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Leana Cortez (she/her/hers) is a UC San Diego student studying Global Health and Sociocultural Anthropology. After beginning her activism journey in high school, Leana understands the need for youth power in the sociopolitical sphere. After spending years in the environmental advocacy realm, Leana joined OTTA United in October 2021 as Director of Advocacy. As Director, Leana has mobilized many youth for initiatives and projects relating to affordable housing, voting and civic engagement, and redistricting efforts. She has also worked alongside OTTA’s policy analyst, Aashika, to develop redistricting reform policy for the City of San Diego, which received high praise from city councilmembers. She now serves on OTTA's Board of Directors.
Beyond her work in OTTA, Leana has aided in research relating to adolescent mental health with the Center for Global Mental Health, stem cell signaling with the Reya Lab at UCSD, and invasive plant species with a local nonprofit in San Diego. Leana hopes to pursue a PhD in Global Health and Medical Anthropology post-graduation.
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