Lone Star Leadership Academy Staff

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Directors

Kristi Baker

Kristi Baker earned her teaching degree from the University of Texas at Arlington. She taught elementary PE in Irving ISD for 11 years and currently teaches in Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD. Kristi works as a Director for Education in Action because she enjoys working with students and watching them grow in their leadership skills, while making new friends and having fun.

Mike Benson

Michael Benson earned his degree in Mass Communications from Texas State University in 2005. He became a certified teacher in 2007 in San Antonio where he taught for 10 years. Michael teaches fifth grade reading and writing at Parkwood Hill Intermediate in Keller ISD. Michael works as a Director for Education in Action because he enjoys continuing to work with students during the summer break and loves seeing students experience new opportunities. He feels that students minds and personalities are enhanced when they are given the chance to venture out into unknown territory and delve into new things.

Rebecca Hickman

Rebecca Hickman earned a Business Degree from the University of North Texas in 2001. She worked as a Financial Analyst and Corporate trainer for Xerox Corporation until 2004 when she earned her teaching certificate. Rebecca works as an Instructional Coach in Keller ISD and has worked with Education in Action since 2005. She enjoys working with Education in Action because of the unique learning opportunity it offers students.

Timmothy Hypolite

Timmothy Hypolite earned his degree in Political Science and Criminal Justice with a specialization in Juvenile Justice from Prairie View A&M University. He is an eighth grade English Language Arts and Reading teacher at Campbell Middle School in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD in Houston. Timmothy is a Director for Education in Action because he enjoys being able to invest in students and the experience allows them to not only learn but have a hands-on opportunity that impacts beyond the summer.

Mark Lederman

Mark Lederman attended the University of Texas at Arlington and earned his Business Communication and Marketing Bachelor of Arts in 1991. He has taught English, World History, and Economics at Timberview High School in Mansfield ISD for the past two years. Prior to that, Mark taught Language Arts and Social Studies at Mansfield ISD's Louise Cabaniss Elementary for five years. Mark works as a Facilitator for Education in Action because he enjoys sharing the discovery of new information and instilling the love of lifelong learning to all the young people he meets. Having fun, learning, and leaving students with lasting knowledge are his teaching goals.

Paul Montreuil

Paul Montreuil earned his degree in Education from Southeastern Louisiana University in 1999. He has taught sixth grade in the Eagle Mountain-Saginaw ISD for 17 years. Paul works for Education in Action as a Director because he enjoys working with the best students from all across Texas and watching them grow. The leadership skills learned is what keeps Paul coming back year after year. He is certain that these camp students will return to their schools and communities as stronger leaders.

Jen Nguyen

Jen Nguyen earned her degree in Biology at the University of North Texas. She currently works for Irving ISD teaching sixth and seventh grade math. Jen works as a Director for Education in Action because she loves working with students and knows how important it is to motivate kids to be leaders to those around them.

Denise Parham

Denise Parham earned her teaching degree from Tarleton State University. This is her third year at Highland Elementary School in Tulia ISD. She taught kindergarten the past eight years and has worked in education for twenty-five years. This will be her sixth summer with Education in Action. Denise will celebrate her 31st wedding anniversary this summer. She has two adult children, one in college and one graduate.

Lisa Sniggs

Rex Stephenson

Rex Stephenson has been an eighth grade American History teacher at Robert E. Lee Middle School in San Angelo ISD for the past 26 years. He earned his teaching degree from Angelo State University. He is a Director with Education in Action because he feels the camps provide an awesome opportunity for motivated kids to display leadership skills.

Terri Stout

Terri Stout earned her undergraduate degree from Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles, CA. She earned her MBA from Claremont Graduate School. After 15 years in the business world, she went back to school to earn her teaching degree. Currently, Terri teaches third grade at Daffron Elementary School in Plano ISD.

Facilitators and Assistant Directors

Corey Anderson

Corey Anderson graduated from the University of North Texas and has taught third and fifth graders. He just completed his third year of teaching.

Shea Bloemhof

Shea Bloemhof earned her teaching degree from Tarleton State University in 2008. She has taught English-Language Arts in Stephenville ISD since 2015. Before that she taught in San Antonio for seven years. Shea is excited to work with the campers as a Facilitator to see them learn and experience new things outside the classroom.

Antony Bouaphanh

Felisha Brady

Felisha Brady graduated from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with a degree in Political Science and earned her Master of Public Administration from Auburn University in Montgomery. For 14 years, Felisha taught government, economics, and history. Currently, she is an Academic Specialist at Sam Houston Middle School in Irving ISD. Felisha has worked with Education in Action for seven years. She enjoys working the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps because of the diverse and fun students and adults with whom she is able to work.

