Democracy Camp in DC

Noel Arikew

Class of 2025
2024 Democracy Camp in DC

Noel Arikew (he/him)

Noel Arikew is a first-generation, low-income, transfer student double majoring in political economy and legal studies as well as minoring in public policy. At Berkeley, he is a Miller Scholar, and is currently working on his research on anti-Blackness in the immigration system, and possible policy recommendations to humanize the US immigration system. His research aims to shed light on the often overshadowed aspects of systemic injustice, particularly as they pertain to Black immigrants. Through his research endeavors, Noel aspires to be a catalyst for...

Ariana Berumen

2022 Democracy Camp DC Fellow
Class of 2022

Ariana Berumen is a first generation Latinx student at UC Berkeley. Ariana grew up in San Martin, CA, but now lives in Gilroy, CA. Ariana is a senior double majoring in Sociology and Spanish with an Education Minor who is ambitious to continue to learn in order to better understand how to make a difference in the world. Growing up, she faced educational injustices of only knowing Eurocentric knowledge that oftentimes made her feel like people of color do not have the capability of succeeding and attaining a college education....

Tatiana Butte

2022 Democracy Camp DC Fellow & 2023 Democracy Camp DC Student Director
Class of 2023

Tatiana Butte is a first-generation Afro-Latina studying Human Geography. She grew up with a single mother in Southeast San Diego, where she was exposed to drugs and violence. She recognizes low-income communities of color like her suffer the strain of being unheard of for basic needs concerning areas of healthcare and environmental health crises. She acknowledged the importance of awareness around neglected issues within marginalized communities of color which led to her involvement in community activism and public speaking. Her passion is resolving...

David Carranza

Class of 2023
2023 Democracy Camp in DC

David Carranza was born and raised in Los Angeles by immigrant parents from Central America. As a child, his parents instilled in him the value of education and hard work and he aspired to go to college, however, as a teenager, David struggled to cope with the emotional trauma of growing up in an abusive household and his father being habitually incarcerated. Although he excelled in high school, he gravitated toward gangs and during his senior of high school was sentenced to life in prison. While incarcerated he found healing from his past and pursued his dream of going to...

Daisy Flores

Class of 2023
2023 Democracy Camp in DC
Daisy Flores (she/her) is a first-generation, system-impacted Chicana student from Compton, California, pursuing her Bachelor's degree in Ethnic Studies with a minor in Race and the Law at UC Berkeley. Experiencing the incarceration and deportation of her family and loved ones has prompted Daisy to actively combat white supremacy and the structural racism of our crimmigration system—the simultaneous enforcement of immigration law and criminal law—to advocate for those who have been impacted by all carceral systems through holistic legal, humanitarian, and educational support in various...

Paloma Foster

Class of 2025
2024 Democracy Camp in DC

Paloma Foster (she/her/ella)

Paloma Foster (she/her/ella) is a first-generation, Mexican-American, non-traditional student. She is formerly incarcerated, a former foster youth and a transfer student parent from Los Angeles, CA. From her early experiences with foster care and probation to finally becoming a ward of the court and emancipating on her 18th birthday, she knew she wanted to help fix the less than perfect system. Paloma is majoring in political science and is pursuing a minor in public policy. She will also complete the summer minor, race and the law through the...

Daniela Franco

Class of 2024
2024 Democracy Camp in DC Student Director
2023 Democracy Camp in DC

Daniela Franco is a resilient first-generation college student at UC Berkeley who was born and raised in East Los Angeles. While growing up, she frequently witnessed Latinx laborers criminalized, struggled with financial security, and navigated an underfunded educational system. Through these experiences, Daniela became passionate about uplifting individuals negatively impacted by the criminal justice system, increasing financial resources for low-income families, and supporting minorities in their access and success in higher education. Now at UC Berkeley,...

Gélser Zavala Garcia

2022 Democracy Camp DC Fellow
Class of 2023
Gélser Zavala is an East Oakland born and raised Central American-American native, the child of war refugees from El Salvador's U.S. funded civil war, who transferred from Laney College with an AA in Paralegal and Social Studies now studying Legal Studies. Through a tumultuous upbringing living in a working class family, and attending under-resourced and underfunded public school system, Gélser has witnessed and experienced how public policy and other forms of leadership has been inadequate for communities needing to be empowered and assisted for upward economic status and thrive...

Gélser Zavala Garcia

Class of 2022
2022 Democracy Camp in DC
2022 Schaeffer Fellowship
Placement: Special Assistant to Mayor Libby Schaaf Placement Location:

Gélser Zavala is a rising senior majoring in Legal Studies after transferring from Laney College with a AA in Paralegal Studies and Social Sciences. He is an East Oakland born and raised native, the son of war refugees from El Salvador who migrated to California in the late 1980s. Growing up in a working class family, Gélser endured challenges in his public education with insidious systems of underfunded policies for school, gang-violence, teen pregnancy, and dropping out of...

Amber Griffin-Royal

2023 Democracy Camp DC Fellow
Class of 2024

Amber Griffin-Royal (she/her) is a low-income, disabled, Oakland native, fourth-year re-entry transfer majoring in African American Studies. Her time at Cal has been invaluable as she's been supported academically and creatively to pursue her interests in research, femtorship, and DJing. Some of the work she's done on campus includes being an Undergraduate Research Advocate Intern at the Library of Environmental Design, an intern at NavCal, femtoring newly accepted transfer students, a Program Coordinator for Experience Berkeley Transfer assisting community college students of color...