Welcome, 2013 Youth Organizers!

Abbey VandenBerg, Gustavusabbey photo

Abbey is a senior at Juneau Douglas High School. She believes that the connection between humans and the environment is vital to the health of society and the individual. She enjoys exploring and connecting with the Earth’s wild places, as well as the Earth’s wild people. She enjoys good jazz, good coffee, and good company. Abbey believes that salmon are a valuable renewable resource and of deeply-rooted importance to Alaska’s subsistence culture (not to mention absolutely delicious). Abbey is excited to bring back some fresh ideas to the Juneau chapter, as well as reconnect and collaborate with some of the fantastic AYEA teens she met at the Civics and Conservation Summit in Juneau this spring.

Mikaela Hunter, SitkaMikaela Hunter
Mikaela comes from Scammon Bay along the west coast of Alaska. She loves flying planes and one day she’d like to become a pilot, and her dad is her inspiration. Salmon is a really big part of her community with subsistence, and if The Pebble Mine were to make a mistake, her region would be devastated. She worries that they’d have no more fish because the salmon run heads up to their village from the Bristol Bay region, leaving them with no summer and fall fish to catch and preserve for the winter time. She is excited about becoming a Youth Organizer because she’s always wanted to stand against Pebble, but didn’t know who to contact or if she could do anything to help stop it. After reading about AYEA she thought it would be a great way to help out.

Vika Morozova, AnchorageVika_A
Vika is a sophomore at Stellar Secondary School and enjoys playing the violin, writing, and outdoor activities. Seals and dead things terrify her and she absolutely loves frogs. In the middle of first grade she from Russia to Alaska and has lived here ever since. She became an AYEA member in the spring of 2012 and has worked on many projects, including efforts to save salmon. Salmon is very important to her because every summer her family gets fresh fish to provide us with healthy omega-3 rich nutrition for the duration of the winter. Since her family doesn’t eat red meat and she does her best to devour only organic foods, and salmon is a very important part of her family’s diet. Salmon is very important to many Alaskans, not only in their diets but also to maintain a balanced ecosystem. Vika is very excited to work on issues involving salmon this year as a Youth Organizer! Her goal is to gain inspiration through projects taken on during the Fall Summit so that she can educate other people about the importance of salmon and inspire them to take action.


Tristan Glowa, Fairbanks      Tristan glowa picture
Tristan is passionate about environmental and social justice as well as learning about culture, history, art, and music. He plays trumpet with the Fairbanks Youth Symphony Orchestra and a jazz combo with friends. He plans to major in environmental studies and work extensively in the sustainability movement. Tristan recognizes that salmon occupy a massive role in the culture of Alaskans and are representative of the abundant natural resources of our state. For the sake of the many communities that rely on salmon as a way of life, he thinks that we should do everything we can to preserve them as much as possible. Tristan is excited to be a Youth Organizer to learn and collaborate with people from across the state and to create meaningful change while learning the skills necessary for movement building to use as he gets more involved with activism.

Gretchyn O’Donnell, Anchorage
Something Gretchyn invests a lot of thought and her identity in the feminist movement. She cares a lot about social movements and talking with others to trigger a shift in consciousness! She’s very optimistic and cares about salmon in particular because it is a fantastic renewableIMG_20130813_121819 resource, especially dear to her because she was raised in Alaska with a conservationism perspective. She feels that protecting salmon goes hand in hand with nourishing the earth. Gretchyn is super excited to be a YO because this commitment enables her to step up as a leader to encourage more young people to awaken their self-worth and voices on issues that affect the world we all share. She’d love to see more enthusiasm and awareness come to our government! Inspiring others to broaden ideas is very powerful.


Jordan Tennyson, Dillinghamjordan tennyson photo
Jordan was born and raised in Dillingham, Alaska. She attends Dillingham High School and enroll in many classes. My favorite class is Alaska History because sometimes we talk about cultures around the world. Salmon, salmon, salmon, what is there to say about Alaskas biggest resource?! The salmon comes from Alaskas clean waters, the salmon is also natural, healthy, nutritious, and delicious! But, that will change if Pebble Mine goes threw with this procedure. She is excited to become a YO because she can help out her community by standing up for the salmon stock in Bristol Bay that is currently threatened by large scale mining development like the proposed Pebble mine. She thinks this opportunity will allow her to develop better leadership skills.