Julie Chappa

Julie Chappa earned her Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of North Texas in 1996 and her Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Texas at Tyler in 2011. She currently teaches secondary math at Mineola High School. Julie chose to work as a Facilitator for Education in Action after seeing first-hand the impact the program had on her daughter who attended all three camps as both a camper and a youth facilitator. She enjoys Texas history and loves sharing that knowledge with students.

Mark Chavez

Jonathan Craig

Jonathan Craig earned his bachelor degree in psychology from the University of Phoenix. He went on to receive his teaching certificate through an alternative certification program. He taught Social Studies at International Leadership of Texas in Grand Prairie before moving to Grand Prairie ISD where he has taught 6th grade social studies and ELAR for four years. Jonathan enjoys working as a Facilitator on the camps to help students keep their minds fresh during the summer while building on their knowledge of the great state of Texas.

Ryan Estes

Ryan Estes earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Minnesota State University Moorhead where he majored in History. Ryan then earned his teaching degree from the University of North Texas in Denton. He has taught 6th Grade Social Studies and 7th Grade GT Texas History classes at Evans Middle School in McKinney ISD for the past 16 years. Ryan works as a Facilitator for Education in Action because he enjoys helping students have fun while they expand their knowledge of the great state of Texas.

Marian Fleischman

Marian Fleischmann earned her teaching degree from Texas Woman's University in Denton in 2014. She has taught 6th, 7th, and 8th grade beginner ESL at E.B. Comstock Middle School in Dallas ISD for the past five years. Marian works as a Facilitator for Education in Action because she enjoys working with students during the summer break. She feels Lone Star Leadership Academy camps enable students to keep their minds fresh and build on their knowledge of the great state of Texas.

Kevin Hurn

Kevin Hurn earned his degree in General Studies from Texas Tech University and obtained his teaching certificate from iTeach Texas. He has been a Social Studies teacher at Silverton School for the past three years. Kevin works as a Facilitator for Education in Action because he loves his job and the students he works with. He takes pride in helping kids obtain knowledge and leadership skills. Kevin feels the camps are fun, engaging, and a great learning experience for students.

Jennifer Kranzberg

Jennifer Kranzberg earned her teaching degree from Dallas Baptist University in 1998. Then, went on to earn her Masters Degree in Education in 2009. She taught 8th Grade US History and has been the Department Head for Social Studies at Stafford Middle School in Frisco ISD for the past six years. Jennifer works as an Assistant Director and Facilitator for Education in Action because she enjoys continuing to work with the students during the summer break. She feels the students are able to learn more about Texans and their leadership while building on their knowledge of the great state of Texas.

Candice Kumor

Candice Kumor earned a Masters in Education from Midwestern State University and a Bachelors in Teaching from Texas A&M University. Currently she is the Innovation Specialist at Overton Ray Elementary in Burkburnett ISD. This past school year, she also taught 3rd grade virtually due to the necessity for online education. She has taught a total of 14 years in Texas public schools yet continues to learn something new every day from her students and colleagues. Candice works as an Assistant Direction for Education in Acton because she lives for the moment when new information and student’s reality collide, creating a light bulb moment that changes them forever. She believes that the right time to start training our future leaders is now.

Matt Maire

Matt Maire earned his degree in Education from the University of North Texas. He has been a history teacher in Lewisville ISD for the past 15 years teaching 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. He is a Facilitator for Education in Action because he enjoys working with students during the summer break and it is a fun way to keep minds sharp over the summer.

John McConnell

John McConnell earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Saint Mary College in Leavenworth, KS. John also has a Doctorate in Sacred Music from Christian Bible Institute. He has 26 years of teaching experience and is currently an English/Language Arts and Reading Teacher at West Briar Middle School in Houston ISD. John works as a Facilitator for Education in Action because he loves introducing fun and exciting opportunities to children. John is also a songwriter. He said, “After such an awesome summer facilitating the leadership camps, I was inspired to write a song to express the true essence and intention of the camps." We invite you to take a listen to the song he wrote and performed which he titled "Education in Action"! The link is on the bottom of this page: www.educationinaction.org/lone-star-leadership-academy

Katherine McGregor

Katherine McGregor earned her teaching degree from Texas College in Tyler in 1991. She has taught second through fourth grades and for the last five years has taught third grade math at Christene C. Moss Elementary School in Fort Worth ISD. Katherine works as a Facilitator for Education in Action because she enjoys continuing to work with students during her summer break. She feels that students should experience our rich Texas history first-hand by combining fun and exposure.

