Youth Advisory Council

Youth Advisory Council: Youth At the Center

The Youth Advisory Council is a leadership opportunity for youth leaders to effectively develop their own power and empower others to affect 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. We are middle and high school youth that represent teams engaged in participatory action research and educational equity across Vermont.

Isis Bandele-Asante

Youth Advisory Council

Hello! My name is Isis. I am a sophomore at The Piney Woods School in Mississippi but live in Southeastern Connecticut. In addition to being a part of the YAC, I am a member of Cultivating Pathways for Sustainability and a facilitator for Racial Justice Dialogues. Outside of UP, I am a facilitator for North Dakota Study Group, Listening 4 Justice, and have worked with Hearing Youth Voices, a non-profit based in Connecticut.


When I am not involved in social justice work, I enjoy cooking, playing chess, and sailing.

Brody Brown

Youth Advisory Council

Brody joined UP for Learning in the Fall of 2020. He is a Senior at Williamstown Middle High School, attending Norwich University partaking in his freshman year of college through the Early College Program. Brody is the senior board representative from Williamstown on the Paine Mountain School District School Board. He is looking forward to working with other co-facilitators to advocate for youth and adult partnerships in schools to reimagine and push the boundaries of education.

Brody originally joined UP for Learning as part of the Youth and Adults Transforming Schools together program and is continuing his work as a Youth Action Council member and co-facilitator.

Brody enjoys hiking with friends, values spending time with family, and enjoys playing with his two dogs.

Maisie Franke

Co-chair, Youth Advisory Council

Maisie Franke joined UP for Learning in the spring of 2020. She is a junior and student school board representative at Harwood Union High School. She is looking forward to this year when she has the opportunity to co-teach a leadership class at her school that prioritizes student voice and dialogue based learning. She hopes to use this class as a venue to have conversations around racism and our education system, two topics she’s passionate about along with climate change and the environment.

She joined UP as a youth facilitator with Cultivating Pathways to Sustainability and is continuing that work this year along with being the youth board member, and a Youth Advisory Council (YAC) co-chair. Maisie strongly believes in the power of youth adult partnership and is working towards bringing those ideas into other aspects of her life. 

Maisie loves to ski and spends as much time as she can out in the wilderness exploring new trails and searching for fresh powder with friends, teammates, and family. She runs cross-country in the fall and is excited to be a nordic captain this winter! 

Ana Lindert-Boyes

Youth Advisory Council

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 Advisory 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.

Mantra Burugu

Youth Advisory Council

Mantra Burugu is a senior at Farmington High School in Farmington, Connecticut. She dreams of crafting a successful career out of her passion for coding by becoming a renowned computer scientist. Because of her interests, she plays a major role in her school’s Robotics team, social justice clubs, and literature clubs. In her free time, she enjoys reading and writing.

Ella Dice

Youth Advisory Council

Ella Dice is a Junior at Harwood Union High School. She is passionate about student voice and creating change in her community. She is co-teaching a classroom dialogue class, where she can teach others how to hold space and lead with honesty and transparency! She believes strongly that it is important to hold space and uplift others. She loves to facilitate dialogues and meet new people from around the world. Ella first joined Up for Learning through Cultivating Sustainable Pathways, and has been facilitating Racial Justice dialogues ever since! She loves to be surrounded by family and friends. In her free time, she loves to ski, swim, play tennis, travel, read and be in nature! She is a crystal collector and is a self-proclaimed mac and cheese critic.

Sarah Hannan

Youth Advisory Council

Sarah is a junior at Farmington High School in Farmington, Connecticut. Sarah has developed a passion for music and art and has enjoyed taking many music and art classes in school. In addition, she enjoys participating in advocacy groups both through school and outside of school. She hopes to pursue a career where she can channel her passion for advocacy and creativity.

Addie Lentzer

Youth Advisory Council

Hi! My name is Addie Lentzer. I am a high school senior at Arlington Memorial High School in Southern Vermont. I co-founded the Vermont Anti-Racism Network, a student group that works on curriculum change, policy change, and building anti-racist schools in our state. Along with anti-racism and education reform, I am an advocate for ending homelessness in Vermont. I strive to use the power of youth voice to enact social change as long as I am young enough to leverage it!

Katie Lewton

Youth Advisory Council

Kate Lewton is a senior at Stowe High School, and an Outreach Coordinator Intern for Trailblazers Magazine! She loves hearing about all the cool things students are doing for Trailblazers, and is excited for the rest of the year. In her free time, she loves watching movies, skiing, playing basketball, and learning new things!

Mira Novak

Youth Advisory Council

Mira Novak is an 8th Grader at Shelburne Community School.

In her free time, Mira likes to cook, bake, do arts and crafts and watch Parks and Recreation!

She is passionate about social and environmental justice of all kinds and loves being part of UP for Learning and creating change!

Becca Orten

Youth Advisory Council

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. 

She is also passionate about running, guitar, sketching, reading Wikipedia articles, and getting ridiculously lost while biking.

Galen Reese

Co-chair, Youth Advisory Council

Galen Reese is a junior at Lamoille Union High School.

Believing that youth should have a voice regarding any issue that concerns them, he has been a passionate advocate for education reform on both the local and state level. He represents the students of his school on his district school board and is a vocal member of both his school YATST team and Student Council.

When he isn’t involved in youth activism, he enjoys skiing, playing guitar, and traveling.

Youth Advisory Council Alumni

Erubey Lopez

Evelyn Monje

Alex Smart

On the Waterfront:
YAC members share more about their experience in Town Meeting TV's "On the Waterfront" with Melinda Moulton.