Small but mighty.
Founder & Co-Executive Director
Leora Soibelman is from Newton, Massachusetts and is currently a junior at Gann Academy. She first conceived the idea for State of the Students during her internship at Senator Elizabeth Warren's office, where she had the opportunity to listen and talk with Massachusetts constituents. She is also a Kode with Klossy scholar, and serves on the executive board of Girl Up's Boston Coalition. Leora's interests range from the democratic process to linguistics. In her free time, she likes to dye her hair, watch the Red Sox, and visit national parks.
Emily Willrich is a senior at Wellesley High School with a passion for politics and bettering her community. She is a member of Wellesley High School Key Club, Red Cross Club, and National Honors Society. Her passion project has been working to improve Wellesley’s softball fields so they are as nice as its baseball fields, in order to ensure gender equality for young athletes. While working on this project she had the privilege to attend a conference at Simmons College with many of her feminist role models, including Ayanna Pressley and Gloria Steinem, on women in politics. Emily has interned at Senator Warren’s Boston office, where she interacted with constituents directly, and noticed that many constituents were uninformed as to how government offices could help them. Her goal at State of the Students is to connect young people with elected officials in order to increase the next generation of leaders’ understanding of and involvement in government.
Tal Yahalom is from Needham, Massachusetts, and is currently a rising senior at Gann Academy. With the 2020 presidential election coming up, Tal has realized the importance of being involved and informed with both local, and the federal government. In October of 2019, Tal had the opportunity to attend the J Street national conference in Washington DC. While at the conference, he lobbied on behalf of J Street on Capitol Hill with Senator Ed Markey as well as Senator Elizabeth Warren's staff. At Gann, Tal is a member of Mock Trial and the leader of Cybersecurity Club. In his free time, Tal enjoys to watch the Celtics with his family, and go skiing. His goal at State of the Students is to help connect youth with their local government and realize the significance of their advocacy.
Ariela Zuckerman lives in Somerville, Massachusetts and is currently a sophomore at Gann Academy. Ariela has been interested in politics since middle school and is especially interested in local politics. She wants the next generation of young voters to be informed and involved in their political systems. Her goal at State of the Students is to empower students and to amplify teenage voices. She believes that elected officials should be invested in the interests of all of their constituents, especially those that can’t vote. At school, Ariela is involved in Mock Trial, Volleyball, and Softball. In her free time, Ariela enjoys card games, swimming, and Grey’s Anatomy.
Emma Larson is from Newton, Massachusetts and is a junior at Newton North High School. At school she does Mock Trial, DECA, and FBLA. She is also involved with student government, serving as class vice president, and is a school representative to the Greater Boston Regional Student Advisory Council. Outside of school, she is passionate about climate advocacy and volunteers with Sunrise Movement. Emma first became interested in government when she took a close up seminar in government class at her school and participated in a week long civics education program in Washington DC.
Kelly Hui is from Lexington, Massachusetts and a rising first-year at the University of Chicago, where she plans on studying political science and creative writing. She is a poet and grassroots organizer, and believes in the power of storytelling to engage young people into political issues. Kelly has interned or worked for Senator Elizabeth Warren's Boston office, the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund, Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu, and the Warren for President campaign. She is currently a communications and field fellow on the campaign to re-elect Senator Ed Markey.