Youth Advisory Council
Keep America Beautiful's National Youth Advisory Council provides a unique opportunity for high school students from diverse backgrounds across the nation to participate in a service-learning and leadership development program. Keep America Beautiful selects 10 students nationwide to contribute to and inform Keep America Beautiful on programs, while acting as ambassadors and leaders for youth service in their communities.
Eleanor Anderson, Macon, Georgia
Eleanor, a junior at Mount de Sales Academy in Macon, Georgia, is an active member of the Georgia Civic Awareness Program for Students, where she learns about the government on a local, state, and federal level. In her spare time, she loves spending time with friends and volunteering with various local organizations. Eleanor cares about her environment by organizing clean-ups for her school to encourage students to stop littering. She also posts flyers around her school's campus to remind students to recycle. Eleanor is also a member of the Watson-Brown Foundation, which is a historic preservation board.
Sammi Dorfan, San Diego, California
Sammi, a senior and returning YAC member, was born in Johannesburg, South Africa. After living in a place with such a low level of environmental consciousness, Sammi seeks to increase awareness for environmental issues to ensure that her new home doesn’t become as littered as her old one. Additionally, Sammi serves as editor in chief for her school newspaper and runs her own newspaper entitled “The Playhouse News,” in which articles are written entirely by kids in the San Diego area. Sammi also serves as a member of the Jewish Teen Council Community Service Committee in San Diego. Sammi is very active in school activities as part of an ambassador program, playing on the varsity girls’ tennis team, and serving as the 9th Grade Representative on the student government. Currently, Sammi is making plans to start an inaugural Eco Club at her school.
Laura Espinoza, Rockville, Maryland
Laura, a senior from Rockville, Maryland, is passionate about helping others understand the long-term effects of the environment through science. She is in the Science, Math, and Computer Science Magnet program at her high school, where she also participates on the varsity field hockey team and is the president of the robotics team. She volunteers in cleanup projects around her community and looks forward to bringing Keep America Beautiful to her school and her county.
Bethany Griffin, Chicago, Illinois
Bethany, a sophomore, attends Timothy Christian High School in Elmhurst, Illinois. As a freshman, she was a member of the yearbook staff, played freshman volleyball and junior varsity basketball. Bethany is truly committed to serving her community, caring for others and working towards a sustainable environment. In the winter of 2016 she went on a mission trip to the Appalachia Mountain to perform community service by helping to weatherproof homes and install windows. Bethany has participated in numerous cleanup projects with other programs throughout her community and with her school including top Teens of America.
Liam Horne, Arlington, Texas
Liam, a junior, attends Uplift Summit International Preparatory in Arlington, Texas. As a freshman, he became a member of the Mayor's Youth Commission, a platform for him to volunteer his time to his city and to help keep Arlington beautiful. He is currently the elected Secretary of the Mayor’s Youth Commission and helps formulate new ideas to give back to the community. Throughout the year, he volunteers with River Legacy, a foundation that looks to preserve the Trinity River ecosystem in Arlington and help students learn about wildlife, ecology and the environment. Liam is also an active volunteer with the Arlington Public Library and Miracle League, an organization that helps disabled kids play baseball. Liam plans to continue giving back to Arlington by keeping the vitality of the community and the environment alive.
Mary Macrae, Lake Jackson, Texas
Mary, a senior, born in Houston, Texas, attends Brazoswood High School. Mary joined Keep Lake Jackson Beautiful’s Youth Advisory Council four years ago and will become the group’s Chairman this year. She loves helping her community in any way and recycles in her home daily. When she isn’t working with the art department at her school you can find her reading in the library.
Maegan Mikkelson, Cape Coral, Florida
Maegan, a senior and returning YAC member, serves as her Class Treasurer and the President of her school’s Environmental Club. Maegan’s passion for the environment stems from years of leading regular beach cleanups as well as waterway and roadway cleanups with her 4-H Club and her local Keep America Beautiful affiliate, Keep Lee County Beautiful, in which she serves on the Youth Advisory Board as President. Through her dedicated service, she learned about the deforestation of Mangrove Trees in her local environment and, in turn, worked to create the “Adopt a Mangrove” foundation. After working collaboratively with many community agencies, she helped further the cause of protecting native ecosystems in southwest Florida. She works hard to engage members of her community to become advocates for keeping their community clean and green every day.
Brady Millwood, Boaz, Alabama
Brady, a senior and returning YAC member, attends Albertville High School in Albertville, Alabama. He is very active in his school choir and marching band, as well as Future Farmers of America. For the last several years he has been active in Keep Albertville Beautiful by participating in cleanups, planting shrubbery around the town, and picking up litter around town. He has an active role in the Keep America Beautiful’s Recycle-Bowl at his school encouraging students, faculty and staff to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Nicholas Ranieri, Palm City, Florida
Nicholas, a senior and returning YAC member, has been involved with Keep Martin Beautiful (KMB) since the age of 3 when he participated in his first beach cleanup. He has remained active in KMB, volunteering each year for the Great American Cleanup and the organization’s annual Extreme Martin Makeover program, which helps revitalize economically challenged neighborhoods. Nicholas has also demonstrated his leadership skills and community involvement as a current volunteer for TOPS soccer (which helps developmentally challenged youth to be physically active); as a founding member of a youth leaders’ club that is part of SafeSpace, a nonprofit organization that helps to prevent domestic violence; and is an active member of his high school debate team, which exemplifies his strong communication skills.
Mikayla Ranspot, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Mikayla, a sophomore, attends Amy Biehl High School where she is very active in the school’s celebration of service in the community. She also plays varsity basketball and volleyball and enjoys photography as a member of the yearbook committee. Mikayla worked 8 weeks as a Youth Conservation Corps member at the Valle de Oro Urban Wildlife Refuge this summer. Mikayla is fluent in American Sign Language and enjoys working alongside the other youth corps and nonprofit organizations volunteering at events on the weekends.
Lauren Sitarek, Winnipeg, Canada
Lauren, a senior at Technical Vocational High School started volunteering in 2011 at Take Pride Winnipeg. At eleven years old Lauren would paint houses, remove graffiti, pick litter, and work hard to make her community more beautiful. In 2014 she received the “Citizenship Award” from her school, and in 2016 she was recognized with a "Dedicated Volunteer Service Award” from Take Pride Winnipeg. Lauren also joined the Air Cadet Program as a member of St James 170 Squadron, receiving in her first year the distinguished honour of “Top Cadet” for her level. She also competed at the National Biathlon Competition representing Team Manitoba in Valcartier, Quebec in 2013, and Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2014. Other contributions Lauren has made to the community are by volunteering on many weeknights at either Winnipeg Harvest, or at the Kreative Kids program. This past winter Lauren was busy shoveling snow for senior citizens as part of the Snow Angels program.
Contact Tom Morales at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the Youth Advisory Council.