Ava Mateo (she/her) is the Executive Director of 18by Vote, a nonpartisan organization that helps 16, 17, and 18-year-olds understand how, when, and why to vote. She believes deeply in the power of youth and finds it her mission to spread opportunities for meaningful civic engagement among teens and young adults. At 18by Vote, Ava leads an entirely youth-led team in the development and execution of hyper-localized youth voter outreach programming. This programming supports paid youth participants in becoming catalysts for civic action within their own communities.
With an immense passion for sustaining democracy through the American public school system, she is also an MA candidate at Columbia University, Teachers College studying Sociology and Education with a concentration in Education Policy. Her current research is focused on the influence of youth-led organizations and youth educational programs on youth participants’ socio-political identity development. Ava is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Class of 2020.