The AFGE Young Organizing Unionists for the Next Generation (Y.O.U.N.G.) program seeks to mobilize young union members to become leaders and activists for social change within AFGE and the Labor Movement. AFGE members who are under the age of 40 and those mentors that are over 40 will work together to include younger workers into the union structure and keep them engaged in what’s at stake for working class Americans.
AFGE Y.O.U.N.G. intends to provide young members with networking opportunities and resources to engage in mobilizing other young workers into AFGE, union training to promote leadership skills, innovative social gatherings, AFGE conference meetings, and other engaging events. In doing so, AFGE Y.O.U.N.G. participants work to build lasting labor solidarity, advance issues of social and economic justice, and find more inclusive ways to engage the current and future generations in the Labor Movement.
Current AFGE Y.O.U.N.G. Initiatives
Goals of AFGE Y.O.U.N.G.
History of AFGE Y.O.U.N.G.
At the 2012 AFGE National Convention, a resolution was proposed and passed to support a National AFGE YOUNG Committee. Through the AFGE YOUNG Committee the union will promote the inclusive empowerment and education of young workers as engaged activists and leaders in the labor movement through organizing efforts in the Districts that will create new and innovative spaces for young, diverse, and motivated workers while hearing from young workers about their ideas, concerns and experiences.
This resolution specifically asked for AFGE’s support and encouragement to form a National AFGE YOUNG Committee comprised of an AFGE YOUNG Representative from each District that will participate in Committee meetings to discuss what’s important for the young workers in their District and write reports to advise the NEC on behalf of young workers.
Kendrick Roberson hails from Carson, California in the County of Los Angeles. Having first attended El Camino College, Kendrick attained an associate's degree in the field of economics. During his time at El Camino College, Kendrick was a winner in a nationwide competition hosted by NASA and began his current job at the Los Angeles Air Force Base’s Space and Missile Systems Center. In 2013, after transferring to Pepperdine for his undergraduate career, Kendrick earned his bachelor's degree in economics, and was accepted into Pepperdine's Graziadio School of Business and Management. Kendrick finished his time at Pepperdine by delivering the student address during his graduation ceremony.
Kendrick joined the union in 2016, and was selected to become the Local 2429 Y.O.U.N.G. representative in 2016. In 2017, Kendrick became the Y.O.U.N.G. representative for District 12, and was placed on the National Y.O.U.N.G. Committee. In 2020, Kendrick was elected to become the Chair of the Y.O.U.N.G. Committee, representing over 100,000 federal workers under the age of 40. While it may seem a platitude, Kendrick truly believes in fighting for hardworking employees. He is driven to eradicate workplace bullying, mistreatment, racism, sexism, and profiling. As such, Kendrick is constantly soaking in new knowledge that will aid in clearing the muddied waters of workplace inequality.
Chair of the National Y.O.U.N.G Committee
12th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
Holly Ann Kasulaitis is a dedicated and compassionate individual; she thrives in a world of meaningful roles and passions. She is a loving wife and nurturing mother, balancing the art of caregiving both at home and in her professional life.
Holly is not just a nurse; she’s a compassionate caregiver at the VA Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre Pa., where she provides essential healthcare to veterans, offering comfort and healing in their times of need. Beyond her nursing duties, Holly plays an active part in her local union office, showcasing her remarkable leadership skills.
Within the realm of AFGE local 1699, Holly Serves with distinction. As the Recording Secretary, Holly meticulously documents vital discussions and decisions, ensuring transparency and accountability. Her role as the local’s Y.O.U.N.G. coordinator demonstrates her enthusiasm for engaging and empowering younger union members, while her work as an Organizer underscores her ability to mobilize people for common causes. Holly is passionate about nurturing the next generation of leaders, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose among Y.O.U.N.G. workers.
When Holly is not working at the VA or in the office you will find her immersed in the pages of a book. Holly enjoys spending time in the kitchen, cooking delicious recipes. With a hook and some yarn, she weaves intricate patterns, crocheting creativity into every stitch. Holly is also a traveler at heart, exploring new places and cultures, each adventure a tapestry of memories waiting to be made.
Among her many passions, one stands out brightly – her love for all things Disney. Holly’s eyes light up with joy at the mere mention of Disney, and she seizes every opportunity to visit the magical world of Disney.
