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Light the fire within

Get to Know the YAC Members


Julia Brown
Julia Brown, Washington, YAC Chair

JJ (Julia Jean) Brown is a high school junior from Spokane, Washington. St. Ignatious said "Ite Inflamata Omnia" ("Go Forth and Set the World on Fire"). This is JJ's personal mission. She strongly believes that every child should have the opportunity to experience a week at camp at least once in their life, so she started her own charitable organization. Outdoor Opportunities—Camps for Kids raises money needed to provide camp scholarships, financially support camp programs, and provide camping gear to kids who need basics for camp.

She's passionate about:
Camping and getting kids out in nature. JJ volunteers at Camp Fire Inland Northwest's day camp as a lifeguard and has visited over 40 national parks.

Why JJ is excited to serve on YAC:
"Serving is my way to repay all of the people who have given me opportunities; I hope that my involvement in YAC will result in many more doors opening for youth throughout our country."

Adam Doros, New Jersey

Adam is a 16-year-old from Harrington Park, New Jersey. He is fascinated with the ways technology and the Internet are shaping the lives of young people on the local, national, and global levels. Adam recently created a historical archive for his home town. His passion for history and his analytical mind will be a great addition to the National YAC.

He's passionate about:
Helping youth and teens prepare to enter a rapidly changing world. "The world we will enter in college and beyond will be vastly different from the world our parents faced." Adam hopes to educate his fellow peers and classmates on the importance of being fully informed and prepared for life after high school.

Why Adam is excited to serve on YAC:
"I believe that Camp Fire does great work to help young people across the country, and I am eager to help them in their Promise to help youth shape the world."

Adam Doros

Tanya Devani
Tanya Devani, Alabama

Tanya Devani is a high school junior from Alabama who loves to volunteer. When she is not writing a blog for the Huffington Post, Tanya is a Teen Advisor to the United Nations Foundation campaign, Girl Up. Girl Up is an innovative campaign of the United Nations Foundation giving girls the opportunity to become global leaders and channel their energy and compassion to raise funds and awareness for United Nations programs that help some of the world's hardest-to-reach adolescent girls. After reading Half the Sky: Turing Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Tanya decided to become a Half the Sky Ambassador. As a fiercely committed female activist, she has worked to build awareness of the issues facing women and girls and promote gender equality at home and abroad. Tanya is also on the select Youth Advisory Council for the non-profit, Girls Spring.

She's passionate about:
Serving others. "I want to give back to the world which gives me so much every day." said Tanya. "I live by Muhammad Ali's quote 'Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.' I want to be an inspiration to other youth to let their voice be heard. The decisions that are being made today will affect us in the future–so youth must have a voice not as leaders of tomorrow, but as leaders of today."

Why Tanya is excited to serve on YAC:
"I'm excited to be a part of YAC because I want to get youth involved in more community service. Young people sometimes think they aren't influential enough to make a difference in their communities. But the world's youth have a major role to play in shaping the world of tomorrow. And the best way to make a difference is by volunteering your time to something you love. Youth can truly change the world. I'm thankful to Camp Fire for giving me this opportunity to connect with teens around the nation. I look forward to this amazing learning experience!"

Callie Stern, Georgia

Callie Stern is a college student attending Armstrong Atlantic State University. She is majoring in Chemistry, with hopes of doing environmental work with her degree. Through Camp Fire, Callie has sparked her passion for the world around her. She intends on leaving her mark in the world with a breath of fresh air.

What she's passionate about:
Callie is passionate about the environment. "Camp Fire has taught me to respect nature. One of the many opportunities that Camp Fire upholds is outdoor experiences. Through camping or playing with bugs, Camp Fire understands the need for children to be outside. I am passionate about nature, and I want to spread the word for others to explore the outdoors!"

Why Callie is excited to serve on YAC:
"Serving on The National Youth Advisory Cabinet has allowed me to further my role in Camp Fire. Nationally, I am the voice for all youth in the United States. I am ecstatic to serve on YAC because my voice is heard, and it truly matters."

Callie Stern

Chengleng Xiong
Chengleng Xiong, Minnesota

Cheng moved to the Twin Cities from Thailand in 2005 and he didn't waste any time diving into American culture. Currently a junior in high school, Cheng serves in several school leadership roles, including National Honor Society, Pay it Forward volunteering club, Students Working on the Achievement Gap, Student Council, and his school district's Youth Leadership Council. Cheng is currently serving in a mentorship position on the National Youth Leadership Council's Youth Advisory Council.

