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New Leaders Council

2016 Fellows

2016 Fellows

Lauren Banker


Lauren Banker is a long-time Granite Stater with an unceasing passion for social justice activism. Lauren graduated from the University of New Hampshire (UNH) with a Bachelor’s of Arts, majoring in Anthropology, Women’s Studies and minoring in Spanish. Her focus on social justice activism propelled her to study abroad in northern Chile where she interviewed and talked with students about the social stigma surrounding birth control during her junior year.

Throughout her time as a student at UNH, Lauren led and founded several student organizations with focuses on affordable healthcare, the environment, and raising awareness of campus sexual assaults. She co-founded UNH Trash 2 Treasure, a student led, waste-free campus program. Upon graduation, Lauren united her interests in social justice activism and reproductive health when she took a position with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England’s Manchester Health Center, where she continues to advocate for students and young people on a daily basis.

In her free time Lauren enjoys attending punk rock shows, going on road trips and watching scary movies with her younger sister.


Maddisun Barrows 

Maddisun_Barrows.jpgMaddisun is a field representative for the State Employees' Association of New Hampshire, SEIU Local 1984 - the second largest public sector union in the state. Her background in employment and labor law led her to her current role as Organizer for the union, drawing from her technical knowledge of the state and federal regulations that serve to protect workers' rights. As an organizer, Maddisun serves as educator, mentor, and leader of a remarkably diverse group of working people across the state. Maddisun is also attending Southern New Hampshire University as a full-time student, pursuing an undergraduate degree in history. She is a member of Alpha Sigma Lambda - a community service organization and honor society for Continuing Education students at the university. She intends to pursue a law degree upon graduation, and hopes to specialize in the emerging field of Space Law. 


Hannah Bristol


Hannah Bristol grew up outside Washington, D.C. where politics were always part of the dinnertime conversation. She has been organizing around political and environmental issues since she was 14. As a student at Middlebury College, she attended the COP18 climate talks with SustainUS, was a leader of the student environmental justice club, Sunday Night Group, ran MiddVote, the college’s voter engagement program, and served as an editor for the Middlebury Campus newspaper. After working as the Vermont state lead for Power Shift in 2013, she co-founded the Vermont Student Climate Coalition, a statewide network of student leaders working for climate justice.

She first moved to New Hampshire in 2012 when she took a semester off from college to work as the field organizer for the Obama campaign in Derry. As Youth Vote Director, she continues to pursue her passion for climate justice, voting rights, and student power. She is obsessed with succulents and her CSA.


Evan Czyzowski

Evan_Czyzowski.jpgEvan Czyzowski teaches English, drama, and philosophy at Sanborn Regional High School in Kingston, NH. At Sanborn he is also president of the Sanborn Regional Education Association and he worked as one of the coordinators of the Pathways Internship Program. He is serving a third term on the National Education Association, NH Chapter’s State Executive Board as a representative for the Seacoast Region. Evan has taught in China with the Sino-American Bridge for Education and Health (SABEH) each summer since 2012, and he is currently the Director of Education for SABEH. In 2006-2007 he lived and taught in Kraków, Poland, and from 2009-2011 he was Co-Director of the Polish-English Summer Program in Krotoszyn, Poland. He is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a BA in English and an MA in literature. In 2013 he was named as one of the top “40 Under Forty” professionals in New Hampshire by the New Hampshire Union Leader.


Jessica Eskeland


Jessica Eskeland serves as Public Policy Coordinator at the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, a statewide non-profit organization that advocates for adult and child victims of abuse. Jessica specializes in monitoring legislative activity, drafting and delivering testimony, working collaboratively with legislators, stakeholders, and agency representatives, and strategizing around legislative activity in concert with the Public Policy Director.

In addition to her legislative duties at the Coalition, Jessica serves on the Planning Committee for the Coalition’s Hall of Fame Luncheon, their major annual fundraising event, which honors individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the movement to end violence. A native of New Hampshire, Jessica previously worked at the NH Senate, first as a Committee Secretary and finally as the NH Senate Journal Clerk. She graduated from Granite State College with a B.A. in Communications.