In every aspect of life, Holly exemplifies dedication, compassion, and leadership. As a nurse, a union steward, a homemaker and a Disney enthusiast, she brings a touch of magic and care to everything she does.
Co-Chair of the National Y.O.U.N.G Committee
3rd District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
Mitch has been a Transportation Security Officer at Denver International Airport since August 2016. He joined AFGE at the same time and quickly became a Union Representative. Since then, he has been elected to Regional Vice President for Colorado and Sergeant-At-Arms for TSA Local 1127, he’s been appointed Local Chief Steward for Colorado, Local Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator, Council 100 Communication Committee and Y.O.U.N.G. Committee member then finally as District 11 Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator under NVP Tim Snyder.
After becoming a Union Representative and being mentored by the Executive Vice President of the Local he soon then learned of the issues that were present within TSA and wanted to do something to make things better for his coworkers and the agency as a whole. He jumped in feet first to attend as many trainings as possible to learn how to best represent his BUE’s and at the same time strengthen his Local, the Council and the Federation as a whole.
He hopes to continue to work with his network within TSA and AFGE to assist in changing the way our BUE’s are treated in the workplace, to educate BUE’s so they know when something is wrong and subsequently then report it appropriately and lastly, to mobilize our BUE’s into action by joining a committee or stepping into a position to build power to drive change for all!
11th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
Jennifer Dickerson (District 2)
Jennifer Dickerson has been an employee through the Federal Bureau of Prisons since March 2020. Since arriving at the Bureau of Prisons, Jennifer knew she wanted to come in and make a difference. With a background of Social Services, her passion with helping others continue with this new adventure. Entering the prison system, Jennifer knew there would be many challenges to face. She quickly became a member of AFGE Local 3975. Jennifer also became the Hispanic Program Assistant Manager and the Secretary of the Employees club. She believed that a diverse workplace would acknowledge the strengths in each employee to his or her potential. Most importantly, she believes diversity in the workplace will increase employee morale and increase productivity to be more involved. As the new Y.O.U.N.G Coordinator, Jennifer is excited to promote leadership and educate young members, as they are our future.
2nd District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
Da’Laine Simpson (District 3)
A native of York, PA, Da’Laine Simpson, son of the late Robyn L. Scott , has committed his life to being of service to those in need. He is a product of the Central Dauphin School District in Harrisburg ,PA and earned his certificate in Theology from Lancaster Bible College. Since graduating, he has been gainfully employed at the New Cumberland Army Depot and currently serves as Union Steward for The American Federation of Government Union. While working, he maintained his passion to be of service to God, committing his life to ministry at the tender age of 16. In the summer of 2012, was ordained and elevated to the office of Reverend.
Da’Laine uses his optimistic messages of resilience in his speaking engagements around the U.S, traveling to various states including Texas , Florida , and Ohio serving as the keynote speaker for many youth conferences. His message of hope and perseverance encourages audience members otherwise ready to give up to keep on going. Making a difference and being the difference is truly what he lives by. From the Christian community to the secular community, he continues to be a game changer in developing and encouraging the minds of those he speaks to daily. He believes his life’s mission is centered around stepping out on faith and changing somebody’s life and perspective of life.
Through his non-profit, Bro2GO, Inc. Da’Laine has been able to reach more people to live out his life’s mission. Created in 2017, Bro2GO would clearly be one of Da’Laine’ s greatest creations. The sudden loss of his mother during Bro2GO’s development in 2017 created difficulty in navigating through his own life. As a newly formed parent to his youngest brother, his personal journey and the trials endured would serve as his mission’s primary focus. He became more determined to make a difference in the re-entry world and as well for at-risk youth communities. In his capacity as the Chief Executive Officer of Bro2Go he has been recognized for his leadership and impact by Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. receiving the “Society Impact Award” in 2018. By the organization’s 2nd anniversary in 2019, Bro2GO was being recognized by Harrisburg City’s Mayor Eric Papenfuse, State Representative Patty Kim and Governor Tom Wolf for the great strides that Bro2Go has taken to make Dauphin County and the Commonwealth a better place to live.
Currently Da’Laine serves on the York County Mentoring Coalition and the Capitol Region Ex- Offenders Support Coalition. Being of PURPOSE on PURPOSE defines the character of Da’Laine Simpson.