He's passionate about:
Helping teens find their spark. Cheng wants to communicate the importance of knowing what your spark is and understanding who can help champion that passion. "Schools should have spark training so students can start to plan and understand what path to follow when they graduate high school. When students are passionate about their work, they are more invested in their peers, in their grades, and in their own lives."

Why Cheng is excited to serve on YAC:
"I feel that the National YAC will provide great experiences to help me be successful in life and school. I look forward to learning and experiencing new things!"

Hannah Kraar, Georgia

Hannah Kraar, an honor student at the University of Georgia, is serving her second term on YAC. This summer, she worked at Camp Toccoa, Camp Fire Georgia's summer camp. Although she is majoring in International Affairs, Hannah still has plenty of time to have fun. In her free time, she can be found volunteering in her camp's off-season, kickboxing, watching football, and dancing to bad pop music.

What she's passionate about:
Finding sparks. "All young people deserve a chance to find what they're passionate about. If we are never exposed to different opportunities, we'll never be able to find what drives us. We should be able to search for our sparks without limitations."

Why Hannah is excited to serve on YAC:
"YAC gives me an opportunity to connect with other young people around the country who are also passionate about exposing others to Camp Fire."

Hannah Kraar

Jakob Daugherty
Jakob Daugherty, Missouri

Jakob is a senior at Kearney High School. He has been accepted at the University of Missouri in Columbia and plans on studying nuclear engineering. In his spare time, he is an avid musician, swimmer, and snowboarder.

What he's passionate about:
Teaching leadership skills to youth. "I believe that leadership skills, developed at a young age, can only get better with time. Giving youth leadership positions will instill a since of confidence in their abilities that will last their whole life through."

Why Jakob is excited to serve on YAC:
"Being a YAC member is helping me to develop my leadership and communication skills, while still serving Camp Fire. I enjoy learning new ways to express myself and ways to help others, while meeting new youth from all over the country."

Anna Torchia, Kansas

Anna is a 17 year old from Overland Park, Kansas. Passionate about theatre, Anna lives every moment as if it is the best performance of her life. "My experience in theatre has given me the leadership skills to be successful." Anna says. "I am a leader in the activities I am involve with, I promote leadership by guiding others to get involved in their communities, but to think outside of the box while doing it." Anna is a member of the Leawood Stage Company Advisory Board, Student Head of the costume department at her high school, a camp counselor, experienced babysitter, and a member of her high school's top chamber choir.

She's passionate about:
Helping young people through education. "I love learning new things, both in my academics and in my extracurricular activities. Because of my education, I feel like I can tackle anything. It gives me strength to do anything I set my mind to. Education gives students confidence and helps them see the world around them in a completely unique way, which is so awesome!"

Why he's excited to serve on YAC:
"I'm excited to serve on the YAC because it's my chance to really help make a difference in my community from a young adult's point of view. I feel that too often our views are overlooked because of our age, and I'd like to help youth's voices to be heard through leadership and community activism."

Anna Torchia

Kalsa Parker
Kalsa Parker, Iowa

Kalsa is a first-year student at Iowa State University. As a student in Environmental Science, she hopes to work in a youth-oriented Outdoor Education position. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and volunteering at her local Camp Fire camp.

She is passionate about:
Working with kids. "I believe working with youth is the most direct way anybody can change the world. I strive to be a role model for kids and give them a sense of appreciation for the outdoors, because they'll be the ones taking care of it in the future."

Why Kalsa is excited to serve on YAC:
"Being on YAC is a great opportunity to get more involved with the organization I grew up with. I enjoy being able to share my voice about what Camp Fire is doing and also getting to work with so many other youth that are as passionate as I am."

Katelyn Eystad, New Jersey

Katelyn, an ambitious 16-year-old from New Jersey, is a rising sophomore in high school. In her free time, she can be found running her own nonprofit organization, where she organizes and runs her community's food and clothing bank for needy families. Katelyn wishes to make her mark in the world by encouraging others to make a difference in their community.

