Meet the Delegates for AYEA’s 2013 Civics and Conservation Summit!!!

2013 Youth Delegates

Christian Escalante

Christian’s favorite foods: Aladix, the native fry bread, and king crab. To her, a healthy environment means that natural resources will be preserved. For instance, forests will still be around hundreds of years from now, animals are protected, renewable energy is used, and that any resources that are used will be sustained. She is proud of volunteering around the community. When she volunteers, she just wants to help, and then when someone thanks me, she is grateful and proud for the opportunity.

Leila Pyle

Leila’s favorite Alaskan food is smoked red salmon. She defines a health environment as respectful; for people, for the Earth, and for the past and future of both. She is exceptionally proud to teach art to younger children, be it through Girl Scouts, her high school Art Club, or some other opportunity. The elementary schools in Kodiak offer very limited art opportunities, and she thinks it is important that children learn the power of their own creativity. She loves to watch as kids learn to work with a new material or concept that inspires them to problem solve and experiment like they wouldn’t be able to in any other subject. Never underestimate the power of a child with a paint brush. Really.

Khan Overcast-Howe

Khan is absolutely in love with science and feel very passionately for the health of our environment. He has around all his life until he finally started to attend Mt. Edgecumbe High School, a boarding school in Sitka, Alaska where he is currently finishing up his senior year. He is obsessed with music and astrophysics.
Mina Gherman

Mina’s favorite Alaskan food is fresh kale salad, smoked salmon and moose meat! A healthy environment to Mina: people consume non harmful products, whether it may be food, water, or air. The community has many recourses available to the public use. The community works together for the common good and puts the general wellness of all in front of personal gain. There would also be a peaceful vibe throughout the community. Mina is proud of keeping a 4.0 GPA since freshman year. She is happy when she has affected others’ awareness of what they consume, for the better.
Halbe Brown

Halbe’s favorite Alaskan food is moose stew. To him, a “healthy environment” is an environment that in its natural state can maintain itself and one that is not in decline because of pollution or overuse. Halbe has been conducting a science project about the abundance and diversity of aquatic invertebrates in  tributaries to the Nenana River for the last eight years.  He is proud of this project and has the goal to continue this work until he has data for ten years.
Patrick Marshall

Patrick’s first choice Alaskan food has to be smoked red snapper. He caught one this summer and when his parents cooked it and gave it to him, it was the best thing ever. A “healthy environment” means that the people and the area that they live in coincide and work together, rather than humans taking it over and cutting down all the trees, killing all the plant and animal life, polluting the water and killing the fish, and many other things. Patrick is proud to participate in trash clean ups with Kathy Peeve. It helps him know that he is doing something in his community to keep the waters and shores clean so that there are no animals eating the trash.

Isabel Barnwell

Izzy’s favorite Alaskan food is salmon, prepared any kind of way! To her, a healthy environment means wildlife and humans living side by side each other happily. It means everyone is educated on the environment around them and knows how to protect it. She loves to help and make people happy, so is proud that whenever somebody needs her, she’s there for them. She’s also proud that she takes steps to protect the environment because she cares about it deeply.

Gretchyn O’Donnell

Black currant berry jam is Gretchyn’s favorite Alaskan food! A healthy environment to her means that the land is respected and sustained by the inhabitants; a place where nature can be freely and safely explored at any given time. A healthy environment is crucial to support any form of life, which is why it is so important for people to have sensitivity to and an understanding of their surroundings. Gretchyn is proud of consistently pursuing new topics related to the environment, like invasive weeds and climate change and geology, and sharing her enthusiasm with peers and people of my community. In this way, she strengthens her communication abilities and come a long way for the quiet, introverted observer.
Shannyn Bird

Shannyn’s favorite Alaskan food is definitely smoked salmon! To her, a healthy environment is a place where wildlife and humans can coexist and flourish. She is proud that she raises livestock, quite a task considering she lives in Alaska! She also works very hard on academics, and is proud of her great grades.

Abbey VandenBerg

Abbey’s favorite food is fresh salad and sugar-snap peas from her backyard garden. To her,  a healthy environment is a clean, safe place where differences are respected and where people feel comfortable expressing their ideas.  Abbey is a proud advocate for cross-cultural understanding, having spent a year as an exchange student in Northern Germany; and is inspired by music, art, and the raw and natural beauty of the Alaskan wilderness.

2013 Youth Trainers

Paige Kirchbaum

Paige is a senior at Bartlett High School in Anchorage, and has been in AYEA for three years. Her favorite Alaskan Food is gonna have to be either salmon, or locally grown purple potatoes, which she was introduced to at AYEA’s Fall Summit.  A healthy environment to her is an ecosystem that can rely on itself, and doesn’t have any unnatural impacts on it.  Her most greatest achievement so far in my environmental involvement is creating the environmental club at Bartlett, and started plastic recycling there also. Her favorite thing about the Civics Summit last year was how learning to talk to legislators, and how to effectively get the word out in local government.  The biggest impact on her was just going to Juneau and talking to her representatives!  At a recent AYEA event, her representative came up to her to talk and remembered my name from the Summit, which she thought was pretty cool.
Griffin Plush

My favorite Alaskan food is salmon, of course. To me, a “healthy environment” means an environment free of pollutants; with clean water and clean air. I am proud of being a part of AYEA, and also being in the debate program. The most useful thing I learned from the last Civic summit was how the Legislative branch works. Sitting in on a senate session was fun, and so was hanging out with all the other teens.

Madeline Rafferty

Maddy Rafferty was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska and is a senior in high school. She first became involved with FAYEA two years ago and fell in love with the community. She started serving as secretary and is now president of her local chapter. She also serves as youth member on the board of directors at the Northern Environmental Center. This will be her second civics summit and she’s is thrilled to return and meet new AYEA members from all over the state.

Vika Morozova

Vika’s favorite Alaskan food is salmon. She eats it very often because her dad makes really good smoked salmon every time her family gets fish. She believes that a healthy environment exists when humans can live harmoniously with nature and other animals, and when people are not trying to control nature. There are no chemicals in a healthy environment, no pollution. Everything is balanced in a healthy environment. She is proud of being able to participate with AYEA, and of her accomplishments as a result of joining AYEA. She has grown a lot as a person since she joined, and is proud of self-improvements. She is also proud of her success in school and her talents on the violin.


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