3rd District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
Aaron Barker is a native of Detroit, MI. He is passionate about any task that is set in front of him. He also enjoys helping others and being the voice for those who are afraid to speak up. He believes in fairness and doing what’s right.
Aaron is a graduate of Jackson State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Strayer University with a Master of Science in Information Assurance.
Aaron has been a federal employee since 2009 with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). He currently holds the title of Lead Transportation Security Officer. Since being an employee with TSA he joined the union in 2012 and has been successfully representing BUEs for 12 years. He has moved up through the ranks from steward to Vice President to President. Aaron also holds the position of Vice President for the Georgia State Council.
As an appointed Y.O.U.N.G Member at Large, he plans to do all that he can to keep pushing forward the issues that federal workers face, educate our YOUNG members, and continue to stand in solidarity with labor affiliates.
“Our movement is of the working people, for the working people, by the working people.” – Samuel Gompers
5th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
5th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
Introducing Jessica (Jessi) Fee from Southeastern Ohio, a dedicated and passionate individual who thrives in the labor movement. As a proud mother of two shining daughters, they not only keep her on her toes but also finds immense support from them in her labor-related endeavors.
Jessica's journey in the labor movement began in 2006 when she joined the Federal Workforce at the Chillicothe VA of the National VA Council Local 1631, becoming an AFGE member. Over the years, she has held various essential positions within her local, district, and council, including Chief Steward, EVP, Local President, NVAC District 6 Council #262 EVP, and District Young Coordinator.
Her commitment to the labor movement is unwavering, and she wears her Union hats with pride. You'll often find her negotiating for better workplace policies and safety, fighting against social injustices, lobbying congressional leaders, and, of course, skillfully carrying out the vital responsibility of parenting her young ladies.
With the skills and knowledge she has acquired as a Union Representative and through her involvement with the Union, Jessica has made significant contributions to her union. However, she acknowledges that her union has equally impacted her life, providing her with invaluable support and opportunities for personal and professional growth.
Jessica Fee is a force to be reckoned with, a determined advocate for workers' rights, and a shining example of the positive influence that the labor movement can have on individuals and communities.
6th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
7th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
Candice Foster was born and raised on the southside of Chicago, IL. Her mother is a retired educator who fought for teacher's rights as a member of one of the country's largest guilds, Chicago Teacher's Union, while her father was the president of the Union Pacific Railroad labor union in Illinois, UTU Local 529. Having parents active in their unions, taught Candice to stand against inequalities in the workplace at an incredibly young age. Candice graduated cum laude with an Agriculture Economics degree from the 1st Black land grant university established in the U.S. and HBCU, Alcorn State University. She is one the youngest Senior Financial Analyst to serve at U.S. Housing and Urban Development, in the Chicago office. Candice also proudly serves as 1st Vice President of AFGE Local 0911 where she has been a strong advocate for worker's rights, racial equality, and fighting for a workplace free from discrimination, harassment, and bullying.
Outside of work, Candice is a wife to her best friend since grade school; a mother to their two daughters; and is a fierce advocate for affordable housing and equal treatment for all.
Quote that inspires Candice: "Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is in an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob, and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe." – Fredrick Douglass
7th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
Miranda Kiwelu was born and raised in Minnesota. Her father was the chief steward for his AFSCME local all throughout her childhood and early adulthood. Being union was instilled in Miranda at a young age, surpassing her understanding of why — then she became involved in the union and realized why first hand. Miranda is an advanced medical support assistant for General Internal Medicine at the Minneapolis, MN VAMC and has been in the VA system for 13 years. The Minneapolis VA has over 3,000 bargaining unit members. AFGE as a whole has over 300,000. Miranda currently serves AFGE Local 1969 as the third vice president, VA chief steward, the legislative political Coordinator and former Interim secretary. She currently serves her district as one of the District 8 Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinators. Miranda is proud to be on this journey and to learn from fellow union siblings that have gone before her.
