Democracy Camp in DC

Democracy Camp

Democracy Camp is designed for Cal undergrads who are interested in enhancing our democracy through public service, and who are still discerning their unique pathway. Students can apply to one of two programs: Democracy Camp in Berkeley, the Matsui Center's alternative spring break program, or Democracy Camp in DC...

Rungsiri Upradit

Class of 2024
2024 Democracy Camp in DC

Rungsiri Upradit (she/her)

Rungsiri Upradit was born in Thailand and immigrated to the United States at the age of five. She is passionate about doing work that will uplift and empower the community in the areas of housing sustainability, the environment, and public health. She participated in the Public Policy & International Affairs (PPIA) Fellowship at the Goldman School of Public Policy, where she engaged in intensive coursework covering topics such as Inequality & Economics, Policy Analysis, Quantitative Methods, and Law. As a fellow, she had the...

Janet Mendoza Partida

Class of 2025
2024 Schaeffer Fellowship
2023 Democracy Camp in DC

Janet Mendoza-Partida is a third-year undergraduate student at the University of California, Berkeley studying legal studies and Chicanx/Latinx studies. She was born and raised in Watsonville, California by Mexican migrant agricultural workers. While in high school she volunteered at multiple elementary and middle schools around her community, leading her to understand the educational disparities predominantly impacting students of color, and prompting her to develop a passion for educational equity. During the summer she continues to serve as a mentor, translator, and educator in...

Jennifer Ramirez

Class of 2024
2024 Percy Undergraduate Grant
2023 Cal-in-Sacramento
2022 Washington Fellowship
2022 Democracy Camp in DC Student Co-Director
2022 Democracy Camp in DC
2022 Democracy Camp in Berkeley

Jennifer Ramirez is a first-generation Latina studying Economics and Public Policy at UC Berkeley from the Bay Area. Growing up in a mixed-status household, she experienced first-hand the hardships Latinx immigrant families faced, such as the struggle to assimilate, obtain basic needs, and become financially stable. The systematic barriers that limit the upward mobility of historically marginalized communities propelled her to become an advocate in her local community, and pursue a career in public service. After being selected to attend Harvard Kennedy...

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...

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...

Naydelin Chimil Tico

Class of 2025
2024 Democracy Camp in DC

Naydelin Chimil Tico (she/her)

Passionate about the intersection of environmental and social justice, Naydelin Chimil, an indigenous woman majoring in society and environment, is a recent transfer student. Fueled by firsthand experiences of environmental and social injustice in her community, she actively advocates against systemic racism. With a relentless curiosity and commitment to public service, Naydelin contributes a unique perspective to public policy. As a former Youth City Council Member for City District 1 of Los Angeles, she brings a passion for further learning...

Mayra Lua Reyes

Class of 2024
2024 Democracy Camp in DC

Mayra Lua Reyes (she/her)

Mayra is the daughter of Mexican immigrant parents and a first-generation college student. She was born and raised in the Central Valley, in Merced, California. At an early age, she became aware of the injustices faced by her community, namely labor exploitation, and ethnic and class discrimination. She soon realized that her parents’ classification as “low-skilled workers” became a license for exploitation and discrimination in the agricultural industry.

During her university studies, Mayra has learned about the inefficiencies of our criminal...

Mansour Taleb-Ahmed

Class of 2024
2024 Democracy Camp in DC

Mansour Taleb-Ahmed (he/him)

Born and raised in the culturally rich landscape of France to a resilient African immigrant mother and overachieving father, Mansour Taleb-Ahmed embodies a fusion of identities that fuels his unwavering passion for justice. Witnessing marginalized communities' inequalities ignited a profound desire to dismantle barriers, champion the voices of the voiceless, and bridge cultural gaps.

As a senior at UC Berkeley studying political science with a focus on international relations, Mansour stands between global expertise and societal impact. With...

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...