Hunter is a rising sophomore student in Mashpee, Massachusetts with a dual enrollment in emergency management at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. Hunter continues to exercise leadership skills as a Cadet Senior Airman with the Civil Air Patrol, Auxiliary of the US Air Force. He was presented with the Douglas Neff Leadership Award. Hunter was honored to be selected as a wreath layer in the wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery.
Hunter is also Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe CERT trained. He expanded his emergency management knowledge through FEMA’s independent study. He participated in an active threat training with local law enforcement agencies at school. He became certified in CPR-AED. With power outages in areas hit with emergency disasters, he thought it was important to become registered as an amateur radio operator. Hunter was eager to pursue his passion in emergency preparedness and was given the opportunity to at a regional level with the Region I YPC. During his regional YPC tenure, he participated in the “Until Help Arrives” Train-the-Trainer program. His goals are to implement a Teen CERT, promote the “Care to Prepare” program, and hold an emergency preparedness fair at school. During the pandemic, Hunter was awarded funding for positive message bags to assist individuals with disabilities. Hunter will continue to work closely with the tribal community addressing safety measures and preparedness efforts.
Hunter hopes that through this experience he can make a meaningful contribution to FEMA’s Regional and National YPCs.
Joaquin is a rising freshman in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. In the past few years, he has had firsthand experience with natural disasters such as Hurricane María in 2017 and the recent earthquakes in the south of Puerto Rico. He has volunteered within his community to aid in the recovery efforts for both disasters and has used this experience to organize preparedness trainings for disasters in his community and in his school as vice president of his class directive. He is an active participant within his school’s math and model United Nations (UN) clubs as well as a member of the varsity golf team. These activities have taught him leadership and discipline, and he strives to apply them to emergency preparedness within his school and community.
During his tenure on the YPC, Joaquin is committed to providing representation for Puerto Rico and other territories and to implementing further knowledge of preparedness within them. Furthermore, he hopes to spark the interest in emergency preparedness in others from a young age by creating fun and interactive comics for the Nation’s youth to read and in the end remove the fear that is commonly associated with disasters early on in life.
Maxwell is a rising senior in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. He developed a personal commitment to emergency management and meteorology after witnessing the destruction to his community caused by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. He currently serves as a member of his county’s youth advisory board. This board educates local secondary school students about drug and alcohol abuse prevention. Maxwell also led the public outreach for a fundraiser to support the Cheery Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, which raised thousands of dollars in donations. Finally, Maxwell exercises leadership in his community through his Boy Scout troop, his church, the Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership program, and many other volunteer organizations.
During his time on the YPC, Maxwell would like to build a stronger national education program for youth to learn about emergency preparedness and FEMA operations. He also hopes to launch a county-level youth organization to monitor, support, and educate others about disaster preparedness.
Nyl is a rising senior in Shelby County, Alabama. His interests in emergency preparedness started early in the fourth grade when he distributed FEMA’s Prepare with Pedro disaster activity books and preparedness materials to his classmates after surviving the 2011 tornado that hit the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Alabama areas.
Prior to becoming a member of the YPC, he launched his Get Backpack Ready with Nyl emergency preparedness campaign in 2017. Nyl has traveled with his campaign to work with communities, schools, and civic organizations in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida teaching citizens how to build disaster preparedness kits. He has been recognized as a Warrior Strong Student at his high school. He is also involved in varsity and community sports while holding memberships with the American Red Cross, 4-H Club, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Empowering Males to Build Opportunities for Developing Independence (DST-EMBODI) program, Kappa League Male Mentoring program, as well as positions as a national and regional officer with Top Teens of America and the National Association of Black Engineers Jr.
As a member of the YPC, Nyl will continue to expand his current preparedness backpack campaign while working to establish a stronger teen participation in emergency response efforts by including a Teen CERT program in his “Get Backpack Ready with Nyl” campaign. He is finalizing the launch of two additional preparedness campaigns, including the S3 Campaign and the N2_Global_Network on IGTV. He hopes to partner with state and local stakeholders as well as government and tribal officials to build a broadcast social media platform to elevate awareness about emergency preparedness, highlighting student readiness in school and community settings.
Jordan is a rising junior in Decatur, Georgia. He is the founder and content creator for a YouTube channel which educates the public about life safety equipment through video tests and tutorials. During his school’s emergency protocol update, he personally developed a new fire safety protocol and related signage for the school’s building. In addition to maintaining his school’s preparedness, he serves as the head sound technician for the school’s theater program. He hopes to apply the technological and interpersonal skills that he has learned from this experience to the field of emergency preparedness.
