Who We Are

The Association of Young Americans (AYA)

is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization advocating on behalf of young people at the federal level.

AYA works to advance policies and legislation that benefit our generation and contribute to the future we want to be a part of. We focus on the issues most important to our membership: student debt, climate change, and healthcare.

Our strength is in our numbers. We are 23,000+ members strong, spanning across all 50 states. Our advocacy team listens closely to our members and works directly with lawmakers and stakeholders to make legislative progress on their behalf.

We make young voices heard.

Past Accomplishments


AYA was founded

AYA's founder Ben Brown created AYA on a single idea: to build the future young people want, we’ve got to be engaged not just on Election Day, but every day, with full-time advocates working on our behalf.

Suspension on Student Loan Payments

AYA urged Congress at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to provide immediate relief to student borrowers, with over 12,000 messages from AYA members and numerous sign-on letters sent to Congress. Since March 2020, all federal student loan payments have been on pause. The moratorium was extended 6 times.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law climate investments

Throughout 2021, AYA advocated for strong investments in climate to be included in the infrastructure package. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, enacted in 2021, included billions to expand clean drinking water, clean up Superfund and brownfield sites, and support clean energy.

Overhaul of Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

AYA’s advocacy team and membership advocated for changes to the broken PSLF program for 5 years, with over 20,000 messages sent to Congress by AYA members. In October 2021, the Dept. of Ed announced an overhaul of the program to offer retroactive forgiveness and facilitate relief.

Student loan cancellation for defrauded borrowers

AYA has advocated for greater protections for borrowers deceived by their institutions, especially for-profit colleges. In 2022, the Biden administration canceled $415 million in student debt for defrauded borrowers.

Rep. Nikema Williams leads AYA's EJ appropriations letter

AYA drafted an appropriations letter to request additional funding for environmental justice initiatives into 2023. Rep. Nikema Williams (D-GA-5) agreed to lead the letter (verbatim!) and submit it to the Appropriations Committee. 16 members of Congress signed on in support.

Biden invokes DPA for clean energy

Along with several coalition partners, AYA called on President Biden to use his executive authority to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and speed up the transition to clean energy. In June 2022, Biden invoked the DPA to ramp up the manufacturing of renewable energy technologies, one of the boldest executive actions the Administration has taken on climate change.

Our Team

Lisa Giordano

Executive Director

Lisa makes sure that AYA is meeting our legislative goals and best serving our membership. Lisa has been with AYA since the very beginning, originally working in comms to establish AYA's voice.

Jamie Turner

Communications Manager

Jamie works to meet young people where they are. She has a background in political advocacy working with orgs like NAACP and small grassroots movements in D.C., where she was an on-the-ground organizer working directly to change the material conditions of Black and Brown communities within the area.

David Massey

Legislative Assistance

David researches and tracks bills important to AYA's membership, along with members of Congress and their voting records. David has a background in political science and has run and worked on multiple campaigns.

Sophie Greenspan


Sophie is a multidisciplinary artist and designer. She is focused on growing AYA’s visual identity across all social media platforms.

Andrea Mares


Part of the government affairs group Fulcrum Public Affairs, Andrea works with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to advocate for action on AYA's issues.

Sarah Monteith


Part of the government affairs group Fulcrum Public Affairs, Sarah works with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to advocate for action on AYA's issues.

Board of Directors

Tylik McMillan

Tylik McMillan

Tylik is the National Director of Youth and College and Senior Policy Advisor for the National Action Network, one of the nation's leading civil rights organizations. He works to educate lawmakers and stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities facing communities by advocating for more resources and policies that help advance economic and social equality.

Jessica Riestra

Jessica Riestra

Jessica is a community organizer who has worked with organizations such as March for Our Lives and the California Democratic Party. Her passion is working within the community to uplift it.

Graeme Strickland

Graeme Strickland

Graeme is government and public sector consultant based out of D.C. He currently serves on the Youth Advisory Board for Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, Speak Truth to Power, which aims to engage, educate, and equip young activists with human rights education and tools for organizing.

Stefani Alexander

Stefani Alexander

Stefani is a PR professional who develops and implements thoughtful comms strategies for her clients and helps them effectively engage key stakeholders. She enjoys mentoring students & young professionals and using her expertise to give back to her community, focusing on socioeconomic justice.

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