Our Founders

Cecilia Navas
Founder & President of Youth and Democracy in the Americas

Cecilia Navas is the Founder and President of Youth and Democracy in the Americas (Y&D), an NGO with the mission to empower young regional leaders with the opportunity to work with diplomats, politicians, and local government officials. She has prior experience working in the field of advocacy, human rights, and public policy. In 2009 she created a non-profit called A Toy and a Smile as an initiative to help more than 1500 children in Venezuela. Cecilia, with the support of the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States Dr. Luis Almagro, created an event to honor the fallen young heroes of Venezuela, which has taken place at the OAS for three years in a row. She also organized the annual Summit of Youth and Democracy in the Americas at the United States Senate, House of Representatives, and the OAS, with more than 400 regional young leaders in attendance, as well as the annual Forum for the Strengthening of Democracy at Florida International University. Cecilia is a leading advocate for youth voices in the defense of democracy, freedom, and civil rights. She holds a degree in International Business from the Alejandro Humboldt University of Caracas and served as president of the Florida National University Student Government Association.

Valentina Palm
Co - Founder

She is a Florida International University student pursuing a degree in Broadcast Journalism and the Communications Director of the FIU Venezuelan Student Alliance. Valentina is also a news reporter for the FIU student newspaper Panther Now. During her college education, she has been a strong advocate for the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela denouncing the struggles of the Venezuelan youth.

Daniel Rodriguez
Co – Founder

Former student of Universidad Catolica Andres Bello and graduate of Bachelors in Marketing in San Ignacio University. Founding member of the Student Ambassadors Group and Former Vice President of The Student Government Association at San Ignacio University.

Our Staff

Jose Portes
Juan C Roberto Arriojas
Daniel Salazar
Sofia Santillan
Bryan Escudero

Michel Pinard