Malena Llanos is no stranger to being told that she is too young to be concerned about world events, elections, and policy. However, she has always known that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

As a young girl, Malena actively sought to be more educated on current events and policy because she intimately knew its effects on her life. She grew up watching her father – an immigrant from Peru – go to the ends of the earth to provide for his family despite the roadblocks and the insults thrown at him. It was during these times that Malena learned that not only was she not too young to care, but that she must care.

The first Presidential election she remembers was in 2004; she would patiently wait in line, wearing a John Kerry button, as her mother cast her vote. It wasn’t long until she dove into campaign work. Malena attended weekly phone banks with her mother on the campaign to elect President Barack Obama in 2008, and in 2012, she happily volunteered herself to re-elect him. Since then she has remained very active in electing Democrats at every level of government and has lent her voice as a patient advocate for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia.

Malena is currently studying Political Science, with a concentration in Civil Rights, at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is on the executive board of the Young Democrats at VCU, and serves as the Women’s Caucus Vice Chair for Virginia Young Democrats. Malena is President of Planned Parenthood Generation Action at VCU.

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