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Each host city is led by a core team member from Students Demand Action. Learn more about these leaders and their involvement in the host cities.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles city logo

The Los Angeles Summer Leadership Academy seeks to introduce local students to Students Demand Action, enhance their knowledge about gun violence prevention and demonstrate the importance of civic engagement through action. In its third year, the Los Angeles Summer Leadership Academy will continue to provide a platform for students from communities most impacted by gun violence, including low income students of color and survivors of gun violence, to be the change they want to see in their community. 

Throughout the summer, students in the Los Angeles community will gain important leadership skills, learn about America’s gun violence crisis, and advocate for common sense gun safety solutions. Joining and nurturing this community enables students to practice crucial skills and create connections that prepare them for college and the rest of their lives.

The Los Angeles Summer Leadership Academy teaches students advocacy organizing and leadership skills that are essential for students looking to engage in college campus organizing and social movements. Each student will design and present a proposal to address gun violence in their community. At the conclusion of the program, students will have an opportunity to present their proposal to their community and a panel of local activists, gun violence prevention experts, and local officials to determine which proposal will be implemented in the community of South Central Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Core Team

Roan Thibault wearing an orange "we can end gun violence" t-shirt

Roan Thibault (he/him/his)

Roan Thibault is a student at the University of California, Davis and a lifelong Angeleno. He got involved in the gun violence prevention movement after the Parkland shooting by starting a Students Demand Action group at his high school in La Crescenta, and joined the Students Demand Action National Advisory Board in 2021. He has advocated lawmakers to pass new gun safety laws in California and engaged community partners including domestic violence service providers, experiences that he hopes to pass on to the Summer Leadership Academy in Los Angeles.

Daniel Hernandez in front of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum

Daniel Hernandez (he/him/his/él)

Daniel Hernandez is a Political Science major who has a passion for speaking up for those whose voices may not be loud enough to be heard. He roots for the underdog and plans to work toward ending gun violence in the US. Daniel believes this country has a serious problem with their guns and wants to change that. He is committed to protecting our youth from senseless shootings in places including schools, out in public at parades, church at a mass, and movie theaters. Daniel wants to fight to protect everyone from the harm of the Second Amendment.

Ashley Castillo photo

Ashley Castillo (she/her/hers)

Ashley Castillo is a high school senior, founder of the Hollywood High Students Demand Action chapter, and a National Advisory Board member. Battling constant gun violence since the age of six, she spends her days advocating for gun violence prevention through the power of educational policy, screenwriting, and theater. During her spare time, she can be found in the wet lab conducting research and writing papers. She intends to pursue a dual major in Neurobiology and Political Science.


The City of Miami logo

We’re excited to welcome our new Summer Leadership Academy program in Miami this year! Consistent with our other nationwide programs, in Miami we will work towards reducing barriers to student organizing and engaging students from communities most impacted by gun violence, including low income students of color and survivors of gun violence, and uplifting voices from those communities.

During this weeklong program in July, students will develop and strengthen their leadership skills and gain a strengthened understanding of the ladder of engagement with Students Demand Action in Miami. We also look forward to working with local community partners and community members to craft opportunities for students to build relationships in their communities to grow their networks.

Miami Core Team

Angelica Repaci selfie

Angelica Repaci (she/her/hers)

Angelica Repaci is a sophomore at the University of South Florida in Tampa. She is currently studying Elementary Education in the hopes that she will be able to influence a whole new generation of young people—even younger than us in Students Demand Action. Angelica began fighting in the gun violence prevention movement after the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas because she doesn‘t want to put her life or her students’ lives on the line every single day. She is ready to inspire and be inspired by fellow students at the Summer Leadership Academy in 2023!

Niamh Harrop smiling for a photo on a field

Niamh Harrop (she/they)

Niamh Harrop is a senior at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, pursuing degrees in Political Science and History. Throughout her career as a student activist, she has been an active member in her community and across the country. This includes leading a student-run nonprofit on her campus to protect the environment, serving as a board member with the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition, and becoming a national champion in Speech and Debate by discussing the topics that matter to her. More than anything else, Niamh is inspired by the passion of others and is excited to work with other young people to make change! She can’t wait to empower other young people in the 2023 Summer Leadership Academy with Students Demand Action.