She's passionate about:
Ending bullying. "Regardless of whether it is physical bullying or cyberbullying, it hurts all the same. I want to build my peers up and encourage self-confidence. Teens should be able to talk to each other about their worries and tribulations and not feel ashamed. We should build each other up!"

Why Katelyn is excited to serve on YAC:
"Serving on the cabinet will give me the opportunity to prepare, encourage, and lead young people to success."

Katelyn Eystad

Katie Scott
Katie Scott, Washington

Katie is a charismatic sophomore at Eastern Washington University who is pursuing degrees in Special Education and Spanish. In her free time, she enjoys spending time outside, tutoring kids, and baking. She hopes to make an impact on children's lives through teaching.

What she's passionate about:
Children with special needs. "Children with special needs are just like you and me. I feel that every child deserves an amazing education. My goal is to make every child have the ability to enjoy life to its fullest no matter what obstacles may be in their way. Children with special needs became a passion of mine through Camp Fire. Through this organization I was given the opportunity to work with kids with special needs, and helping others became my spark."

Why Katie is excited to serve on YAC:
"YAC has given me some wonderful opportunities to meet people that I would have never met that have now become some of my best friends. YAC has also given me the opportunity to build my leadership skills and help to show youth that they have a voice and can be successful in anything they take on."

NiAsia Bridgeman, Washington DC

NiAsia Bridgeman is a hardworking teen from Washington DC. She is a freshman at Winston-Salem state university. She is very active in her community and part of Camp Fire Patuxent Area in Maryland. In high school, she was a part of the leadership board in her council. During this time, she helped organize many service activities for youth.

She's passionate about:
Getting youth involved in service. "It is very cliché, but we as youth are the future. If we don't try to make it better, then it won't be when we are older. We should want to give back to our community and do service because it is what's right. Teens aren't going to join in unless you appeal to them."

Why she's excited to serve on YAC:
"Serving on YAC can help me do what I'm passionate about, and I get to have fun at the same time."

NiAsia Bridgeman

Owen Ballard
Owen Ballard, Iowa

Owen is currently a sophomore at Iowa State University, where he is double-majoring in Biology and Child, Adult, and Family Services. Outside of class, his time is divided between a part-time job at local nonprofit Youth and Shelter Service, volunteering with Camp Fire Heart of the Hawkeye, hosting a radio show, and mentoring youth at a local middle school. Owen has been a member of Camp Fire since first grade and recently finished his second summer on staff at Camp Hantesa.

What he's passionate about:
Working with youth of all ages and backgrounds. "I enjoy teaching kids new skills and connecting them with nature. It's important to me that all youth have the opportunity to explore their environment and make decisions about their own learning experiences while also building lasting relationships with their peers."

Why Owen is excited to serve on YAC:
"Serving on YAC has given me the opportunity to meet lots of great young people from all over the country who are passionate about Camp Fire and who always inspire me to do more. I can't wait to begin my second term and continue to help shape the organization that has given me and other youth so much."

Emily Foxman, Georgia

Emily comes to the YAC from the Atlanta area. An active CIT (counselor in training) at Camp Fire Camp Toccoa, Emily came highly recommended by her peers. When Emily is not enjoying her time with Camp Fire, she is an active leader at her synagogue. After volunteering for several years, she became increasingly aware and concerned by her temple's lack of environmental consciousness. "I took the initiative to plan, design, and implement a permanent recycling program throughout the campus." As a leader of the new program Emily actively engages students, teachers and administration in order to engender a culture of sustainability within her community. Additionally, Emily is a member of the National Honors Society and the Beta Club as well as an avid volunteer.

She's passionate about:
Learning. "I think it's important to pursue knowledge, whether it's in school, in nature, or in everyday life. I'm passionate about helping others gain new experiences that help broaden their understanding and perspective of the world."

Why she's excited to serve on YAC:
"I'm looking forward to bringing new ideas to Camp Fire that address issues important to today's youth, and also to the opportunity to drive change within the organization that I have been a part of for many years."

