Highlighting Community Stories from Next Up

Our board and youth leaders are the core of Next Up’s community. We’re so grateful for everything they contribute to Next Up, and we want to uplift their voices to our extended community! Below we’ve highlighted six board of directors and youth action team members who shared their stories with our amazing Development Intern, Caroline Gao, who created the following posts and video. Check it out below!

Video interview with Aishiki Nag, conducted by our 2021 Development Intern Caroline Gao

Read on to learn more about Aishiki and 5 other members of Next Up’s community.


Meet Aishiki Nag, a student at Tigard High School and incredible youth advocate! Aishiki is a member of Next Up’s Youth Action Team and participated in our Upturn high school leadership cohort. 

According to Aishiki, “Through the Upturn program, not only did I learn about the basics as a community organizer, but I also was exposed to so many great opportunities! This basic understanding led me to join other grassroots organizations around my area advocating for different policies such as climate resilience and immigration rights.” 

Aishiki epitomizes the youth leadership we seek to uplift and connect with opportunities. We’re so grateful to be part of Aishiki’s journey and for Aishiki to be part of our community!


Meet Josh, a Master of Public Policy student at Portland State University dedicated to building a just, prosperous and sustainable future!Josh is a member of Next Up’s Board Directors.

Josh says, “I wanted to join Next Up’s Board of Directors because of their proven commitment to dismantling systems of oppression and advancing justice and equity here in Oregon. There’s nothing quite as soul-replenishing as amplifying and empowering diverse, young people to not only contribute to that work, but champion it.”

We’re so appreciative of Josh and all the work he does to build a more just future, both in and out of Next Up. 


Meet Danielle, a Climate Justice Organizer with Sunrise Movement PDX and youth leader extraordinaire! Danielle is a member of Next Up’s Board Directors.

In Danielle’s own words, “As a strong believer in the restoration of voting rights of those currently incarcerated, I volunteered with Next Up’s letter writing campaign and quickly began to learn what an incredible organization it is. I have loved the opportunity to engage with youth in spaces that often feel inaccessible to people my age and I have learned so much from each and every individual I have connected with through this organization.”

Danielle shows up for her whole community in so many ways, and at Next Up, we’re grateful to be one of her outlets for positive change! 


Meet Mazie, a student at Northwest Academy and amazing youth organizer! Mazie is a member of Next Up’s Youth Action Team.

Mazie says, “I’m also an organizer with Sunrise PDX and co-facilitate the social justice club at my school. Next Up has been instrumental in how I understand organizing and also how I write testimony and make asks. The lessons I’ve learned at Next Up inform so much of my work, not only organizing, but elsewhere too.”

We are so happy and honored to work with wonderful youth leaders like Mazie!  


Meet Lucy, a Public Involvement Consultant at EnviroIssues and community changemaker! Lucy is a Next Up board member.

Lucy says, “Next Up encourages everyone to show up as their authentic self and to contribute in their own unique way. That shines through in how everyone collaborates together to make a difference.”

We are grateful for Lucy’s advocacy in the community and are lucky to call her part of the Next Up family!


Meet Michelle, Chief of Staff for Senator Lawrence Spence and awesome youth organizer! Michelle is a board member at Next Up.

Michelle says, “I am incredibly thankful for the work that Next Up does to ensure that youth have access to the rights, resources & recognition we deserve and ensure that our voices are heard in all places decisions are being made about us.”

Her biggest takeaway from working with Next Up? “Youth are badass change-makers who can and will determine our own futures.” 🔥

We love working with change-makers like Michelle and are grateful for everything she brings to our community!