Amanda R. Matos
Amanda R. Matos, proud resident of the Bronx, NY, empowers communities of color through capacity building, political education, and civic engagement.
Prior to graduate school, Amanda worked with New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Girls for Gender Equity in creating the Young Women’s Initiative, a participatory governance model for young women of color to innovate policy solutions for their communities, and helped garner a $20 million commitment from City Council and local foundations to fund this public-private partnership. Previously, Amanda served as Manager of Community Organizing at Planned Parenthood of New York City, where she led advocacy campaigns and mobilized thousands of New Yorkers to advocate for increased access to affordable, safe, and compassionate sexual and reproductive healthcare.
Amanda is co-founder of the WomanHOOD Project, which is a youth-led after-school mentorship program for girls of color in the Bronx. She has been recognized by the New York Women’s Foundation, Peace First, and the United Nations. She received her BA in Ethnicity & Race Studies from Columbia University, and is currently a Master in Public Policy candidate and Sheila C. Johnson Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
Bryan Cortes is currently a concurrent degree candidate in the Master in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and Master of Business Administration at MIT Sloan School of Management. Originally from Los Angeles, he is a first-generation college graduate and earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics with honors from Cal Poly.
Prior to graduate school, Bryan worked at UBS Wealth Management Americas in New York City, where he was part of the CFO group and managed the financial performance of the firm’s Financial Advisor branches. In addition to his professional endeavors, he served as Vice-chair of the Junior Leadership Board of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity and managed fundraising and mentoring recruiting for the organization’s high school mentoring program.
Bryan is interested in economic development, financial services access and higher educational access and affordability. He’s an avid reader and likes to collect presidential memoirs and/or biographies.
Leticia Rojas is a Master in Public Policy student and Presidential Scholarship recipient at the Harvard Kennedy School. She attended Harvard College, where she discovered her passion for energy and climate change issues. In her second time at Harvard, she wants to explore how these issues affect Latinx communities, who are disproportionately affected by environmental contamination and are underrepresented in the energy sector. Before the Kennedy School, Leticia worked for the Ministry of Energy in her parents’ home country of Mexico. While she was there, she developed new projects and programs to fund energy research and development.
Leticia was born and raised in Dallas, Texas, and is the proud daughter of immigrants from Celaya, Guanajuato. She and her two older sisters are first generation college students.