About Gen Z Identity Lab

Seeing adults make broad assumptions about Gen Z and seeing the division throughout the country on social media, the political stage, and in institutions, I realized that Gen Z needs to take control of its own narrative. We do not only care about climate change. We are not all liberal. We are nuanced, diverse, and passionate about our future. It’s time for adults to understand the real Gen Z.

That’s why I created the Gen Z Identity Lab, where we develop insights on Gen Z’s opinions through both our statistically significant surveys and through our online platform designed for our contributors to develop and share their ideas.

Our Mission

To uplift the voices of Gen Z by sharing our research-backed opinions with people in power: reporters, businesspeople, and educators. We are taking control of the narrative about who Gen Z is; we are a fusion of our passions, gender and sexual identity, ethnicity, nationality, hopes, spirituality, community, and past experiences. 

From COVID-19 to climate change, we are ensuring that Gen Z is informing major policy and practice decisions that will impact our future.

Anya Dua, Founder & President

During the 2016 election, I found myself agreeing with what everybody told me without even thinking about it. As I started to think more deeply, I realized that I agreed with some things, and disagreed with others. But, most of us are too embarrassed to challenge widely-held beliefs within our communities. Can I be best friends with someone who has different political views than I do and if so, how do we talk about it?

As I started to think about the world my generation is hoping to create – I realized that we need a place to talk to each other openly and to improve the rising intergenerational misunderstanding. If we don’t define who we are, other people will keep filling in the blanks.

I guess I should start with myself. I’m a 18-year-old Brooklyn girl, who recently relocated to Coconut Grove, Miami. My passions include Australia, fashion, history, politics, and my friends and family. I have struggled with a rare illness that eventually put me on bedrest for a few months in 8th grade. It’s part of my identity, yet I don’t let it define me. There are times when you just have to accept something unfortunate as part of your normal, and live with vitality in the face of challenges.

As someone working to understand my own identity and how that shapes my world views, I want to offer others a welcoming place to do the same. That’s why I created the Gen Z Identity Lab.

Welcome to the Gen Z Identity Lab. What’s underneath is so much more interesting than what’s on the surface.

Our Team

Armaan Jaffer

Vice President

Vancouver, British Columbia

As a senior currently attending St. George’s School in Vancouver, British Columbia, Armaan is honoured to be a part of the Gen Z Identity Lab. An enthusiast of foreign affairs and global politics, Armaan is excited for the chance to participate in such a unique opportunity. He not only hopes to encourage intellectual discourse, but inspire others to learn more about the world around them. Outside of Gen Z, Armaan is an avid participant in Model United Nations, an activity that he has truly come to cherish, as well as an avid volunteer and environmentalist. In his free time, Armaan can be found on the soccer field, taking photographs, and learning languages.

Manuela Sepúlveda

Creative Director

Mexico City, Mexico

Originally from Mexico City, Manuela Sepúlveda is a senior at Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut. She is passionate about today’s social and cultural issues and how they translate into new, upcoming generations. Some of her interests include environmental causes like the fast fashion industry and social causes that range from the importance of mental health awareness to style and culture. Additionally, Manuela is passionate about art and practices photography, filmmaking, and graphic design through Choate’s Arts Concentration Program. Her goal is to combine her passion for art and digital design with Gen Z Identity Lab’s mission to shine a light on young voices.

Katya Sucher

Head of Editing

Miami, Florida

Katya Sucher was born in the United States but grew up in Moscow, and moved to Miami when she was 11. She speaks five languages and has a huge passion for traveling around the world and exploring different cultures. She attends Ransom Everglades Upper School, in Miami. At school, she loves to dance, throw discus and shot-put, and is also secretary of French Club. She really loves writing, specifically fiction, but also research papers about topics that interest her personally, such as the Cold War. She love sushi, chocolate, music, dogs, fashion and is fascinated by international relations. She believes that Gen Z has a voice much more powerful than any generation that proceeded it, and its exposure to the ever-changing world is a tool that can help Gen Z influence society for the better.

