Meet The Team

Leelynn

Hello everyone!

It’s so great to see you here. My name is Leelynn! I identify as Chamorro, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Cherokee, and Black. I was born and raised on Oahu, Hawaii and I miss living on the islands. I also lived on Guam for five years before moving to Virginia on the East Coast of the United States. Talk about a culture shock. I absolutely adore reading books, and I have been working hard to ensure that I keep my books diverse. I’ve found that reading books from diverse authors has made my reading experience a lot more enjoyable from when I was younger, and I don’t think I’ll ever go back!

Growing up, I didn’t really see myself in many books but I still loved to read. I’ve noticed that I relate a lot more to my Asian counterparts – especially my Japanese and Korean characters – and I’ve been known to get emotional reading books that are inspired by my Asian heritage. I have yet to find a novel that is inspired by my Chamorro heritage, but my goal is to one day write a novel that is so that other Chamorro girls like me can see themselves in a book and hopefully relate to it like I have.

Hear Our Voices is a dream that I’ve had since fully immersing myself in the book community a year ago, and something that I feel has been sorely needed for a while now. I hope that our dream will be able to grow and bring all kinds of novels to all kinds of OwnVoices readers, regardless of follower count, regardless of location in the world, and allow readers like us to see themselves in novels and share their experiences with us and the rest of the community.

Natalia

Hello Beautiful people!

I am a Puertorican/Dominican born and raised, currently living in Georgia, USA. You can normally find me hyping up diverse reads, because I have literally discovered I can actually read about myself in books, and I am never looking back! I have the honor of being part of some other amazing projects on twitter like #ConSaborReadingChallege with Nox, Astrid and Dani where I don’t shut up about Latinx books. The #includedlit with @ephemeralnat that is meant to share and uplift books of authors of color so others can find them easier and finally here helping promote all the awesome books I talk so much about anyway. I hope that through this endeavor one day you also get to hold a book in your hand that means the world to you. My dream is to be an editor, so who knows, maybe one day I will be the mastermind behind one of your favorite books! For now, here we are and thank you for coming on this journey with us!

Natalie

Hello, hello, hello!

I’m a Puerto Rican born and raised currently living in San Diego, California. A soon to be grad student of Children’s Literature who loves reading and championing diverse books. I love reading books with intersecting identities and I love complex characters.

During my short tenure with the Twitter book community, I’ve been part of some amazing initiatives, such as #includedlit which @NataliaDeJesusM and I created to uplift marginalized books and creators. When I’m not writing or talking about books you can find me pursuing creative outlets like drawing, making aesthetics, or journaling. As a Gemini, I have a hard time committing to one hobby so I must do them all!!

Seeing yourself in a book is a feeling like no other and my hopes are that we, at Hear Our Voices, provide readers such as yourself with books that they can see themselves represented in. My dream is to study and contribute to the research of Kidlit and help tear apart the notion that Literature is all about the Classics.

Interns

Emily

Hi! I’m Emily, a queer bookaholic. I’ve always sought out as much queer representation as I could, but it was hard in traditional print media. I turned to webcomics and online stories, low and behold those things are getting published nowadays! 
Hear Our Voices shows off the corners of the reading realm that have been cut off from their perfect audience. They’re the perfect bridge between a reader and a good book! I’m super excited to join the team.

Volunteers

RayGil

RayGil is a 16 year old  Hawaii Technology Academy student who is a dedicated AILH volunteer who assists in various activities from the design and creation of support group flyers, the filming of the agency’s first disability segment videos through Olelo, entertainment for Oahu consumer holiday parties and overall assistance as needed.

He enjoys playing the Alto Saxophone, Clarinet and Flute. RayGil has participated in middle school and high school concert band, high school jazz band and wind ensemble, Central District Oahu Honor Band and Select Band. He just completed the Hawaii Youth Symphony Pacific Music Instititue Summer Music Program. Additionally, he occasionally plays with the military’s chamber music group for official military ceremonies