Our 2016 Fellows

Karel Fellows have been making a positive difference for the past four years. Here’s a quick look at what our most recent class has been doing and what they have accomplished.

Meet Our 2016 Fellows

Jeanette AlcarazJeanette Alcaraz moved from Mexico to the United States in 1999 and immediately embarked upon a dedicated path to academic success. After graduating from Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, Jeanette began at the University of Arizona where she currently studies Business Management. Jeanette periodically returns to Pima Community College to share her experience with other non-traditional students, and encourage them to pursue higher education. Jeanette is one of two Jack Kent Cole Scholars in the 2016 Karel cohort.

For the 2016 summer, Jeanette was matched with GreenLatinos – a national nonprofit that develops and advocates for policies addressing national, regional and local environmental, natural resource and conservation issues that significantly affect the health and welfare of the Latino community.


Adrian CibranAdrian Cibran is a vibrant personality who describes himself as an “eccentric, curious and life-loving geek.” Born in Miami, Adrian traveled north to Gainesville for school where he studies public relations at the University of Florida; he’s one of two gators in the 2016 cohort. While at Florida, Adrian has already immersed himself in the world of public interest communications in a variety of ways, including working as a volunteer for the frank conference.

Adrian was paired with Amnesty International USA. Currently the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, Amnesty International unites people from all over the world using research, action and advocacy. For more than 50 years, it has offered hope to neglected populations, and has campaigned with innovation and determination for justice.


Karen FrancoKaren Franco is a junior politics major at Princeton University – originally from Los Angeles, California. She is the head of Matriculate’s Princeton chapter – a non-profit committed to providing high-achieving and low-income students with access to a college education. Karen’s commitment to equal opportunity stretches beyond the campus community. In addition to several volunteer experiences during high school, she now teaches English classes to recently arrived immigrants in nearby Trenton, New Jersey.

For her fellowship, Karen was placed at the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. Long-time friend of the Karel Fellowship, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids hosted a Karel Fellow for the fifth time in 2016. The Campaign works to save lives by advocating for public policies that prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke.


Luisa GuaracaoLuisa Guaracao is a public relations major at the University of Florida – our second Gator in the group. She is a published writer, a devoted student and already has experience in the nonprofit sector. In 2015, Luisa directed a two-week summer camp for more than 70 Guatemalan migrant children hosted by an organization called SALTT. Luisa’s leadership role with SALTT, as well as her involvement with the frank conference at UF, have inspired her to pursue the field of public interest communications as a career.

For the 2016 summer, Luisa was matched with The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights – a coalition dedicated to promoting and protecting civil and human rights in the United States. Through advocacy and outreach to targeted constituencies, The Leadership Conference works toward the goal of a more open and just society.


Sean MockSean Mock is a political science major at Macalester College in Minneapolis, Minnesota – originally from San Francisco. When he’s not interning for Senator Fount Hawj in the Minnesota state legislature or with Fair Trade USA, Sean participates in the Emerging Scholars Program at Macalester, which pairs first year students of color and first generation college students with student mentors.

Sean was connected with The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) for the 2016 summer. The CBPP returned to host again in 2016 and is a nonpartisan research and policy institute that pursues federal and state policies designed to both reduce poverty and inequality and to restore fiscal responsibility in equitable and effective ways.


Emmanuel OyalabuEmmanuel Oyalabu is from Springfield Gardens, New York, and attends Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Majoring in public health, Emmanuel has taken a keen interest in the field of medicine, and more broadly, the care and services available to underrepresented populations. At school, Emmanuel is a member of I.M.P.A.C.T. – an all-male group striving to leave a positive impression on their community. One of several programs Emmanuel participates in through I.M.P.A.C.T. allows him to serve as a “Big Brother”, helping to steer local youth down the right path.

Emmanuel’s 2016 nonprofit match was the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). First time host, WWF is a global organization, working to conserve nature and reduce the most pressing threats to the diversity of life on earth. In D.C., WWF collaborates with the U.S. Congress and administration to further conservation through legislative and regulatory approaches.


Jaquelin SalgJaquelin Salg is an American studies major at Franklin and Marshall College – originally from New Haven, Connecticut. Jaquelin is described by her faculty sponsor as “articulate, curious, and passionate about using her education and talents to improve the lives of others.” While in high school, Jacquelin established an organization that helped families struggling to meet their food needs. The idea was to fill backpacks with canned and nonperishable foods for struggling students to pick up each Friday or before extended breaks.

Appropriately, Jaquelin was assigned to work with Martha’s Table. For decades, Martha’s Table has provided an array of services to Washington, D.C. residents and their families. What began in 1979 as a safe place for neighborhood children to eat and learn after school has blossomed into an organization that offers access to food, education and opportunity for children and families.


Kimberly SanfordKimberly Sanford attends Harvard College, majoring in studies of women, gender and sexuality, with a minor in government. She is a proud first-generation college student who is committed to helping the next generation overcome challenges however she can. At Harvard, Kimberly serves as a full-time mentor for the Crimson Summer Academy, which hosts low-income Boston students as they navigate college admissions. As a mentor, she had the opportunity to teach an introductory writing class focused on gender and sexuality – a topic she’s demonstrated an obvious passion for. Kimberly is also a Jack Kent Cooke Scholar.

For her fellowship, Kimberly was paired with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). NRDC works to safeguard the earth – its people, its plant and animals, and the natural system on which all life depends. NRDC strives to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water and the wild.


Gislene TasaycoGislene Tasayco received her Associate’s Degree from Montgomery College in May 2016, and has since transferred to Trinity Washington University, where she’s studying political science. Gislene is passionate about a number of issues, but has dedicated the most time to the fight for women’s rights. Frustrated by the lack of diversity in the feminist movement, she launched SHIFT, an organization that encourages an inclusive approach to more accurately represent all of the voices of the feminist movement.

Gislene was paired with the Polaris Project. A leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery, Polaris systemically disrupts the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. Its comprehensive model helps survivors restore their freedom, prevents more victims, and leverages data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate.