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 2019-2020 National
Youth Advisory Board!
Monzerat is a Mexican – American that has a deep love for every aspect of her culture, her roots and her family. Growing up she always found learning about the world and politics interesting. Monzerat and her father would talk about the latest news together all the time. She has always had an interest in learning and trying new things.
Joining SAVE was a big moment in Monzerat’s life. She shared that “It was finally a way in which I could actually do something; to make a change in my community. I remember the day clearly when Mrs. Coveney came into my class recruiting more people for the club. All my peers thought of it as a cheesy club. That made me see how numb and blinded we all were. We have become so accustomed to all these violent issues happening in our country that many people now believe making a difference is too much of a stretch and wouldn’t turn out well.”
Monzerat thinks that she and her peers can make a difference and that joining the SAVE Promise Club provides an outlet to do so. Monzerat hopes to continue working and advocating as a feminist by finding ways to help with any type of violence and making her school a safe place.
Cutler Bay Senior High School, FL
Advisor: La-Shanda West
Kristina Alzugaray is a senior at Cutler Bay Senior High School in the iPrep Academy. She is serving her second year as a member of the National Youth Advisory Board (YAB). Kristina is a powerful student-activist with valuable first-hand perspectives, fresh ideas, and an understanding of the mindset of her peers. She feels she can make a difference in all her endeavors. Through her work in various clubs and activities, she has created a safe place for communication and sharing. Kristina is President of the Mathematics Honor Society, a member of Student Government, and Class President. In addition, she is President of the schools SAVE Promise Club.
Kristina has certainly created a profound and remarkable presence among her peers and is respected by her teachers. She is a leader because of her unique devotion, compassion, exceptional intellect and extraordinary ability to think outside of the box. 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.
Kristina is an astoundingly active member in her community and is truly part of a generation that celebrates learning and receiving an education inside and outside of the classroom. Her diverse experiences have certainly crafted her as a remarkable young woman and it would be truly impossible to even begin to summarize the immense honors and achievements she has amassed during her passionate exploration in learning.
Academically, Kristina has been on the Principal’s Honor Roll every quarter since her Freshman year, maintain a perfect 4.0 Unweighted Grade Point Average (GPA)and over a 5.2 Weighted GPA.
Gus is a Junior at Chase Collegiate School in Waterbury, Ct, residing in Newtown, CT. He founded the SAVE Promise Club at Chase Collegiate School during his junior year and led the implementation and presentation of Say Something. Although this is a new initiative for both Gus and Chase Collegiate, excitement is building for all the possibilities in their future with the Sandy Hook Promise violence prevention programs! Being a smaller school community, Gus feels there is an opportunity to reach more kids on a personal level.
In middle school, Gus participated in volunteer opportunities through Ben’s Lighthouse, a nonprofit organized after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and in memory of little Benjamin Wheeler who was so tragically killed that fateful day. He later was asked to serve on their Youth Advisory Council where he helped serve younger students in the community and helped to design and develop activity ideas. Gus has also been a member of the Lunches with Love initiative where students gather weekly to put lunches together for the Dorothy Day House which serves less fortunate families in the Danbury, CT community.
Gus shared “I love to help others and I am so eager to work towards building stronger, more inclusive, and more connected communities within the Chase Collegiate School walls and beyond.” Gus is particularly excited to broaden the Chase SAVE Promise Club beyond school walls. There are many public schools in the Waterbury area where Gus is hoping to bring both Say Something and Start With Hello.
Outside of SAVE, Gus loves to learn about math and science! He thinks it’s fun! His hope is to be an aerospace or aeronautical engineer someday. He cannot wait to make a difference in various ways as his life progresses.
Trinity Cox is entering her senior year at Little Miami High School. She was a founding member of the SAVE Promise Club at Little Miami Junior High School and this will be her second year on the National Youth Advisory Board. 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. When she is older, Trinity hopes to be a trauma surgeon. She also wants to be a motivational speaker, because of her strong passion for ending the stigma on mental illness and gun violence. Trinity loves to be involved in making her school and community a better place. Currently, she serves at her church on the worship team and in the nursery. At school, she is in National Honors Society, SAVE Promise Club, Ski Club, and Student Government. She hopes to change the world using her voice and encourage others that their voice matters.
Arriana Gross is a sophomore honor student at Newton High School, as part of the Academy of Liberal Arts. As someone who has seen violence strike her own community, she is very dedicated to her role on the Youth Advisory Board. Arriana is passionate about making life better for not only herself but those around her. She is vice president of her local SAVE Promise club with Jared’s Heart of Success, Inc.
