Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation

Get to Know Our 2016-17 Youth Council Members!

Katie Ballard - Freshman at Greenhills School
Favorite Food: Pasta
Favorite Historical Figure: Albert Einstein
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: Social pressure

 

Ellie Falahee - Junior at Father Gabriel Richard High School
Reason for Joining YC: I wanted to be part of a community of other high schoolers like myself who are dedicated to improving the lives of the youth around us and have a chance to really make a difference!
Favorite Historical Figure: Malala Yousafzai
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: Unequal access to educational (and other) opportunities

 

Nina Farahanchi - Junior at Greenhills School
Favorite Food: Twizzlerz!
Favorite Historical Figure: An Iranian artist named Shirin Neshat. She is an Iranian immigrant (like my parents) and her work is about the political situation in Iran, and as a result of her opinion, she was exiled from her country, but she embodies what it means to stand up for what is right and she is a very interesting influential female leader for Iranian women.
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: A sense of fitting in and belonging. Whether it’s belonging to a group of friends, family, or an extracurricular activity. There is no feeling like having a place where you are appreciated for who you are and the unique contributions you bring to the table.

Brynne Hindle - Junior at Greenhills School
Favorite Historical Figure: Frederick Douglass
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: Mental health and education
Super Hero Power: To be able to read people's minds!!

 

Celia Kent - Sophomore at Huron High School
Reason for Joining YC: I joined the Youth Council because I heard from past members that they had a great experience and I thought that it would be a good way to become more involved with the community.
Favorite Historical Figure: Michelle Obama
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: The biggest issue I see youth face today is that they are not able to access materials and support they need in order to be successful.

Lena Lee - Sophomore at Pioneer High School
Reason for Joining YC: Want to give back to the community, like trying new things and meeting new people, want to empower youth 
Favorite Historical Figure: Madeleine Albright
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: Developing a strong sense of self-identity and self-worth

Zayd Mian - Sophomore at Washtenaw International (WIHI)
Reason for joining YC: I wanted the opportunity to learn about the grant-giving process and to learn more about various non-profits while helping give back to the community.
Favorite Historical Figure: Archimedes
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: Youth often lack the skills, platform, and the empowerment to have their voice be heard and represented in their community, which makes them feel alienated.

Athul Nair - Sophomore at Washtenaw International (WIHI)
Reason for joining the YC: To serve the youth in my community, and make their lives better!
Favorite Food: Noodles
Super Hero Power: Superhuman speed and reflexes

 

 

Catherine Nicoli - Junior at Community High School
Reason for joining YC: I've grown up in a wealthy, fortunate, privileged family... I sought a way to use my privilege to help those with less privilege than I have.
Favorite Historical Figure: Gloria Steinem
Super Hero Power: Animal Shape-shifting

Naseem Othman - Senior at Skyline High School
Reason for joining YC: I wanted to help youth, whatever that meant. Honestly, I didn't know the extent of the work the Youth Council and the Community Foundation as a whole does to help people in and around Ann Arbor. I'm just grateful that I had the opportunity to really see first hand what "helping youth" meant.
Favorite Historical Figure: FDR. The New Deal is so cool.
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: I see a lot of discrepancies in the education that the students in the "lower" end classes get compared to the one the students in the AP and AC classes receive. Also I really wish students were more politically active.

Jack Reid - Junior at Pioneer High School
Reason for Joining YC: I joined YC because I wanted to help my community and work with other kids from Ann Arbor
Favorite Food: Chicken
Super Hero Power: Ability to control time

 

Lawrence Rowley - Senior at Huron High School
Reason for Joining YC: Learn more about the community, and be a part of a "club" outside of Huron.
Favorite Historical Figure: Malcom X
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: Not getting all the info they need about college.

Chichi Ruwende - Sophomore at Greenhills School
Favorite Historical Figure: Oscar Wilde
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: A lack of focus on mental health
Super Hero Power: Mind-reading

 

 

Elena Schroeder - Freshman at Skyline High School
Reason for Joining YC: I wanted to join YC because I want to make a difference in the world and starting small can make a big difference. The impact that we can and have made is truly incredible and it's such an awesome group of people that I'm so lucky to associate, work with, and even become friends with.
Favorite Food: Tacos and crab!!
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: There is so much peer pressure in our society and so kids end up doing things they may not really want to. Also, there is not enough resources for kids that struggle financially to be able to be apart of the things that they want to be a part of and that's something that needs to change.

Zain Souweidane - Junior at Pioneer High School
Reason for Joining YC: Although it's clichè, I wanted to be able to impact my community. I thought this would help give me a voice in my community, and get my voice across. Also, I wanted to know more about the programs and non-profits in the area.
Favorite Historical Figure: Lou Gehrig
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: The biggest issue is the lack of understanding between people, and the need to conform to certain standards. People don't feel comfortable being themselves. Also, people don't understand each other's cultures or beliefs, which leads to unnecessary fears and differences.

Sam Talsma - Senior at Greenhills School
Reason for Joining YC: I joined the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation because I wanted to get to know my community better and make sure that I did my part in giving the youth of the Ann Arbor area a voice.
Favorite Historical Figure: Galileo Galilei
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: The issue of trying to navigate a world that is constantly changing.

Kevin Tan - Junior at Huron High School
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: Lack of truly focused and passionate learning due to societal pressure for GPA's, SAT, ACT, and other standardized testing scores.
Favorite Historical Figure: Steve Jobs
Super Hero Power: Ability to literally memorize everything and recall them instantaneously.

Jordan Tirico - Junior at Skyline High School
Reason for Joining YC: To serve as a voice for the ever-so important youth community in and around Ann Arbor, and truly making a difference.
Favorite Historical Figure: Nelson Mandela
Super Hero Power: Telekinesis!

Dabao Zhang - Sophomore at Pioneer High School
Reason for Joining YC: To more actively engage in my community
Favorite Historical Figure: Franklin D. Roosevelt
Biggest Issue Facing Youth: Lack of awareness of the world around them