Emily Fahey


Emily is a UniServ Assistant at the New Hampshire affiliate of the National Education Association. She handles the Eastern and Seacoast regions of the state, coordinating annual dinner events, monthly council meetings, and region trainings. She is trained in organizing movements and members. Emily is also an active member in her staff union, attending multiple conferences in both professional development and the delegate assembly.

A New Hampshire native, Emily now lives in Dover with her boyfriend, John and their adopted pitbull, Barley. Emily attended Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, graduating in 2011 with a degree in psychology. She has a certificate in grant-writing from the University of New Hampshire.

Emily is currently training for a two-day trek from Sturbridge, Massachusetts to Provincetown for the Pan-Mass Challenge. As a strong shelter adoption advocate, she volunteers for the Pope Memorial SCPA in Concord several times a year for the past five years. Emily was actively involved in a capitol campaign to fund Pope Memorial’s new building. In her spare time, Emily enjoys reading, politics, attending concerts, the outdoors, skiing, kayaking and hiking.


Amanda Gourgue

Amanda_Gourgue.jpegAmanda L. Gourgue, MBA, MELP, CMP, LEED AP is a revolutionist! She started Meeting Revolution in 2008 and specializes in business strategy, corporate responsibility and nonprofit management. Amanda has twenty years of experience in the hospitality, sustainable events and nonprofit industries. She has consulted, presented, and written articles in the areas of marketing, corporate social responsibility, healthy buildings, event planning and fundraising. In 2013, she completed her Masters of Business Administration degree in Sustainability from Antioch University in Keene, NH and her Masters of Environmental Law and Policy from Vermont Law School in South Royalton, VT. In addition, she served on the committees to create the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meeting Standards, the ISO 20121 Event Sustainability Management System Standards and was a founding member of the US Green Building Council, New Hampshire. Currently, she is an IMEX-GMIC Green Meeting Awards judge, board member on the New Hampshire Association of Conservation Commissions, member of the Lee Conservation and Agricultural Commissions, Seacoast Development Meet Up, Co-Chair and does the event social media for Catapult Seacoast.


Elizabeth Grunewald

Elizabeth_Grunewald.JPG Elizabeth is a human rights advocate who believes in the power of youth to bring forward a more peaceful and interconnected world. Trained at the Rhode Island School of Design, she holds an Associates Degree in Peace & Social Justice from Nashua Community College, and recently graduated from the Outdoor Leadership Program of Greenfield Massachusetts. She is now employed as a Base Camp Instructor at the Wilderness School of Connecticut.  Focused on empowering resilient individuals to bring forth the best possible version of themselves to help humanity transcend 21st century conflicts across ideologies, biologies, and borders. She seeks to combine outdoor adventure and art-making as tools for healing internal and interpersonal conflicts while emphasizing Earth-conscious practices. When not working to improve herself or her community she may be found tending seeds in the dirt. This autumn she will bicycle the length of the US eastern seaboard.



George Haire

George_Haire.JPGGeorge Haire is an organizer for #IllGoWithYou: An Ally Project. This online community works to educate allies and requests they pledge to serve as both an advocate and a witness for non-binary friends when they are scared or nervous to go into public spaces alone. George is a queer, homeschooled, New Hampshire native. She moved from the North Country to the Concord area in her mid-twenties, hoping to find better employment, education, and social opportunities. She now works for an Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, teaches ukulele, and goes to college in her spare time.




Roxanne Harmon

Roxanne_Harmon.jpgRoxanne Harmon finds solace wandering the ferny forests of New England. Outside of nature she is the Education Coordinator for Planned Parenthood in New Hampshire. She works in the Manchester area to improve sex education in the community. Her primary focus is youth and reducing unintended pregnancy. She attends coalition meetings, conducts workshops, and works toward building a more sex positive community. She studied health promotion and theatre at Brigham Young University. Her undergraduate in public health helped ignite a passion for sex education when she interned with the Utah AIDS Foundation. As an intern she became a certified HIV prevention counselor and worked to produce literature on mixed status relationships. Prior to her current job, she had the opportunity to work with youth as an administrative assistant at The Academy for Science and Design. This position provided many opportunities to teach middle school students. She hopes to make the world a more body positive, queer friendly space as she pursues her passions. If she is not in the woods or working, she can be found doing yoga or applauding her favorite drag queens.


