimately, she strives to use her J.D. to amplify the voices of her beloved communities.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 8

Antonio López Maldonado

Antonio “Toni” López Maldonado (he/him/his) is a rising sophomore majoring in Political Science with a minor in Legal Studies from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Antonio is committed to personal growth and leadership both within his university community, where he serves as the Student Government Vice President-elect, and beyond, as a member of the 2023 Duke PreLaw Fellowship cohort and a 2023 ACLU National Advocacy Institute scholar. Given his diverse background, shaped by growing up in rural Mexico and navigating the challenges of immigration, financial instability, and cultural clashes, he intends to pursue law with the purpose of becoming a public interest attorney, specifically dedicated to assisting families and individuals in navigating the legal process and providing them with the opportunity to pursue the American Dream. Aside from his professional and academic endeavors, he enjoys playing drums and discovering new coffee shops.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 9

Ariona Miller

Ariona Miller (she/her/hers) is a first-generation, low-income student from Marysville, Kansas. She attends Duke University and plans to major in Public Policy, minor in Journalism, and obtain a certificate in Child Policy Research. At Duke, Ari sings in the Duke Chorale, is on the Executive Board of Bench and Bar Society, is a part of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity, serves on the First-Year Library Advisory Board, and is heavily involved in Duke Players and Hoof N Horn, two theater organizations on campus. In the community, she interns for the Durham Progressive Democrats as well as the Children and Families Program for the National Conference of State Legislatures. She is the CEO of Here N Queer, a non-profit organization that provides education, advocacy, and resources for the LGBTQ community and is an Advising Fellow for Matriculate. Ariona wants to pursue a career in child welfare and public interest law and is especially interested in reforming foster care, providing incentives for social work, and re-examining modern emancipation.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 10

Bethany Milner

Bethany Milner (she/her/hers) is a second-year student at Tulane University majoring in Communication and Digital Media Practices and minoring in Strategy, Leadership, and Analytics. She was born and raised in Natchitoches, Louisiana, where she eventually plans to rebuild the Panam community in which she and her family grew up. At Tulane, Bethany is an active member of the Black Student Union, American Sign Language Club, Crawfest, the First-Year Experience Team, Special Olympics, and Alpha Lambda Delta Honor Society. She is also a member of Tulane Athletics Strategic Communications Team, a volunteer for Urban Impact Ministries, and a legal and marketing intern for OMBI Group, LLC. Bethany plans to pursue a dual doctorate degree program pursuing both a Juris Doctorate and Master’s of Communication. With a law degree, Bethany hopes to become a sports and entertainment lawyer and be an advocate for marginalized communities in the sports and arts.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 11

Ayomide Oloyede

Ayomide Oloyede (he/him/his), a rising senior at Tufts University, blends his studies in International Relations and French with a keen interest in foreign affairs, human rights, and civic engagement. Through academic research on domestic issues ranging from criminal legal reform to voting rights with the Harvard Kennedy School and practical experience in food justice and international policy analysis, he contributes thoughtfully to discussions on both global and domestic issues. Outside the classroom, Ayomide expresses his passion for change through the arts and education. An award-winning actor and spoken-word poet, he engages audiences with powerful narratives. Committed to making a lasting impact, Ayomide aspires to be an international changemaker, leveraging his diverse talents and insights to foster positive transformations worldwide.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 12

Max Perry

Max Perry (he/him/his) is a Columbian-American born and raised in Florence, Kentucky. He is a rising junior at Vanderbilt University pursuing a B.A. in Political Science and Law, History, and Society, with a minor in Human and Organizational Development. Following a series of antisemitic incidents in his hometown, Max decided to educate others about antisemitism and the Holocaust. While in high school, he coordinated a region-wide speaking tour for an 83-year-old Holocaust Survivor, which engaged thousands of students. Currently, he serves as the Co-Chair of the Vanderbilt Holocaust Lecture Series and a 2023-2024 Emerson Fellow at StandWithUs, where he continues to combat antisemitism. Furthermore, Perry actively encourages free speech and civil discourse initiatives on Vanderbilt’s campus as an Open Dialogue Fellow and former intern at The Future of Free Speech. During the Summer of 2023, Max edited a PBS documentary called “The Vanderbilt Project on Unity & American Democracy,” where he spoke about political polarization. By attending law school, Max aims to advocate for marginalized communities and advance the democratic principles of free speech.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 13

Alexa Piedra

Alexa Piedra (she/her/hers) is a Mexican American born and raised in Houston, Texas. She is a rising senior at Boston College, majoring in Political Science and minoring in Management and Leadership. At BC, Alexa has volunteered at Catholic Charities El Centro, teaching adult immigrants English, and the Prison Book Program, mailing books to those incarcerated. Through these volunteer experiences, she has been exposed to the complexities of the incarceration system and the rough transition period for immigrants in the United States. This inspired her research as a McNair Scholar to focus on the rights of undocumented workers. As she continues her professional learning journey, she hopes to make meaningful changes to the areas she has the privilege of stepping into.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 14

Jennifer Quisi

Jennifer Quisi (she/her/hers) is a second-year student at Barnard College majoring in Economics and Education Studies. She was born and raised in Queens, New York, where she intends to reform the educational curriculum in elementary schools. On campus, Jennifer is involved in a mixture of entrepreneurship, business, journalism, and community-oriented activities. Jennifer hopes to delve further into edtech post-grad before applying to JD/MBA/M.Ed programs. Working with non-profit organizations, Jennifer became invested in fostering financial literacy and educational equity in her community. Ultimately, she aspires to become a lawyer to increase accessibility for underserved communities and enter into educational policy-making.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 15

Amaris Ramos

Amaris Ramos (she/her/hers) is a Mexican-American born and raised in El Paso, Texas. She is a rising junior at Boston College, studying Transformative Educational Studies and Political Science with a minor in English. Amaris continually seeks to learn from the world around her, gaining understanding through the narratives of those she meets. While at Boston College, she has sought to bring more awareness of the importance of life stories, especially those of people of color, to create a space in which all can feel welcomed and a part of. Amaris hopes to make a change in our government and the education system so that they are more inclusive of underrepresented voices. She is honored to participate in the SLSI and thankful for all who have helped her along the way.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 16

Hennry Rodriguez

Hennry Rodriguez (he/him/his) is a rising second-year at the University of San Diego. Growing up in a predominantly immigrant community of Los Angeles, Hennry's early-life experiences with the challenges faced by immigrants on both sides of the border shaped his commitment to serving this community. Recent internships and volunteer experiences with organizations such as the International Rescue Committee have only served to strengthen Hennry’s resolution to use his talents and knowledge for the benefit of others. Hennry hopes to weave a career in the legal field with his desire to improve the immigrant and refugee/asylee communities.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 17

Chyane Sims

Chyane Sims (she/her/hers), a first-generation student from Aliquippa, PA, is a sophomore at Haverford College with a passion for education reform and the law. Chyane intends on majoring in English with a minor in Sociology and a Pre-Law concentration. Alongside her studies, Chyane works as a legal assistant at Pellegrino Law PLLC, a babysitter, and volunteers as a tutor for the Petey Greene Program. This program offers Chyane the opportunity to educate incarcerated individuals, helping them obtain their GEDs! She is involved in the mock trial team at Haverford. Chyane has aspired to attend law school since 8th grade. She aims to create a positive impact on the world in the classroom and courtroom. In her free time, she enjoys trying new food, roller skating, and spending time with her grandma and dog.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 18

Wena Teng

Born in Queens, New York, to migrant workers, Wena’s (she/her/hers) experiences (including a few years in Asia) drive her political and legal advocacy for migration labor and diasporic communities as well as an understanding of the uniqueness of transnational identities. A proud first-generation student, Wena is currently studying Race & Ethnicity Studies and History with a specialization in Political Economy at Columbia, where she is a Laidlaw Scholar and serves as a University Senator. Growing up in NYC and educated by its public schools, she has served as a director of the educational equity non-profit IntegrateNYC and as the youngest staffer on several local elections. Inspired by NYC’s immigrant street vendors, she has worked with the Urban Justice Center’s Street Vendor Project since high school on mobilizing policy to accommodate licenses and legal resources for vendors. Her passion for labor reform and law has been nourished by her experiences as an intern in the Biden White House, DEI Director of Columbia’s Undergraduate Law Review, and as a research assistant exploring the legal history of immigration. She intends to pursue a joint JD with a focus on spearheading litigation that serves to reconcile the gaps in labor law that have historically excluded protections for migrant workers. In her free time, she enjoys writing prose, practicing her Chinese harp, and creating intergenerational friendships with street vendors on food crawls around NYC.

SLSI 2024 Cohort 19

Kalvin Verner Jr.

Kalvin Verner (they/them) is a second-year student at Yale University majoring in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, as well as pursuing a certificate in Spanish. Kalvin was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, an experience that has informed their current interest in civil rights law. At Yale, Kalvin participates as a board member of organizations such as Yale Undergraduate Black Pre-Law Association, BlackOut, and Yale Undergraduate Human Rights Journal. Along with this, they are involved with Yale Undergraduate Legal Aid Association, Sabrosura: Yale’s Premier Latin Dance Team, and research on campus. In the future, Kalvin plans to pursue law school in hopes of becoming a civil rights attorney and using their skills to advocate for marginalized communities.