Youth Advisory Board
The National Youth Advisory Board (YAB) consists of high school SAVE members from across the country. Serving on the National SAVE Youth Advisory Board takes many hours of service during the school year. On average, most members contribute over 300 hours of time with work for the YAB, work with their club, and individual projects or presentations. Serving as a member of this prestigious and select group requires commitment, dedication, and sacrifice of time and often other organizational events.
Meet the 2018-2019 National
Youth Advisory Board!
Kristina Alzugaray attended Cutler Bay Middle School, as a part of the COAST Magnet Program. She’s currently a high school student at Cutler Bay Senior High as a member of the iPrep Academy. Kristina is president of her SAVE Promise Club and implemented the No One Eats Alone and Start With Hello programs.
In 2016, she joined the STAND Club in hopes of serving her community and improving it as well. Working closely with her mentor and teacher, Mrs. La-Shanda West Ed.S. and Officer Robert Diaz of the Miami-Dade Police Department from 2017-2018. She continues to show compassion and leadership throughout her years in high school and hopes to create a successful future for herself and her family. In memory of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Remembrance activities, Kristina participated in an assembly with panelists Mayor Peggy Bell, Sandy Hook Representative Blair Freedman, and Officer Chris Reid.
Kristina shared that the most rewarding activity that her SAVE Promise Club participated in was Say Something. She has seen a lot of verbal bullying that people think is funny. Kristina shared that “When people say “go kill yourself” as a joke. I think that’s wrong.” Anytime she hears that phrase, she will tell the person saying it to stop. She tells them it is wrong and phrases like that bring people down. Kristina encourages them to lift each other up and make each other smile. As a Youth Advisory Board member, Kristina hopes to prevent the spread of any negativity or harm such as depression, violence, and suicide.
Kristina has received many awards for her outstanding performance in different academic core classes, such as Math, Science, and Social Studies. She currently holds a very high ranking in her class due to her 5.0 is weighted GPA. Kristina also served as the SGA Sophomore Class President.
Alea is a sophomore at Tuscola High School in Waynesville, NC. As a freshman, she was a founder of the SAVE Promise Club at the high school and served as President of the Club. Alea shared that “while I was in middle school, I experienced bullying by other girls and was often excluded. Although it hurt, I decided to shake it off and instead become vigilant to prevent it from happening to others. “She is often referred to as the “SAVE Girl” which she feels is a compliment.
The SAVE Promise Club at Tuscola has been active in awareness campaigns for their club, Say Something Week, school-wide projects, Start With Hello Week, Mental Health Awareness Week and spearheaded a Star Wars May the 4th Be With You: use the Light for Spreading Kindness Day. The club also participated in the March for Our Lives event in Asheville, NC. The SAVE Promise Club is united in the idea that if they can encourage every student to be kinder, to have more respect for themselves and each other, to handle situations peacefully and reach out to students who are lonely, they can make the school climate more welcoming and kind. After experiencing a death by suicide of one of their classmates, their SAVE Club had a new meaning like never before. A month later, Parkland happened … and despite so much confusion and pain, the club bonded together, rolled up their sleeves and went to work.
What Alea love’s most about SAVE and what she wants to bring to the National SAVE Youth Advisory Board, is the opportunity to exchange ideas and information. She feels a strong youth network to share ideas that work, to keep violence prevention and safety activities new, fresh and exciting will help create a safer and brighter future for youth across the country. Alea is active in many activities at her school including serving on the Tuscola High School Safety Student Advisory Committee, Tuscola Swim Team, Gay-Straight Alliance and Band. She is also an active member of her church, Waynesville Sportsman’s Club, Girl-Up, and 4-H.
