Staff & Board
Carmen is a senior at Lincoln High School, and soon to be a freshman in college at Columbia University’s Barnard College in Manhattan, NY! She is an adventure-seeking change maker striving to come closer to understanding the deeper truths of our world and keen to better the world around her through artistic expression and passionate social justice work. She is super passionate about the work that the Bus does around making sure our democracy is vibrant and healthy by engaging young people in the political process. Gun reform is an issue she is extremely passionate about, which is why she co-founded Oregon Youth for Gun Reform, a group focusing on the intersection between gun violence and race. In addition to gun reform, Carmen will be spending a lot of her time fighting for climate justice.
Amira is a 17 year old student at La Salle Prep, born and raised in North East Portland. She is passionate about intersectional feminism, reproductive rights, equal access to education, gun reform, racial equity, and putting an end to modern day slavery. Inspired by the strong female role models in her life who have dedicated their lives to serving others, she hopes to do the same through advocacy. Throughout high school, she has dedicated a lot of time to social justice work in her school and her community. In school, she started the Youth Ending Slavery club as a sophomore and the Black Student Union as a junior. In the mornings before school she loves to volunteer as a barista at La Salle’s fair-trade coffee shop, from which 100% of the profit goes to financial aid for student service learning trips. In her community, she has worked with the Center for Women’s Leadership at Portland State University as an intern since age 14 and is a member of their Girls Oregon Action Leadership Service (GOALS) Summit teen council which plans an annual leadership summit for high school girls. Additionally, she is an executive member of the Bus Project’s youth-led organization called Oregon Youth for Gun Reform which works to create a racially equitable conversation about gun violence, focusing on the marginalized groups of people who are affected the most by gun violence. In her free time, she love to do makeup, listen to music, spend time with friends, travel, watch movies, and eat sushi.
Sanne Stienstra joined The Bus Project to help build power for young people, especially those from historically marginalized communities, because she believes there is optimism and defiance in youth that is essential to making progressive change! During the day, Sanne works for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality on sustainable materials management, which seeks to transform how society thinks about the use of natural resources. Sanne has spent time volunteering and working on racial and economic justice, electing progressive candidates to office, climate change, food waste prevention, and other fun stuff. She usually says that she enjoys reading, cooking, and riding her bike – but if she’s being honest, she mostly likes to eat things other people cook for her, go to happy hour, and soak in a hot tub whenever possible.
Amanda is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs where she was raised on her family’s cattle ranch. She is a proud Navajo, Warm Springs, Wasco, Yakima Woman who will graduate from Portland State University with her BS in Social Work and Minor in Civic Leadership in June 2019. Amanda is actively involved at PSU where is she a member of the United Indigenous Students of higher Education (UISHE), Healing feathers, and Tau Sigma National Honor Society. Amanda is a recent graduate of the 2017-2018 Oregon LEAD Program, and her passion for politics bloomed even more after her time as a 2018 Summer Politicorps Fellow. She walks through life with the teachings from her grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles and ancestors before her. She strives to be a lifetime learner and make way for the generations to come after her. When she isn’t working on tasks for school, work or students clubs you can find her playing volleyball at the gym, collaborating with her pals to make Weavers of Unity possible, or playing checkers at home.
Mahala Ray is the executive director of Willamette Week’s Give!Guide, working with 150 local nonprofits annually to engage young donors and fundraise millions of dollars for the community. She firmly believes that active citizenship in young people is the key to a better future, and puts this at the forefront of her endeavors. During her time as G!G’s executive director, Mahala has secured more than $12 million dollars for Portland nonprofits. Hailing from a smallish city in Nebraska, Mahala has been producing events, advocating for women’s rights and exploring wild places across the Pacific Northwest since 2009.
Kenya is the communications coordinator for Fair Shot for All, a nonprofit working to advance race, gender, and economic justice in Oregon. She is a proud daughter of immigrants and first-generation college graduate, receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication and History from Oregon State University. Born and raised in Oregon, Kenya is determined to bring lasting change to the communities she grew up in. She joined the Bus Board in 2019 because she is passionate about fueling and inspiring future generations to vote for candidates and issues that directly impact their lives. When not in meetings or at work, Kenya is probably checking trending hashtags and deciding what to eat. She also enjoys going to concerts, drinking too much coffee, and cheering on the Blazers.
Jonathan is a nonprofit administrator who currently works as the Institutional Giving Officer at Cascade Aids Project. Originally from Los Angeles, he moved to Portland in 2005 to attend Lewis & Clark College, where he earned a bachelor’s in sociology. Jonathan joined the Bus Project’s board of directors in 2018 because he believes that engaging young people in our political system creates powerful, positive change. In addition to youth empowerment, he loves long-distance running and his German Shepherd mix, Levi. Jonathan has two hidden talents: opening jars and setting the clock on electronic devices.. Originally from Los Angeles, he moved to Portland in 2005 to attend Lewis & Clark College, where he earned a bachelor’s in sociology. Jonathan joined the Bus Project’s board of directors in 2018 because he believes that engaging young people in our political system creates powerful, positive change. In addition to youth empowerment, he loves long-distance running and his German Shepherd mix, Levi. Jonathan has two hidden talents: opening jars and setting the clock on electronic devices.
Gabrielle Cosey is a 17 year old senior at Lincoln High School in Portland, OR. After living all across North America, she has been provided a unique lens into many people’s lives. She takes these broad experiences and stories from others and translates them into her motivations for equity-centric work. She is the co-founder of Oregon Youth for Gun Reform (OYFGR), a branch of the Bus Project. OYFGR was created as Cosey, a multiracial Black young woman, noticed the negligence and indifference towards the intersection of gun violence and race, in the mainstream gun violence conversation.
