Meet the  Policy Team

TEAM CHAIRS

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Muskaan Arshad (she/her)
Team Chair 
Harvard University 

Muskaan Arshad is an avid activist and current high school senior at Bentonville West High School. She helps run the international youth organization, the Reclamation Project, and actively works with the young democrats as Arkansas’s national committeewoman. She will be attending Harvard University next year in hopes of pursuing a degree in Government and History.

Clayton Kincade (he/him)
Team Chair 
Georgetown University 

Clayton Kincade, a senior at Cabot High School, is one of this year's Team Chairs. Actively involved in the speech and debate community and a former member of National Honor Society, Clayton is passionate about advancing the equality and equity of Arkansas' educational programs and greatly looks forward to creating a policy brief. He is specifically concerned with the mental health, socioeconomic, and educational issues present within Arkansas. Currently, Clayton plans to attend Georgetown University in the fall and major in International Politics.

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OUTREACH CHAIRS

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Nathan James (he/him)
Outreach Chair 
Westminster College

Nathan James is an experienced advocate in educational politics.  A former state legislative intern, policy researcher for Kids Win Missouri, and an early childhood educator, he has experience from classrooms to legislatures. A native of Arkansas, he is an alumnus of the Bentonville School District.  He is double majoring in Political Science and Transnational Studies at Westminster College (Missouri), a small liberal arts college that hosted Winston Churchill’s “Iron Curtain” speech, and notable speakers, including several U.S. President, J. William Fulbright, Sec. James A. Baker III, and Sen. Bernie Sanders.  Within feet of the Berlin Wall, Nathan had a luncheon in 2019 with former Sec. Madeleine Albright and Winston Churchill’s granddaughter, Edwina Sandys. With his breadth of policy experience, educational opportunities, and networking, he’s excited to bring a unique voice to the forefront of this important initiative!

Lillian Goins (she/her)
Outreach Chair 
Conway High School 

Logic. Creativity. Spirit. All of these traits embody any involvement with education I have! I lobby and advocate for parity in sexual education in public schools. I have contributed to my own school's policy to make it a safer space for students. And with a goal to educate my peers, I created a coalition to advocate for comprehension of mental illness. Education is critical to a thriving community and society; achieving this requires communication, consisting of creative presentation, logical argument, and spirited presence. With my experience, I am prepared to improve education for students everywhere!

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RESEARCHERS

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Colette Tesoro (she/her)
Researcher
Bentonville West High School

Colette Tesoro is a rising senior at Bentonville West High School and will serve as the Student Body President for the 2021-2022 school year. She works as a National Ambassador for Georgetown University’s Project Olas and is a CIEE Global Navigators Scholar. Passionate about impacting social justice through action, she is a member of a community organizing group focused on tackling anti-trans legislation in Arkansas and is excited to expand her work to include educational policy. Strong education has had an undeniable impact on her life, so she believes it is of the utmost importance to promote equitable access to such. 

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Saiyara Islam (she/her)
Researcher
Westside High School

Saiyara Islam is a current junior at Westside High school. She is the founder of her school’s UNICEF club, and has been actively participating to make a change with UNICEF USA initiatives. Her passion for policy comes from debating, and she is focused on advancing her skills moving forward whether its through debate or leadership. She is eager to improve her skills and take action for better educational policies as the Education Policy Project Researcher.

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Ashwin Marathe (he/him)
Researcher
Columbia University

Ashwin Marathe is a senior at Bentonville High School. Serving as the Policy Debate Captain on
his high school’s debate team, President of Young Democrats, and a former intern for two
political campaigns, Ashwin possesses a passion for politics. Ashwin is drawn to the data collection side of politics and enjoys reading about the latest polls in political races. When he’s not catching up on the day’s latest news, he is most likely listening to his favorite Indian Classical music or playing basketball with his friends. In the fall, Ashwin will attend Columbia University and major in Political Science-Statistics.

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Natalie O'Brien (she/her)
Researcher
Bentonville West High School

Natalie O’Brien is a senior at Bentonville West High School. She is a part of BHWS HOSA and is a state finalist for Medical Law and Ethics. Natalie has served as President of NJHS and will be Co-President of Philosophy Club at Bentonville West for the 2021-22 school year. Natalie will also be working as a LOUDwomen Community Ambassador for the coming year! In the future, she plans to study psychology and criminology in hopes of pursuing a career in forensic psychology. Natalie is passionate about politics and social policy and believes education and helping others is the first step in creating positive change. In her free time, she enjoys music, yoga, and the outdoors.

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Alexis Childs (she/her)
Researcher
Cabot High School

Alexis is a junior at Cabot High School and one of the LD captains for the Cabot Debate Team.  She competes in LD, World Schools, and Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking. She plans to study political science and pursue a career in law.

Juliet Gore (she/her)
Researcher
Bentonville High School

Juliet Gore is a High School sophomore who has a strong interest in pursuing a career in education and the child welfare system.
Juliet believes in the power of policy especially as it plays into the education system. Juliet has been accepted into the Bentonville IGNITE Education Program where she will be working with teachers and students of all ages across the district. She is especially interested in uplifting different or unique voices within the education system and helping to create a structure of empathy and kindness through policy. 

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Izzy Jenkins (she/her)
Researcher
Bentonville High School

Izzy Jenkins is a junior at Bentonville High school. She is a part of her school’s lacrosse and debate teams, where she mainly competes in Public Forum debate. She is passionate about learning, global politics, and foreign policy, which are worlds I would love to work in for the future. Aside from academic endeavors, Izzy enjoys writing, hiking,  and working with kids. 

Sam Montgomery (she/her)
Researcher
North Little Rock High School

Sam Montgomery is a senior at North Little Rock High School. Since freshman year, she has been involved in her school’s speech and drama department. Through speech and debate, she found her passion for politics. Sam has worked with the homeless community in Little Rock to help them feel love, support, and care. She is striving to create new policies and programs to provide for these communities. Additionally, she worked on the campaign for North Little Rock’s current Mayor, Terry Hartwick, and plans to work with him throughout the year. 

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Kennedy Marrs (she/her)
Researcher
Bentonville West High School

Kennedy Marrs is a  junior at Bentonville West High School in Centerton, Arkansas. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Debate Captain on the Bentonville West Speech and Debate team. She is also the Co-Executive Director of Programming for LOUDwomen while previously holding the roles of the Vice President of Public Relations and LOUDwomen ambassador. She began her debate career as a freshman in policy debate. Kennedy has since focused on Lincoln-Douglas during her sophomore year. In addition to debate, her other hobbies include playing tennis for the Lady Wolverines and volunteering at local nonprofits.

Chandra Suda (he/him)
Researcher
Bentonville High School

Chandra Suda, a sophomore at Bentonville High School, is excited to be one of this year's
educational policy researchers. As a two times Northwest Arkansas overall science and
engineering fair winner, International Science and Engineering Fair 2021 Finalist, and FBLA
VBC Round 1 Finance 2nd place national winner, he is experienced and passionate about research and making a positive impact in the world. Gained experience in international educational policies during his education in Canada, and is planning to spend his summer in an MIT internship aiming to use computer science to solve many real-world problems. He hopes to attend M.I.T. for college in hopes of pursuing his passion for computer science. Equipped with research and educational knowledge, technical skills, and a passion for improving education, he is excited to contribute to this initiative.

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