Born and raised in the urban heart of Portland, Oregon, JT Flowers is a junior double majoring in Global Affairs and Ethnicity, Race & Migration at Yale (PC '17). He is a founding board member of the Yale College Black Pre-Law Association, a Peer Liaison, a tour guide, a member of the Yale Black Men's Union's Publicity Committee, and served as a policymaker for Yale’s Financial Aid Task Force. JT was also awarded the prestigious Truman Scholarship for his academic success and leadership in public service.
In the spring of 2015, JT spent a semester in Rabat, Morocco, studying regional governance, security and international development. His studies are centered around the intersectional impacts of culture, class, and institutions on effective policymaking and inclusive social change, with a focus on combating structural inequality and fostering social mobility in lower-income environments.
Nicole Chavez is a sophomore in Trumbull College from Mount Vernon, New York. Double majoring in Political Science and Ethnicity, Race, and Migration, Nicole is interested in studying public policy, particularly education and immigration policy, and its impact on low-income communities of color. Outside of A Leg Even, Nicole is a staff writer and Co-Operations Manager for DOWN Magazine, an online publication for students of color at Yale, and is the Special Events Coordinator at the Women’s Center.
Given her background as the daughter of immigrants and a first-generation college student, Nicole hopes to find ways to better equip students from underprivileged backgrounds with the self-assurance and personal support needed to surmount cultural shock and navigate the landscape of higher education. This past summer, Nicole was doing similar outreach as a teaching fellow for the Ulysses S. Grant Foundation, teaching classes in Urban Studies, Social Psychology, and American History to students from New Haven public middle schools.
Director of Strategic Partnernship & Retainment
Rayan Alsemeiry is a sophomore at Yale University (MC '19) from Mesa, Arizona. In A Leg Even, Rayan serves as our Director of Strategic Partnership & Retainment, forging bonds with other on and off-campus organizations and creating programming for A.L.E. alumni to continue involvement in the next A.L.E. cohort through mentorship.
Born in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Rayan hopes to return to his global roots by studying Economics and Global Affairs, specifically relating to refugee studies and international development. Hoping to translate his experiences from a single parent, low-income household in which higher-education was absent, Rayan currently serves as Co-Chair of the 1vyG Conference -- a gathering of first-generation and low-income students, university administrators, corporate sponsors, and other advocates to work towards accessibility and inclusivity of higher education. Additionally, in partnership with the Yale College Deans' Office, Rayan helped create the First-Gen, Low-Income (FLI) Ambassador program, a peer-mentoring program for first generation, low-income freshman at Yale. Rayan also serves as a tour guide for Yale Admissions.
Director of Fundraising
Hailing from Richmond, Virginia, byways of Damascus, Syria, Mohamed Karabatek is a Jonathan Edwards sophomore, prospectively double majoring in Statistics and Global Affairs. He is a First Generation student, Vice President of the Arab Students’ Association, a Director of Fundraising for A Leg Even at Yale and Urban Improvement Corps, a Mentor at Urban Improvement Corps, a Cultural Connections Counselor, and a member at Students Organized for Syria.
Having spent a significant portion from his life in Damascus, where a large portion of his family and friends currently reside, Mohamed focuses on economic development in crisis and post-crisis zones within the Middle East. Mohamed also focuses on opportunity and resource development for First Generation college students and Pell Grant recipients. This past summer, Mohamed studied the History of French Colonization and the Immigration into France, 20th Century, abroad in Arles, France.
Viviana Andazola Marquez
Viviana Andazola Marquez is a sophomore at Yale University from Thornton, Colorado. She is pursuing a degree in history with a focus on Latin America and how the role of Latin America is overlooked when it come to international politics and relevance. Joining A.L.E.’s board in her sophomore year allowed her to continue to address the issue she has been surrounded by her entire life: the opportunity gap faced by disadvantaged students.
On campus she is involved with A Leg Even (A.L.E.) as the Director of Programming, and Rumpus Magazine as a contributor. She works for the Student Technology Collaborative as a student technologist and an application reader for the Yale Young Global Scholars. She hopes to pursue a career in public service after her time at Yale.
Director of Tutoring
Lauren LaMonica is a junior in Jonathan Edwards College from Boston, Massachusetts and is pursuing a degree in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology on the Neurobiology track. Her clinical research has focused on developing a novel cost-effective treatment designed to provide light therapy to diabetic patients, as well as investigating the benefits for communities that lack specialized medical care. Lauren’s efforts in medicine have spurred her to work with marginalized and underrepresented communities, a reason why she is eager to bring tutoring resources to first generation and low-income students.
Outside of A Leg Even, she is involved in the Yale Hunger and Homelessness Action Project (YHHAP) and is a member of the cheer team. Lauren is also a co-founder of Homeless Hope, a non-profit organization that provides the homeless community with access to basic resources.
Director of Communications
Austin Strayhorn is a sophomore at Yale University (CC ’19) from Suitland, MD, a town of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan area. He currently serves as A Leg Even’s Director of Communications. Hoping to major in Global Affairs, Austin is interested in studying how global governments can best work with communities to alleviate economic inequalities and their negative consequences on low-income groups. He is passionate about creating greater access to resources and opportunity for traditionally underprivileged and oppressed populations.
When not working with A Leg Even, Austin is volunteering with the Bridges English as a Second Language organization at Yale, helping equip non-native speakers with the language tools they desire to navigate professional and social life in the United States.
Austin also works as an aide in his residential college.