Lesley Nichelson

Lesley Nickelson earned her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1993. She went on to work in Human Resources for the next few years before finding her calling in teaching which she started in 2000. Her love of reading and literacy led her to pursue a Master's Degree from Sam Houston State University in Library and Information Science that landed her a job as a librarian in Humble ISD in an elementary and now a middle school. Lesley works as an Assistant Director for Education in Action because she loves working with the leaders of tomorrow and helping guide them in their learning and discoveries.

Alexa Ouellette

Alexa Ouellette earned her teaching degree from Texas A&M Commerce in 2019. She has taught 5th Grade Science classes at B. McDaniel Intermediate School in Denison, TX for the past two years. Alexa works as a Facilitator for Education in Action because she enjoys continuing to work with students during the summer break. She feels the students are able to keep their minds fresh and build on their knowledge of the great state of Texas.

Clyde Parham

Clyde Parham earned his teaching degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1988. He taught high school and junior high history for 26 years and was a principal in Silverton ISD for four years. He is currently the Athletic Director at Silverton ISD and enjoys working with students of all ages. Clyde is working his second summer with Education in Action as a Facilitator, He enjoys working with students during the summer because he believes that it is important to further the knowledge of today's youth to make the future bright for all Texans.

Elias Perez

Elias Perez earned his Bachelors degree in Political Science from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2019. He is certified to teach 7th-12th grade Social Studies and works at Gunn Junior High as a Classroom Assistant. Elias is a Facilitator on the camps because he enjoys teaching inside and outside of the classroom.

Danielle Welch

Danielle Welch received her teaching degree from Tarleton State University in Stephenville in 2008. She currently teaches eighth grade Reading/English in Iowa Park. Danielle is a Facilitator with Education in Action because she enjoys working with leaders from across the state of Texas.

Michelle Weller

Michelle Weller earned her degree in Education and Leadership from Dallas Christian College. She has taught 3rd Grade Math and Science for six years at Leadership Prep School in Frisco, TX. Michelle works as a Facilitator because the camps motivate children to be lifelong learners by providing educational and fun experiences.

Chad Wiseman

Chad Wiseman received his Bachelor's Degree in Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio and his Master’s in Educational Leadership from Texas Christian University (Go Frogs!) He currently serves as the 5th grade Reading and Language Arts Teacher at T.L. Marsalis STEAM Academy in Dallas ISD. Chad has also mentored both high school and college students through his involvement with TCU’s STEM Scholar program. Serving as a Facilitator and Assistant Director this summer, he will hold his students responsible for reaching their fullest potential and serve as a resource to assist every step of the way!

Youth Facilitators

Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council members have the unique opportunity to return on camps as Youth Facilitators. As Youth Facilitators, these young leaders serve as mentors to the campers, assist the adult Facilitators, and assist camp Directors behind the scenes. Click here to learn more about the Alumni Council and Youth Facilitators.

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Michael Acosta

Michael is an 8th grader in Humble ISD. Michael is a Youth Facilitator because he wants to take on the opportunity and learn how to lead a group. He also enjoyed his time at the camp and wants to learn more about what it takes to be a leader. Michael just completed his first year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Anya Aggarwal

Anya is a 9th grader at The Hockaday School. Anya is a Youth Facilitator because, by attending all three camps she gained tremendous confidence, independence, and experience with working with other students from all over Texas. It really helped her hone in on her strengths and realize how much she could share with others and learn from them, too! She wants to bring her experiences full circle and help new kids feel more comfortable with their first experience with the Lone Star Leadership Academy. She is continuing with Education in Action because she truly believes it allows her to become part of the power of education. Anya has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for three years.

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Megal Alla

Megal is an 9th grader at St. Stephen's Episcopal School. Megal is a Youth Facilitator to hone her leadership skills even further and to explore Texas while reliving her experiences as a Lone Star Leadership Academy camper. Having the opportunity to mentor younger students as a Youth Facilitator will allow her to demonstrate the leadership qualities she has been developing this past year with her service project and SHINE lessons, and give her the opportunity to acquire more leadership skills from fellow Youth Facilitators and counselors. During her time as a camper, she looked up to her Youth Facilitators, and knew that one day she would love to return one day to fulfill that role. By becoming a Youth Facilitator, she hopes to be the role model and mentor to other campers that her Youth Facilitators were for her. She strongly believes being a Youth Facilitator would also help her work on her own leadership skills. Megal just completed her second year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Sonal Alla

