Since our founding in June 2019, Asian Youth for Civic Engagement has developed and grown in a positive direction. We’re very proud of the diversity of our staff, and their abilities to contribute their own unique experience and skills to our success. Find out more about some of our team members below.



Executive Director

Abigail Hu is a Chinese American sophomore from Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, LA. She seeks to empower Asian American students through writing and speech, shining a light on the uniquely fascinating stories the AAPI community harbors. When she's not amplifying the voices of Asian youth, she loves to debate, dance, play the harp, and eat fresh made donuts from the grocery store.



Director of Chapter Civic Engagement


Joy Jiang is a Chinese-American junior at Dulles High School in Sugarland, TX. She wants to increase Asian American involvement, and she is super passionate about advocating for those who do not have a voice. Outside of school, she's an avid Netflix-watcher, debates, and loves to cook!



Co-Director of Civic and Creative Engagement

Akshadha Lagisetti is an Indian American senior from The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA. She is passionate about civic engagement from the local to the national level and advocating for and empowering youth voices in politics and on important social issues. In her free time, Akshadha loves to listen to music, read, sleep, and mindlessly scroll through social media.



Co-Director of Civic and Creative Engagement

Tony Ruan is a Chinese American senior at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Arizona. Working with local organizations, he hopes to bring about opportunities to get involved with the Phoenix community and its diverse culture — including Asian-American activist causes. In his spare time he enjoys painting, watching Full House, keeping up with the news, and playing the saxophone.



Co-Editor in Chief

Jean Qian is an Asian American senior from South Florida. She proudly identifies with her Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese roots. She is extremely excited to empower fellow AAPI youth and push for political participation with AYCE. She enjoys debate, reading, cooking, hiking, looking at cute animals, and spending time with her friends.



Director of Civic Outreach and Facilitation

Tejas is a seventeen-year old junior from Richmond, Virginia. He’s super passionate about politics, especially as it affects the AAPI community, and is glad to make some change through AYCE! In his free time, he loves learning languages, binge watching TV shows (Tiger King and Madame Secretary are on the top of the list) and eating food!



Co-Editor in Chief

Arshia Verma is an Indian American junior from Dulles High School in Sugar Land, TX. Through the power of words, she hopes to create a society in which the Asian American community’s voices will be heard and accepted. Some of her passions include competing in taekwondo, playing the piano, volunteering, and reading.



Director of Social Media

Nina Ulaganathan is an Indian American senior from Presentation High School in California. Her goal is to use the power of writing and social media to bring awareness to AAPI issues and push for increased political representation. In her free time, Nina loves to paint and play with her dog.



Administrative Director

Akira Malik is a Japanese-Bangladeshi American from southern Illinois. She joined AYCE as she is passionate about raising the awareness of many Asian-American social issues in the community. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music and growing plants.



Newsletter Director

Florence Shen is a Chinese-American junior from Millburn High School in Millburn, NJ. Her goal is to empower the voices of Asian American youth in politics and to shine light on the people in her community who are often overlooked by mainstream media. She spends her time doing debate, playing piano, listening to BTS, and going to the local diner with friends.