Meet the fellows!

Meet the 2017 PolitiCorps Fellows!

Hey Friend,

For the past 13 years, the Bus Project has brought in young folks from all around the nation to participate in our annual summer fellowship, PolitiCorps. PolitiCorps is an intensive 10-week program where fellows learn the ins-and-outs of political organizing. Some of the sharpest minds in Oregon donate their time to teach fellows skills in fundraising, campaign planning, campaign management, nonprofit management, working in both the National and State Capitol, and tons more.

Fellows also do some of democracy’s hardest and most important work–which is having thousands upon thousands of meaningful one-on-one conversations with voters. These fellows are talented, determined, and passionate. We appreciate the heck outta ’em and we are honored to introduce them to you. So, without further ado, meet the 2017 PolitiCorps Cohort!


Abby Boulton was born and raised in Portland and is super excited to be back for the summer. Arising senior at the University of Vermont, she is a double major in Art History and Sociology. After working for Planned Parenthood, Abby gained a much deeper appreciation of advocacy and is looking forward to continuing her involvement through PolitiCorps. She is deeply passionate about issues of representation, education, and equality. You could probably find her reading the news, practicing yoga, or out and about around Portland.

Adilene Valencia is a student at Portland State University working towards a BS in Community Development. She grew up across the river in Vancouver, WA but her heart has always loved Portland. She moved to neighboring Gresham and has fallen even more in love with the city and its people. In high school she spent her time in student government, then at MHCC she was the director of community affairs where she got her first taste of organizing and absolutely loved it! She has two adorable poodle pups at home, and spends most of her free time out in the parks, Cafe Delirium, or grabbing a bite to eat with friends.
 Collin Haahr was born in Portland and was raised by two proud “St. Johns” residents in the Northwest section of the city. He is a recent graduate of the University of Portland, and after spending countless hours studying and working, with a few dedicated to fun, he is ready to finally cause the action he wishes to see in politics. His main passions are Environmental Policy, Public Schooling, and Civil Rights, subjects he has vocally and publicly supported his entire life. When he’s not reading political commentary on The Atlantic or Politico, he’s most likely watching sports, always proudly routing for his Northwest Teams, as well as sometimes across the pond proudly supporting Everton FC.
Helen Eldred was born and raised in Corvallis, Oregon and is currently a rising sophomore at Mount Holyoke College where she is a Politics major with an intended minor in Journalism. In 2014, she interned for Sara Gelser’s successful campaign for Oregon State Senate. She is interested in transferring her academic pursuits into practical solutions to real world problems. In her spare time she loves to read, listen to music, go on hikes, have dinner parties, and there is nothing that gets her going more than a good panel discussion.
Huell White is a Portland State University graduate originally from Southern New Mexico. He moved to Portland in 2012 to study Russian at PSU. Huell has lived, studied and interned in Europe, Russia and Central Asia, which subsequently shaped his worldview. A lifelong obsession with politics has led him to hop on the Bus, and hopes that PolitiCorps will lead him to fulfill his dream of working in public service.
Janiel Santos is originally from Nevada and moved to Oregon as a child where she grew up in Tualatin. Acurrent student at the University of Oregon, Janiel is pursuing a degree in Family-Human Services, with aminor in Ethnic Studies. Janiel is passionate about women and reproductive rights, racial justice and empowering Latinx youth. Janiel’s dream is to pursue a graduate degree in Administration and Policy, and hopefully work with Latinx youth in the future.
Kaia Johnson Born and raised in Northwest Washington, Kaia grew up barefoot wandering through the San Juan Islands, finding her voice not only in social work, but as a writer and artist. Kaia is almost a Washington State University alumni, finishing up her last semester this fall, getting her undergraduate degree in Journalism after completing her minor in Comparative Ethnic Studies. Passionate on just about every topic, she is quick to add not only her views and thoughts, but probably at least one joke per conversation. She’s incredibly excited for what this summer can achieve.
Kathy Bond is a current Economics and Political Science major at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. Kathy first became interested in politics after working on a campaign for a district representative in Las Vegas, Nevada. To Kathy, politics is about creating positive change within your community, and Kathy continues to be passionate for community engagement by volunteering for the Oregon Food Bank and after-school programs in middle schools across Portland. Kathy loves to make bad puns, play card games, and pet cute dogs.
Nathaniel Torry-Schrag, a native Oregonian who grew up in small towns west of Portland, is currently enrolled in the Portland State University Urban Honors College. A student of Political Science, Nathaniel stays engaged with academics, clubs, local campaigns, and more. If he isn’t on the Washington Post’s website, you can find him reading, eating, tweeting, and all that other good stuff millennials do. His biggest passions are politics (duh), music, and travel. Nathaniel is excited for the opportunity to work with an incredible non-profit like The Bus Project, and looks forward to bringing his dedication to local and ethical politics to the fellowship.
Olivia Hasencamp Hailing from Los Angeles, California, Olivia is majoring in Dance Studies at Reed College. She has been involved in organizing on campus as well as in the greater Portland area. She has acurrent focus on racial justice, LGBTQ+ justice, gender equality, and educating youth, with an interest in the ways that different bodies of knowledge–like dancing and cooking!–can be used and valued as sites of teaching and learning in the classroom. Although Olivia likes being busy, her favorite pastimes are having dance parties, reading, hanging out with friends, and drinking a large glass of milk.
And they’re graduating soon!
We wish they could stay at the Bus Project forever, but all good things must come to an end. Save the date for PolitiCorps graduation. Tuesday, August 22nd at 6:30pm. Stay tuned for the details and location!
One last thing–these fellows work hard every day to develop their skills and meet their goals. An average stipend for each fellow is $1700. If just 15 people donated $10 a month we would be able to add another fellow next summer. Please consider chipping in here!
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