Ian Fox

Miami, Florida

Ian is a dual US/UK citizen who was born in New York City and currently lives in Miami, Florida. He is a freshman at Ransom Everglades Upper School, where he is involved in Speech and Debate and Model UN. Outside of school, Ian can be found sailing, reading a good book, or running. He is passionate about politics and current events, and serves as a media fact-checker. Through Gen Z Identity Lab, Ian hopes to start a discussion among young people who are passionate about what’s going on in the world and are eager to inspire change.

Liv Steinhardt

Miami, Florida

Born in New York City and now a frequent visitor, Liv moved to Miami at a young age and is a student at Ransom Everglades School in Miami, FL where she is a member of the Speech & Debate and Academic teams. Liv is fourteen years old and most passionate about politics and innovation in education systems. An aspiring political analyst, in Summer 2020, Liv is launching Phos, a YouTube series for high school students that shines a light on and dissects recurring issues in the news and current events from multiple perspectives. She is thrilled to contribute to Gen Z Identity Lab to help share diverse points of view that move peer conversations from thoughts to action to change.

Alex Dray

Miami, Florida

Alex Dray is a Junior at Ransom Everglades in Miami, Florida. He is involved in his school’s Speech and Debate, cross-country, and track teams. He also serves as a representative for his grade on Student Government. When away from school, you could find Alex biking with his friends or volunteering for a political campaign. His passion to find out ways to improve the world drives him in what he does. He recognizes that previous generations have created many problems that Gen Z is going to have to deal with and solve. For that reason, Gen Z Identity lab interests him— it is a place where Gen Z can discuss the problems they see and propose solutions.

Kayla Bello

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Kayla Bello is a rising sophomore at Fort Lauderdale High School who is passionate about creating equality whether that is environmental, food, racial, or voting equality. She is an active member of Speech and Debate, as well as many environmental organizations. Kayla is also a Youth Council leader for Fuel Up to Play 60 where she leads students across the country, and works to solve many social issues such as food inequality. She wants to create systemic change by working with businesses and nonprofits to help people around the world. Outside of school Kayla loves to bike, run, and find any opportunity to watch the sunset on a lake or the ocean. She recognizes that Gen-Z is the first generation to have the privilege of widespread access to technology, and with that this generation can make real lasting change. She wants to leverage the immense amount of power this generation holds in order to truly make a difference.

Grant Walther

Los Angeles, CA

Grant Walther, currently attending Palos Verdes High School in the Los Angeles area of California, is a sophomore who enjoys a wide range of academic pursuits. He participates in Model United Nations as well as Mock Trial. As a witness in the Mock Trial 2019 team competition last year ( People vs. Matsumoto), Grant earned a perfect 20 for his performance. Grant travels widely. He has visited over 30 countries. In the summer of 2018 he spent a summer in Oxford, England, where he attended the Oxbridge Program perfecting his fencing and punting skills on the Thames River. Excelling at history and the sciences, Grant earned admission to the National Junior Honor Society in 7th and 8th grade. He is most proud of his victory over the Staff in his 8th grade year as team leader of his Scholar Quiz Team. Grant enjoys sailing and weight lifting and plans on focusing on the sciences. He has volunteered extensively at the Cabrillo Marine Museum and led group tours for children. He looks forward to attending college on the Eastern Seaboard someday and is very excited to write for this newspaper.

Sakura Gibson

Vancouver, British Columbia

A Junior at Crofton House School in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sakura is delighted to be serving as a part of the Gen Z Identity Lab. She spends her time in the realm of Model United Nations, where she engages in discussion and debate surrounding global affairs and policymaking. She hopes to circulate the impactful message and goals of Gen Z Identity Lab by becoming a member of the marketing team. With a passion for voicing opinions on current events, Sakura aspires to strengthen Gen Z’s platform by encouraging the sharing of ideas and perspectives amongst a diverse and vast audience. Outside of Gen Z, Sakura can be found drawing, designing informative marketing posts for local non-profits, biking across Vancouver, and playing soccer.