Emily Foxman

Nathan Collins
Nathaniel Collins, Iowa

Nathan, a third year CIT (counselor in training) for Camp Fire Heart of Iowa, is a high school senior. A passionate volunteer, Nathan lives to give back to his community. "I have been an active community leader through volunteering at almost every opportunity put in from of me. I love to promote the idea of volunteering and being an engaged youth in order to better one's community." Nathan currently serves of his school's Student Council. In addition, Nathan was the only one in his age group to complete his third year in the teen leadership program at Camp Fire Camp Hantesa. Nathan attributes Camp Fire for his successes saying: "Since my first interactions with Camp Fire at a young age, to my most recent experiences, Camp Fire has always been there to support me through role models and relationships with peers that have grown into strong friendships and lasting memories. My time with Camp Fire has helped me see that I should never change who I am to try to fit in!"

What he's passionate about:
Stopping bullying. "I am most passionate about developing programs to help stop bullying, as well as helping kids to find their sparks through Camp Fire's programs. I believe that not everybody can find their spark on their own and as youth leaders it is our job to help them discover and pursue these sparks."

Why he's excited to serve on YAC:
"I am excited for the opportunity to meet people from all over the country, and to be a part of all of the events that YAC is a part of. It will be awesome to see how my leadership skills grow through this experience."

Rachel Emerson, Michigan

A spunky high school senior, Rachel joins the YAC from Michigan. A highly involved student, Rachel current serves as the President of the Michigan Association of Student Council and Honor Societies board of delegates, President of the Mecosta County Youth Advisory Council, Senior Class President, Vice President of her high school's National Honor Society, Varsity Quizbowl team captain, and a Rose Lake Youth Camp volunteer counselor. Rachel enjoys networking and meeting new people saying "Something I value immensely is the power of networking. Knowing people is an influential and dynamic tool. I believe the most capable groups are those with common goals and aspirations."

She's passionate about:
Youth leadership. "I love helping high school students find their fit in leadership. My experiences have taught me who to be the person I am today. I want to provide students an outlet to pave their own path and learn who they aspire to be. I believe in realistic goal setting and becoming "Better every day." I'm passionate about connecting with the thinkers, dreamers, and idealist to make it all a reality."

Why she's excited to serve on YAC:
"I look forward to networking with determined individuals like myself! There is a lot to be done and there is no doubt in my mind with the right group of common minded people, we can do it! I can't wait to see the things that this group will do in the upcoming years!"

Rachel Emerson

Addie Bunn

Gamma Phi Beta Young Adult Partner

Addie Bunn, Alabama

Addie is a junior at the University of Alabama. A leader in her Gamma Phi Beta chapter, she is no stranger to Camp Fire. "I've volunteered several times at Camp Fire Central Alabama's Camp Fletcher. Every time I'm there, I feel so connected to myself. Being in nature, experiencing Camp Fire really helped me discover who I am." As the Administrative Vice President of the largest Gamma Phi Beta collegiate chapter in the country, Addie hopes to be able to leverage the Camp Fire partnership on a national level.

She's passionate about:
Guiding youth to be individuals. "Celebrities and media have warped the image that youth have of themselves; I know, because I used to be one of them. We need role models that inspire young people that it's not about how you look, how well you fit in. It's about what's on the inside, being a unique individual who contributes to society."

Why she's excited to serve on YAC:
"After joining Gamma Phi Beta, Camp Fire inspired me to be the best version of myself that I can be for my community and campus. I love what this organization believes in and does for youth. I want to be the voice for young adults, because I believe we can change the world."

Hannah Hasselquist, Camp Fire National Headquarters

Hannah Hasselquist is a vibrant marketing manager who knows she has the power to change the world. Currently, Hannah spends her time developing Camp Fire's social media footprint, leading the National Youth Advisory Cabinet, and communicating with Camp Fire constituents all across the country. Throughout her time at Camp Fire, Hannah was nominated for the Young ATHENA award – a prestigious woman's leadership award hosted by the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and recognized as Benedictine College's Young Alumni of the Year 2013.

She's passionate about:
Helping youth reach their full potential. "I was so lucky to have strong spark champions growing up. I was told on a regular basis that I have the power to change the world. I attribute so much of my success to those champions. I want to help youth feel the same way. As a young adult, it is my duty to empower youth everywhere to create change and discover their sparks!"

Why she's excited to serve on YAC:
"Because they are amazing?! Working with the National Youth Advisory Cabinet is by far the most rewarding part of my job. Through this group of talented young people I get to see, first hand, how effective Camp Fire programming really is. This group is like family."

Hannah Hasselquist
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