Miranda joined the VA system in 2008 not realizing the battles she would overcome, the people she would learn from, and the situations she’d be involved in. Her initial passion stemmed from her own frustrations. She witnessed issues related to staffing, interactions between management, employees, fellow peers and lack of understanding for those dealing with general life stressors. Miranda also met a union steward from another local who really impacted her life at a low point. The steward helped her turn things around and from there Miranda has continued fighting and moving forward. The steward that helped Miranda has since become a local president at another facility and is someone Miranda will never forget. Miranda says, “ I wanted to help others the way she helped me.”
Once finally becoming a union steward Miranda was able to take her own experiences and work diligently to create positive culture shifts to begin re-establishing teamwork and foundations of mutual respect in various departments that too were struggling. She has been able to help others with EEO, MSPB, and OSC cases, as well as, teach and inform others on legislative matters that affect them. Miranda works to empower others, help facilitate communication among groups, lend an ear, get members connected to resources for various issues, re-instill hope, help many retire, build resumes, write grievances and represent employees who are often overlooked, unappreciated or at times facing unfair disciplinary actions.
Miranda believes union stewards are here to protect the process and to ensure that our members rights are being upheld in any action that comes forth and that their voices are being heard. As a District 8 Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator, with the help of her colleagues, Miranda has the ability to network throughout her state and within different districts across the nation to work together and make a much larger difference.
8th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
Ariel Ness was born and raised in a small Midwest town in South Dakota. She has been employed with the Department of Veteran Affairs in Sioux Falls, SD since the Fall of 2020. Prior to coming to the SFVA, she worked for a local healthcare facility for 8 years. Ariel became a member of AFGE Local 1509 in 2021 and went right to work as a local steward shortly after. Since then, Ariel has taken on many titles within her local. She proudly holds the titles as the Local Women’s and Fair Practices Coordinator, Local PRIDE Coordinator, and Local Y.O.U.N.G Coordinator. In June of 2023, she became one of the District 8 Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinators for AFGE. Ariel knows that her hard work and dedication within her Local and District will play a big part in leading the next generation of unionists on a path to success. When the question was asked to a panel of her peers to describe Ariel in ONE word, they stated: Courageous, Dedicated, Passionate, Sympathetic, and Giving. A key moment in her career that Ariel will never forget was being nominated and selected as the 2018 Recipient of the Great Expectations Award. Ariel won this award during her previous employment, who at the time, had roughly 20,000 employees.
Outside of work, her biggest and proudest title is “mom”. Ariel is a mother of 2 very active boys. She is a tomboy at heart, so holding the title of “boy mom” fits her perfectly. The 3 of them enjoy being outside, playing sports, attending sporting events, riding dirt bikes and UTVs, and traveling/exploring. Ariel said when she was growing up, not fitting in felt like a failure. Over the years, she has come to realize that not fitting in was actually a blessing and it’s helped mold her into the person she is today. With that, she reminds her boys often to choose kindness, always. And almost daily, she reminds herself and her boys to be proud of who YOU are, and that it’s okay to be unapologetically YOU.
A couple mottos Ariel lives by, “If you don’t take the chance, you will never know what could’ve been.” And “You get one and only ONE life to live, live it the way that makes sense to you, it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else.”
A quote that inspires Ariel, "Human authenticity will not leave you alone until you listen to it!" - Ellen Krug
8th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
9th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
10th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
Matthew Pagliaro currently serves as the AFGE District 10 Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator, AFGE Nurse Steering Committee Member, and as the Local President of 1033. He is passionate about "Bridging Union Gaps" (B.U.G.) and leading the next generation of unionists on a path to leadership and success. Matthew became a member of AFGE in 2018 and immediately joined the union effort as a local steward.
Matthew is a graduate of Nursing Science from Empire State College, State University of New York. As a Registered Nurse for the DoD-DHA in San Antonio, Texas Matthew cares for active duty servicemen, retirees, and their families. He specializes in interventional radiology, vascular access devices, and special procedures.
Off duty, Matthew is a youth director at his church where he engages in his passion to mentor and inspire the next generation. He also participates in San Antonio Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO activities including canvassing and lobbying congressmen.
10th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
Taylor Wensel was born in the Utah She has been a member of AFGE 2199 for two years, 1 year as a local steward and a few months as the Local YOUNG Coordinator. He grandfather was a member of the railroad union, and her brother is a Union member or the UTA. Outside of the Union she is a wife, a mother to a beautiful daughter and a silly black cat. She also works for the VA; she is passionate in helping those who served our country. She is also back in college to become a RN. Her wish is to help bring a better, safer, and equal work environment.”
