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

Athena Salman is an Arizona native and first generation American. Athena received two Bachelor of Science degrees in Political Science and Economics from Arizona State University, becoming the first in her family to graduate from college. Her experience includes lobbying, organizing, campaigning, community service, policy writing, and public speaking. She is passionate about social justice and the intersection of issues. In the past, she was a union shop steward at the hotel where she worked. She currently works in a movement focused on empowering girls to reach their fullest potential.

Jacqueline Sandoval currently serves as a State Committee and Precinct member. She also serves on the executive committee for the Arizona Democratic party, as a delegate at large for congressional district 2. Sandoval was an intern for DNC Women’s Leadership Forum as well as Congressman Ed Pastor. She has worked on several campaigns including 2008 Obama for America, Ruben Gallego for State House, Anna Tovar for State Senate, She had the privilege of being elected as a Congressional Delegate to the 2012 Democratic National Convention.

Former State House Representative, LD 26

Mary is a mother of two teenage sons. She is a physician who owns her own medical practice in Ahwatukee since 1993. Mary was born in Ohio. Her family moved to Ajo, Arizona in 1977. She then attended the University of Arizona in Tucson. Mary received a  bachelor of science in microbiology then her degree in medicine. Afterwards, she moved to Detroit, Michigan for her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Henry Ford Hospital.

I went to undergraduate school at Eastern Michigan University and studied social work. Initially I wanted to provide direct services to people experiencing mental health illnesses. After moving to Arizona, I experienced political culture shock. I quickly saw how public policy and the state budget was effecting vulnerable Arizonans and decided to go back to school to obtain my Master's in Social Work, with an emphasis on community organizing and social policy.

Amy Schwabenlender combines her business and nonprofit background in her campaign for Arizona House of Representatives. Her experience enabled her to work across the Valley with social service agencies, government, business and the faith community. Amy leads a permanent supportive housing initiative for the chronically homeless that has housed nearly 500 individuals in three years.

Joan Serviss is a proud Arizona native. She grew up in central Phoenix and attended Central High School and Phoenix College, where she was accepted into the Classical Studies Honor program, studying interdisciplinary History and English/Historical Literature classes and four semesters of Latin. She then transferred to Arizona State University, earning her bachelor’s degree in Political Science, while continuing to work full-time in the human resources department of Southwest Behavioral Health Services, a non-profit behavioral health agency in Phoenix. Joan not only worked in the H.R.

I am a native of Pinal County, Arizona. I was born in Florence, raised in Coolidge, and attended Central Arizona College on a scholastic scholarship, earning the “Who’s Who in American Junior Colleges” award for leadership.  I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a BA Degree in Elementary Education. From 1978-1980, I taught 2nd grade in the Mesa Public School District. From 1980–87 I was a Licensed Real Estate agent and earned placement in the Million-Dollar Club.

Former Precinct Captain, Candidate for State Representative, District 28

Mohur was born in India and grew up in Pakistan. When that country came under the growing influence of religious fundamentalism she came to the US in 1979. She has a Master’s in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. 
Mohur owns a business where her focus has been on traditional South Asian counseling methods with specialized coaching in areas of financial, career, and personal transitions.
Her social and political senses were awakened when she was assigned a project in her mid-teens to help spread the word in rural Pakistan about importance of family planning.

Lorena Silva has been politically active within Healthcare professional associations throughout the State over the last 10 years. The work included Legislation advocacy for bills that impacted the community as well as nursing working conditions.

Candidate for Creighton School District Governing Board

Jeanne moved to Phoenix from Marengo IL in 1991 and wore many hats (as an office manager, waitress, and certified breastfeeding counselor) before completing her bachelor’s degree in 2008 in human communication history minor from ASU. She accepted a position with Teach for America that summer and recently completed her stint with TFA while receiving a master’s in education from ASU in 2010.

