Swathi joined the Portland Empowered team in 2023, and is primarily supporting Portland Empowered’s strategic visioning and planning process. Based out of the Catherine Cutler Institute at USM, Swathi manages and supports a range of initiatives, all working to create consistent and accessible pathways for young people to meaningfully participate in local and state-level decision making.

Swathi’s entry to youth-led advocacy and systems change was as a middle school science teacher. Swathi was inspired every day by the strength and conviction of her students’ voices as they proposed creative, compassionate solutions to the injustices surrounding them. From her students’ activism and her training in Kingian nonviolence, Swathi learned to believe fiercely in the power of collective action. She is so excited to work alongside young people who care about each other and about bettering Maine’s schools.

These days, Swathi is spending lots of time with her new baby. Together, they are exploring new hikes, singing and dancing, and lounging with their cats.