About

About Gen Z Identity Lab

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.

Our Mission

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.

Anya Dua, Founder & President

Gen Z Identity lab wasn’t born out of a specific goal or project, I sort of stumbled into it.

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? If I want to research fashion trends one day and write about ending the wildfires in Australia the next – where can I do that in a way that’s not divisive?

My original idea was to do research and publish articles. But, even with my interesting research findings and articles, something was missing. I wanted to know how, with this understanding, we could develop a more compassionate, open, and transparent conversation on what it means to be human today.

Then, last year, I took 20th century world history, and I loved learning about how all of these different and complex relationships created the world we live in today. 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 15-year-old Brooklyn girl, who recently relocated to Coconut Grove, Miami, trading pigeons for peacocks. My passions include Australia, history, aesthetics, squash (the sport, not the vegetable), and my family. I have struggled with a rare illness since age nine 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 GenZ Identity Lab.

Welcome, to GenZ 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 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

Creative Director

Mexico City, Mexico

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.

Livia Hermann

Head of Social Media

Miami, Florida

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.

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.

Paloma Quintana

Graphic Designer

Miami, Florida

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.

Grace Davis

New York City, New York

Grace lives in NYC, attending The Brearley School where she is a staff writer on the newspaper, member of the Service Club, member of the School Culture Committee and founder of the FRESH Club. Her interests include food justice, childhood development, social entrepreneurship, the relationship between Gen Z and Gen Alpha, her family, and chocolate. When she was offered a position at the Gen Z Identity Lab by founder Anya Dua, she immediately said yes. Grace is proud to take part in a movement “By Gen Z and for Gen Z.” She looks forward to exploring her different interests through the lens of Gen Z and our identity, and she can’t wait to see what this project will bring in the future.

Ceci Granda-Scott

Miami, Florida

Cecilia Granda-Scott is 16 years old. She is Cuban-American and bisexual. She is on the Varsity Swimming and Waterpolo teams, as well competing on the Speech and Debate team. Ceci’s first language was Spanish and she didn’t learn English until Pre-K. She is an avid reader and would definitely call herself a nerd!

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.

Nicole Rodriguez

Miami, Florida

Nicole Rodriguez is a sophomore at Ransom Everglades School. Her curiosity drives her to study and pose questions about the rapid pace of our world — exactly what Gen Z Identify Lab stands for! Nicole’s passion for researching and writing comes across in her active participation on her Speech and Debate team. This year alone, she has debated a variety of topics, ranging from nuclear energy to intimate partner violence. Through Gen Z, Nicole hopes to motivate her readers to share their voices and explore new things. Her determination to expand her boundaries explains why Nicole joined her school’s Swimming and Lacrosse teams. Outside of school, you can find Nicole dancing, hanging out with friends and family, or traveling. In fact, this summer she plans to connect with her Colombian heritage by volunteering at an orphanage there!

Sol Cuello Robert

Miami, Florida

Sol Robert is fifteen years old and has lived in Miami, FL her whole life. She attends Ransom Everglades Upper School where she participates in the speech and debate team, the varsity dance team, and Neighbors in Need to aid the homeless, of which she is the secretary. Sol loves spending time with her family and friends, and is very interested in studying genetics. She will be doing research at Harvard Summer School this summer, which she is very excited for! Sol tutors middle school kids – she loves to write and be involved in the community around me. She is so excited to be a part of an opportunity to study Gen Z and be able to be a positive voice in the world today!

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.

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.

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.

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