Jenna Yuan, Chair Jenna is a third-year member of the Legislative Youth Advisory Council and a senior at Eastlake High School in Sammamish, Washington. She is from the 45th legislative district. Outside of LYAC, she is the president of her speech & debate team, volunteers for the Redmond Community Court & Resource Center, and interns on political campaigns. On why she joined LYAC, Jenna says, "I applied to LYAC because like many other youth, it's hard for me to have a voice in politics. I hope to be a good representative for the youth of Washington State and make a tangible change for all people in the future".
Nadine Gibson, Vice Chair Nadine is a resident of Legislative District 27 and attends Annie Wright Schools. Along with LYAC, she is a very active member of her community. She prides herself in being an avid attendee of the Black Collective, a historic community of Black people dedicated to civic engagement through volunteer service, as well as Sisterhood in the City, a program empowering young Black women with social and cultural tools to succeed. She also works with the Foundation for International Understanding Through Students (FIUTS), a non-profit organization dedicated to international and cross-cultural connections through the youth. She applied to LYAC to surround herself with mature, like-minded individuals to learn and create beneficial change for the youth of Washington State.
Meiqi Liang, Director of Public Relations Meiqi is a second-year council member and represents the 24th and 19th districts. As a Senior at Port Angeles High School, she is an active voice within the community and is eager to make a change. Outside of LYAC, she enjoys taking part in various clubs such as FBLA, YMCA Youth & Government, and is a violinist with the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra. She joined LYAC to "learn even more about the process of state government and to help become a voice for youth from all over the state. It’s important to understand that everyone has a say in the world around us. I believe it’s our duty to speak out on what we’re passionate about, and I hope that youth across Washington utilize this powerful tool".
Daniel Tyshler, Director of Legislative Affairs Daniel is a Junior at Bellevue High School, a third-year member of the Legislative Youth Advisory Council, and represents the 48th legislative district. Outside of LYAC, Daniel participates in student council, speech and debate team, and the swim team. On why he applied to LYAC, Daniel says, "I joined LYAC to represent Washington's youth and serve as a link between youth and policy makers."
Michelle Jimenez, Director of Community Outreach Michelle is excited to serve this year on the LYAC Leadership Team. As a second-year member and Senior at Squalicum High School in Bellingham, Washington she represents the 42nd legislative districts.
Legislative Affairs Committee
Gabrielle Cunningham Gabrielle is a sophomore at St. George’s School in Spokane, WA and resides in Legislative District 6. Besides LYAC, Gabi participates on the speech and debate team and plays the cello. She joined LYAC because "I love politics and learning the processes of our government, and it provided the perfect opportunity to represent my peers and do both at the same time".
Gabriel Valentin Navarro Gabriel is a first-year LYAC member. He is a junior and represents the 13th Legislative District. He participates in M.E.Ch.A, is his local city council student liason, and is on his school's Associated Student Body leadership team. He also is involved in Future Business Leaders of America, Key Club, Speech & Debate, and plays the saxophone. Outside of his busy extracurricular schedule, he also works as a Walmart associate. On why he applied to LYAC, Gabriel says, "because I have always been a strong voice and leader for the youth in my area but I also wanted to expand my leadership skills by joining LYAC and strengthening my voice for the youth of all of Washington state".
Public Relations Committee
Elisha Velazquez Elisha is a sophomore at Tyee High School who represents Legislative District 33 on the council. They applied to LYAC because "I thought it was a really great opportunity where I can not only learn how to speak up for myself and others but also how to make a difference. I want to learn how to create ideas that will help many people".
Pranav Gundrala Pranav is a 10th grader at Olympia High School. He represents districts 22 and 35. At his high school, he is a member of FBLA and Key Club. When asked by he applied to LYAC, Pranav says, "I applied to LYAC so that I could become more involved in my community and government. I love serving my community and I want to effect change in our youth. I hope to increase civic engagement among Washington's youth and help to give them a voice in their government".
Rebekah Sun Rebekah is a first-year member of the Legislative Youth Advisory Council and Freshman at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, representing Washington State's 41st district. Outside of LYAC, Rebekah is an ambassador at her school where she plays a huge role in representing the voice of her school. She also volunteers at a center called L'arche, that works with people with disabilities. This is Rebekah's first year on the LYAC. She applied to be on this council because she wanted to represent the youth of Washington state and make sure youth voices were being listened to. She believes that the youth is the future generation, and that the youth across all of Washington should have an impact on our future! She is looking forward to working with the LYAC to make positive changes to move towards a brighter future!
2019-2020 New Council Members
Ailani Baldwin Ailani is currently first-year member and a Junior attending Henrietta Lacks Health and Bio Science High School in Vancouver, Washington. A few extracurricular activities that she is currently involved include serving as ASB Junior Representative and President of her school’s Diversity Club. Outside of school, she enjoys volunteering at the local Peace Health Southwest hospital, helping her community, and engaging herself through activism to make a change. On why she joined the council “I decided to join LYAC to surround myself with students like me who actively engage themselves to make a change in not only Washington, but the world and society around them. The opportunities LYAC offers to students is beyond what is needed in order to successfully come together and take a step forward into making those changes. Though we are just students, we are students with voices that are ready and needed to be heard.”
