Almost everyone I know is involved and interested in talking about political and social issues. Gen Z is active and fired-up. We aren’t passive about current events. But, we are headed down a dangerous path with no sense of a common goal. Without a common goal, even if that goal is simply to be open to different viewpoints, it is difficult to have a productive or open discussion. The Gen Z Identity Lab was created foster conversation among young people about the ever-changing world around us.
To create a platform by Gen Z for Gen Z where we can have discussions about what we stand for in a way that isn’t divisive, and show others that Gen Z will not be silenced. This platform is a place without hostility, where young people can express about their views and be represented for who they really are.
As a sophomore 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 is 16 years old. She is originally from Mexico City but she goes to boarding school in Connecticut. She is passionate about today’s social and cultural issues and how they translate into new, up-coming 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. Apart from this, Manuela is especially passionate about the art world and practices photography and filmmaking herself. She hopes to bring her own perspective on these topics to the table and through this platform, and to shine a light on young voices that are yet to be heard.
Head of Social Media
Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Livia Hermann moved to Miami, Florida as a thirteen-year-old and has lived there since. Currently a sophomore at Ransom Everglades High school, she is fascinated by the diversity of languages and cultures around the world. Livia speaks English and Portuguese fluently and is an intermediate speaker of both Spanish and German; she is no linguistic prodigy but hopes to continue learning more as opportunities appear. Apart from languages, her interests range from music and psychology to theories of the universe and history. She believes perspective is something unique to everyone, made up of multiple experiences that come together to form our wider view of the world. Through the Gen-Z identity lab, Livia hopes to primarily explore the extent to which language and culture shape the identities and interactions of young people worldwide.
Head of Editing
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.
Paloma Quintana is fifteen years old, born and raised in Mexico City. She’s always loved art through most any medium and spends most of her free time on it. She is also passionate about her activism in gender rights and setting a new norm for gender identity around the world. Her interest in politics and global issues has incited a love for debate and Model UN and has taken part in them for 4 years now. Paloma’s dream is to be a part of the change our new generations are bringing to the world, and hopefully, do that with her art.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.