During his time on the YPC, Jordan would like to implement greater education on school security. He also hopes to better integrate the needs of non-native English speakers into safety planning. This initiative would promote internationally-recognized symbols in emergency preparedness plans and products.
Megan is a rising junior in Calhoun, Georgia. She is a leading proponent of the National Stop the Bleed campaign in her community. She has improved her school’s preparedness by advocating for bleeding control courses, placing emergency kits in strategic locations, and designing emergency maps for her school’s building. She also speaks with local civic organizations to inform and inspire citizens to participate in the initiative. In addition to this campaign, Megan is active in Miss America’s Outstanding Teen organization and has held multiple lead roles in community theater performances.
During her time on the YPC, Megan would like to produce instructional materials to teach primary school children how to respond to emergencies. She intends to engage public, private, and non-profit stakeholders to distribute these resources on a national level. She hopes that this effort will challenge the misconception that children are too young to be involved in emergency preparedness.
Banan is a rising junior in Urbana, Illinois. She was a key participant in the Illinois Preparedness Initiative (MyPI). In this program, she became Teen CERT certified, excelled in a disaster simulation, and conducted public outreach to educate families in her community about preparedness. She also observed Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) handling real-life emergencies, which furthered her understanding of the emotional and physical pressures of disasters. As a member of her school’s student Senate, she organizes fundraising and public outreach events for underrepresented groups around the world. She also participates in cross-country, soccer, and taekwondo.
During her time on the YPC, Banan would like to use technology to raise awareness for emergency preparedness among youth. She hopes to develop an interactive game that demonstrates the importance of emergency preparedness and best practices. She also plans to introduce an annual preparedness event to raise awareness in her community.
Devangana is a rising senior in Urbana, Illinois. Devangana’s passion lies in her community, where she works to bring a positive change through education and youth empowerment. She is president of the key club at her high school, a capacity in which she coordinated a fundraiser for the Thirst Project, a non-profit organization providing water to countries impacted by natural disaster. Devangana has also interned with the Indo-German Biodiversity Program in India, where she researched communicating the importance of forest ecosystem services to local villagers in the Indian Himalayan region. She also serves as the Partnership and Sustainability Executive for the TAD Initiative, an online sensitization hub based in Lagos, Nigeria aiming to educate youth about climate change.
During her term on the YPC, Devangana is planning to create events in her neighborhood that will educate international students on how to prepare for emergencies and natural disasters. Broadening that vision, Devangana would like to combine her passion for international service and humanitarian work with disaster preparedness. She aims to create a collaborative forum where youth globally can share experiences with natural disasters and provide vital information and best practices to others on preparing and responding to disasters.
Vishnu is a rising junior from Carmel, Indiana. He is passionate about serving youth experiencing homelessness and contributed as a youth tutor for homeless children through School on Wheels. He was invited to give a presentation on Schools on Wheels to program sponsors and fundraisers for school supplies, and he believes that education will help resolve homelessness. During his first year on the Region V YPC, Vishnu started a Teen CERT program at his high school. He successfully hosted CERT trainings for students at his high school with local emergency management officials and CERT volunteers. He is a certified hands-only CPR instructor for the American Red Cross and has done many outreach activities. He has also conducted a disaster mapping training for adults through the American Red Cross.
Vishnu hopes to find new ways to provide opportunities for youth as well as the underprivileged community to learn more about emergency preparedness. He believes that if you start early in teaching people about emergency preparedness, then it will really make a big impact throughout their lives. He also wants to help connect youth to resources that they did not know about and give underprivileged communities access to the education they need related to emergency preparedness.
Wyatt is a rising junior in Paragould, Arkansas. He gained knowledge of the value of emergency preparedness through his family’s planning and response to natural disasters in Arkansas. He serves as the co-chair on his county’s youth preparedness council and Arkansas’ youth preparedness council, where he won Arkansas’ 2019 Individual and Community Preparedness Award. Wyatt is also a member of FEMA’s Region VI YPC. In these roles, he promoted a Student Tools for Emergency Preparedness (STEP) initiative in local schools and currently plans to start a CERT in his school. While not participating in emergency preparedness efforts, he is involved in varsity sports, Future Business Leaders of America, and helping lead services at his church.
During his time on the YPC, Wyatt would like to supply and train more schools to handle mass casualty incidents. He envisions building a program that includes aspects of Stop the Bleed and CERT but is tailored toward teachers and their specific needs. He also intends to develop a curriculum to build awareness about threats and hazards in his region.
