Alumnae

Click here to check out the diverse and inspiring group of Emerge alumnae from around the country that we will soon be joining.

Former Precinct Captain

Georgette Escobar graduated with a Juris Doctorate from Empire College School of Law in 1994.  Before entering into private practice she was a management level prosecutor in charge of the narcotics enforcement unit. In 2008, Georgette moved to Arizona, where she became active in the community. She is currently employed by the law office of Leon Thikoll in Tucson Arizona. Georgette has been involved in numerous political campaigns throughout her career. Her involvement in politics began well over twenty years ago when she worked for the Mayor of the Town of Windsor.

Kit grew up in Urbana Illinois, graduated from the University of Denver with a BFA, lived in Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Mexico, then back again to Denver and finally came to the state she loves the most, Arizona, in 2004.   When living in Northern Wisconsin Kit was very involved in her community including becoming the first woman to be elected to the board of education.

I have been an active democrat since the Kerry presidential campaign in 2004. I have canvassed and phone banked for candidates every election since 2004. I first became chair of my district in 2007, but resigned for personal reasons within 1 year. I was again elected as chair of my district in 2010 and remained so until the redistricting was completed in 2011. As chair of that district, I set a vision of recruiting more PCs and through my board, we significantly increased PCs through various voter outreach events.

Colleen Fisher has been a social worker for over 20 years, working primarily in the fields of health care and gerontology.

Former State Legislature, District 25, Candidate for Re-election

A proud Arizonan for 40 years, Pat and her family moved to Sierra Vista in 1969 where she began to make personal and professional ties in the community.  In 1981, she began working as an Army Department civilian at Fort Huachuca.  She then learned how to manage complex government resources during her career with the Army as a budget analyst and a manpower allocations analyst.  In August 2005, Pat retired with more than 24 years of service to the Army.

Candidate for Tucson Unified School District Governing Board

I am an experienced educator with a keen understanding of how politics affect public education. I understand how the actions of our elected officials contribute to the success or failures of our schools. I am also aware that many public programs today are facing serious attacks.

Ms. Amy Franciscus was born and raised in Wisconsin and moved to Arizona shortly after high school, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Arizona State University. Amy has always been a strong advocate for those in need and for necessary change. She has volunteered her services to numerous organizations, including More Opportunities for Moms' Self-Sufficiency (M.O.M.S.), Baccalaureate Student Nurses Organization (BSNO) of ASU-West, Associated Students of ASU-West, and the Greater Phoenix Area Chapter (GPAC) of the Arizona Nurses Association.

Divya is proud to have been an educator in Arizona since 2011. As a former first grade teacher, she had the wonderful privilege of teaching reading, writing, math, science, social studies, and even the occasional PE class. Her experience with the charter school movement and as a Teach for America corps member helped ultimately influence her decision to work for the Arizona Charter Schools Association and the Arizona Center for Student Achievement.

Former National Democratic Convention Delegate

I was born in 1968 in Washington DC to a young woman who placed me for adoption in St. Ann’s Maternity home. My parents, Donald and Elizabeth Gratehouse, adopted me when I was three weeks old. They had adopted my sister, Kathleen, two years before that.  I was raised in the suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland.  
 
Growing up near the nation’s capital was a wonderful and enriching experience for me. My dad worked as economist for the Nixon administration and then practiced law in the city.

During her time at Arizona State University, Karina worked with the Service Learning Program and other prestigious organizations such as the Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and the Gila River Indian Community.  During this time she worked and volunteered for the after school and literacy programs. She then transferred and obtained her BS in Business Management from the University of Phoenix in 2004. She has been working in the finance and real estate industry for the past 15 years.  
 
Currently, she is a small business owner in the HVAC/Sheet Metal Manufacturing Industry.

Dalena Hardy is a Health Policy Liaison at the Refugee Women’s Health Clinic (RHWC) in Phoenix, AZ. In this role, she helps with policy, resource development and community outreach. She is currently helping implement a health literacy research initiative that examines the adoption of the Affordable Care Act within the Bhutanese and Burmese communities in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, Arizona State University’s Southwest Interdisciplinary Research Center and Greater Phoenix Urban League.

Eileen Hartnett, a resident of Tempe, is the Community Services Operations Supervisor for the Maricopa County Human Services Department, Community Services Division. She received her Bachelor's Degree in 1996 from Mount Holyoke College, and a Master's in Social Work from Boston University School of Social Work in 2000. She moved to Arizona with only the belongings she could fit in her car, and began her career in Arizona as a therapist working with adolescent girls in foster care.

