The Youth Action Council (YAC) is an opportunity for youth leaders to develop their own power and empower others to effect change. UP’s YAC also advises UP for Learning and co-creates programming. YAC members are in a position to activate youth-adult partnership and learner agency statewide. Middle and high school youth represent teams engaged in participatory action research and educational equity work.
YAC members revise, adapt, and direct their vision and action. UP staff support the group in evolving to meet the needs of the group and to address pressing issues in schools and communities. On October 16, UP hosted its first youth facilitator onboarding retreat. YAC membership is open to all UP youth facilitators, including our partners in VT, MA, DE, MS, NH, CT, OK, and beyond!
Isis is currently an 11th grader at Three Rivers Middle College in southeastern Connecticut. She shares an avid love of cooking, reading, and language learning. During the summer of 2022, she was selected for a two-month scholarship with the US State Department where she got the opportunity to live and learn Arabic in Morocco. After high school, Isis hopes to go on to earn a degree in International Relations with interests in continuing to work abroad for the State Department. Isis also works with the student-led publication Trailblazers and serves on UP’s Board of Directors.
Maisie Franke (she/her) joined UP for Learning in the spring of 2020. She is currently a senior and is super excited to be attending the University of Vermont next year! She is a student representative on her school board and tries to take advantage of every opportunity to increase student voice that comes her way.
She joined UP as a youth facilitator with Cultivating Pathways to Sustainability and is continuing her work as a Youth Program Specialist and secretary for UP’s Board of Directors. She spent last year creating the Youth Leadership Module with support from youth from her school and is thrilled to witness the content in action with teams engaged in every area of UP’s work. Maisie strongly believes in the power of youth-adult partnership and is working towards empowering youth to feel more confident and comfortable with being in leadership roles so they can create meaningful change in their communities.
Maisie loves to ski and spends as much time as she can outdoors exploring new trails and searching for fresh powder with friends, teammates, and family. She hopes to pursue becoming certified as a WildernessFfirst Responder in the future and can’t wait for all the new experiences to come in college!
Town, State: Milton, Vermont
Favorite food: Chocolate chip cookies
Favorite hobby: Dancing
Favorite thing about UP: Their goals of encouraging youth to work with adults. We, the youth, are the future! Getting to have the experience of these leadership opportunities will prepare us greatly for what the future will hold.
Ana Lindert-Boyes is a senior at Twinfield Union School and is enrolled in the Early College program at Goddard College in Plainfield. At Twinfield, she has been actively involved in advocating for education reform, youth activism, and antiracism as a representative on the School Board, a member of their Student Voice group, Equity team, and more. This year, she is excited to be co-teaching a class centered around examining equity through a restorative practices lens.
First as a participant of Transforming School Culture Through Restorative Practices, then later as a co-facilitator, Ana has been working with UP since her freshman year. During her time as a youth partner, she has become a member of UP’s Youth Action Council, connected with Vermont Learning for the Future, and planned and facilitated in a number of different contexts, including the Power 2 summit for several years.
In her free time, both playing and listening to music bring her joy, as well as reading, writing, and traveling.
Becca Orten is a junior at Middlebury Union High School. She participates in her school’s human rights coalition, as well as varsity soccer. In the past, she has been involved with organizations such as Vermont Afterschool, Voices for Vermont’s Children, HOBY, and Young Writers Project, working to create social change and amplify youth voice.