Griffin Plush, Seward
Griffin has lived in Seward, AK all his life. He’s currently a junior at Seward High School and is an active participant in Seward’s High School Debate, Drama, and Forensics program as well as the Seward High Cross Country team. He is active in his community when it comes to issues of the environment; acting as the Co-Chair of the Seward branch of AYEA and educating others about local environmental issues. He worked at Kenai Fjords National Park in the summer, helping visitors learn about Alaska, Glaciers, and how to help protect them. He participated in the 2012 and 2013 Civics and Conservation Summits and acted as part of the training team during the 2013 Summit. Griffin has also attended the 2012 Youth Organizer Summit and looks forward to attending the 2013 Youth Organizer Summit.

Charli dukes photoCharli Duke, Dillingham
Charli loves to play volleyball. She is Alaska Yupik and grew up with a subsistence life. She was born and raised in Dillingham Alaska and is currently a senior! She loves to snow machine and owns a beautiful blue 1982 Ford 150. She loves to be organized! Charlie asks, “What is there not to love about salmon?” It’s a blast to be able to set a net with the family on the beach, picking the net once the tide has come in and gone out, taking it home, splitting/cleaning it than either canning it, smoking it or just freezing it. Salmon brings her family together, puts food on the table for the winter, and is healthy and even delicious! It is a horrible thought to think that Pebble Mine would take such a great tradition carried for generations. Not only do her people depend on it, but the world and even the other animals.


Chloe photChloe Hawkins, Old Harbor
Chloe is from from Old Harbor Alaska, and enjoys hunting and fishing. She grew up learning her native ways and keeps them with her. She joined AYEA at the Civics and Conservation Summit in the spring of 2013 and is involved to do things that advocate for her community, and make it better in many ways!


Patrick Marshall, Craig
Patrick attends Craig High School on Prince Of Whales Island. Something cool that he does that works with the Youth Conservation Corps. This program, run through the Forest Service, gives youth a chance to go out, fix and maintain public trails, and learn what it’s like to have a real job. There are many reasons why he cares about our salmon. Without the Salmon, there wouldn’t be nearly as many nutrients in the trees and plants that are by the rivers, many of which plants need to survive. Salmon are also a very important part of the economy and the majority of rural and native Alaskans rely on this source of food. There are so many reasons that he is extremely excited about being a YO, mainly that he gets to work with people to help support things that he is very passionate about and to work with other people that have the same feelings about problems that he does.

Christina Edwin, Anchorage
Christina Edwin is a senior at East High School. She lives in Anchorage. Christina likes yoga and loves to sing. She dreams of becomichristina photo YOng a Natural doctor, and reviving rich cultural ways of healing in Alaska. Salmon is important to Christina because she is Koyukon Athabascan. Her culture survives off salmon and holds much value to it. Christina is excited to be a Youth Organizer for the Anchorage AYEA chapter. She believes this year will provide her with a lot of opportunities to work with the community and learn more about environmental issues in Alaska.



Halbe Brown, Denali State ParkBostonPERU2013 225
Halbe lives in the interior of Alaska (near Denali National Park). Some of my hobbies include hiking, biking, snow machining and four-wheeling. Basically, I love the outdoors and want to see it protected. He cares about nature, and sees salmon as a great species indicator of coastal ecosystem health. They are extremely sensitive to changes in their environment. If you damage their ecosystem, there will be serious consequences in many different areas. Halbe says that he’s excited to be a Youth Organizer for AYEA because it is a great opportunity that will allow him to gain and develop skills to reach out and present his ideas and beliefs to others.


Rebecca Masterson, Barrow
Rebecca lives in Barrow, the farthest north community in Alaska. She runs cross country and enjoys hanging out with her friends. Rebecca thinks that salmon is very special, especially in Alaska, for many reasons. It provides many jobs and is also a very high source of food. She is very excited to be a Youth Organizer at the 2013 AYEA Fall Summit! She’s looking forward to meeting a group of cool kids, learning about our communities, and helping make each of their communities a better place.photo becca masterson




Not pictured:

Chloe George, Dillingham
Tess Hostetter, Igiugug
Larina Butkiewicz, Nondalton

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