HRC Announces Fellowship to Energize Young Voters Ahead of Nevada Caucus

by Curtis Clinch

HRC’s Nevada Fall Fellows will play a critical role in advancing pro-LGBTQ policies and electing LGBTQ champions to office.

HRC is proud to announce our 2019 Nevada Fall Fellows as a part of our initiative to energize young voters and activists in the battleground state ahead of the Nevada Caucus. HRC’s Fall Fellows will play a critical role in advancing pro-LGBTQ policies at all levels of government, promoting LGBTQ-inclusive programs, holding elected officials accountable for their votes and actions and electing LGBTQ champions to office. 

This fall, they will join HRC in Nevada to: 

  • Mobilize voters to turn out in the Nevada Caucus.
  • Increase scores on HRC’s Municipal Equality Index, which rates cities based on their LGBTQ-inclusive laws, policies and services. 
  • Build off our electoral victories in 2018 to reelect pro-LGBTQ leaders in 2020. 
  • Train and mobilize people to phone bank, canvass and lobby for equality.

Our team in the Silver State includes Nevada State Director Briana Escamillia, Reno Regional Organizer Stephan Page and Las Vegas Regional Organizer Alyssa Cortes. Joining them is a diverse group of fellows to help meet HRC’s bold new initiative to better serve LGBTQ people and their families.

Meet our 2019 Nevada Fall Fellows

Beatriz Amparán-Ochoa is based in Las Vegas and is a self-employed entrepreneur born in Northern Mexico. She served as a life coach, mentoring aspiring business owners to live a life with impact, purpose and financial success. 

Amparán-Ochoa’s time as an HRC Fall Fellow will focus on educating and encouraging LGBTQ youth in immigrant communities of Southern Nevada to take action in local politics and immigrants’ rights initiatives.

Manny Ayala is based in Las Vegas and has been organizing on different campaigns and political groups since 2015. Ayala studies political science at the College of Southern Nevada. As a queer working-class Latino, Ayala persevered through a toxic, anti-LGBTQ environment to reach unimaginable heights. He attributes his success to the power of affirming friends within the LGBTQ community. 

As a fellow for HRC, he will work within the community to help other LGBTQ people break past systemic oppression and bigotry to live thriving lives.

Deja Wargo-Cole is based with HRC in Las Vegas and is a full-time organizer and student at Nevada State College. Wargo-Cole’s passion for helping her city and community has manifested through social justice activism and is at the heart of everything she does. 

Wargo-Cole is excited to work as an HRC Fall Fellow to ensure pro-equality legislative officials are elected to office. She will build off HRC’s success from the midterms and the 2019 Nevada Legislative Session to ensure that our leaders defend our newly-gained protections.   

Tania González Contreras joined HRC’s team in Reno and is an alum of the University of Nevada, Reno. Contreras received a Bachelor of Science in human development and family studies along with a Bachelor of Arts in criminal justice, with law and justice specialization. 

Contreras will join HRC in the fight to ensure every LGBTQ person and their family have equal justice under the law. 


             Sudhiti Naskar is based in Reno and is a journalist and graduate student at University of Nevada, Reno. Naskar will support HRC’s communication strategies and facilitate relationships with our key partners and activists. 

         Chris Castagnetti is based in Reno and is a recent graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno. As an advocate for environmental and social justice, Castagnetti will work with our team to mobilize the Reno community to take action and move equality forward throughout the city.    

Follow the impact our new HRC Fall Fellows are making by following HRC Nevada on Twitter and Facebook, or by volunteering as we resist the politics of prejudice and hate to improve the lives of LGBTQ people.