Trinity Cox is entering her junior year at Little Miami High School. She was a founding member of the SAVE Promise Club at Little Miami Junior High School. Trinity’s advisor, Carrie Brown, shared that “Trinity has been a leader and steadfast member of our club and continues in those roles today in the High School Club.” She has been a leader in planning and implementing programs such as Say Something Week, Start with Hello Week, and No One Eats Alone. Trinity had the opportunity to attend the March For Our Lives in Washington DC with her SAVE Promise Club in March 2018, which made a huge impact on her.
Trinity feels that her “SAVE Promise Club has really helped students and teachers to communicate and stay safe.” Trinity shared that being involved with the SAVE Promise Club has made her a better person. Being In high school is difficult and youth need ways to cope. Her way of coping is helping others. She has gotten the chance to spread around positivity and helped others stay safe. Trinity has attended a school board meeting to discuss Sandy Hook Promise Know the Signs programs and their effectiveness in keeping their schools safe. As a member of the Youth Advisory Board, Trinity hopes to find ways to get more students interested in being part of the solution.
Trinity is in Student Government, a member of I am That Girl, Link Crew and volunteers for Daylight Prom and Warren County Career Center Camp. She is active in her church and is part of a semi-large blended family consisting of five sisters and five brothers. Her favorite activities are dancing, playing basketball, and painting. She hopes to be a surgeon when she is older. Her dream is to attend college at the University of California in Los Angeles, where she hopes to study medicine.
Club: Miami Southridge Senior High School Peace Ambassadors, FL
Advisor: Victor Tejera
Vyrlle Dixon is passionate about her SAVE Promise Club, Peace Ambassadors. She is motivated by the abundance of violence in her neighborhood and feels that through Peace Ambassadors students have been able to develop a sense of security and authority over their lives. Vyrlle speaks firmly about gun violence in low income communities and participates in challenges presented by Sandy Hook Promise. Vyrlle founded Spartan Accompanies (SA), a program creating pairs for students that walk home to decrease the violence faced by them. She believes that “students can prevent violence by taking the initiative to reach out to another child in need with empathy and understanding. They can also prevent violence by taking the time to report any foul play they may witness.”
Vyrlle is an active member of her school’s debate team where she has served as Secretary and President and was awarded “outstanding Debate Student of the Year.’ She has been awarded a Take Stocks in Children Scholarship for academics and served as Vice-President of her schools Best Buddies Program. Vyrlle volunteers at Gould’s Park providing homework help, activities, and supervised children. Vyrlle was awarded ‘10th Grade Criminal Justice Student of the Year’ and has received a paid internship at Miami Southridge.
Angel-Lee has extensive love for things such as volleyball, theatre, and helping people. She first got involved in her SAVE Promise Club last year through Platt’s Student Senate where events such as Welcome Back Week, Start with Hello Week, and Say Something Week were held. A week after the happenings in Parkland Angel helped organized a walkout to honor the victims of this terrible event. She also helped lead a voter registration drive at Platt. Angel enjoys organizing and overseeing school operations that ensure a sense of safety and community in the high school in Meriden, Connecticut. She got involved in SAVE work when she came back from the Nellie Mae Youth Leadership Institute (2017) where two teachers and two Platt students, including Angel, discussed and came up with plans to give students a bigger voice, create a stronger community, and guarantee a safe environment for all.
Angel shared that “SAVE has taught me that my voice can and will be heard if I am truly passionate about a situation. It gave me a warm and welcoming space where I am ensured the fact that I can make a difference no matter how big or small it may be.” She believes a key way to prevent situations of violence is building a close community and fostering relationships throughout the school between peers with themselves and students with staff.
In the upcoming year Angel and her team plan to keep programs such as the Panther Pack which supports sports teams and the arts, the trademark #PlattMYM where students can tweet photos of school activities and encourages them to make their mark, and a new event of painting the walls at Platt where students will be allowed to express around their own school. All of these programs and events are designed to promote a safe and healthy environment in which all students and adults can feel at home. Angel hopes to make a big difference in, not only Connecticut, but in schools all over the country as a Youth Advisory Board Member.
