Born and raised by his mother and grandmother in the Florence-Graham neighborhood of Los Angeles, Darion Allen is a young Black man with a strong sense of self and unwavering respect for all cultures. From a young age, Darion developed a “by any means necessary” mentality that helped him overcome the perils of his environment that continues to motivate him.
A recent graduate of UW-Madison with degrees in Personal Finance and Communication Arts, Darion is an avid learner who thrives when applying learned skills to real life situations. Darion is currently a first-year graduate student pursuing a Master of Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University in Film & Television Production. With a career goal of becoming a Hollywood film director, Darion strives to write and direct films that contribute to a more holistic image of being Black.
Working to ultimately serve Black and Brown communities, Darion looks forward to developing this podcast series to support the next generation.
Host – Darion Allen
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Christian Alvarado is a Mexican Guatemalan, first generation, Los Angeles native. Having family in less opportunistic countries and conditions has given him a public service and ambitious outlook on life. He is a recent graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he obtained a B.S in Microbiology. Christian currently works at UCLA in a biomedical and regenerative sciences laboratory where he assists on a project to build ovarian follicles using stem-cell-based organoids. He plans to take this time as a gap year to then pursue his PhD in Molecular biology next year.
I Couldn’t Have Done It Alone
Hannah Glenn (she/her/hers) is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Counseling Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During her time at UW-Madison, Hannah has served in multiple roles to create and uphold culturally affirming spaces for underrepresented students at UW-Madison, including, but not limited to, being a mentor for the Posse Program from 2018-2020 and a DDEEA Community Support Specialist at the Counseling Psychology Training Clinic during the 2020-2021 and 2022-2023 academic years. In these roles, Hannah has provided welcoming spaces for people to truly feel seen and learn about what makes them who they are. She approaches forming relationships and strengthening communities with her values of cultural humility, curiosity, openness, authenticity, and respecting the infinite worth of every individual. Hannah is motivated to use her positionality as a psychologist-in-training to support others’ mental health and well-being.
Angel Diaz was born and raised in Bronx, New York. While living in the neighborhood of Highbridge, he attended the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science and is currently working for New York JTL as director of their after school and summer camp program, while also serving as a paraprofessional for high school students. Diaz is enrolled at Bronx Community College, seeking a degree in secondary education. Most meaningfully, he continues to be a part of his own high school brotherhood program, Umoja, where Diaz began as a student eight years ago, and continued first as an alumnus and now staff member.
I Am Because We Are
Ingrid Chung grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio and moved to New York to pursue a bachelor’s degree in English and creative writing at New York University where she became an accidental teacher through the New York City Teaching Fellows program, earning a master’s degree in adolescent English education at Hunter College. She began her first year of teaching at the Urban Assembly School for Applied Math and Science (AMS) 15 years ago as a 7th grade humanities teacher in Room 4 and immediately fell in love with teaching, AMS, & her students. Her passion for and commitment to equitable public education experiences for all young people led her to return to New York University for a master’s in educational leadership in 2011 and now, to pursue her doctorate in urban education leadership at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Chung currently lives in East Harlem and loves to travel, wander the city, try new restaurants, read, write, eat everything she can find, hang out with “AMS babies,” and be near/on the water as often as possible.
The Only Thing We Can Do Is Change The Future
As a passionate advocate for equity and access, Sikirat Mustapha uses her multifaceted interests in educational policy, finance and business to elicit change in her community. She attends Columbia University studying Statistics, Political Science & Business Administration. Sikirat can be seen mobilizing thousands at town halls, organizing rallies, speaking on panels, and constructing policies that work to eradicate the inequitable practices in NYC public schools through her work as the former Executive Board Member of the Chancellor’s Student Advisory Council. As the founder and CEO of Sikirat Tutors, she developed an all-encompassing youth enrichment curriculum that prioritizes a unique education where students are taught and mentored by other students.
Sikirat’s love for equity also branches outside of education, where she can be seen advocating for financial literacy, fair housing, and racial justice. This summer she spent time exploring Venture Capital with a boutique fund, actively investing in organizations impacting social reform for young people in NYC. With her free time, she enjoys exploring different cultures through food, music and dance.
“I realized I had power. I used something I already had. I used my mind, my words, my experiences.”
– Darion Allen, Voices of Change Podcast Co-Host