Zach Jonas

Zach_Jonas.jpgZach Jonas studied political science at Union College in Schenectady, NY. At Union, Zach founded a political newspaper, the Union College Banner, for which he received the Anthony C. LeVecchia Prize for Political Journalism. He was also inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honors society. Zach moved to Concord shortly after graduating from college and is a proud resident of the capital city. He likes hiking, sailing, Chinese food and hanging out with his cat Tom. He is also a big sci-fi and fantasy nerd and an especially avid Star Wars fan.


Amelia Keane

Amelia_Keane.JPGAmelia Keane is a candidate for a Bachelor of Arts in Biology at UNH Manchester. She is a native of Nashua, NH. After high school, Amelia attended Soka University of America in Aliso Viejo, California. The school is based on Buddhist principles of peace, human rights, and the sanctity of life. It was there that her passion to create value that would better humanity, flourished. After a year and a half, Amelia decided to return home to pursue medicine. Shortly after coming back to New Hampshire she enlisted into the U.S. Army Reserves as a Medic and nurse. This was a way for her to live as a contributive citizen while creating a strong foundation in medicine. Currently Amelia is deeply involved in her school and the community. Last fall she started the first environmental club. Amelia is also actively engaged in research in neuro-biology, specifically looking at mild traumatic brain injuries in Veterans. Amelia is a fellow for the non-profit organization, NextGen Climate. As a fellow, Amelia works on campus as well as in the community to encourage NH residents to take progressive action on climate change.


Allison Power Bernal

Allison_Power_Bernal.JPGAllison is from Topsfield, MA and graduated from the UNH Health Management and Policy program in 2008. After living in Boston and D.C., Allison moved back to New Hampshire in 2014 and is the Prevention Coordinator at the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. For five years, Allison worked on HIV research and refugee health in Boston, and then left New England to complete her Master of Public Health degree at the George Washington University, with a focus on violence as a public health priority. While in grad school, she worked on a global human trafficking hotline project, and studied social entrepreneurship in Cape Town, South Africa. Allison plans to continue working at the intersection of community health and social justice, and she is passionate about geography education, and global and cross-cultural perspectives in community health and development. In her free time, Allison travels around New England, gardens, plays piano, and spends time with friends and family.


Leah Quimby

Leah_Quimby.jpgLeah Quimby comes to New Hampshire from Connecticut via a long educational route through Canada. Leah currently works as an Administrative Assistant/Office Manager for C&W Services at Keene State College, is a volunteer for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and leads their Keene Community Action Team. She is most notably passionate about advocating for gender equity and healthcare access. Two degrees (B.A. of Political Science & Women’s Studies at Concordia University Montreal and a B.B.A. with a focus on leadership, marketing, and project management at University of Prince Edward Island) and over a decade of various work positions provide Leah with a strong background in administration, healthcare environments, tax firms, event planning, leadership, and teamwork. Leah spent her time at Concordia University as President of the Women’s Studies Student Association, running for the Student Union, performing in student television productions, and singing at an Old-Time Country Music night and occasionally the Montreal Association for the Blind. During her business degree at UPEI Leah wrote a comprehensive research paper with a partner on encouraging gender equity in upper business management. Ms. Quimby hopes to marry her knowledge of politics, gender dynamics, and analytical skills garnered from her first degree to strategic planning and practical skills that she gained in the workforce and business school. She loves talking to people and finding out what they want and need. Beyond that she believes that the arts are a strong avenue for engaging others, fundraising, and expressing needs and wants in a way more people can understand. If you come across her, she is never too proud to sing a song or dance to get people excited about something she cares about.


