2021 Team


Ria Deshpande

Ria is a freshman at Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA). Her favorite way to spend time is by reading a good book while snacking on desserts, as well as spending time with her friends and family. She is very passionate about empowering the youth in her community, leading her to participate in numerous organizations that share similar goals. As a second-year member of the Young Women Leaders (YWL) Committee, Ria hopes to extend outreach to areas outside of the Bay Area and increase its impact on more young women.

Hassti Tirgardoon


Hassti is a junior at Dr. TJ Owens Gilroy Early College Academy (GECA). As a member of the YWL Conference, she has devoted her time to the planning process of the conference for the past two and a half years. In her free time, she enjoys giving back to her community by volunteering frequently and singing alongside her skills of playing the guitar and ukulele. She hopes to better tomorrow with her acts of today.

Gelasia Tiwana

Gelasia is a junior at Ann Sobrato High School. She is passionate about forging STEM education networks within her community that will support the rising generations of young women leaders, as well as further exploring her interests in biomedical services and social justice. Gelasia is a member of the YWL Committee and has helped plan the conference for two years, as she is extremely grateful for the leadership opportunities and support system the committee has provided her with! In her free time, Gelasia practices archery, is organizing next month’s blood drive or Interact project, and attempts to sing.

Diya Kandhra

Diya is a junior attending Ann Sobrato High School. She has extended her interests in biological and environmental sciences, social issues, advocacy for youth involvement, and STEM into leadership with the AAUW’s YWL Conference for the last two years. In her free time, Diya enjoys playing flute, tenor saxophone, and piano, volunteering in her community, and watching movies with her family.

Q Negrete

Q is a junior at Live Oak High School with a goal to encourage young women to be leaders and to break gender stereotypes. Q is part of her high school band and color guard and is participating in the YWL Committee for the first year. Q believes that the education of young people is vital to building a better future.





Grace Taira is an 11th grader at Live Oak High School. She is the Electrical Department Lead in Live Oak’s Robotics Team (FRC 7528: Nuts and Bolts) and has marched with the clarinet section in the Emerald Regime for three years. She has been a part of the YWL Committee for two years, and hopes to inspire other young women to pursue roles in leadership and work towards a successful future for the next generation.

Alyssa Manzur

Alyssa is a sophomore at Mount Madonna School. Alyssa loves to draw, journal, cook meals as well as bake desserts, and she loves to play volleyball. This is her first year on the YWL Committee, but she hopes to continue to work with her awesome team in the years to come. She believes that YWL’s mission of leadership is extremely important in everyone’s day to day life and values and cherishes that she now gets to help spread that gift through the YWL Conference.



Amirah Alexander

Amirah is a sophomore at Mount Madonna School. She joined the YWL Committee this year as a strong supporter of their mission and has expanded her knowledge of leadership and teamwork over the past several months. The YWL Conference planning and meetings have been an exciting addition to her schedule.

Lili Jaquet

Lili is a junior at Oakwood High School whose hobbies include proofreading her friends’ essays (for fun), songwriting, playing indoor sports, and pretending she knows how to cartwheel. This is Lili’s first year on the YWL Committee and over the past few months, conference meetings have become her favorite way to spend Sunday afternoons. Lili joined the group for the opportunity to gain leadership experience, but was soon hooked on the energy, intelligence, and wisdom of her committee members and their advisors. She is so grateful to have been a part of this year’s committee.

Kate Marcotullio

Kate is a junior at Oakwood High School. In her free time she likes to work on art projects and listen to music. Though she has only been a member of the YWL team for a few months, she has enjoyed this opportunity to become more active in her community and spread awareness about the climate crisis.

Molly Waddington

Molly is a junior at Live Oak High School. She is 16 years old and this is her first year participating in planning the YWL workshops. She also plays the flute in her school’s marching band and runs track and field. Molly’s goal for the committee is to encourage young women to stand up for what they believe in and to help make progress towards equality for women in their day to day lives.

Kyla Spencer

Kyla is a 16-year-old sophomore at Ann Sobrato High School and a first year member of Young Women Leaders.  She loves to write, read, and draw in her free time, but also enjoys spending time with her friends and family.  Kyla is very excited to be a part of YWL and to use her voice to raise awareness about climate change and social justice.  She is very passionate about advocating for the issues she cares about and hopes to inspire others to do the same.

Stella Gaudy

Stella is a freshman at Ann Sobrato High School. She joined YWL in 2020 and is grateful to be surrounded by young women who are helping the community. Stella plays soccer and runs on Sobrato’s cross country team. In her free time she enjoys spending time outdoors, being with family, hanging out with friends, and painting. Stella is passionate about finding solutions to global issues like climate change and fast fashion. By joining YWL, Stella hopes to help solve problems she is passionate about and learn more from others around her.