Alexandria Soto, an Arizona State University graduate, holds a MSW degree in Social Work from ASU.  Her first experience in social services was through working at Chicanos Por La Causa assisting homeless individuals and families facing foreclosure and eviction. This invaluable experience led her towards a dedicated career in behavioral health and her work with persons who have a serious mental illness and those with general mental heath issues.

Former Precinct Captian

Lisa was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and is one of nine children. She attended Xavier High School and holds a bachelors and masters degree from the University of Arizona.
She has lived in Tucson since and is currently employed as the business development manager for KUAT Public Radio and Television. 
Before that she and her husband Henry Rubin were part-owners of Video Workshop, a video post production house.

I grew up in a big family- six children- of which I am the oldest. Naturally, having five younger siblings puts one in a leadership role, willingly or not! In this role, I definitely learned how to delegate and assume responsibility “off the cuff”. My father was, and still is to this day, a union organizer. As a result of this, I learned how to be flexible (we moved to different cities in different states several times during my childhood), open to new people and experiences, but, most of all a great appreciation for what is just and fair.

Brittni Storrs is from Tucson, Arizona and is currently a senior at the University of Arizona majoring in Political Science.
Brittni became active in democratic politics in 2007 by joining the U of A Young Democrats. Brittni has served as the Treasurer and President of the chapter. Beyond that she has served as the Treasurer and Vice President for Programs for the Young Democrats of Arizona.
Most recently Brittni was elected to serve as the Secretary for the Arizona Democratic Party. She is 22 years old and looks forward to a long service to furthering the goals of the democratic party.

I was born in New York.  I lived in New York until 1972. At that time I moved to AZ and lived here for 2 years than moved back to New York until 1977. I met my husband in 1976.  I loved AZ so much that when we got married we moved to AZ. I was married for 28 years and have recently divorced.
I have 2 sons (Brian age 26 and Brad age 23) Brian lives in Queen Creek with his wife. Brad lives in California, where he just recently graduated from Chapman University. 
I am CEO of Accurate-Leigh-Done Financial Services, Inc.

Sylvia Symonds was born and raised in Chandler, Arizona. Sylvia is an alumna of Arizona State University where she debated for the nationally competitive forensics team and received degrees in History and Political Science. After ASU, she spent some time living in New York before moving to Southern California.

Melisa Tarango was born in Casa Grande, Arizona and is a graduate of Arizona State University, 1997. She holds a BA, Art History and a minor in Spanish; currently she is a graduate student in the Master’s of Public Administration Program, Arizona State University.
Before joining State Government 3 years ago, Melisa enjoyed 10 years of volunteering for the arts in a variety of capacities.

My name is Priscilla Teran; I am 32 years old and am a divorced mom of two smart healthy beautiful kids. Issay, he is 9 years old and Elizabeth, she is 6 years old. I currently work as a Kindergarten teacher at a Title I school. It is very rewarding to shape the lives of 24+ students a year but I feel I need to do more for my community.I was born in Tucson, AZ and raised in Moctezuma, Sonora, Mexico. When I was 14 the family came back to Tucson. I attended Sunnyside High School and graduated with honors as fourth year English Language Learner.

Delia Torres is currently the Programs Coordinator for the Educating the Heart School Program, where she works with various K-12 “Educating the Heart” schools throughout Arizona to combat academic and civic disengagement among youth by integrating service with academic study to enrich learning. She joined the team in July 2006.

Creighton Governing Board

Tiffany is currently on the Creighton Governing Board and is a candidate for the treasurer for citizens for Creighton (budget override).  They have filed and are up and running!

I am Lorena Valle, 22 years old and the fourth out of five children. I am currently working on my Master’s Degree in Social Work with a concentration in Policy, Administration, and Community at Arizona State University. I was born in Santa Ana, California but have been in Arizona since the age of 3. I grew up in the very small town of Yuma where I went to elementary and middle school. I completed high school in an even smaller town called Wellton.

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