Press Release

Three New Youth Voices Join America’s Promise Alliance’s Leadership

Board and Alliance Trustees Appoint New Group of Youth Leaders to Support Goal to Raise High School Graduation Rates

WASHINGTON, D.C. - America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest network dedicated to improving the lives of youth and children, announced today that Malcolm Davis and Julie Pham have been elected to its Board of Directors and Sanah Jivani has been appointed an Alliance Trustee. They will each serve a two-year term.

America’s Promise traditionally adds one youth board member and one youth trustee, between the age of 16-22, each year.  After reviewing a very competitive candidate pool, the board decided—for the first time—to add two new board members for the same term.  Each young person elected becomes a full voting member of the leadership bodies and is a valuable asset to the strategic direction of the organization.

“Youth voice is a critical and necessary component to our leadership teams,” said Alma J. Powell, board chair of America’s Promise. “We’re excited to welcome three extraordinary young people who will help us work toward creating the conditions for success for all young people.”

“Malcolm, Julie and Sanah are joining us at a critical time in our organization’s history as we prepare to celebrate our 20th anniversary in April,” added John Gomperts, president and CEO. “Their insight and experiences will help inform our future work in the years to come as we look ahead to creating an America where every young person has the chance to succeed.”

About the New Board & Trustee Members

Malcolm Davis: A senior at Berea Community High School in Kentucky, Davis, 17, is currently a trainer for Green Dot, an organization that helps combat personal violence in schools and communities.  He is also a member of Youth Leadership Madison County and the College Board Youth Advisory Council. Previously, Davis served as a youth leader at the Building a GradNation Summit in Washington, D.C. He hopes to pursue an undergraduate degree in Africana studies and creative writing after high school.

Julie Pham: As a first-generation college student at Brown University, Pham, 20, is a political science and urban studies major. She also works as a minority recruitment intern in the Office of Admissions, where she supports and mentors low-income high school students navigating the college application process. Previously, she worked for the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester as a teacher's assistant in their Horizons Program and served as an Urban Fellow at the Harley School’s Horizons Student Enrichment Program. Pham is a current fellow with the Future Leaders Foundation.

Sanah Jivani: When University of Texas at San Antonio honors college student Sanah Jivani, 18, was in seventh grade, she started The Love Your Natural Self Foundation, a non-profit focusing on empowering individuals all around the world to be confident and have high self-esteem. Her organization now hosts projects in 28 countries, has reached more than 10,000 students and raised over $10,000 to provide free resources and self-esteem curriculum for schools worldwide. Jivani, who is majoring in sociology and communications, was previously selected as one of five students for the FirstGEN Fellowship in Washington, D.C. In addition to other roles, she is currently serving as a State Farm Youth Advisory Board member and a Pearson Student Advisor.

The America’s Promise board of directors, now with 20 members, provides strategic counsel to the organization’s mission and work. The 40-plus Alliance Trustees serve as on-the-ground advisors to board members, who are engaged with youth through their respective organizations. Both help support the GradNation campaign, a national movement to raise the national high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and increase college enrollment and completion.

Selected out of roughly 100 applicants from 31 states and Washington, D.C., Davis, Pham and Jivani will attend their first board and trustee meetings in October.

The next youth leadership application process starts in summer of 2017.  To learn more visit the America’s Promise Youth Leadership page.  

America’s Promise Alliance leads more than 400 organizations, communities and individuals dedicated to making the promise of America real for every child. As its signature effort, the GradNation campaign mobilizes Americans to increase the on-time high school graduation rate to 90 percent by 2020 and prepare young people for postsecondary enrollment and the 21st century workforce.