Janise Waites and Zach Larkin are the newest Victory Congressional Fellows named by the LGBTQ Victory Institute.
For the first time in the program’s history, two fellows were chosen out of a competitive field of applicants to come to Capitol Hill for an intensive fellowship that includes a yearlong placement in the office of a co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus. The expansion of the program allows more young LGBTQ professionals to engage in LGBTQ policy making at the federal level. The fellows support the Executive Director of the LGBT Equality Caucus with critical projects and participate in a leadership development program, including our Candidate & Campaign Training. Their fellowship begins August 29, 2022, and ends June 30, 2023. Read more about them below:
Janise Waites (she/her) is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College with a degree in Government with a sequence in Leadership Studies. In Spring 2021, she interned with Representative Lloyd Doggett and was a Victory Congressional Intern for Representative Barbara Lee in Summer 2021. After graduating, she worked as a Campaign Research Assistant for EMILY’s List. Janise lived in many different places growing up, including: San Diego, CA, St. Louis, MO, Riverside, CA, and San Antonio, TX. As the daughter of a single mother and the oldest of three, she has become a fierce advocate for individuals with disabilities, the LGBTQ+ community, and civil and women’s rights.
Zach Larkin (he/him) is a second-year master’s student at George Washington University studying Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies with a concentration in LGBTQ+ Studies. He is passionate about LGBTQ+ equality, reproductive justice, grassroots advocacy, and systemic social change. He has worked for immigration and refugee rights organizations, volunteered at Planned Parenthood, and organized LGBTQ+ pride events. Zach’s professional experiences include working on empowering victims of sexual assault and domestic violence at the Renewal House and concentrating on supporting victims of military sexual trauma with Protect Our Defenders. Zach was a canvasser and field manager for the Human Rights Campaign and a Graduate Assistant for the WGSS Department at GWU. Zach is a proud gay man that hopes to work on policy change for the queer community. His experiences have ingrained dedication and passion for transformative work for marginalized communities, and he hopes to carry his advocacy in all his professional endeavors.