Meet the 2022 Fellows!

Every year, students from the Summer Academy are recruited to become New Voices Are Rising Fellows during the school year, giving them the opportunity to pursue environmental justice work in greater depth. The students use the skills they learned and the leadership potential they developed, applying it to community capacity-building and outreach projects called “externships” with New Voices and program partners. Each externship focus is different ranging from air quality management and climate resiliency, to media and communications.

Written by NVR Fellow Maryam Saad

We are kicking off this year’s Fellowship program with our new fellows: Ahnaya, Angela, Christie, David, Manuel, Maryam, and Zoya! Each of these emerging new leaders have proven their dedication and passion for helping the environment as well as our people who suffer everyday from environmental justice issues. Each of our fellows has a position to tackle, but all have the same ambition: end environmental injustice.

Get to know our fellows!

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This is Ahnaya McLean (she/her); El Cerrito High School

“My fellowship position is Regional Air Quality Fellow. While in the position I will be making informative videos, practicing community outreach, and learning more about regional air quality.” She continues, “In the future, I would like to have a bigger outreach and impact on my community (low income and POC (people of color) communities.) By doing so I hope to make a more educated, safer, and confident community willing to work towards Environmental change”


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This is Angela Pineda (she/her) ; Skyline high school

“I’m the East Oakland Air Quality Fellow! My job is to work with organizations like CBE (communities for a better environment) and talk about the issues of air quality in east oakland and work to improve them.” She continues, “I’d like to help the people in my community be educated about the environmental justice issues impacting our community and help everyone make changes to better our community environment!”



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This is Christie Fok (Sher/her); El Cerrito High School

“I am the Climate Resilience Hub Fellow. In this fellowship, I will help plan for a resilience hub, and get involved in the electrification and decarbonization process, and the development of microgrids in our communities.” She continues, “I hope that we can create a green and resilient community where we do not have to rely on extractive processes for energy. Instead, we can use local, renewable energy resources to create healthy and sustainable communities.”



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This is Manuel Ochoa (he/him); Pinole Valley high school

“I am a Regional Air Quality Fellow and I will be doing research projects, videos, and podcasts.” He continues, “I would like to be as involved as I can to help break the barrier that makes it so that low income communities of color no longer have to fight for better living conditions.”



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This is Maryam Saad (She/Her); Pittsburg High School

“My fellowship is in the Media and Communications role. In my time, I will be making social posts, E-News(letters), informational graphics, and videos.” She continues, “In the future, I want to study environmental science and make it a part of my career to make some kind of environmental change in my community– no matter how big or small.”



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This is Zoya Alam (she/her) ; Pinole Valley High School.

“My fellowship is the Regional Air Quality role. With this role, I’ll be working alongside air quality management as well as within my community to discuss and highlight the impacts of air quality issues.” She continues,  “I want to further my education in environmental science and ultimately eradicate the use of fossil fuels.”



Our fellows are excited to kick off this program and get involved in our community to make a difference. Stay tuned for all the projects we’ll be making in the next few months!

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