APRIL YOUTH STEERING COMMITTEE

Group of people around a conference areaThe APRIL Youth Conference would not be possible without all the work of our dedicated volunteers. Thank you for your commitment to youth with disabilities and APRIL. If you see these young folks at our conference, congratulate them on all their hard work and accomplishments, and give them a huge IL Thank You for getting the next generation excited to LEAD ON.

- APRIL STAFF

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To join the Youth Steering Committee calls please jump on our calls every

3rd Sunday at 5:30pm EST (4:30pm CST, 3:30pm MST, 2:30pm PST)

Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/822511075

If you join by computer, you will not be charged long-distance fees.

Dial by your location

+1-646-558-8656 US (New York)

+1-669-900-9128 US (San Jose)

Meeting ID: 822 511 075

Follow us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/aprilyouth/

For more information please contact our Youth Programs Coordinator, Sierra Royster at 919-567-3602 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We hosted the first large-scale gathering of rural youth with disabilities and CILs at the 10th annual APRIL conference in Minneapolis. Establishing an ongoing Youth Steering Committee to make sure the youth conference is for youth and by youth. Plan to join us this year in Orlando, FL on October 9th, 2020. 

The Youth Steering Committee is comprised of young volunteers and more who are passionate about youth involvement and engagement. We meet once a month to plan every youth detail of the annual APRIL Conference.  We plan details to the Youth Conference that is held the Friday before each conference.  We also plan the youth activities that take place throughout the rest of the weekend.  Our goal as a committee is to offer an opportunity to youth from across the country to come together to learn about issues in IL and how they can get involved when they return home. 

APRIL Youth Steering Executive Committee Bios

 

Mels Felton, Chair

Pronouns: They/Them

Mels Felton

What makes you want to lead?

In short, a stubborn drive for justice. I want the world to be equitable and the only way to get that is to act.

Where are you from? 

Spokane, Washington

One statement that describes you? 

Ideas without action are useless.

Where do you work/volunteer?

I currently work as the Spokane Youth Project Coordinator for the Disability Action Center. I am also involved in accessibility advocacy for the US 2020 census.

What do you do at your job/volunteer site? 

I run a program that assists youth reach their independent living goals. The aim is to grow a youth disability culture in Spokane and use grassroots organizing to make a space at the table for youth with disabilities.

What do IL mean to you? 

Independent Living is radical choice.

What would surprise people about you?   

I am the youngest out of over 100 cousins.

What is one thing you want to see in Orlando?

I want to see organic community building.

 

Fanisee Bias, Vice Chair

Pronouns: She/Her

Fanisee Bias

What makes you want to lead?

Human connection is what makes me want to lead. I believe in humanity and I believe in our ability to connect, express emotion, mobilize together, and support each other through equity, justice, and belonging. With my passion, personality, and vocality I have felt a calling to fight for underserved people and use my voice as a resource of advocacy and justice. 

Where are you from? 

I was born in Ogden, Utah and raised in Boise, Idaho! I have family and a sense of home in both places so shout out to them! 

One statement that describes you? 

While authentically being myself, I want to continuously impact and inspire. 

Where do you work/volunteer? 

I work at a multicultural center on my campus in San Diego. Some of my volunteer opportunities include educational workshops with juvenile centers, working in my community of people with disabilities, and other community-building work in San Diego and Boise.   

What do you do at your job/volunteer site? 

Most of my work involves coalition collaboration, event planning and workshop coordination with a social justice & identity-based lens. A lot of the work I am involved in focuses on resource building, community outreach, and advocacy. 

What does IL mean to you? 

To me, IL means having the agency and resources to live my best life so I can support the best life of others. 

What would surprise people about you? 

I don't think people are initially aware of the comedy and sarcasm I use to connect with people! ;) I may come off as goal-oriented and well put together, but to navigate life in the best way, I try to use comedic relief to provide smiles, laughs, and resilience.  

What is one thing you want to see in Orlando?

I am not familiar with Orlando, so I am excited about everything- the people the places, and the opportunities! 

 

Shikha Desai, Secretary

Pronouns: She/Her

Shikha Desai

 

 

What makes you want to lead?

I want to lead because it gives me confidence.  I enjoy giving back to my community, and I enjoy planning conferences. 

Where are you from?

I was born in New Jersey, and I currently live in Lawrenceville Georgia which is 30 minutes outside of Atlanta. 

One statement that describes you.

I received my master’s in social work from Georgia State University, and I am a passionate social worker who enjoys helping all individuals to live an independent life.

Where do you work/volunteer?

Currently, I am working at disABILITY LINK as a Community Independent Living Specialist. 

What do you do at your job/volunteer/school site?

I have a case load where I help individuals to reach their goals, and I also do home visits. 

What does IL mean to you?

They have the confidence to live an independent life such as school, housing, and have a family. 

What would surprise people about you?

People would be surprise that I enjoy watching Marvel movies. 

What is one thing you want to see in Orlando, FL?

In Orlando I would like for the youth conference to have a Disney theme because I am a huge Disney fan.

 

Masha Flinn, Marketing and Outreach Coordinator

Pronouns: She/Her

Masha Flinn

 

What makes you want to lead?

Being a leader means so much to me, I am my happiest when I get to see a person recognize the true potential within themselves. Whether it’s landing their dream job or getting a good grade on an exam. I know that my life experience and knowledge can help other people to accomplish their goals. Being able to teach people and learn from people is what makes me want to lead. 

Where are you from?

Casper, Wyoming

One statement that describes you? 

“Count your positives instead of your negatives”

Where do you work/volunteer?

Wyoming Independent Living

What do you do at your job/volunteer site? 

I work as a Peer Specialist; I am a mentor/friendly face for the consumers who come through our doors.

What do IL mean to you? 

Independent Living means being able to make your choices, becoming your own self advocate to accomplish your goals.

What would surprise people about you?

My personality 

What is one thing you want to see in Orlando?

 Hopefully warm weather

Address Information:
APRIL
11324 Arcade Drive, Suite 9
Little Rock, AR 72212

Phone Contact:
APRIL
Phone: 501-753-3400
FAX: 501-753-3406