Mark Breland


Mark is Founder and Director of Educate Young Voters. He studied acting at Columbia College Chicago and The Second City. Breland has done acting work for Pepsi and the movie Barbershop. In his formative years Breland participated in church choir, show choir, and band. Breland studied Hip Hop Dance at both Hubbard Street Dance and Visceral Dance Center. His music as a former DJ has accumulated thousands of plays on social media. At Chicago’s Wright Foundation: For the Realization of Human Potential, Breland completed a year of Social and Emotional Learning. In his network, Breland is connected with artists that have worked with Grammy Award Winners, and have thousands of social media followers.

Director of Communications

Zara is a dynamic and accomplished professional known for her expertise in social media and digital marketing, combined with a rich background in the realm politics. She graduated from the University of Georgia, with a degree in Public Relations at the Grady School of Journalism. Cooney began her journey in Colorado, where she wrote press releases for the Colorado House of Representatives and Senate. Over her career, Cooney has worked as Public Relations Manager and Marketing and Social Media Director for companies such as Artwork Archive and Live World Holdings. Zara transitioned back into government, where she assumed the role of Head of Communications for the Colorado Secretary of States Business Intelligence Center. Cooney currently is the Director of Zara Cooney Creative. 


Joe is a creative-content producer that has served local and national brands to produce entertaining and creative video content. Martinez has a Bachelor of Arts from Southern Illinois University, with a concentration in Cinema and Photography. He has over a decade of experience producing, directing, and editing video content and commercials. With the team at Fig Media Inc, he has had the distinct pleasure of producing video commercials for companies and organizations like BMW, HGTV, Adler Planetarium, and the Sundance Film Festival. 

Joseph Valliquette

College Voter Coordinator

Joseph Valliquette is a 2023 graduate of Political Science and Government at Depaul University. He served as President of the Depaul Campus Democrats, where he worked to get people to vote, and engaged in the community. Joseph has worked as Campaign Staff for current State Representative, Terra Costa Howard, of the 48th District. He has also worked as Campaign Advisor for Steven Mclellan for Chicago 43rd Ward Alderman. Valliquette currently works as Fellowship Coordinator at Men4Choice, where he assists in activating and mobilizing male allies into the fight to expand reproductive freedom.