Manaure Quintero—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Rafaela Requesens

Once, Rafaela Requesens’ priorities—among them, scholarships and subsidized meals for her classmates—resembled those of many college activists. Then her country collapsed. As Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro began tightening his grip on power during an economic crisis, Requesens took to the streets. In 2017, she helped lead the mass youth protests against the government as head of a prominent students’ union. The following year, she and her brother Juan, an opposition lawmaker, were arrested. (The government charged Juan with orchestrating a drone attack on Maduro, without offering proof; no trial date has been announced.) But Requesens remains undeterred. “I won’t say there aren’t times that I lose heart,” she says, “but I get back up again because that’s what [my brother] taught me.” —Ciara Nugent

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