Member Spotlight: Marlen Gonzalez

Marlen is one of the youth organizers for this year’s annual Liberation Dinner, a free event for young people ages 13-21.

Join Marlen, her event co-lead Ann, and their fellow RYOT interns at “Liberating Our Souls” tonight!

In case you missed it…
Marlen wrote our blog post last September.
Check it out!

My name is Marlen Gonzalez, I am 15 years old and I have been a RYSE member for 9 months now.

How did you hear about RYSE?

I learned about RYSE through my sister Dalia, who used to be a youth member and is now a Member Engagement Coordinator, and who has been at RYSE since it first opened its doors to youth. I also heard from my school counselor.

What is your favorite thing about RYSE?

My favorite thing about RYSE is that their main focus is on the youth and trying get us to be more involved in our community and stand up for what we believe in. I also love how everyone is accepted no matter race, gender, or ethnicity.

What have been some of your favorite programs at RYSE?

I love working in the art room. I've finished multiple pieces that describe the way I feel and it's just a really good way to show emotion.

Describe RYSE in 3 words:

  • Determined

  • Creative

  • Home

What’s something you do at RYSE that you are proud of?

I'm a RYOT (Richmond Youth Organizing Team) intern at RYSE and I'm proud at the things my fellow teammates and have achieved.

Who do you most admire?

I admire my sister Dalia the most because she has always been there for me even when she's going through her on things. She always moves forward into the future and she knows what she wants for herself. She won't let anything stop her and get in the way of her dreams. I want to be as driving as she is someday.

What is your idea of happiness?

My idea of happiness is being at peace with yourself and those around you. It's also being with your love ones and surrounding yourself with positive energy.

If you had any superpower, what would it be and why?

I would want the power to fly and to be invisible. I want to fly because imagine being able to travel anywhere for free. Think about it. I want invisibility because I have a lot of anxiety and I wish I were invisible.

What is your most treasured possession?

I don't really have a most treasured possession because there's so much in my life that matters to me and all of it is the little things and gestures that's more important.