Devin is a Senior at E.A Laney High School in Wilmington, NC. This is Devin’s fourth year in SAVE and second year of serving on the Youth Advisory Board. He has been active in many SAVE activities including the Stand Against Racism Event, Out of the Darkness Walk and visiting local elementary schools and presenting on bullying prevention and character education utilizing the Twenty Twinkling Stars Book. Devin enjoys the new friendships he has gained through SAVE and looks forward to continuing to be involved with the program throughout high school!
One of his advisors, Beth Scheirer, states that Devin “has lots of ideas about ways to get the message of SAVE out to our school and local community. He is extremely creative and is a natural peacemaker. He communicates effectively and puts his best foot forward in all situations.” In his free time Devin enjoys hanging out with his friends, riding his moped, and playing video games. His favorite subject in school is AP history, he is also in the Band and Theater programs at his school which he has been active in and enjoys very much. As a member of the Youth Advisory Board, Devin hopes to “establish more SAVE clubs in other schools because I think SAVE is a great program that is not only beneficial to the people in the program, but also the people in the school and community. At a time like this where a lot is going on in the world, I think we need SAVE in every school.”
Laura “Claire” Heinly is a senior at Chapel Hill High School in North Carolina. She has been a member of her school’s SAVE Promise Club club since her freshman year and has the distinct role of co-president and statistician for her club. Through SAVE, she has had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. to lobby to members of Congress on the Stop School Violence Act and the Gun Restriction Act.
Claire Shared that “The SAVE Promise Club has had a very important role in my life for the past three years and continues to allow me to grow as an individual. It has allowed me to become more involved in my school community and helped me forge new relationships. The club’s most important impact has been teaching me about my own ability to enact change.” As a Youth Advisory Board member Claire hopes to extend the messages of non-violence and acceptance. By increasing cooperation and communication between various SAVE Promise Clubs she believes that greater change will come and the goal of having a kinder, more accepting society will be amplified.
In addition to SAVE, Claire is co-president of her school’s Project UNIFY club, which works with students in special education to create a more accepting and friendly environment in school. Claire is the pianist for her school’s jazz band and has been playing piano for 12 years. In her free time, Claire enjoys playing soccer and running indoor track. She recently competed in the state championships for both of these sports and won a state championship in the 2017-2018 school year for soccer. When she is not busy with school work and extracurriculars, Claire enjoys hanging out with her friends, older sister, and 2 dogs. She loves to travel and places great emphasis on the benefits of travel, most recently visiting townships in South Africa on a mission trip to teach leadership and HIV/AIDS prevention to young women through soccer.
Daniel Lopez is a junior at John F. Kennedy High School in Granada Hills, California. He is enrolled in their Gifted Medical Magnet as he wishes to pursue a career in emergency medicine. Daniel is serving his second year as president of his school’s SAVE Promise Club. Daniel is now entering his first year on the Youth Advisory Board. Daniel’s involvement in SAVE is very important as he loves to make a difference in the school environment. Daniel states “School is my second home. I am practically at school more than I am home. School is a place that everyone should feel safe, especially for someone like me since I am always there.”
Through SAVE, he has led anti-bullying week, kindness week, anti-sexual assault/harassment week, and the Stoneman Douglas High School day of silence. He does not only focus on violence, but other real world situations and topics as well. SAVE has given his school a way to grieve while letting their voices be heard. As a YABer, Daniel wishes to stop the spread of violence, bullying, sexual harassment, and more. He wishes to spread SAVE to more schools, educate students on these topics, and make sure everyone’s voice is heard.
