Matsui Center Cal-in-Sacramento Fellows

Leila Phillips

Class of 2024
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento
2024 Jo Freeman Women in Politics Fellow

Leila Phillips is a first-generation transfer student at UC Berkeley majoring in political science. She was raised by a single mother who emigrated from Mexico and encouraged Leila’s academic journey throughout her life. Leila constantly looks for opportunities to use her academic background to benefit her community. On campus, Leila interns as a Student Assistant for the Transfer Student Center, helping facilitate transition courses for incoming transfer students. Interning with the Transfer Student Center allows Leila to fulfill her passion of contributing to one of the communities...

Juan Pablo Blanco

Class of 2024
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento
2024 Democracy Camp in Berkeley
2024 Diversity & Entrepreneurship Fellow

Raised in a modest family of five, Juan Pablo Blanco is passionate about some of the most pressing issues confronting working-class Californians. As a senior studying political science at UC Berkeley, Juan Pablo is mental health advocate who recognizes the importance of empowering communities for students in college. At UC Berkeley, Juan Pablo founded Unbox’d, a mental health awareness organization that offers students mindfulness resources.

Juan Pablo plans to attend law school, work in-house counsel, and start an immigration law firm. Coming from an immigrant...

Eric Zhu

Class of 2026
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento
2024 Diversity & Entrepreneurship Fellow

Eric Zhu is a current second-year student at UC Berkeley intending to major in political economy. Coming from a struggling, low-income, single parent, immigrant household, he has witnessed the mother’s hardship in struggling to make a living for his and his sister's education in the United States. He has grown a great interest in supporting struggling low-income immigrant families, and other marginalized communities, in finding better economic opportunities in the US. Currently, he is working with Asian Immigrant Women Advocates in coordinating outreach...

Elia Wong

Class of 2026
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento
2024 Diversity & Entrepreneurship Fellow

I’m Elia and I’m originally from Los Angeles, CA. I am currently pursuing my degree in data science and economics, with a minor in public policy to tie the two fields together. My main career objective is to use quantitative methods/data analysis and economic theory to improve the efficacy of current government policies/programs as well as to create new ones. Although I am more than happy to dive into anything that involves policy and data, I’m particularly interested in housing in California, regional economic development, and sustainable government practices.

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Swasti Johri

Class of 2026
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento
2024 Diversity & Entrepreneurship Fellow

Swasti Johri is passionate about tackling housing insecurity and houselessness in the Bay Area and beyond. Having worked with Hamilton Families and Small House Inc., she is an ardent supporter of combining the housing first approach with multi-faceted, research-based solutions to the symptoms and causes underlying poverty. She centers her work around sustainability and environmental justice; she is a firm believer in indigenous remediation techniques and carries an appreciation for time and human-tested practices into her work.

Andres Marquez

Class of 2025
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento
2024 Diversity & Entrepreneurship Fellow

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Andres has a strong passion for education and the law. Inspired by community activism by his parents, he hopes to similarly give back to the community that has given so much to him. While at Berkeley, Andres is involved as both a research assistant for the National Elections Across Democracy and Autocracy (NELDA) project while pursuing a B.A. in Political Science. Andres is also an editor for the Vagabond Journal at Berkeley, along with being involved with Policy Debate.

Emely Ramirez

Class of 2024
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento
2024 Diversity & Entrepreneurship Fellow

Rooted in the city of San José, Emely draws strength from her experiences supporting her immigrant parents in navigating life in the United States. Her childhood was shaped by the challenges posed by her mother's severe work injury, pushing Emely into a role of care and support. From accompanying her mother to medical appointments to translating legal documents, Emely developed invaluable skills that fueled her commitment to community service and advocacy.

Guided by dedicated teachers and community leaders, Emely honed her abilities and emerged as a community
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Samuel García Durá

Class of 2027
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento
2024 Diversity & Entrepreneurship Fellow

Born and raised in Spain, Samuel was interested in politics since he was a student in high school. He went on to pursue a double degree in law and international studies at Carlos III University in Madrid. At his university, he had the chance to meet public servants that regularly came to give conferences at the university. It was through meeting and talking to them that Samuel deepened his interest in national politics, law-making and public service.

In 2023, he was given the chance to study at Berkeley for 1 year in an exchange program. In Berkeley, he learned...

Joselen Contreras

Class of 2027
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento
2024 Diversity & Entrepreneurship Fellow

Joselen Contreras is an ambitious and determined individual who has recently started her freshman year at the University of California, Berkeley. She has been awarded the highly coveted Regents' and Chancellor Scholarship, which reflects her commitment to academic excellence. Majoring in public health, she is eager to make a significant impact on healthcare and community well-being.

Despite coming from humble beginnings, Joselen's upbringing instilled in her a sense of purpose and a strong drive to improve the lives of those who are often overlooked and...

Noor Alramadan

Class of 2026
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento
2024 Diversity & Entrepreneurship Fellow

Noor Alramadan is a driven, first-generation student studying media studies with a concentration in media law and policy, and minoring in education. As the daughter of immigrant parents in a dual-heritage household, her upbringing has shaped her values toward education and advocacy. Her firsthand experience with the challenges that students from marginalized communities often face in completing higher education has driven her commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in higher education and professional spaces. To actively contribute to this cause, at UC Berkeley, she joined...