Pod 10 Selections Committee

Camila Alfonzo Meza

Pod 9

Camila (she/her) is a first generation Venezuelan American and communications professional. She currently works to improve access to justice and language services through public outreach and communications. Camila is passionate about increasing access — whether it be to resources, information, or opportunities. She lives in Northern Virginia with her space nerd fiancé and her puppy, Laika.

Chlo’e Edwards

Cohort 7

Chlo’e (she/her) is the CEO of Transformative Changes with a mission to defy the status quo in pursuit of justice and human liberation. Additionally, she is the Policy Director at New Virginia Majority, where she is responsible for the execution of strategies designed to advance the organization’s public policy goals, with a significant focus on civil rights, economic justice, health equity, housing and tenant protections, environmental justice, criminal legal reform, and immigrants’ rights, all through a racial equity lens. In her work, Chlo’e uniquely centers opportunities for transformation through practices centered in truth telling, reconciliation, healing, and repair. She continues to inspire change makers to pursue transformation of self as a certified yoga, mindfulness, and healing-centered engagement practitioner. 

Irene Shin

Cohort 3

Facilitator, Mentor

Irene (she/her) serves as the Executive Director of VCET. Prior to VCET, she served as the Senior Director at Crowdpac, a tech platform focused on combating the influence of big money in politics. Recently, Irene was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates, becoming the first Korean American woman to serve in the General Assembly. She also serves on the Boards of NAKASEC, the Competitive Commonwealth Fund, and Sister District Project.

Irene’s favorite part of VAPLP is the participants. Hands down, the people of VAPLP is what makes it such an amazing program. Irene, her fiancé, and dog live in the Town of Herndon. In her free time, Irene enjoys… wait what? Free time? What’s that? Fun fact, Irene learned to play the ukulele and bake sourdough during the pandemic.

Kristin Lennox

Pod 8

Facilitator, Mentor

Kristin (she/her/We) is a first generation Filipina American and eldest daughter in an immigrant household. With over 10 years of social work and nonprofit experience, Kristin has worked as a therapist, program manager, advocate, facilitator and many other unofficial roles that often occur in nonprofit spaces. Kristin loves to rest, read, talk to her plants, and make collages. Kristin can’t seem to stop playing video games that require her character to run many errands, despite her deep distaste for running errands IRL!!!

Nico Climaco

Program Steward, Facilitator

Nico (they/any) currently resides on occupied Nacotchatnk land (Washington, DC), and has been with VCET since January of 2022. Passionate about social justice, collective liberation, and community solutions, Nico finds home in collective and visionary spaces woven together by queer and trans people. They are invested in co-creating loving spaces and considers relationships & community to be the basis of their work. Nico’s biggest role models are Gizmo the gremlin, HIM from Powerpuff Girls, and the nerds from nerds candy.

Nick Gothard

Pod 8

Raised in Loudoun County, Nick Gothard (he/him) began his advocacy work as a high school student fighting for LGBTQ+ protections at the local level. Since, he’s worked as an organizer, executive director, campaign manager, and candidate for public office dedicated to progressive causes across Virginia. He previously served on the Loudoun County Community Services Board and Board of Directors of Equality Loudoun in pursuit of eliminating mental healthcare disparities for the LGBTQ+ community. Nick has fought for the freedom to vote as the Virginia Civic Engagement Table’s Election Protection Manager since August of 2022 and in his free time enjoys hiking, photography, and making homemade pasta.

Sarah Flores Shannon

Cohort 4

Sarah (she/her) is a proud Northern Virginian with Cuban and Irish roots. The daughter of community organizers, she has been mobilizing her community in support of reproductive health, rights, and justice for the past decade, and most recently served as board chair of the ARCH Fund — a Northern Virginia abortion fund. She loves talking about how faith can be used to support progressive values, especially in the fight for reproductive justice. Sarah has awarded herself the title of Most Efficient Passenger at Airport Security.

Shemika Curvey

Pod 9

Originally from Alabama, Shemika (she/her) became a Virginia resident while serving in the military during Act 1 of her life. Currently in Act 2, she is a student at GMU studying social justice and human rights, building a life with her wife Shannon, committed to the pursuit of liberation from oppressive systems for all. Shemika loves all things creative (art, music, poetry, crafting) but has no real talent or training…her joy lives in the chaos of creating.
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