Thousands of students

Rise is led by more than 10,000 students (and counting) from across California’s community colleges and universities.

Dozens of campuses

We also partner with student governments, groups, and associations to strengthen our united advocacy work.

One mission

Bring free college back to California.



Our Team

MaxLubinMax Lubin is the CEO of Rise, Inc. a graduate student at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, and a former Obama Administration appointee at the U.S. Department of Education. At the U.S. Department of Education, Max helped shape more than $1 billion in annual investments in innovative schools, nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher education nationwide. Previously, Max worked on local, state, and national electoral and advocacy campaigns focused on advancing equity and opportunity. Max is originally from Los Angeles, CA.

BrandonHernandezPachecoBrandon Hernandez Pacheco is a rising first year student at the University of California, San Diego where he plans to major in Biomedical Engineering. A recent graduate of Moreno Valley High School, Brandon was a member of the National Honors Society, and served as a student mentor for the Families for College Program. Brandon is passionate about supporting other students, and continues to serve as a mentor for students with a focus on supporting English Language Learners. After college, Brandon plans to work in medical research. Brandon is originally from Guatemala, and grew up in Riverside, California.

CourtneyYamagiwaCourtney Yamagiwa is a student at California State University, Long Beach where she is a double major in Consumer Affairs and German. As a member of Student Government, Courtney is pushing to get more campuses resources, including mental health resources and resources for homeless students. After CSULB Courtney wants to continue organizing around important issues such as higher education.


EmeliaMartinezEmelia Martinez is a second year student at the University of California, Riverside. She is a double major in Political Science and Computer Science. Emelia is a member of the Associated Students of University of California Riverside, and the Communications Director for the College Democrats at UCR. She is currently working with the Mayor of the City of Pomona to form a Youth Advisory Commission in order to increase the involvement of high school students in local politics.

CarolineSiegelSinghCaroline Siegel Singh Caroline Siegel Singh is a junior at University of California, San Diego where she is majoring in Political Science with an emphasis on Public Policy. As a member of the Associated Students at UCSD, she has advocated for the increased availability of comprehensive reproductive health care on campus and as a member of the UC Student Association Board of Directors, she led statewide efforts to stop a tuition hike and earn additional state funding for the University of California. After graduating from UCSD she plans to go into higher education policy.

SageSage Lauwerys is an undergraduate at the University of California Davis, where she studies International Relations and Spanish. She provided policy research on higher education, voting rights, and reproductive justice as an intern in the California Senate and United States Senate. Passionate about grassroots activism and civic engagement, she was recently nominated to chair the UC Student Association’s Fund the UC Campaign. Sage is from Sacramento, CA.

Rigel Robinson is a recent UC Berkeley graduate and college affordability enthusiast. Though he was born in Arizona and raised in Missouri, California has always been his home. College brought him closer to his extended family, and also to the fight for accessible and quality education. As the External Affairs Vice President of the Associated Students of the University of California, Rigel was instrumental in fighting the UC’s proposed tuition increase in 2018, lobbying the UC Regents, legislature, and the governor until students won the first UC tuition decrease in almost 20 years.

Mona Panchal is an undergraduate at the University of California, Riverside where she is majoring in Political Science-International Affairs. Mona is the Communications Director of the California Young Democrats Labor Caucus where she works to increase youth involvement in the ever growing Statewide and national Labor Movement. She is also an affiliated member of Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity. Upon graduation Mona plans to continue working as a public servant full time.

Liz Conn is the Director of Communications of Rise, Inc., and a Senior Associate at MediaLink, a strategic advisory firm at the intersection of media, entertainment advertising and technology. At MediaLink, Liz works with Fortune 100 brands and emerging technology companies on media and marketing strategies. Prior to MediaLink, Liz began her career as a Research Analyst and then Account Manager at FastPay, a financial technology company that lends money to digital media businesses. Liz led contract renewals and credit line increases for all West Coast accounts, a loan portfolio of $75M. Liz is from Los Angeles, CA.


Rise Organizing Alumni

BrendaSalasBrenda Salas is a second year student at the University of California, Merced. She is passionate about learning about how social issues affect her community, and advocating for solutions that advance social justice. Growing up in a low-income neighborhood with few resources inspired her to pursue sociology as a major to learn new skills to improve education, healthcare, and society more broadly.

ErnestoTamayoErnesto Tamayo is a student at the City College of Alameda majoring in psychology with a specific interest in sociology. Ernesto is passionate about building community to make a positive impact as well as bringing his passion for film, music, and philosophy to his work. Ernesto is excited to join team Rise to build new bridges for social change for more students in California.

GerardoTorresGerardo Torres is a student at Merritt College studying computer science and software engineering with a specific focus on programming. Gerardo is passionate about free college tuition, and dreams of opening a school for to teach students from low-income backgrounds how to code and become computer programmers. Gerardo is originally from San Salvador, El Savador and has lived in the United States since he was 10 years old.

MichaelRobinsonMichael Robinson is a second year student at the University of California, Merced majoring in Human Biology. Michael is passionate about empowering students to shape their educational experiences, and is excited to work with Rise to provide a voice for fellow college students. Michael is originally from San Francisco, California, and loves food, new experiences, and traveling.

RandolphBrooksRandolph Brooks is a student at the California State University, East Bay studying Recreation Management. Randy is passionate about building community through sports and recreation, and is excited to bring his interests to organizing fellow students with Rise California. Born and raised in Oakland, California, Randy’s favorite sport is basketball and his favorite food is pizza.

SamariaBernalesSamaria Bernales is a second year student at the University of California, Merced majoring in Management, Business and Economics. Samaria believes strongly in the power of advocacy and movements that empower students, and is excited to bring the Rise Organizing Fellowship to her campus. Samaria is originally from the Bay Area, and her hobbies include art and going to the beach.

SusanaCelisSusana Celis is a student at the University of California, Berkeley pursuing a degree in Film and Media studies. Susana is motivated to use her degree to make the expand diversity in the entertainment industry in order to tell more representative stories about people and their communities. Susana has organized with groups focused on educational equity, and is excited to bring her experiences to Rise.

BulmaroBoomerVicenteBulmaro (“Boomer”) Vicente is a recent graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Rise’s California’s new Organizing Manager. Boomer graduated from Cal with a major in Political Science and a minor in Public Policy. During his time as an undergraduate, Boomer served as a Senator in student government and focused on issues relating to accessible education, housing, and policing. Boomer looks forward to continuing his fight for free college education for all by supporting Rise’s Student Organizing Fellows.


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