POSTED: Saturday, May 12, 2012 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Saturday, May 12, 2012 - 8:04am
BATON ROUGE, LA — Some of Louisiana's most outstanding students have been selected as new members of the Louisiana Legislative Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) and will work together over the next year in an effort to influence the legislative process and make the state a better place for young people. The council is a yearly-appointed body composed entirely of students that addresses issues affecting the youth of Louisiana and is overseen by the Louisiana Commission on Civic Education.
Now in its fifth year, LYAC facilitates the communication between youth and the legislature and gives students the unique opportunity to be involved in the workings of state government. LYAC members will have the opportunity to study and address issues of importance to young people, including education, employment, youth health and physical fitness, strategies to increase youth participation in local and state government, underage drinking, litter and environmental control, youth access to state and local services, and various other issues.
"The Legislative Youth Advisory Council provides a wonderful opportunity for young people, who are the future of our state and nation, to come together and discuss the challenges and triumphs of young citizens with each other and with their legislators," said State Senator Yvonne Dorsey-Colomb, Vice-Chair of the Louisiana Commission on Civic Education.
Members of the council are selected from a wide pool of applicants from around the state who display a strong interest in civic involvement. Two student members serve from each of the congressional districts (14 members) and seven (7) additional youth members from the state at-large. The members must be between the age of 14 and 19 and enrolled in a public or private high school or participating in a home study program.
"As we celebrate Louisiana’s Bicentennial and our rich history, it is important for the next generation to be involved as active citizens," said Beth Courtney, Chair of the Louisiana Commission on Civic Education, "I look forward to working with this outstanding group of young people."
Newly selected Members of the 2012-2013 Legislative Youth Advisory Council are:
Jack Mierl, Mandevelle High School, Mandeville
Robin Spiess, Lakeshore High School, Mandeville
Ariane Schaffer, Lusher Charter School, New Orleans
Nicholaus Living, Helen Cox High School, Harvey
Brandy Milliman, Catholic High School, New Iberia
Kalin Larousse, Thibodaux High School, Thibodaux
Eleanor Gilbert, Glenbrook School, Minden
Karryn Paulsen, Loyola College Preparatory, Shreveport
Rebecca Aaron, Bolton High School, Alexandria
Mallory Bacon, Bolton High School, Alexandria
Uday Toodi, McKinley Senior High School, Baton Rouge
Jasmine Littles, Zachary High School, Zachary
Laura Bowers, Barbe High School, Lake Charles
Monique Claiborne, Westminster Christian Academy, Lafayette
Clay Parker, St. Thomas Aquinas Regional Catholic High School, Hammond
Taylar Boutte, New Iberia Senior High School, New Iberia
Leah Cavalier, New Iberia Senior High School, New Iberia
Rache'l Oatis, Lutcher High School, Lutcher
Austin Nelson, Pineville High School, Pineville
Nooreen Moosa, Episcopal High School, Baton Rouge
Kesany Boupapanh, LA School for Math, Science & Art, Natchitoches
Alternate Members include the following:
Harry Fink, Slidell High School, Slidell
Patrick Flanigan, Mandeville High School, Mandeville
J Cindy Simporios, Helen Cox High School, Harvey
Gregory Estes, Sarah T. Reed High School, New Orleans
Michael Favorite, Donaldsonville High School, Donaldsonville
Sara Brasseaux, Westgate High School, New Iberia
Allison Waddell, Captain Shreve High School, Shreveport
Carie Dupree, Haughton High School, Haughton
Bethany Rhodes, Farmerville High School, Farmerville
Taylor Barr, Bolton High School, Alexandria
Zoe Swarzenski, Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Baton Rouge
Kamesha Brumfield, Scotlandville Magnet High School, Scotlandville
Wallace Myers, Bethel Christian School, Jennings
Leslye Guidry, St. Louis Catholic High School, Lake Charles
Lindsey Landry, Barbe High School, Lake Charles
Nina Hoffpauir, Lafayette High School, Lafayette
Jade Spears, Baton Rouge Magnet High School, Baton Rouge
Stephanie Lutfallah, Alexandria Senior High School, Alexandria
Joshua Bertalotto, Avoyelles Public Charter School, Mansura
Victoria Stryker, Westgate High School, New Iberia
Drew Walker, Fontainebleau High School, Mandeville
New LYAC members will participate in an orientation and leadership seminar in July 2012. Major initiatives and activities of the councilhttp://www.lightenuplouisiana.org) include participating on the Louisiana Public Broadcasting program, Louisiana Public Square; partnering with the Louisiana World Peace Day Committee on world peace activities held each Fall; participating in Global Youth Service Day; awarding LYAC Leadership awards to outstanding young leaders each year; and, promoting opportunities for a youth voice in local government.
The current members of the 2011-2012 Youth Advisory Council will hold their final meeting Saturday, May 12 at 1:00 p.m. in Senate Committee Room A of the Louisiana State Capitol to issue final reports on the many initiatives and activities they participated in during the year.