Avenue Recognizes Northline Youth Leaders

Written by guest writer Shaili Shouche, Avenue Intern and incoming senior at Glenda Dawson High School.

The Northline Leadership Team is made up of Northline area residents and youth who are passionate about helping their community thrive. Recently, Avenue had the honor to recognize four incredible youth leaders for their volunteer work both with Avenue as well as within their own communities, before they head off to continue their education. Congratulations to all of them! Avenue is grateful for their amazing and impactful community work! We look forward to seeing what else they accomplish in their very bright futures. 

Gabriela Perez, a first-generation student, is a member of the Northline Leadership Team and has participated in numerous volunteer projects and joined Avenue in attending the Community Leadership Institute with NeighborWorks America. Gabriela is passionate about education in both an academic and practical sense, and wants to continue working to help better communities of lower socioeconomic statuses, specifically people of color, by improving public education. She will be attending Tufts University for her undergraduate studies as a prospective sociology or cognitive science major. 

Javier Rodriguez, a member of the Northline Leadership Team since 2018, is a proud member of the Northline community. A co-founder of One Step Forward Youth America, Javier hopes to empower the Latino community through immigration reform, advocating for equitable public education, increasing voter accessibility, and helping improve infrastructure. A man of many talents, Javier also created a promotional video about Avenue’s Northline Community Garden. This Fall, he will attend the University of Chicago as a political science major, but hopes to return to Houston to become the Representative for Texas’ 29th Congressional District.

Nerjes Azzam, a passionate youth activist, is a member of the Northline Leadership Team as well as the One Step Forward Team. In addition, she serves the community through youth-led activism initiatives such as the Houston Youth Climate Strike, Education Worderly Culture, and the Climate Activist Club. Nerjes hopes to diversify school environments and bring attention to climate justice in order to ensure youth have a voice in their communities and global issues. A rising freshman at Middlebury College, Nerjes has an interest in International and Global Studies with an Environmental Change track. After her four years at Middlebury College, she hopes to get involved in foreign diplomacy.

Samantha Valdez is a Houston native and Northline Leadership Team Member. Passionate about both personal growth and development, she has worked with organizations such as Civic Quest and SEF, a program located in Guatemala. This Fall, Samantha will be attending Wellesley College to study environmental studies and double major in economics.

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