Sonal is an 10th grader at St. Stephen's Episcopal School. Sonal is a Youth Facilitator because she loves mentoring younger students and offering insight. One of her favorite parts of camp was getting to meet the Youth Facilitators. They made a huge impression on her and she still keeps in touch with some of them. They offered her guidance and expertise, and she was also able to relate to them since they had already been in her place a few years before. As a Youth Facilitator, she hopes to provide the same support to younger students. Sonal just completed her second year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Brandon Botyos

Brandon is a 9th grader in Denton ISD. Brandon is a Youth Facilitator because he feels it will be a very cool learning and growing experience and that it will be fun to be an example for emerging young leaders. It will be his way of giving back to the Lone Star Leadership Academy. Brandon has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for 3 years.

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Bri Botyos

Bri is an 8th grader in Denton ISD. Bri is a Youth Facilitator because she wants to learn more about being a great leader. She appreciates the Lone Star Leadership Academy giving her this amazing opportunity and wants to inspire new emerging leaders! Bri has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for two years.

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Addison Bouillion

Addison is an 11th grader in Georgetown ISD. Addison is a Youth Facilitator because of the experience that the Lone Star Leadership Academy provided her when she was in middle school. She never really enjoyed summer camps until she found this one. People would always joke and say she was attending "nerd camp," but she enjoyed this camp so much that she continued to go back. She wants to help provide that same experience to kids and to show them that it's okay to like "nerdy" things and that having a passion for learning isn't something to be ashamed about, but something to be excited for. Addison just completed her first year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Elizabeth Brown

Elizabeth is an 8th grader in Klein ISD. Elizabeth is a Youth Facilitator because she feels like she can help kids that are shy to get out of their shell because she was that kid that was shy at the beginning, but now she is not shy at all. Elizabeth just completed her second year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Annelise Bryer

Annalise is an 8th grader in Round Rock ISD. Annalise is a Youth Facilitator because she has gone to two Leadership Camps before, and she really enjoyed them and thought that they helped her grow her leadership skills a lot. She has always enjoyed leading a group and being a Youth Facilitator would let her do that. She also wants to give back to the program with this opportunity. Annalise just completed her third year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Ariel Draper

Ariel is an 11th grader in Copperas Cove ISD. Ariel is a Youth Facilitator because she wants to help Texas youth grow and to enhance her teaching skill set. Ariel has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for three years.

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Kristopher Hodgin

Kristopher is a 9th grader in Katy ISD. Kristopher is a Youth Facilitator because he has found profound enjoyment from his experiences with the Lone Star Leadership Academy and he had a chance to meet new people and go to new places. Kristopher just completed his third year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Sarah Hornung

Sarah is a 9th grader in Richard ISD. Sarah is a Youth Facilitator because she wants the opportunity for more leadership activities. Also, when she went through the Lone Star Leadership Academy camps she had a lot of fun and she wants to share that experience with younger students. Sarah just completed her first year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Timothy Jenkins

Timothy is a 9th grader in Belton ISD. Timothy is a Youth Facilitator because he wants to be an example of leadership for students the way Youth Facilitators were for him. He wants to help students have the most exciting, stimulating, and mind-blowing experience ever and wants to be an integral part of that experience with them. Throughout the journey, he wants to help the students see the possibilities, the hope, and the joy of who they can be and challenge them to seek it with all their heart. Timothy has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for three years.

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Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth is a 10th grader at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart. Elizabeth is a Youth Facilitator because she really enjoyed all three of the camps that she attended at the end of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade. They introduced her to aspects of Texas history that she didn't know at the time. Each year she looked forward to the next camp. Elizabeth just completed her first year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Riley Knapp

Riley is a 12th grader in Fort Worth ISD. Riley wants to be a Youth Facilitator to learn new things about leadership as well as reinforce things he already knows, and to meet new people and make new friends. Also the amount of places he goes and the things he sees while on these trips, whether as a Youth Facilitator or as a student, is amazing and never gets old. Riley has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for four years.