C. Murphy Hebert possesses a varied background in communications, politics and policy. With an undergraduate degree from Arizona State University in journalism, she worked in Prescott as a community reporter for The Daily Courier. After two years of beat reporting in Northern Arizona, she was a freelancer for several publications in Arizona, while also teaching in the Peoria Unified School District. In 2005, Murphy moved to the Czech Republic where she taught English and was a freelance writer for The Prague Post, the country’s only English newspaper.
In 2007, she returned to the U.S.

Fiona is currently a science teacher in the west valley with Teach for America. She holds a BA in Public Policy from Brown University, where she was a voting member of the board that oversaw the school's operating budget. She is new to Arizona and brings with her experience working on issues surrounding affordable housing and homelessness and higher education.

Jordan Hibbs, a 18-year resident of Arizona, is a long-time community leader who, in her work with various organizations, has served as an advocate for equal rights. Currently, Jordan is a field organizer for Human Rights Campaign, working to bring nondiscrimination ordinances to Arizona cities. She also serves as a board member for the non-profit organization, Red Means Stop Traffic Safety Alliance.
Jordan is a graduate student pursuing a Masters of Science and Technology Policy at Arizona State University. She holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology, with a minor in political science.

Arizona State Legislature, Candidate for Re-election

Katie is from Phoenix, Arizona, and graduated from Seton Catholic in 1988.  She went on to get her Bachelor of Social Work from Northern Arizona University in 1992 and her Master of Social Work from Arizona State University in 1995.  
She has been a professional social worker since 1992 and prior to being elected to the legislature, she worked for Sojourner Center, the largest domestic violence shelter in the United States.

Former District Chair, LD 30

Jessica Jenkins was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona. Currently, she is an Enrollment Counselor with Grand Canyon University.  She assists students with enrolling and preparing for the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree. Prior to Grand Canyon University, she worked as a Director of Education at Sylvan Learning Center. As a Director, she had the pleasure of meeting with many teachers and educators here in Phoenix.
Jessica first became passionate about politics while attending the University of Arizona. She volunteered on political campaigns and conducted political polling.

Tawanda is a Chicago native who moved to Arizona in January of 2004, after her husband was relocated with his employment. After a short lived relocation of her family to Kansas City, MO in 2007, her family moved back to Maricopa, AZ in 2008. Tawanda loves living in the State of Arizona. Shortly after returning, Tawanda suffered her fourth stroke within a two year span.  The fourth stroke was the first diagnosis. Tawanda immediately began her journey as an advocate with the American Heart Association and the American Stroke Association for the people of Arizona.

Judith A. Joseph was born in Buffalo, New York. After attending Skidmore College and SUNY at Buffalo law school she became a Trust Officer with M&T Bank in Buffalo, New York. After enjoying 9 months of winter every year and 3 months of bad sledding she decided to migrate to Arizona after a blizzard. After passing the Bar in Arizona she started out in the Maricopa County Attorney’s office as a prosecuting trial attorney. Her predominant case load was child abuse and child molest cases. After the County Attorney’s office she became a Pro Tem Judge in Phoenix Municipal Court.

Jenavi Kasper is a freelance marketing and branding consultant and full-time marketing specialist at Arizona State Credit Union, a financial cooperative. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the Art Institute of Phoenix and has almost a decade of marketing and management experience. As a marketing and branding consultant she works with local artists, unions and local small businesses. Born in California, but raised in Arizona, she has been a resident of the northwest Valley for over 21 years.

As a native Tucsonan, I love my state and have been working to see a legislature that is more representative of the diversity of opinions that reside here. Through my work with Protecting Arizona's Family Coalition (PAFCO), I have been working with nonprofits across the state to engage voters and make sure that the vulnerable populations that we serve have their voice heard in elections. I am passionate about community development. I am currently involved with student groups from Arizona State University including the Macro Social Work Student Network, of which I was a founding member.

Arianne Kerr is currently a Youth Career Development Specialist with Arizona Women’s Education and Employment (AWEE). Her current work involves meeting community and workforce needs through the development of educational and vocational aspirations of Phoenix’s youth at-risk.Prior to working for AWEE, Ari served as a charter corps member of Teach For America – Memphis, where she held many leadership positions including ESL coordinator and learning team leader.  She has developed curriculum at the district and regional levels and is quoted in national education literature.

Erika Kingery graduated with her BS in Social Work, with minors in Political Science and Family Human Development from Utah State University in 2008. After graduation, Erika moved to the Phoenix area to teach first grade in an inner city Phoenix school through the Teach For America program.
Erika has a long history of involvement in her community.

Karyn Lathan has spent over 25 years in law enforcement and corrections as a Police Officer, Correctional Officer, Probation and Parole Officer and ending her career in law enforcement as the Restorative Justice Coordinator for Arizona Department of Corrections. She is an Air Force veteran where she served inSouth Koreaas well as stateside. She currently is involved with several victim services organizations.

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