Dario Scalco

Dario_Scalco.JPGDario Scalco currently serves as Legislative & Political Director for the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire. In this capacity, he directs legislative outreach and electoral strategy on behalf of approximately 2,000 active and retired Granite State firefighters. As a recent transplant to New Hampshire, by way of New Orleans, Scalco is a college graduate of Louisiana State University, where he earned his B.A. in Political Science. Heavily involved in his alma mater, Scalco was active in Student Government, the All-American Golden Band from Tigerland, and the surrounding Baton Rouge community. Upon graduation from LSU, Scalco earned positions critical to the success of several campaigns throughout the South, most notably in Louisiana and Florida. His progressive roots stem from the unacceptable federal response to Hurricane Katrina and the Federal Flood that followed. Scalco has advocated on behalf of public employee retirement security, the LGBT community, in support of an increase in the minimum wage, as well as on behalf of the Gulf Coast in rebuilding Louisiana's subsiding coastline.


Ilyssa Sherman

Ilyssa_Sherman.jpgIlyssa has been volunteering with Planned Parenthood of Northern New England since May 2015. In addition to this, she serves as the Seacoast Volunteer Leader, as she enjoys providing community outreach and education for the organization. Ilyssa She also spent two years as a crisis advocate for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, and human trafficking. These experiences have fueled her passion for women's rights and she plans to stay politically active so she can fight for women's equality. Moving forward, her aim is to continue with this work and become a physician's assistant specializing in women's health.  Currently, Ilyssa is an Early Childhood Educator.  



Kaity Thomson

Kaity_Thomson.jpgA fourth generation granite stater and recent graduate from the University of New Hampshire, Kaity is working to give back to the community that has supported her and her family. Giving back takes shape in her work as a climate and social justice activist. Currently, she works as the coordinator for 350 New Hampshire, a volunteer-led climate action special project under New Hampshire Peace Action. She is also an active member on the board of directors for The World Fellowship Center in Albany, NH and on the NH leadership team of Rights and Democracy. In her rare moments of free time, she works with rescue dogs to get them ready for adoption.



Sheila Vargas

Sheila_Vargas.JPGSheila is originally from Aibonito, Puerto Rico and was raised in New Hampshire politics. Sheila has her B.A. in communications and a minor in philosophy from Franklin Pierce University. Sheila currently works as the Communications Director for New Futures.  Sheila recently moved back to New Hampshire from Texas where she was working as a fundraiser for SuperPAC Battleground Texas on the national and local level in correlation with the Wendy Davis Campaign for Governor. While in Texas, she also served as the GOTV Regional Logistics Director in San Antonio for the ’13-’14 midterm. She has also played a small part in helping others from inside the corporate world while working as a Financial 401K Retirement Advisor with Fidelity Investments in Dallas, Texas. Over the course of her undergraduate studies Sheila was lucky enough to have the opportunity to live and study in Athens, Greece for six months where she traveled to Turkey, France and Spain to extensively study Communications work around the European economy and other EU policy issues. She loves to visit her family in Puerto Rico, practice yoga, binge on podcasts, read, and brainstorm ways to solve global poverty in any free time she has. she credits her loving parents/family and her Catholic upbringing for providing her with her passion for social justice.


Eric Zulaski

Eric_Zulaski.jpgFor ten years, Eric Zulaski was a member of a monastic order, serving those in need in Central America and Asia. A few years ago Eric returned to the civilian life and started to transition into a career in grassroots advocacy communications. Currently, Eric is the Welcoming Coordinator for the NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees.  Previously, Eric worked as an organizer for the American Friends Service Committee's Governing Under the Influence project – a campaign which mobilized activists in New Hampshire and Iowa to speak out at presidential candidate events against the excessive political influence of war and prison profiteers. At the same time, he enrolled in graduate level coursework in Strategic Public Relations at George Washington University. Eric also served a year with Americorps VISTA where he worked as the Public Relations and Marketing Assistant for Court Appointed Special Advocates of New Hampshire. Eric enjoys hiking, bicycling and volunteering in the community. He is a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Manchester, where he sings in the choir and chairs the Social Responsibility Committee. He is also a founding member of Bike Manchester—a group advocating for improved bicycle infrastructure in New Hampshire's largest city.

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