President — she/her
Julia can't wait for another year with MoCo Pride, this time as the President! She is a senior at Richard Montgomery High School and was a founding member of MoCo Pride in her sophomore year. Julia served as the MoCo Pride Secretary for the past two years, in which she presented at numerous county and state-wide LGBTQ+ events and helped draft the LGBTQ+ Studies Course that is piloting at 11 high schools next year. This year, she hopes to continue to make MoCo Pride a more diverse, inclusive, and supportive organization for students across the county. In addition to LGBTQ+ advocacy, Julia is actively involved in the coalition in support of police free schools and the National Art Honors Society, Stage Crew, Mock Trial, and Model Congress at her school. In her free time, she enjoys painting, cooking, and spending time outside with friends.
Secretary — they/them
Sydney Spottiswood (is elated to be MoCo Pride’s Secretary this year! They are a senior at Walt Whitman High School, where they have been involved in LGBTQ+ advocacy since transferring to MCPS in 2016. They were a part of their middle school’s GSA and have led Whitman’s GSA, Whitman Pride Alliance, for over two years as Co-President. Additionally, they co-wrote and co-piloted a semester-long LGBTQ+ studies course alongside other student leaders in the area, which is being offered starting this fall at schools across Montgomery County.
As Secretary, Sydney aspires to develop even stronger relationships with GSAs across MCPS and advocacy groups on the state-level, as well as foster a network of connections and opportunities for queer students. Outside of LGBTQ+ activism, they serve as the Co-Editor-in-Chief of their school’s literary-arts magazine, The Eidolon, and advocate for Central-American communities with Ayudar Para Cambiar. In their free time, Sydney likes to go to concerts, read political theory, and thrift.
Co-PR Director — she/they
Daniela Guevara is excited to be MoCo Pride Youth’s co-PR Director for the 2021-2022 school year! They are a junior at Albert Einstein Highschool and have been a part of Moco Pride Youth for two years. This year, Daniela hopes to create accessible content in multiple languages, host interactive events, and increase participation in underrepresented schools! They hope to continue making MoCo Pride Youth a welcoming organization for students across the county. Outside of LGBTQ+ advocacy, Daniela is a director for Project DCC, focused on connecting the Down County Consortium Students of MCPS to resources and closing the opportunity gap. In their free time, Daniela runs with her teammates and spends quality time with their dogs!
Policy Director — she/her
Amy Zhai is a senior at Richard Montgomery High School and MoCo Pride’s Policy Director. She's extremely excited for the coming year, and is most looking forward to organizing an advocacy day. In her free time, she enjoys studying foreign languages and going for relaxing walks along the C&O Canal.
Finance Director — any/all
Aarsh Raja (any/all) is happy to be this year’s MoCo Pride Treasurer! They are a junior at Poolesville High School and have an extensive knowledge on LGBTQ+ history, queer liberation and other social issues. He is passionate about helping reach out to LGBTQ+ youth and helping them shine in their truest form. As Treasurer and Financial Director, they hope to set up multiple engaging fund raisers, acquire resources for the organization and financially aid districts and schools that need LGBTQ+ awareness. Along with this, they hope to fund multiple informative workshops. In their freetime, Aarsh can be found listening to a wide range of music, reading philosophy books, looking at pictures of cats, and tending to their plants.
Vice President — he/him
Cedar is excited to be MoCo Pride’s Vice President this year! He is a sophomore at Richard Montgomery High School and has been involved in queer advocacy and other groups since he started middle school. He is passionate about helping information and advocacy reach as many people as possible and hopes to bring awareness about MoCo Pride to every interested queer student in the county. As Vice President, he hopes to help MoCo Pride grow as much as possible, both by expanding its outreach and what types of activities it is able to plan by itself and in conjunction with other advocacy groups. In his free time, Cedar can usually be found listening to music, skateboarding, or playing with his pet leopard gecko, Moss.
Outreach Director — she/her
Izzy is excited to be MoCo Pride’s next Outreach Director! She is a senior at Northwood High School, and has been involved in LGBTQ+ advocacy since she joined her middle school GSA, the Rainbow Alliance. Since then, she has led her high school’s GSA, gotten involved in other clubs and organizations working for student equity, and taken action on issues ranging from LGBTQ+ rights to police free schools. This year, as Outreach Director, she hopes to reach more students across Montgomery County through partnerships with student organizations in underrepresented schools, access to MoCo Pride materials in more than one language, and connecting more students to resources that will support and uplift them. She is especially passionate about bringing advocacy opportunities to students in the Downcounty Consortium, as her peers have often been left out of the conversations that impact them the most. In her free time, Izzy can usually be found reading a YA novel, hanging out with her cat or scrolling through Tumblr.
Co-PR Director — she/her
With social media growing at an exponential rate, Sabrina knows it is now an essential platform for change. She believes that by using it more effectively, we can grow MoCo Pride and spread information about our resources further. She can't wait to use PR, a platform she is so passionate about, to support an issue that she is likewise incredibly passionate about. Over the years she has worked as a leader to promote advocacy and communication. In BBYO she created advocacy programs and member retention initiatives. She has also helped to establish a teen chapter of Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom here and worked alongside her friend as co-president of the chapter. They built a strong member base and worked alongside each other to create a program list for the year. She wants to grow our social media outreach to consistently post on twitter and create an active facebook group. She will also work with the rest of the board to establish a GSA database to help GSA's grow even if they can't attend the workshops. She'd also like to create a resources highlight on our instagram with numbers for mental health hotlines as well as other resources. In her free time she enjoys sewing and learning about different types of art. She also plays an instrument and does youth orchestra outside of school. She can't wait to work with everyone on board this year and protect and grow the safe environment the organization has worked on creating.
Advocacy Director — she/her
Laila is a 9th grader at Clarksburg highschool. She has always loved helping people. She is thrilled to be MoCo Pride Youth’s Advocacy director for this school year. Her goals for this year are to help queer kids in Montgomery County have the resources they need to feel supported and succeed. Other than advocating for queer kids she has advocated for mental health, student rights and race equality. Her friends say she is a very easy and compassionate person to talk to so that’s why they come to her for help. She thinks that is a great character trait to have because everyone needs someone to listen to them and that’s what she hopes to do for people. Out of the advocacy world, Laila enjoys writing poetry, learning languages, (she has been learning Chinese for 5 years, Italian and sign-language), and cooking. Her first language is French.
Sol Varela Capurro
Director of Web Presence — fey/it/fae/name only
Sol is a junior at Albert Einstein, and very excited to be the web director at MoCo Pride this year! Fae’s co-President of its high school’s GSA, where fey has been working on helping to change the MoCo health curriculum and to get LGBTQ Studies implemented at Einstein. Sol’s advocacy focuses on queer rights, disability justice, racial equality, civil rights, and intersectional activism. Outside of activism, it loves punk rock, crows, and art. Feyr family is from Uruguay in South America, and fey's working on learning Spanish and ASL. Fey has two cats and far too many candles. It also made this page!