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Callie Link

Callie is an 8th grader in Brazosport ISD. Callie is a Youth Facilitator because she remembers being very nervous when she attended her first camp in Dallas around three years ago as it was her first overnight camp. She wants to be able to help campers who are feeling the same way. She also learned a lot at the Austin camp sites and looks forward to experiencing that again with new campers. Callie just completed her second year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Charlize Lopez

Charlize is an 9th grader in Fort Bend ISD. Charlize is a Youth Facilitator because a few months before she attended the camp she was sent to the hospital. She was only in the hospital for a couple hours but left with a medical diagnosis, a recommendation for a neurologist, and a prescription. To put it simply, she became depressed. She was too tired and unmotivated to accomplish activities that she usually loved. Although she tried her best to ignore her depleting mental health, she eventually became burnt out at the end of the school year. Her mental health was not the best. However, the Lone Star Leadership Academy camp gave her new hope. It was full of positive people that told her, "You can do it, take one step at a time to accomplish it!" instead of "You will do it." The camp directors and youth facilitators are the ones who especially helped her mental health and drive. She wants to be a Youth Facilitator so she can help others who may have been in a situation like hers or just simply have poor mental health while leading them to become leaders. Charlize just completed her fourth year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Hannah Morris

Hannah is an 10th grader at Trinity School of Texas. Hannah wants to continue as a Youth Facilitator because she enjoys learning about her environment and working with kids of all ages. Being a Youth Facilitator has given her the opportunity to practice her leadership skills. Hannah just completed her fourth year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Griffin Oliver

Griffin is a 10th grader in North East ISD. Griffin is a Youth Facilitator because the experience provides him with a very useful chance to contribute and lead. He has thoroughly enjoyed it in the past. Griffin just completed his third year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Jacob Pasteur

Jacob is an 11th grader at The Oakridge School in Arlington. Jacob is a Youth Facilitator because he wants to be a role model to younger leaders. He wants to guide them to be better leaders and to be the best they can be, in the community and for the rest of their lives. Jacob just completed his 4th year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Aubriana Ramirez

Aubriana is a 9th grader in Industrial ISD. Aubriana is a Youth Facilitator because she wants to use the skills she has learned throughout her Lone Star Leadership Academy years to teach others.. Aubriana just completed her third year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Kathrine Ramirez

Kathrine is a 9th grader in Industrial ISD. Kathrine is a Youth Facilitator because she wants to use the skills she has learned throughout her Lone Star Leadership Academy years to teach others. Kathrine just completed her third year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Mia Sandate

Mia is a 9th grader in Ector County ISD. Mia is a Youth Facilitator because she greatly enjoyed attended all three Lone Star Leadership Academy summer camps. She learned a great deal and made many like-minded friends. As a Youth Facilitator guide and encourage the young campers. She will teach them what she has learned and share her camp experiences from the past three years. She wants all campers to feel welcome and to enjoy the experience. Mia just completed her fourth year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Natalee Scholl

Natalee is a 9th grader in Dripping Springs ISD. Natalee wants to be a facilitator because she really enjoyed her experience when she was an attendee at the Lone Star Leadership Academy summer camp. She hopes to be able to help the future students have as great of a time as she did and hopes they look back at the experience the same way she does. Natalee just completed her first year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Mason Suzuki

Mason is an 8th grader in Frisco ISD. Mason would like to be a Youth Facilitator because he hopes to develop his leadership skills and thinks it will be enjoyable. Mason just completed his first year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Yeva Tcharikova

Yeva is a 9th grader in Round Rock ISD. Yeva is a Youth Facilitator because she has always been interested in helping children learn. She loved going to these summer camps when she was little, and all the memories she made. After her last camp, she started looking forward to going back as a Youth Facilitator to help others make more memories like she did. She wants to be a Youth Facilitator to help develop kids' leadership qualities they can use in future situations. She is also a fan of giving kids more fun opportunities to learn. Yeva just completed her first year on the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council.

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Levi Ullah-Commons

Levi is a 9th grader in Sherman ISD. Levi is a Youth Facilitator because he wants to help give students the same fun and knowledge that he got from attending the Lone Star Leadership Academy as a camper. Levi has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for two years.

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Ashli Valero

Ashli is a 9th grader in Weslaco Independent School District. Ashli wants to be a Youth Facilitator this summer to serve and impact the incoming youth as she did during her two experiences as a camper. She has also always wanted to take on a "teacher" role and thinks this would be the perfect opportunity to practice and enhance her leadership skills. Ashli has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for two years.

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Charissa Wang

Charissa is a 9th grader in Carroll ISD. Charissa is a Youth Facilitator because she has really fond memories of her time in the program and hopes to help other campers find friendships and memories in this camp just like she did. Charissa has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for two years.

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Kenzie White

Kenzie is a 10th grader in Columbia-Brazoria ISD. Kenzie wants to be a Youth Facilitator to help students develop their leadership skills. The campers have such different talents and watching them go from being very shy to leading their group because she helped makes her feel great. Kenzie has been a member of the Lone Star Leadership Academy Alumni Council for three years.