We would like to announce the 62nd class of Coro Fellows in Public Affairs, one of the longest running leadership development programs in the nation.
University of California, Riverside – B.A. Political Science and Public Policy, Minor in Sociology
At UCR, Semi channeled his passion for community leadership and political advocacy to make strides
and improvements for his campus. As Student Body President, he has worked to support the student
experience, with the creation of scholarships, the expansion of mental health services and programming, and led efforts to reduce student hunger and homelessness. His previous work includes time under Lauren Powell Jobs’ Emerson Collective supporting their work in environmental innovation. In addition, Semi has developed international business acumen through work with various EduTech ventures. After Coro, Semi hopes to pursue public office in the Inland Empire.
R. William Dahlin
University of Redlands – B.A. Public Policy, Minor in Sociology and Anthropology
Raised in the San Fernando Valley, China, and Indonesia, William graduated from the University of Redlands in 2018. At Redlands, he engaged in student life through various diversity, wellness, and education organizations, including Dudes Understanding Diversity and Ending Stereotypes. Additionally, William co-taught a class his junior year. William’s interests are at the intersections of environmental and technological change, social movements, and public policy. Since graduating, he has worked in civic engagement, leading voter registration teams at concerts with HeadCount and working on political campaigns. After Coro, William plans to work in public service through policy making and educating.
Tiffany M. Darden
University of California, Los Angeles – B.A. Political Science with a specialization in Race and Ethnicity, Minor in Entrepreneurship
Tiffany is passionate about social justice reform and plans to become a civil rights lawyer after Coro. At UCLA, she completed a study analyzing the psychological impact of police brutality on communities of color and how that affects their relationship with law enforcement. Tiffany has interned for Congresswoman Karen Bass in Los Angeles as well as several minority-owned startups, such as Project Knapsack, Oneva, Big Citizen Hub, and Brown Girls Dream. Additionally, Tiffany worked as a legal assistant for over two years at Geragos & Geragos for monumental cases, including Colin Kaepernick v. NFL. Her ultimate goal is to be appointed Attorney General of the United States.
Adrienne Ullman Epstein
University of Texas, Austin – B.A. Sociology, Government, and Women’s & Gender Studies, Minor in Business
While at UT, Adrienne researched the effects of mitigation, race, and gender in federal death penalty cases, which culminated in her thesis. Adrienne also served as an active student leader in the Senate of College Councils as the Administrative Director. She interned for U.S. Congressman Ted Lieu, Annie’s List, and Ambassador Eisen at The Brookings Institution as an Archer Fellow in D.C. Adrienne is passionate about criminal justice and women’s rights and hopes to pursue a career advocating for these interests.
Harold Grigsby III
University of California, Los Angeles – B.A. African American Studies, Minor in Public Affairs
Harold’s personal experience with concentrated poverty and the criminal justice system has led him to develop himself into a changemaker and give back to communities like his own. While working with his hometown mayor, he helped establish Stockton Scholars, a citywide scholarship that aims to eliminate tuition cost for all students in Stockton. Additionally, Harold has served as a conflict mediator to help defuse tension between Crip and Hoover gang members. He also serves on The California Endowment Presidential Youth Council. Harold plans to use his time as a Coro Fellow to gain a holistic understanding of the interdependencies between different sectors to ensure he can leverage his future law degree to further impact communities like his own.
University of California, Los Angeles – B.A. Psychology, Minor in Public Affairs
During her time at UCLA, Zahra navigated various processes and tools for policy reform as a statewide student advocate with non-profit organization Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and through government roles with the City of Los Angeles, California State Legislature, and U.S. House of Representatives. She recently served as the UCLA Undergraduate Facilities Commissioner, and in this elected office led initiatives to improve campus infrastructure, resources, and environment for over forty thousand students. With her background, Zahra hopes to develop methods of innovative collaboration, contribute to impactful programs and policies, and translate community-centered values to her work towards social equity.
Willow Grace Higgins
University of Redlands – B.A. English Literature and Public Policy with emphasis in Political Journalism, Minor in Political Science
Willow’s interests in public policy and journalism have intersected in pursuit of public advocacy. As Editor-in-Chief of her school newspaper, Willow wrote and passed a governing charter that protects the publication’s free press. Within the Public Policy department, Willow founded an emphasis in political journalism, which culminated with a thesis examining media coverage of mass shootings. During an editorial internship with Texas Monthly, Willow had several articles published and did extensive research on the family separation crisis at the border. Willow graduated Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa and hopes to pursue a career in political and investigative journalism.
Serena Arielle Limas
California State University, Los Angeles – B.A. English
At Cal State LA, Serena majored in English and served as a fellow with Coaching Corps to recruit coaches to provide sports programming in underserved communities surrounding campus. As an undergraduate, she worked as a youth development professional at the Boys and Girls Club of Ramona Gardens, completed several service-oriented internships. Serena coaches basketball in East LA and was honored as the Coach of the Year by Coaching Corps. She has partnered with Nike to recruit female coaches for L.A.’s Recreation and Parks and plans to one day become a lawyer and help make changes in the communities like hers.
University of California, Davis – Philosophy and Political Science – Public Service, Minor in Latin American Studies
As a first-generation Latino student, Ricardo learned of immediate disadvantages undocumented
populations faced at UC Davis. He became involved in student government and grew passionate to learn of the root causes of migration and anti-corruption mechanisms in Latin America. He joined the Senate Office of International Relations in Sacramento and later completed an internship with the Washington Office on Latin America, a non-profit organization advancing human rights in the region. Last year, he expanded his language skills, immersing himself in Brazilian culture while studying abroad in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Ricardo seeks to combine his international experience with Los Angeles civic life, understanding the relationship between public policy, human rights and law.
University of New Mexico – B.A. Political Science
University of Missouri, St.Louis – M.A. Elementary Education
Ted’s passion for service led him to St. Louis, MO where he served as a Teach for America Corps member for two years in a second-grade classroom. During his time in the classroom, he worked with administration and staff to help coordinate and plan critical intervention groups designed to target and support the most at-risk students at the lower elementary level. Ted is a lifelong learner who fully believes that dramatic change in the classroom will leave a lasting impact on our most underserved communities. He hopes his experiences can offer a unique perspective to the dynamic political structures in Los Angeles.
University of California, Los Angeles – B.A. Political Science, Minors in Public Affairs and Urban & Regional Studies
A Los Angeles native, Axel graduated from UCLA, where he studied government, public policy, and urban planning, and received the University’s Public Service Leadership Award. As an undergraduate, he interned at the City of Los Angeles and spent two consecutive summers at the Department of State in Washington, D.C., where he worked on international transportation policy and crisis management. After Coro, Axel will pursue a law degree at the University of Pennsylvania.
Kayla Tilton, MPH
University of Southern California – B.S. Health Promotion & Disease Prevention, Minor in Health Admin.
University of Southern California – M.P.H. Public Health, Concentration in Health Services & Policy
Kayla moved to LA from Honolulu to study Public Health at USC. During her studies and volunteering in hospitals, Kayla was exposed to the severity of health disparities and inequities that exist locally. Interested in tackling public health issues for vulnerable and underserved populations in the public policy sphere, she then pursued her MPH at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. Kayla also interned for the LA County Board of Supervisors Second District Office’s Health Policy Team where she developed her career aspirations to collaborate among policymakers and communities to prevent violence and improve health access in South LA.