Our Youth Advisory Board (YAB) are members selected for their leadership and service informed by children and youth concerns regarding child abuse, neglect, and exploitation. We are so grateful to have these exemplary and dedicated young people on our team guiding our organization and “Youth-Inspired Solutions to End Abuse.”
Click here to go to our Youth Advisory Board page.
Avital attended school at St. Mary’s Academy in downtown Portland from her sophomore to junior year. She will spend the next two years at United World College, at their United States campus in Montezuma, New Mexico. UWC is an IB program whose mission is to make education a force to unite people, nations, and cultures for peace and a sustainable future. The school focuses on intercultural understanding, international relations, and conflict resolution and over 70 different countries will be represented in the student body. She learned of American SPCC through speaking at their Youth Forum with her nonprofit, Youth Ending Slavery. Youth Ending Slavery is an entirely youth-led non-profit dedicated to raising awareness about human trafficking in Portland and the World. In addition, Avital has worked directly with women experiencing trafficking by volunteering at Rahab’s Sisters, an organization which provides resources, a sit-down meal, toiletries, and a safe space for women in the SE 82nd area. Avital also joined the Human Trafficking Task Force, which is an entity sponsored through the City of Portland which is dedicated to providing education and resources to populations that are at heightened risk of being trafficked.
Avital is passionate about public policy and international relations. She co-lead her school’s bipartisan politics club, Politics Without Borders. She also interned for the Democratic Party of Oregon during the 2014 general election. Avital participated in Mock Trial and Constitution Team at her school. Her favorite subjects are History, English, and French. In her rare free moments, Avital enjoys reading and running, typically not at the same time. Avital hopes to pursue a career in government, diplomacy, law, or non profit work. She looks forward to continuing her work with American SPCC because every child deserves safety, love, and the opportunity to succeed.
Lena attends St. Mary’s Academy and will graduate in 2016. Lena has volunteered at the Blanchet House of Hospitality. She has also volunteered at the Helen Gordon Child Development Center, Outdoor School, and Freedom Camp— a children’s day-camp focused on the past and current civil rights movement. She is both a contributor and board member of the SMA Radio. Lena is also a member and leader of her school’s literary journal Escribe Maria.
She was a director’s apprentice for Circle Theatre Productions’s Steel Magnolias in 2013. More recently, she was a spotlight operator for Pixie Dust’s 2014 production of La Cage Aux Folles (more commonly known as The Birdcage). She is a Young Professional with Oregon Children’s Theatre; with OCT, she was assistant director of Fancy Nancy in 2014 and columbinus in 2015. She is a member of Pacific Youth Choir and her school’s Marian Singers. She has won varied levels of recognition in the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for her poetry and personal memoirs. In 2014, she was awarded second place in the Oregon Poetry Association’s Student Contest and fourth place in the National Manningham contest. Unsurprisingly, Lena enjoys creative writing in her spare time, as well as public speaking, baking pastries, and eating said pastries. Lena is particularly interested in social justice issues concerning race or gender. Lena is overjoyed to be a member of such a fabulous organization which is working so forcefully to put an end to the issues so many are simply ignoring.
Evan became involved with the American SPCC as a volunteer at the Youth Forum, and quickly became a member of the Youth Advisory Board in early 2015. Evan’s commitment to the organization stems from his belief that children have the right to have their voices be heard and taken to heart. He is especially passionate about providing queer youth with a supportive environment to grow. In his spare time, Evan enjoys photography, painting, and playing the keyboard.
Outside of her social justice work, Olivia has been dancing since she was 11 starting at Arts & Communication Magnet Academy, where she attended middle and high school, and now works as a dance instructor in the Tualitin Hills Parks and Recreation District teaching ages 2 through 13. Along with dancing, Olivia has also been singing since the age of seven. In her free time, Olivia enjoys eating gummy worms, watching “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia,” spending time in Portland with friends, reading, studying, going to social change demonstrations, and listening to Kendrick Lamar.
Oscar is a sophomore at Portland Community College Sylvania. He became part of the Youth Advisory board of American SPCC through a youth led non-profit organization called Momentum Alliance–an organization that empowers youth collectively and individually to mentor future social justice leaders. Oscar is a founding board member of MA and has since been helping create summer, winter and spring camps and facilitating some of them for the organization.
Oscar has always been interested in being free-minded. He doesn’t know where his life will lead him but with his interests in music, film, politics and civil rights the choices are many. He joined the Youth Advisory board because he wants to gather more knowledge about an issue that not many people know about and seeing what he can do to change and better the lives of the people in his city.