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

MO Grace

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.

 

Whitney Harris- Vice-Chair 

Whitney Harris Website

 

What makes you want to lead?

I have always enjoy testing my leadership skills in different settings. I have found that I learn a lot about myself and my community when I put myself out there.

Where are you from?

I'm from Tallahassee, Florida.

One statement that describes you?

I am an outgoing advocate that treats life events as a series of stories that are worth telling.

Where do you work/volunteer?

I volunteer with a few different organizations, Girl Scouts of the Florida Panhandle, Association of Youth Leadership Forums, Florida Youth Leadership Forum, Nubability and of course, the APRIL Youth Steering Committee! Though I love each of these roles, I don't get to be a full time volunteer. I work for the Florida Chamber Foundation as a Special Projects Coordinator. 

What do you do at your job/volunteer site?

I was brought on board at the Florida Chamber Foundation to help develop an internship program for Floridians with disabilities. These internship will be available through regional chambers of commerce and will give Florida businesses another avenue to access this talent pool.

What does IL mean to you?

To me, independent living is finding a way to live your life in the way that you want to. Living on my own and being financially responsibility was always high on my list for IL goals.

What would surprise people about you?

People seem to be surprised at how passionate I can get about people with disabilities being allow to express themselves sexually. I attend events all across the country that promote pride and encourage everyone not to be afraid to express themselves.

If you win money in Reno, what are you going to do with it?

If I win money in Reno, it's going to be put straight into my savings account! I know that sounds very vanilla, but I have set some pretty steep financial goals for myself and some extra money would help me achieve them. 

 

Grant Heffelfinger- Social Media Laison

grant Heffelfinger

 

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.