The 2019 TurboVote Summer Associates have arrived!

Our 2019 TurboVote Summer Associates have arrived! We’re incredibly excited to have five exceptional students joining Democracy Works to help us continue making voting fit the way we live. They come from the far away lands of New Mexico, California, Michigan, Connecticut, and Manhattan, but have settled down in our Brooklyn office for the next nine weeks. We’ve asked our associates to share a little more about themselves below, so you can get to know them better!

The 2019 TurboVote Summer Associates, from left to right: Michael, Ella, Akshay, Deanna, and Sam.

The 2019 TurboVote Summer Associates, from left to right: Michael, Ella, Akshay, Deanna, and Sam.

Akshay Mody

Akshay Mody is a rising sophomore at the University of Chicago, where he is pursuing a double major  in Political Science and Public Policy. On campus, he competes on the Varsity Cross Country and Track teams, is involved with the Institute of Politics as a contributing writer for The Gate Political Review and as a member of the Fellows Program. He is also a college prep coach at the UC Woodlawn Charter School. Akshay’s interest in public policy and increasing voter engagement on college campuses led him to Democracy Works this summer. In his free time, Akshay enjoys hiking, biking, and watching political documentaries on Netflix. 

Deanna Gutierrez

Deanna Gutierrez is a rising senior at Harvard University, where she studies Government with a secondary in Economics. At Harvard, she serves as the Director of Congressional Programs for Harvard Model Congress San Francisco, teaches fifth grade students about civics and government as a part of the Institute of Politics's CIVICS Program. She also volunteers as a citizenship tutor and is a member of the Harvard-Radcliffe Modern Dance Company. Deanna is fascinated in the ways nonprofits promote efficiency in roles traditionally driven by the government. Working as a Summer Associate at Democracy Works is the perfect pairing of this interest with her love of promoting civic engagement. In her free time, you can find Deanna eating New Mexican cuisine and spending time with her two brothers.

Ella Michaels

Ella Michaels is a rising sophomore at Harvard University, originally from Los Angeles, California, planning to study Social Studies. At Harvard, she teaches with CIVICS, a program that provides weekly civics classes to fifth-graders in the Boston area. She is also a Case Team Leader with the Harvard College Consulting Group, competes with the Debating Union, and is on the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter’s Street Team which works weekly shifts distributing food and other resources to people experiencing homelessness in Cambridge. In her free time, Ella is a podcast junkie, Trader Joe’s fiend, and thrift store enthusiast; she has not purchased a new item of clothing since 2016  (which admittedly reflects her shallow bank balance more than her deep commitment to sustainability). She came to Democracy Works because of her interest in the intersection of public service and technology, and stayed for the office dress code that allows her to wear (thrifted) Stan Smiths to work everyday.

Michael Goldman Brown Jr.

Michael Goldman Brown Jr. is a rising sophomore at the University of Toronto, where he studies Sociology and Political Science. Originally from Michigan, Michael’s interest in the voter engagement space began in high school when he founded Engage18, a non-partisan nonprofit devoted to increasing youth voter engagement. Since beginning University, Michael has taken an active role on campus, most recently demonstrated in his election to the Undergraduate Sociology Students Union’s (USSU) Executive Board. It was Michael’s deep interest in voter engagement–as well as his affinity for the collective decision making process known as democracy–that drew him to Democracy Works. In his free time, Michael avidly reads the news, writes fictional stories and poems, and listens to music.

Sam Shapiro

Sam Shapiro is a rising junior at Georgetown University, where he studies International Politics and Religion, Ethics, and World Affairs. He’s a native New Yorker, and feels right at home in Democracy Works’s Brooklyn office. At Georgetown, he’s a tour guide and works on the Hospitality Team for the Office of Campus Ministry, providing support to all six of the University’s chaplaincies. He’s passionate about getting as many folks as possible involved in the electoral and political processes, especially at the local level. That passion, combined with his interest in corporate social responsibility and how we can get our most powerful and profitable entities to commit to bettering the social good, drew him to Democracy Works. His favorite fish to eat is salmon, but his favorite fish in general is snapper.