Leaders for Change

Leaders for Change

Leaders for Change is an MTV grant program that invests in young people doing extraordinary work at the local level to advance voting access. 

From getting polling places on college campuses across Michigan to registering voters in Chicago jails to providing rides to the polls in Georgia, these young leaders are breaking down the barriers that make it hard to vote in their communities.

Leaders For Change Grant Winners


Stevie valles is the Executive Director of Chicago Votes and the son of a pastor and teacher. He had lived in 14 different places prior to landing in Chicago for 4 years ago. Stevie has experience in working on campaigns, advocating for policy, and running nonprofit programming. He loves politics, religion, passing laws, and sports.


As Deputy Director at Chicago Votes, Jen Dean is a strategist, youth mentor, and community organizer. She ensures people most impacted by the criminal justice system and young people have a seat at the table when policy decisions are being made. Chicago Votes has spearheaded voting modernization in Chicago passing Online Voter Registration, Same Day Voter Registration, Early Voting, and Automatic Voter Registration, Voting in Jail, and Civics in Prison. 


During a civic engagement rally, Benjamin asked Gov. Sununu to not sign legislation that would restrict voting rights. Gov Sununu promised Benjamin he would not but did anyway. As a result, Benjamin is working to mobilize other young people to help restore these voting rights for college students. The grant would fund: 5 student fellows and 2 community organizers that will help recruit and train other students.  


Max, is the Co-Founder of Rise, a growing organization that’s building power among college students, to fight for issues that matter to them, including student loan debt. Rise Michigan plans to use these funds to fight for polling places on their college campuses and to start the movement to make Election Day, a holiday on college campuses. 


Alyssa has worked with NC’s largest HBCU to address unfair congressional voting maps that split the largest HBCU into two separate districts. This grant would help Alyssa invest in year-round engagement, in the Charlotte area, to build relationships with community members for the 2020 election.


Anthony was born in Santa Barbara, CA; but grew up all of his life in Gwinnett County, GA. As a proud son of immigrants, his family migrated to the U.S. from Oaxaca, Mexico in the late 1980’s in search of a better future. Anthony takes his inspiration from his family's immigration story and currently works in the non-profit sector advocating for immigrant and voting rights. Specifically for Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta (AAAJ-Atlanta) as the Civic Engagement Coordinator. 


Once a youth organizer, now, Raven Douglas is the Deputy Director of MOVE TEXAS, where she aims to change the fact that Texas is one of the most difficult states to register to vote. This grant will help register more people and expand efforts to the state’s largest counties. They will expand leadership development programs by offering paid fellowship opportunities to college students, which will help build grassroots momentum for 2020.


As a child of immigrants, Maya watched her parents work hard to become voting citizens; this pushes her to advocate for voting rights. The grant will help fund plans to develop non-partisan civic engagement programs, create civic engagement coalitions, create on-campus polling sites, and create programs that educate students about elections, across the state of Texas. 


Rodnika, grew up in Miami and led organizing efforts in Florida to educate and empower residents to vote for Amendment 4 (restoring voting rights of returning citizens that have served their time). Dream Defenders will hire a temporary organizing fellow, host community organizing events, and host voter registration drives for formerly incarcerated folks.

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