Youth Steering Committee Bios

APRIL YOUTH STEERING COMMITTEE

The 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

Moriah Grace, Chair

Moriah Grace, Chair

What makes you want to lead?
I am not a natural leader if anything I am a reluctant leader. However when I see a time where a leader is needed and believe in the issue or event I take on the responsibility of leadership. What make me wanted to chair the APRIL Youth Conference is the belief and hope that I put into generations of youth out there to continue the Independent Living Movement.

Where are you from?
Madison, WI transplant from Duluth, MN

One statement that describes you?
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Where do you work/volunteer?
Access to Independence Madison, WI

What do you do at your job/volunteer site?
My official title is Independent Living Specialist. However I am pretty sure jack of all trades is a better description. I head the youth program, Green County program, provide independent living skills training, benefits help, and advocacy both individual and systems.

What does IL mean to you?
ILS means the freedom of choice. It means that you get to direct your life in all areas and have the same rights as everyone to choose what you want for your life.

What would surprise people about you?
I love Brussel sprouts! They are like mini cabbages. I love them.

What is one thing you want to see in Spokane?
Sasquatch J I would love to see if big foot is real. I would also love to check out the local food and hit up some local diners.

 

Brittany Hepler, Vice Chair

Brittany Hepler, Vice ChairWhat makes you want to lead?
For as long as I can remember, I have always found my way into leadership positions, whether it was bossing around my younger siblings or leading teams once I got into the workforce. I have a strong desire to make sure the things I am involved in go well and do my best to find balance in leading others and listening to them.

Where are you from?
I grew up in Moreno Valley, California which is about an hour away from Anaheim where I currently live and much more rural.

One statement that describes you?
My motto in life is “say yes.” When you say yes there’s no telling where life will take you.

Where do you work/volunteer?
I work at the Dayle McIntosh Center in Anaheim, California.

What do you do at your job/volunteer site?
I am the Operations Manager and I oversee our Clerical Staff, Volunteers, Youth Programming, Deaf Services, Interpreting Services, Independent Living Services, and Housing.

What does IL mean to you?
IL means that we as people with disabilities are given the same options and chance to fail as everyone else. That we are in charge and in the driver’s seat of our own lives.

What would surprise people about you?
I used to be an introvert and still sometimes need my alone time.

What is one thing you want to see in Spokane?
Spokane Falls.

 

Grant Heffelfinger, Social Media Laison

 Grant Heffelfinger, Social Media Laison

What makes you want to lead?
I lead to empower others to be their best self. There is nothing more refreshing than accomplishing your goals!

Where are you from?
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

One statement that describes you?
Call me the fireworks to your 4th of July.

Where do you work/volunteer?
I work for IndependenceFirst.

What do you do at your job/volunteer site?
Youth Leadership Coordinator

What does IL mean to you?
To me- IL means choice; an individual’s choice to shape their life, themselves, and the pride that comes with being responsible for your own success or the growth that comes from owning your areas of need/support.

What would surprise people about you?
People are usually surprised that I am a male cheerleader for Milwaukee’s Roller Derby league, the Brewcity Bruisers.

If you win money in Reno, what are you going to do with it?
If I win money in Reno, then I would probably use it to pay off my bills for the next 6 months and then backpack around Europe. I would need a pretty big backpack though.

 

 

Jaquilla Lee, Secretary

Jaquilla Lee, SecretaryWhat makes you want to lead?
I want to advocacy for others. Also, I was president for the Youth Advisory Committee.

Where are you from?
Pensacola, FL

One statement that describes you?
I like to help people advocacy for their self.

Where do you work?
Wal-Mart

What do you do at your job?
Customer Service (I handle all of the returns)

What does IL means to you?
Pay bills
Not asking for help all the time
Making decisions
Living on your own

What would surprise people about you?
I am well organized and I like to be on time for everything.

What is one thing you want to see in Spokane?
I just want to youth to have fun with each other and then take info that they have back to their center so they can use for their youth program.