Amanda is a rising senior in Omaha, Nebraska. Amanda’s prioritization of giving back to her community has fostered her passion for positive change and strengthened her dedication to community preparedness. Amanda was selected to serve on the 2019-2020 Omaha Mayor’s Youth Advisory Commission, where she collaborated with the leaders of Omaha to address community issues. Amanda is also an active member of Omaha’s Youth Advisory Council for Mental Health as well as Omaha’s Students for Sustainability. In February 2020, Amanda participated in the Harvard Model Congress as a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in which she discussed problems and constructed policies with youth from across the United States. Along with volunteering as a camp counselor at the Nebraska Humane Society and as a teacher at her local church, Amanda is also active on her school’s speech, mock trial, and cross-country teams.
During her time on the YPC, Amanda would like to help implement more thorough, mandatory, and educational medical training in the high school curriculum across the United States. The training would focus on the primary steps to take in medical emergencies before professionals arrive, teach how to use various medical tools, and offer CPR certification.
Sibi is a rising senior in Broomfield, Colorado. He is an active member of Region VIII’s Youth Preparedness Council. Sibi’s experience demonstrates his investment in a whole community approach to emergency preparedness. He holds an Amateur Extra radio license and often presents to local civic organizations about the intersection between radio communications and emergency preparedness. He is the vice president of his school’s student body, founder of his school’s knowledge bowl, and member of the Student Health Advisory Council. In this last role, he spearheaded a campaign to reduce stress among faculty, staff, and students using data-driven analysis and public outreach. In his community, he also serves as the lieutenant governor in his key club district and teen court attorney for the local court system. Sibi is active in taekwondo, his local library’s teen advisory board, debate functions, and volunteer events.
During his time on the YPC, Sibi would like to promote emergency preparedness initiatives that cater to groups disproportionately affected by disasters. These groups include the elderly, animal owners, and people with access and functional needs. He also hopes to create a YouTube channel with his region with general and area-specific information about emergency management. This channel would include videos targeting both youth and older populations.
Nicolas (Nico) is a rising high school junior in Los Altos, California. He is an Eagle Scout candidate and passionate about amateur radio and emergency preparedness. Through his work with the city of Los Altos PREPARE program and the Los Altos Amateur Radio Emergency Service (LAARES), Nico has built a packet radio station known as an Emergency Information Response Site (EIRS) for the downtown area which will be used in the event of an earthquake, fire, or any situation when normal forms of communications are unstable or are knocked out. He also helps organize and run the regional Boy Scouts of America Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA), which connects scouts around the world using amateur radio linked by digital, satellite, and earth-based relay systems.
His goal on the YPC is to work with other council members across the country to encourage the younger generation to get involved with amateur radio and emergency preparedness. He would also like to create a network of local and regional amateur radio clubs within high schools and scout troops across the nation to encourage more participation and awareness of emergency preparedness using amateur radio and CERT Programs.
Hsin Ya (Jessie) is a rising junior in Eugene, Oregon. She is the Red Cross Club President in her school and expanded the club from four to more than 30 active members within a year. Jessie organized a home fire campaign event series to install home fire alarms and train homeowners about hazards. She also serves on the American Red Cross’ First Aid Service Team. As an attorney in mock trials, she excels in debate and public speaking. She credits her success to her ability to build trust and respect between parties through clear communication. In addition to these activities, she is active on her school’s lacrosse team.
During her time on the YPC, Jessie would like to supply classrooms across the United States with disaster kits. She was inspired to pursue this goal after witnessing the devastating impact of disasters in her birth country of Taiwan. She also plans to operate emergency preparedness awareness booths at community events like football games and marathons.
Madeline is a rising sophomore in Palmer, Alaska. In November 2018, a catastrophic 7.1 earthquake and its aftershocks affected her and her community. This event shifted her thinking about the importance of emergency preparedness. In her community, Madeline helped to organize the programming, public outreach, and grant funding for the Last Frontier Honor Flight. This program provided Alaskan war veterans with travel and accommodations to visit monuments and memorials in Washington, DC. She also volunteers in Alaska’s State Fair each year. Given the large audience attracted to this event, Madeline plans on collaborating with stakeholders to use the event as a platform to build awareness about emergency preparedness in the future. She is active in her local town hall meetings, cross-country team, and other outdoor activities.
During her time on the YPC, Madeline would like to provide representation for Alaskans. She believes that this representation is vital given that Alaska is the largest U.S. state with the most coastline and seismic activity. On a national level, she hopes to create a forum for different jurisdictions to share best practices in emergency preparedness. On a local level, Madeline also hopes to build awareness in schools across Alaska for pre-existing state and national preparedness programs.