As a member of the Youth Advisory Board, Daniel hopes to meet with local superintendents from neighboring districts in California, Nevada, Arizona, and others to tell them about SAVE and how it can help students around the world. He advocates “We can always prevent these drastic events, but we need students to speak up. If I’m able to reach out to neighboring schools and school district superintendents, I can spread the love and support SAVE has offered me and my school to all.” Daniel is the founder of the Health Occupation Students of America club at his school, president of their SAVE Club, and president of their ARC Leadership Council. Outside of school, Daniel is a volunteer at Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in the oncology department along with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the progressive care unit. He also recently got accepted for an internship at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Jesus Peralta Porras is a rising junior at East Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He has been a dedicated member of the East Chapel Hill Community SAVE Club for one year. Born in Puebla, Mexico, but raised in Chapel Hill, NC Mr. Porras has faced many obstacles growing up. Fortunately, Jesus is an unapologetic minority and is often the voice of others within his community. Jesus became a part of his local SAVE club due to his strong beliefs of the core aspects of SAVE as an organization that fights against violence and promotes peace among others. When asked how SAVE impacted his life, Jesus stated “Before being part of the SAFE Promise club, I was very oblivious to the truth that bullying still happens at our school. I would see the bullying happen, but as most people, I was only a bystander. After joining our SAFE Promise club, I became more aware and cautious throughout my days by being able to identify the signs of violence.” Mr. Porras hopes that realistically, violence decreases in schools by informing others and being able to know how to identify and treat signs of violence.
Outside of being involved in the SAVE club in his school, Jesus is also involved in various organizations around his community. Jesus is a part of the Minority Student Achievement Network (MSAN) which has the goal of closing the achievement gap by implementing equitable traits among schools. Some major accomplishments include being able to help change his school’s code of conduct to help it be more equitable for all students. Jesus is also excited to be a part of the Youth Leadership Institute, the Straight Gay Alliance, and his school’s Cheer team. Jesus understands that there isn’t going to be an immediate change, but he knows together we will have a stronger impact.
Club: Steele Canyon Charter High School, CA
Advisor: Jillian West & Jennifer Serban
Braelyn Willis is a Junior at Steele Canyon Charter High School in San Diego, California. She will be starting her 5th year in SAVE and her first year serving as a member of the Youth Advisory Board. She is so grateful and excited for this wonderful opportunity to be a part of the national voice for SAVE Promise Clubs and Sandy Hook Promise that shares the same passion as her which is working to end the violence in communities and schools across the nation.
Braelyn feels that her SAVE Promise Club has made a positive difference in her school. Because of the Call to Action Weeks, students at Steele Canyon are really aware of the fact that bullying is a problem and therefore they make efforts to socialize with students who have been excluded. Braelyn has personally used skills that she learned through Sandy Hooks Say Something program by reporting a threat of a school shooting by speaking up to a trusted adult.
Braelyn has just become a leader after her first year in a program at her high school called Cougar Crew that trains students to put on a Freshman Orientation and welcome in the incoming Freshman. She attends the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Club every week at her school and is very involved in her church, New Creations, as she has sung in the choir since she was 6 and is currently a part of the Youth Ministry.
Izabela Willis is a senior at Swansboro High School. She is approaching her third year of involvement in SAVE and her fourth year in the high school’s orchestra. She served as historian for her club and has been elected and will serve as president for the 2018-2019 school year. She spends her free time doing things she enjoys, such as reading, listening to music and just hanging out. When she isn’t doing that, she is working on school work, helping friends, participating in SAVE meetings and volunteering. She has completed over 100 volunteer hours this year between working in concessions with the track and basketball coaches and helping out at the nearest elementary school, Queens Creek Elementary.
Izabela originally joined SAVE with the purpose of showing support for a cause she believed in and meeting people who shared a similar belief. While being a SAVE member, she has helped plan activities such as the Bully March and Arrive Alive with its accompanying event, Pit Stop. She has helped run other events her club has held like PSA’s warning against impaired driving and promoting safety during prom week and a school-wide team building event. Her goal while participating in the Youth Advisory Board is to work to further expand the outreach of SAVE Promise Clubs and to help promote the message and values of SAVE.
Past youth advisory boards: