Meet the 2019 Youth Organizers
Making a contribution to AYEA makes a difference for our future in a real way. These are our future leaders.

Van Kapsner, Bethel 

My name is Matthew Van Kapsner, I'm an active member in my community by being involved in sports, student government, and I spend a good amount of time on the Kuskokwim River, fishing, working, or just having fun with friends. I'm passionate about promoting more sustainable practices, and climate change because it affects my community.

Mimi Scott, Eagle River

I was born in Florida, but I have lived in Alaska most of my life. Like most Alaskans, I am in love with Alaska and its beauty. I love spending my free time in the outdoors (when the weather allows it) hiking, backpacking, biking, kayaking, and I plan on learning how to rock/ice climb. Since I am a high school student, I spend most of my time studying and learning. Luckily I enjoy school! My favorite subjects in school are mostly STEM based and after high school I want to continue my education in hopes of becoming a doctor. Some environmental issues I am most passionate about are plastic pollution and climate change.

Adda Johnson, Anchorage

My name is Adda Johnson and my Tlingit name is Kayéilk’i. I am Inupiaq and Tlingit but I was born and raised in Anchorage. There are many things that I like to do in my free time, but my top two hobbies are to read books and craft. I am very passionate about sea animals dying from climate change.

Emily MacRae, Anchorage

My name's Emily, I'm 16 and I go to Dimond High School. I'm originally from Barrow, but moved down here 9 years ago. I really enjoy downhill skiing, biking, gymnastics, and rowing. I'm most passionate about climate justice, and pebble.

Lizzie Tran, Dutch Harbor

My name is Lizzie Tran. I was born in Anchorage Alaska and I have lived in Unalaska my whole life. At school I am involved NYO, Volleyball, and AYEA. In my free time I enjoy volunteering and hanging out with my friends. I am passionate about volunteering and topics involving ocean pollution due to the fact that my community is a fishing community.

Emily Taylor, Anchorage

My name is Emily Taylor and I am from Anchorage, Alaska, but my family is from Bristol Bay. I enjoy swimming and reading in my free time. I am very passionate about preventing the pebble mine as it would directly affect my family and our way of life. I attend Dimond High school and am currently a sophomore.

Kalee Phillips, Chuathbaluk

I am Kalee Phillips I was born in Anchorage, AK and raised in a small village called Chuathbaluk. I've lived in Chuathbaluk my whole life. I love to be around family, fishing, boating, berry picking, hunting and many more traditional activities. I am passionate about how our environment is turning out now because I see how it is changing day by day.

Jenice Cox, Dillingham

My name is Jenice Cox and I am from Dillingham, Alaska. In my free time, I like to spend time with my family and friends, or read novels. An issue I am most passionate about is the fact that many people aren't aware that our earth is getting worse as more time goes on, due to no change being made in how we run our lives. Personally, I think there can be much done to raise awareness and hopefully help people realize that change needs to happen now.

Hartley Miller, Homer

I've lived in Alaska my whole life, I'm 15 years old. I am a USA triathlete who recently traveled to Monroe, WA to compete in an international event. I got to race youth Olympic gold medalists which was very fun. I am extremely passionate about green energy and sustainability in home life and in places like schools as well as recycling and environmental conservation.

Nanieezh Peter, Fairbanks

I'm Nanieezh and I am from Arctic Village and Shonto, AZ. I live in Fairbanks, Alaska where I love to play my instruments, sing, write songs, act, play soccer, be on the land, and fight for what I believe. I'm passionate about many issues including protecting our homelands from threats like climate change and extractive industries. Also, I believe in supporting the rights of all oppressed people; women, people of color, LGBTQ+, homeless.

JoAnn Donovoan, North Pole 

I am originally from Utqiagvik, AK and moved to North Pole, AK in 2012. I seek to educate myself on issues that will affect my future and livelihood. Learning about climate change and pollution, as well as the negative impacts on the environment, are my driving motiviations to further my education. I enjoy being creative with my work and knowing what I do will be recognized positively. Being professionally driven and motivated is important for me and the goals I want to achieve for my life.

Cody David, Kongiganak

When I was growing up, my grandparents used to tell me that we shouldn't leave trash and to think about how many animals we should bring home. I live in Kongiganak. I was thinking about a word that my grandparents gave me about the tundra and the sea mammals, it reminds me to also give food or supplies to people in the village who need it. I like to go out hunting because I want to put food on the table also to keep the family and the community from starvation. I like to provide and gather food for the community because some of the people don't have boats or can't go hunting so I step in for them and try and gather food for those people. The environmental issues that I see in the tundra are trash and other supplies that someone left or didn't take care of.

Ron Adams, Brevig Mission

My name is Ronald Adams, I'm from Brevig Mission and I'm in the 12th grade. I love school activities and my subsistence life style. My way of life is very important-Eskimo games, speaking eskimo and hunting are dying out. I love to hunt for my food and help out our community. I have a family of 3 brothers and 6 sisters. My parents love to hunt our food.

Lynette Adams, Brevig Mission

I'm from a small village called Brevig Mission, there is about 450 people. I like to help with putting salmon (dry & half dry) away & picking berries for the winter.

Shaina Atcherian, Chevak

My name is Shaina Atcherian, I am from Chevak, Alaska. I like to draw and relax in my freetime. I am passionate about climate change and the trash that is being dumped into our oceans because the animals that are dying as a result of both.

Ciara Hernandez, Twin Hills

I'm an Alaskan native. I love learning new things. Im 15 years old. I was born and raised in Alaska and moved around a lot when I was younger.

Peter Olanna, Brevig Mission

I am from the rural village of Brevig Mission. I want to attend this summit to talk about climate and the environmental destruction happening in my village.

Meet the 2019 Youth Trainers

Kylynn Krohn, Fritz Creek

I was born in Harrisburg, PA and moved to Alaska about 6 years ago. I like to help my mom with her jobs with the Kachemak Bay Conservation Society at Salmonfest and with the Kenai Peninsula Fair. I also like to cook and watch Netflix. I am passionate about helping cold, sick, starving homeless or LGBTQ people. Give me a topic to fight for or against, and I will do it.

JR Go, Dutch Harbor

My name is Ariel Go, and I am a senior in high school from Unalaska/Dutch Harbor. In my free time, I like to play volleyball or ping pong. My favorite subject in school is math. I’m really passionate about excelling in academics (school). I love tutoring and helping others with their school work because to me, education is very important. I am also deeply attached to my community and the environment around me after living here my entire life.

Eve Downing, Sterling

I’m from Soldotna Alaska, and I’m in my sophomore year of high school. I participate in cross-country running, and skiing so I spend a large part of my time outdoors which has shown me the beauty of Alaska, and how much we need to preserve it.

James Vuong, Dutch Harbor

I have been involved with AYEA in the past, I’ve been to one Youth Organizer Summit and two Civics Summits. I’ve also been involved with Unalaska’s AYEA chapter for the past two years and currently have a job as a Youth Litter Patrolman (I help with recycling programs and pick up trash around town). Lastly, I’m involved in Student Government, Teen Council, and foreign language club.

Jenna Stringer, Barrow

Hello my name is Jenna Stringer, I am 17 years old, I attend Barrow High School and I’m here to advocate for positive legislation which will protect our communities. Growing up in the rural area of Barrow, I’ve seen the direct effects climate has on our community. Through floods, rising sea levels/temperature and eroding shorelines. It is scary knowing that your community may not last for the next couple of years. I want to speak up for those in my community who weren’t able to attend this conference, and advocate for a sustainable solution.