New York Team
Sylvana Widman - Chair
Sylvan Widman, a sixteen-year-old from Bard High School Early College Manhattan, has been interested in the intersection between politics and positive change-making as long as she can remember. From phone banking for Hillary Clinton and Shelley Meyer to running her high school’s debate team, she has a passionate belief in the unique voice young people possess and is committed to creating a platform for fellow young activists of all backgrounds. Involved in YPPG for the past two years and volunteering for the Attorney General and assemblywoman Ari Espinal, Sylvana sees firsthand the power of change-making through local politics, and aims to bolster the enthusiasm of youths to support the causes they most believe in. In her spare time Sylvana enjoys writing creative fiction, painting and making what she believes to be witty commentary.
Evan Farley - Communications Director
Evan Farley is a junior at Bard High School Early College in the Lower East Side. He has long been interested in politics after binging West Wing twice and since entering high school has converted his attention from Aaron Sorkin's masterful drama to working and volunteering in offices and campaigns on the city, state, and national levels. Evan tries to engage his friends in political events around the city, but failing that, he is the Secretary General of BHSEC’s Model UN club, the opinion editor for his school newspaper, and a captain on his schools Cross-Country team.
Scott Kessler - Director of Political Affairs
Scott Kessler is a senior at City-As School in New York, NY where he is Co-Student Body President and the founder of its chess club and student government. Since first learning about the electoral college at the age of 7, Scott has been deeply concerned about the state of democracy, here and around the world. A life long believer in democracy, he is dedicated to ensuring that every person has an equal say in government and the necessary human right of suffrage. Scott became involved in local politics while an intern at the district office of former state senator Jesse Hamilton, whom he never supported, quickly learning of the IDC. During this time, he considered a run against democratic state senator Simcha Felder and went to Albany to fight for the Young Voter Act. Since then, he has spent countless hours working in city, state, and federal politics fighting for human rights, including the right to an education, the right to vote, the right to clean air, and for freedom from police and other violence and abuse of power. In his spare time, Scott plays the piano, clarinet, and every other instrument he can get his hands on, studies spanish, french, russian, and law, writes poetry and music, and watches Netflix.
Ming-Mei Solenne Wolfe - Treasurer
Solenne Wolfe is a junior at Brooklyn Tech HS in Brooklyn, NY. Beginning in freshman year, she has found her connection to politics through policy debate. Through debate, she has learned more about the ways that young people can engage politics in non-normative ways, and will put this into practice through YPPG. Outside of school and debate, Solenne is a bullet journal enthusiast, has co-founded a resource hub for high school and middle school students at sollei.com, and enjoys writing. She is interested in the ways that the political system can both reflect and distort the human concerns of populations, and hopes to use her position to lessen the gap between what the people want and what their politics are able to give them.
Nader Granmayeh -Director of Management
Nader Granmayeh is a senior at Horace Mann high school in Bronx, New York where is the co-Student Body President. He’s been involved with the YPPG for two years. He’s always been interested in politics, joining the school’s debate team in 7th grade and volunteering on five local campaigns. Most recently, he was an intern on Zephyr Teachout’s attorney general campaign and worked on the Foreign Policy Association’s blog. Nader is specifically interested in the Supreme Court and hopes to further his education by going to law school. Outside of politics, Nader rows crew for his high school. He’s also an editor for Horace Mann’s science and sports magazines as well as touring perspective families around the school as a student ambassador.
Rebecca Fairweather - Organizational Outreach
Rebecca Fairweather is a 16-year-old junior at Forest Hills High School in Queens, New York. Making sure youth get a seat at the table to discuss what they would like to see happen is extremely important to her. Rebecca has grown up with elected officials claiming to champion the voice of the younger generation but failing to listen. She hopes to change this shameful practice in New York by allowing youth to be heard by attending In-District Meetings and discussing legislation that would benefit the community. She also works with UNF Organization Girl Up as a Teen Advisor to advocate for gender equality globally so that woman and men have an equal opportunity to have their voices heard.
Ahmad Abdulwadood - Political Outreach
Ahmad Abdulwadood is a junior at Brooklyn Technical High School in Brooklyn, NY. Since as far back as Ahmad can remember he has been deeply invested on the implications of policy on people's real lives particularly as it relates to the poor. From living in Spanish Harlem to volunteering at a food pantry in Highbridge, one of the poorest areas in America, Ahmad has come to understand the deep economic inequities embedded in our society. He views this like many of our contemporary problems as a byproduct of the opulence which corporate lobbies hold in our democracy today. Because of this Ahmad is a Social Democrat, he wants to create a more equitable and just society within a capitalist and democratic framework. When he’s not ranting to his peers about the value of publicly subsidized programs, you can find him working on his blog, We Exist Because We Resist, or engineering on his school's robotics team, Team 334 Tech knights. In the future, Ahmad aspires to work in a policy think tank or as a politician.