Founder and CEO
Anya Dillard is a 17-year-old activist, philanthropist, performing artist, entrepreneur, content creator, and aspiring filmmaker. She is also the Founder of The Next Gen Come Up.
Anya, who is currently a senior in high school, was most recently appointed as the 3rd black female Student Council President of her school and helped to organize what became known as the largest civil rights protests in West Orange, NJ history (garnering an audience of over 3,000 people) - at which she gave a poignant address. Over the course of her high school career, Anya has participated in organizing protests demanding justice for the victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting, advocating for climate change awareness, and even created her own image activism campaign to raise awareness for period poverty. She’s also performed at many annual Pride Expos and West Orange Black History Month celebrations, throughout her high school career. In addition, Anya has planned demonstrations with local elected officials in her area to address inequities in education and socioeconomic disparities in neighboring communities. In
collaboration with the West Orange Youth Council, she helped to organize the town’s first-ever Juneteenth Celebration, and as a result of her many accomplishments, was featured in Elle Magazine, Seventeen Magazine, and Glamour Magazine.
On top of being an AP/advanced honors student and an Honors IH Institute for Humanities graduate, Anya is also a 4th year graduate of the BLACK GIRLS ROCK (BLACK GIRLS LEAD PROGRAM) created by Beverly Bond in partnership with BET, that selects roughly 100 girls annually from tens of thousands of applicants all over the world, to partake in a week-long mentorship program for impressive young leaders (sponsored by Barnard College, NYC).
Lastly, from the age of 5 until now, Anya has spearheaded an annual holiday gift-giving program for the long term care pediatric division of Rutland Nursing Home at Kingsbrook Medical Center in Brooklyn. This program has raised thousands of dollars annually for children, ages newborn to 18, suffering from neurological and cognitive disabilities. She also raises funds annually for back to school supplies for the children of Sierra House in East Orange NJ, catering to single mothers facing homelessness.
As a future mass communications major, Anya hopes to continue her career as an activist through creating programming and content that empowers other young people to make a change and to share their perspectives on social/ political issues plaguing our generation. She believes that creativity is our biggest asset in the fight for equality and world peace, and she is constantly finding new ways to spread positivity and disrupt narratives.