Community stories from 2022

Our board and youth leaders are the core of Next Up. At the end of 2022, several board members, past interns, and program participants generously shared their stories with our Storytelling Interns, Zave Payne and Carolina Ruiz. Meet Josh, Sophia, Jazzy, Fabiana, Anjali, Dalia, and Nathaniel! We’re so glad you’re part of our work and our community.

Click on the quote to see the full post on Instagram.

Josh is a community advocate in Portland and Guam. He is also Chair of the Next Up Action Fund Board of Directors.

Josh believes, “Working with Next Up has been a positive and empowering experience. Our community is diverse and vibrant, and our culture is infused with boundless optimism and an undaunted determination to fight for the future that rising generations deserve.”

Watch an interview clip with Josh >>

Sophia is currently a senior at Portland State University and worked as an election intern for Next Up this past spring.

She is also a part of Sub-Basement Studios, a student-run film production house at PSU. You can support their projects and reach out to them @subbasementstudios 

You can also follow Sophia @teaoflilyrose and on LinkedIn:

Watch an interview clip with Sophia >>

Jazzy is a student at Parkrose High School and a member of our Youth Action Team, a cohort for teens ages 13-19 who meet monthly to work on issues they care about the most.

Outside of Next Up, Jazzy says she’s taking it day-by-day and focusing on writing poetry. You can find her online at @jazzy_is_iconic.

Fabiana Barrientos is a high school student who first joined us as a member of our Upturn cohort, our paid, 6-week introductory workshop series on youth organizing. She then joined our Election Organizer team, helping us make thousands of calls and knock thousands of doors to get out the vote during the 2022 election.

She says her biggest takeaway from her time at Next Up is that she’s “learned that local politics is significantly more important than national elections. A lot of people hyper-focus on political changes at a national level when there is meaningful and tangible work to be done at home.”

Watch an interview clip with Fabiana >>

Nathaniel is part of Junior Youth Activists at McDaniel High School and also a member of our Youth Action Team (YAT). Before joining YAT, he was also a member of our Upturn cohort, our paid, 6-week workshop series, and an introductory course on youth organizing.

In their own words, “Upturn has been amazing for boosting my confidence and giving me a sense of community. Discussing topics about white supremacy, reflecting, accountability and more have been all around such a positive experience. Being with other teenagers from around the Portland area has been especially beneficial during this time.”

You can follow them on Instagram.

Dalia was an election intern with us in 2021, where she helped us get out the vote among young people in Oregon.

She says, “I always enjoy being informed about elections and being able to assist Next Up in any way that I can is fulfilling. It is a great resource for individuals and I am always looking for ways to be involved in my community.”

Anjali is a student at Grant High School and currently is a member of the Youth Action Team and the Next Up Action Fund Board!

In her own words, “Next Up has given me the space to learn and grow as a civic organizer. I joined the UPTURN cohort at the beginning of 2020, where I learned the basics of civic engagement and grassroots organizing, and then became a member of the Youth Action Team. Throughout my time with Next Up, I have had countless opportunities to provide public testimony, canvas, phone bank, and facilitate voter registration, and now serve as a 501(c)(4) Board Member.”

Outside of Next Up, Anjali also serves (and slays 💁🏾‍♀️) as president of the Grant High School Equity Team, which works to continue race-related conversations at Grant in the wake of Race Forward, a student-run, race-related programming, being indefinitely paused by administration. She and her team work with staff and students alike to assess the needs of students of color and create and facilitate race-related lessons in response.

You can follow her and her work with the Equity Team on Instagram: @anjaliweerasinghe and @equityteam.

Design by Storytelling Intern Zave Payne, @mxzave.

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Next Up is a nonpartisan, nonprofit that amplifies the voice and leadership of diverse young people to achieve a more just and equitable Oregon.

This is our 501(c)3 branch.

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Next Up Action Fund engages the next generation of Oregon’s leaders to build political power and fight for a more just and equitable Oregon.

This is our 501(c)(4) branch.