Originally from Eastern Oregon & Washington, Auna Castellón came to the Portland area for college and stumbled upon the Bus Project, when one of their employees stopped by her class and was recruiting interns, and Auna said “Why not?” to the opportunity. The Bus Project ended up being one of her favorite places to be, so much so, Auna joined Politicorps and everyone just kind of rolled with it! During her time as a Politicorps fellow, Auna was known to go the extra mile to register folks to vote, even once walking into a Starbucks and yelling “Who wants to save democracy!?” and subsequently registered everyone there, including their employees (…and was maybe asked to not do that again). During that time, she discovered the impact of personal narrative and speaking truth to power. Auna has now gone on to do work centered on Testimonios and Oral Histories. In 2017, along side a small cohort of academic and community leaders, she worked on drafting the Indigenous Nations and Native American Studies major as well as recruiting public and private support for the major, which was approved and is now the only major of its kind in the state of Oregon. Currently, Auna works at Portland State University in the College of Education. Auna has a B.S. in Political Science and a B.S. in Indigenous Nations and Native American Studies. Pronouns: She/Her/They/Them
Wlnsvey’s (yes the spelling with the L is correct) first involvement with politics was in her freshman year of college when she joined the Pacific University’s College Democrats of Oregon. That initial step into politics opened up a whole new world. Wlnsvey has interned and worked for several campaigns, served on different boards, and worked for different organizations including Our Oregon and the Oregon Nurses Association. She currently works in the nonprofit sector providing direct services. Wlnsvey is passionate about issues including immigrants’ rights, addressing the homeless crisis, representation inequalities, and access to healthcare. Outside of meetings and work, she enjoys exploring the outdoors, shoe shopping, and hanging out with her 1-year old dog, Herman – who she is so glad to have met through her time in managing a State Representative campaign. Wlnsvey strongly believes in the importance of the presence of youth voices in the political sphere and as such is happy to serve on this board that advocates for a youth-led environment.
Zoe grew up and Portland but didn’t meet the Bus Project (what was she doing?) until 2015 when she was a Politicorps Fellow and discovered her love for politics and organizing. Now she works in the state capitol as a Legislative Director to a wonderful State Representative. When not working, she is travelling, planning travelling, running or hiking through the woods, or exaggerating her abilities at ping-pong (but seriously she is really good). She is thrilled to be on the Bus Project Board and to help shape the organization that really helped shape her into the person she is today.
Hannah is a second year student at Portland Community College. Prior coming to PCC, Hannah served as the Technology Manager for Tigard Youth Advisory Council in the Tigard City Hall, and as a staff writer for Affinity Magazine, which covers topics ranging from politics to intersectional feminism. She is an avid consumer of news and is dedicated to contributing to public awareness of issues and holding those in power accountable. To speak to those passions, she hopes to one day open up her own nonprofit independent news outlet. She has interned with Senator Michael Dembrow and Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer, and worked on campaigns in intern and volunteer capacities. During her time at PCC, she has served as the Director of Communications for the District Student Council and is serving as the District Student Council Chair and Student Trustee. Her educational goal is to transfer to a four year university to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Journalism. Hannah enjoys spending her free time writing short stories and socializing with friends and families.
Former Bus Board Members Include:
Lizzy Atwood Wills
Representative Brent Barton
Cyreena Boston Ashby
Representative Ben Cannon
Senator Lew Frederick
Jake Oken Berg
Representative Jefferson Smith
Amy Sample Ward
Samantha believes in addressing power inequities by building representative and progressive leadership. She got her start in Oregon politics after completing New Leadership Oregon in 2012, and has since worked on statewide and legislative district campaigns and as Chief of Staff to two Oregon legislators. With a degree in community development and a background of reproductive health advocacy, Samantha has worked on issues globally at the United Nations as a Planned Parenthood Global Youth Advocacy Fellow, regionally as board vice president for the Northwest Abortion Access Fund, and in both chambers of the legislature. She also serves as a member of the NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon board of directors and was a founding board member and co-director of New Leaders Council Portland.
Maddie is from Redmond, Washington but has loved living in Oregon for the last five years. She developed an affection for politics after an internship at the Oregon State Capitol where she witnessed Oregon becoming the second state to offer free community college to high school graduates. Maddie graduated from Willamette University in 2017 with a B.A in Politics and Spanish. She is especially passionate about education, writing her thesis on why politicians are failing American teachers. She comes to The Bus from College Possible, where she worked as a Community Partners Team AmeriCorps member. Outside the office, you’ll likely find Maddie at a trivia or board game night, hiking, reading, or trying to drag her friends to square dancing.
Isabela Villarreal grew up in East Portland and has always known and believed in the power, passion, and knowledge of young people. While she was attending St.Mary’s Academy, she and four other students started a non-profit, Youth Ending Slavery, focused on raising awareness about modern-day slavery and encouraging youth to be advocates for change. This experience not only empowered her to see the power and strength of young people but instilled the importance of community work to bring about social and political transformation. Through continued volunteerism at Verde, SOLVE, and Habitat for Humanity, and her education in the Community Development undergraduate program at PSU, she was able to see a different and positive future for brown and black communities, the political system, and the natural world. In addition to her love for all things justice related, she also enjoys chasing sun spots, reading femme centered speculative fiction novels, and eating anything made out of potatoes (especially curly fries and ajiaco).