11 th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
“I guess you could say I was a mostly complacent and easygoing federal employee most of my career, says Gilbert. “My younger brother was an exceptional union steward at our TSA local. He was targeted by management and eventually put into a forced resignation situation. I had a lot of anger towards my agency and didn't really know how to focus it afterwards.”
Gilbert believes that his brother probably would have come out on top if he had the Title V labor protections that all the other agencies have. Gilbert’s local president eventually asked if he wanted to help change things through the legislative and political coordinator (LPC) program. Gilbert saw this as a chance to make a difference within the agency for TSOs, and he eagerly accepted.
Gilbert has learned that every time he makes progression, there is always some new and bigger thing he needs to achieve to get TSOs closer to Title V rights. He believes It all leads to the same thing — unions as a whole need to become stronger. Being active and fixing the symptoms usually means addressing the systemic issues that exist. Though Gilbert is not as experienced as my peers, he believes that he can still contribute by bringing his contagious enthusiasm to the table for the labor movement.
Quote that inspires Gilbert
“If your opponent is of choleric temper seek to irritate.” - Roy Mustang
12th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
Francis is dedicated to making the fighting 14th District proud. He believes in securing our future and making sure our Y.O.U.N.G. leaders have a seat at the table. And if not, he believes we can build a stronger table.
Francis Nichols III
14th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
Hello, my name is Patrick Holmes and I have been appointed to AFGE District 14 as the new 2nd Y.O.U.N.G/PRIDE Coordinator. I currently work for the federal government for CSOSA and is a part of AFGE Local 727. I joined CSOSA in June of 2011 as a Drug Testing Technician. While there in the drug lab, I have learned the position well and have helped to make it better. At that point in 2013, I decided to join the Union and be a voice for the drug lab in order to let upper management hear our concerns and opinions.
Since joining the Union, I have taken on the current role of Steward, Y.O.U.N.G coordinator for my local and most recently LGBTQ coordinator (Pride at Work) as they too should have a voice as well. I have gained a lot of knowledge while working with the Union under the leadership of President Yolanda Kent and have also represented a lot of dues paying members with different issues that they may have. I have sat at the table with upper management in contract negotiations and I am still working to help make the Agency better and a joy to work for. I can admit I have lost some battles, but I have won some as well.
As of October 2015, I have taken on the position of Community Supervision Officer, where I am currently in the Behavioral Health Unit. I know firsthand what the officers face and I am continuing the fight to make CSOSA a better work environment. I grew up in a small town called Greenville, Mississippi where I graduated high school in 2002. There I went to the almighty HBCU called Jackson State University where I graduated in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and concentration in correctional services. After undergrad I went on to further my education at Capella University by attaining a master's degree in public safety with a specialization in criminal justice and graduated with distinction in 2013.
By becoming your District 14, Y.O.U.N.G./PRIDE Coordinator, I will continue to listen to the members of AFGE District 14 and to each local. I will continue to put your best interest at heart and make sure that your voices are being heard. So, let's STAY READY AFGE District 14.
14th District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator
Andre Cunningham is the current President of AFGE Local 1117 which represents Title 38, Title 5 and Hybrid employees at the Department of Veteran Affairs in Denver CO. Andre was born in Jamaica and came to the United States in the early 2000’s. Andre serves as a Member at Large on the YOUNG committee and is an advocate for creating environments free of hostility and grounded in inclusion. Andre believes that YOUNG federal workers cannot prepare for their future unless the generation before them share their wisdom to be used as a road map to take YOUNG where it needs to go. Andre lives by the motto, “if you are not living on the edge, then you are taking up too much room”.
WFP Member At Large, D11
I joined AFGE Local 1915 VAMC Columbia SC in 1986. At the local level, I’ve held positions from Steward to President. I also served as NVAC 5th District Representative for 15 years and several years as a NVAC National Representative. I recently served as the National Vice President for District 5 from 2018-2023 and am now proudly serving as the AFGE Mentor for the National YOUNG Committee on behalf of AFGE’s Women’s and Fair Practices Departments.
Gilbert [email protected] District Y.O.U.N.G. Coordinator