Baeza Lakew Baeza is currently a Junior at Kentlake High School serving her first year on the Washington Legislative Youth Advisory Council. She enjoys playing soccer and volunteering at various community events. On why she decided to join ”I joined LYAC because politics and social justice are topics which I’m extremely passionate about. In essence, I care about people and have always used my voice to advocate for the disadvantaged. LYAC has given us the opportunity to be at the forefront of the legislative process, and make a difference for the youth of Washington.” Isaac Yi Isaac is a first-year WA LYAC member from Mill Creek, Washington. He is currently a Sophomore at Henry M. Jackson High school where he serves as Class President. At his school, he is actively involved in Turning Point USA, Speech & Debate, Knowledge Bowl, and tennis. Outside of school, he serves as Regional Field Director of the Frontier Region for High Schoolers For Freedom, an organization that promotes principles of fiscal responsibility, free markets, and limited government. On why he joined LYAC, “to represent the under-represented voices of Washington youth, to create genuine and realistic changes impacting Washington State, and to help support Washington youth become top-level academics, rightful protesters, and future leaders with significant legislative policies.”
Jaelyn Sotelo Jaelyn is currently a first-year member of the Legislative Youth Advisory Council and will be a junior at Skyview High School in Vancouver and full-time Running Start student at Clark College. She decided to join WA LYAC because of her passion for advocacy work, and her strong belief in the power of youth voice. She says, “Youth voice is important to share with lawmakers because youth are able to use their struggles to make the world a better place. When young people are energized and inspired, the whole globe can change for the better through their dedication and passion.” This year she is looking forward to speaking with her legislative representatives and having a part in planning Action Day.
Jonathan Mulenga Jonathan is a first-year member of the Washington Legislative Youth Advisory Council and Freshman at Auburn Mountainview High School. He currently holds a position on both the Auburn Junior City Council and Auburn Youth Council. In his free time, Jonathan enjoys theatrical acting and playing tennis. He joined the council because he wants to take a step from lobbying for local government to lobbying for state government issues. He is also eager to learn more about law-making and working with other council members from across the state.
Kellen Hoard Kellen is a Sophomore at Inglemoor High School and first-year member of Washington Legislative Youth Advisory Council. Kellen has interned on several political campaigns in the past. Outside of Washington LYAC, Kellen is involved in Model UN, Columbia Choirs, technical theater, and is an avid numismatist. After being selected as a council, he says “I am looking forward to advocating for change that will help young people across the state. By helping youth in particular, I believe we can help the state as a whole.”
Lily Medway Lily is currently serving her first year on the Washington Legislative Youth Advisory Council. She is a Junior at Issaquah High School in Bellevue and is looking forward to her term on the council. Lily serves as President of her youth group, Temple De Hirsch Sinai Youth and enjoys playing soccer for both her school and Eastside Football Club. She says she is looking forward to learning more about the legislative process and enhancing her leadership skills. She also hopes to create and inspire real change for the youth of Washington.
Lily Villa Lily is a first-year WA LYAC member and Sophomore at Mabton High School where she serves as the ASB Student Board Representative and is a member of the leadership team. At school, she plays Varsity softball, soccer, and the flute. On why she applied to Washington LYAC, “I decided to join LYAC because I intend to do more for our youth and with our youth to not only grow our communities but also create more leaders. Youth have been unable to voice their ideas, now is the time to make them heard and acknowledged.”
Lucash (Luke) Uniack Luke is a first year member of the Legislative Youth Advisory Council and a Freshman at Bishop Blanchet High School in Seattle, Washington. He is from the 36th legislative district. In addition to LYAC, he enjoys performing in community and school theater productions, is a leader in his Boy Scout troop, drums in his school band, and is founding president of the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library’s new Teen Advisory Board. Luke says, “I applied to LYAC because I want to meet like-minded people who are motivated to make a difference and who are willing to do the work to get there. “
Matthew Gardner Matthew is a Junior at Raisbeck Aviation High School and first-year member of WA LYAC. He is actively involved in his community amassing over 300 hours of community service in just two years. He has volunteered for various events including TeenFlight, Polish Hall, Normandy Park Arts Commission, Hoopfest, and even created his own charity. Matthew enjoys scuba diving and travelling in his free time. He says “I applied to LYAC because I want to make a difference and leave a lasting positive impact on my community and state. I am excited to learn more about the legislative process, and to learn about laws and politics from an insider’s perspective.”
Yubi Mamiya Yubi is a first-year member of WA LYAC and Sophomore at Shorewood High School. Outside of the council, she is a youth ambassador at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, an officer in her school’s Science Olympiad Club, and member of the Shorewood High School student government. In her free time, Yubi enjoys playing the piano, singing with the Seattle Youth Opera Project, and competing in Cross Country and Track & Field. She says, “I joined LYAC because I wanted to bring new perspectives of others into legislative action that will positively benefit all. The diverse experiences of Washington’s youth deserve to be heard.”