Jaliah Luciano at a Florida International University event

Jaliah Luciano (she/her/hers)

Jaliah Luciano is a sophomore majoring in Biological Science at Florida International University. After beating lung cancer in 2021, she has been inspired to find a cure for others like her. She chose Biology as her major in order to push the envelope in search of a cure in laboratories. It has been her goal to provide health education to the community as well as work with Students Demand Action to improve gun violence in her community. You can put a silencer on a gun… but not on the voice of the people—we have an amazing opportunity where we can speak up and change the conversation around gun violence.

Taina Patterson smiling next to a palm tree

Taina Patterson (she/her/hers)

Taina Patterson is a Political Science major with a minor in Journalism at Florida International University. Taina is actively involved in the betterment of her community through her work as a member of Students Demand Action. She is currently part of the Everytown Southern Survivor Fellowship and is the Founder/President of the Students Demand Action FIU chapter. Taina has worked relentlessly to help advocate for the end of gun violence in America. She loves being a leader in her community and always looking for ways to be involved. She is excited about the contributions she will make to our society in the future.


Chicago city logo

The Chicago Summer Leadership Academy is the foundation of Chicago Students Demand Action supporting students in low-income and BIPOC communities in Chicago to organize against gun violence in our communities. The program seeks to build leadership development skills in participants and  strengthen relationships between students, community members, and lawmakers working to address gun violence in Chicago.

The Chicago Summer Leadership Academy will guide students and community members to be part of the effort to reduce gun violence our communities. This program will work to educate participants about gun violence in their community and provide an introduction to effective gun violence prevention strategies. This public event will feature student project proposals for addressing gun violence in Chicago, build support and partnerships with local businesses, community leaders and local organizations working to address gun violence. 

Throughout the summer, students will learn about the gun violence prevention movement and gain real-world organizing experience that will enhance Students Demand Action’s presence in Chicago. They’ll graduate from the program equipped with the skills and resources to recruit students to be a part of the movement, develop and strengthen partnerships with existing community organizations, talk to lawmakers and community stakeholders about data-oriented solutions, and collaborate with other young people to address gun violence in Chicago.

Chicago Core Team

Justin Funez wearing an orange "we can end gun violence" t-shirt and holding a sign that says "Text Students to 644-33"

Justin Funez (he/him/his)

Justin Funez is currently a third-year student at the University of Chicago and is a Students Demand Action volunteer and National Advisory Board member. He joined Students Demand Action in 2019 as part of the first Summer Leadership Academy program, when he realized gun violence was a big issue in his new community. Like him, thousands of other young kids and teenagers go through similar inner-city gun violence experiences that are perhaps not as covered in the media. For these reasons, he became involved in the gun violence prevention movement because he wants students to be able to attend places without having to fear. Since 2020, he has organized various Summer Leadership Academies similar to the one he was part of, and he hopes to continue working with high school students who might also experience inner-city gun violence.

Jarmiah Scott ‘Heart Cry’ selfie

Jarmiah Scott ‘Heart Cry’

Jarmiah Scott, also known as ‘Heart Cry’, is a poet and a writer who completed her senior year at Chicago Military Academy in Bronzeville in 2021. She began her activism as an eighth grader at Beethoven Elementary School, with Guitars Over Gun. Along this journey, she found her passion of poetry and the true power of music. With both music and poetry standing behind her, she not only chooses her sound but also finds her voice. Heart Cry is a passionate advocate for social justice, and it glows through her work. Over the years, she has been selected to perform in Breakout LIVE, a showcase of Chicago’s most inspiring activists, artists, and entrepreneurs at the iconic Studebaker Theater, where she shared the stage with Pinqy Ring, Hamilton actor Ari Asfar, and others. Since graduating, she has been focusing on writing, releasing, and copyrighting her poetry, while serving her community as a volunteer and peer mentor.

Ade Osadolor holding a Students Demand Action sign

Ade Osadolor (she/her/hers)

Ade Osadolor is a third-year student at the University of Chicago studying Public Policy and Psychology on a pre-med track. She has been involved with Students Demand Action since her sophomore year of high school. This is her third year leading the Summer Leadership Academy in Chicago.

Apply for the 2023 Summer Leadership Academy!

Join us this summer for one week (7/17/23-7/21/23) to learn from Students Demand Action leaders on how to build and channel strong leadership skills into advocacy against gun violence.

Apply Now