Arriana is a mental health advocate. On that front, she shared, “I urge people to not only take care of their mental health but to be considerate and not stigmatize those who suffer from mental health disorders.” She promotes drug awareness to teens, their parents, and serves as an advocate in preventing all types of violence. Arriana often finds motivation in the fact that people have died at the hands of violence. With her work, she will ensure that those people have not died in vain, but for a greater purpose. She strongly believes in making a difference.
Outside of her SAVE Promise Club, Arriana loves to write. She has even won the Young Georgia Authors competition for 9th-grade authors. She is very passionate about music and has a lot of fun participating in her school’s chorus and band. Additionally, Arriana is a hospice and long-term care facility volunteer. As a member of the Youth Advisory Board, Arriana hopes to impact the lives of others and promote change within communities around the world.
Angel-Lee is a senior at Platt High School in Meriden, Connecticut and has extensive love for things such as volleyball, theatre, and helping people. She first got involved in her SAVE Promise Club 2 years ago 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 organize 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. 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 assured 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 the SAVE team will support the Panther Pack for sports and arts, promote SAVE activities on the trademark #PlattMYM, and run ‘Painting the Walls at Platt’ to allow students to artistically express themselves around the 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.
Kaylie Malloy is a senior at Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio. Living in a small tight-knit town, the Chardon community has fostered her growth and allowed her to get involved significantly. She is an active member of the student body by participating in many clubs, most of which have service at their center. For example, she is the Secretary of Communications in the Interact Club, on the council of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and a member of the National Honors Society. She is also the co-president of the Creative Writing Club and captain of the varsity tennis team. Kaylie is also very involved in activities related to her faith. She is the leader of Chardon’s chapter of Fellowship of Christian Athletes and involved significantly in her Church’s youth group, Life teen.
Though all these activities have been rewarding to Kaylie, the most impactful activity is Chardon’s SAVE Promise Club. Chardon has adapted its SAVE Promise Club to fit their core values, named Core Values Club. She has been on the council for the past two years. Kaylie states, “It is so impactful to focus on the safety of my peers and the community within the school.” They have organized and hosted two drug prevention events, mental health awareness forums, and a stress reduction activities fair. She looks forward to planning a youth summit with schools in northeast Ohio with her SAVE Promise Club.
When not involved in these activities, Kaylie enjoys completing puzzles, traveling, and playing tennis. Despite their annual poor records, she also enjoys watching the Cleveland sports teams, Go Cavs! Kaylie encourages students to get involved in all the opportunities presented in their hometown and thanks Chardon for having so many of these opportunities! She can’t wait to see the work accomplished the National Youth Advisory Board and all the Save Promise Clubs throughout the country.
Amber McCormack is a junior at Mukwonago High School in Mukwonago, Wisconsin. This is her first year on the Youth Advisory Board. In addition to SAVE, Amber is involved in Student Government, Key Club, Mock Trial, and International/Spanish Club. She has also held the positions of Sophomore and Junior Class Officer. Through these different organizations, Amber has learned innovative ways to run and organize events, as well as had the opportunity to meet people from all different backgrounds. Amber is able to excel in various clubs, two sports, AP classes, and a part-time job all at once.
Amber is very passionate about SAVE and has been elected as Secretary for her school club. Amber’s favorite Sandy Hook Program program that has been put in place is Start with Hello. She elaborated on the subject saying, “not only did I see just SAVE members participating, but people who I don’t even know and people who maybe aren’t involved in anything at my school were smiling and saying hello back or even saying hello to more people. This one little event spiraled across my whole school and every student seemed to be just happier. I know that it made everyone’s day better, even those who are hesitant to participate in anything.”
Amber is very excited to be on this year’s Youth Advisory Board and has many ideas on how to make SAVE Promise Clubs all over the nation as effective as possible. She is ready to get to work!
Cedric is a senior at Miami Southridge Senior High School. He has been a part of many school organizations including the Debate Team, Dance Team, and National Science Honors Society. Cedric grew up as a ward of the state and has experienced the downsides of the adoption system. As a result, he has taken a stand against all violence. To him, violence prevention means actively getting involved in shaping the minds of youth, healing the pain of the afflicted, and providing a local outlet for individuals to depend on.
Cedric is a leader in the C.O.R.D Ministry, a youth ministry that gathers youth in the urban regions of Miami and encourages them to explore their passions in vocation and recreation. This same group has invested time into the creation of influential choreography and lectures in neighborhood ministries to spread a friendly message of unity and violence prevention. One of C.O.R.D’s influential events was the “Make It Stop” message, which reflected the need for change and signaled how imperative it is for children to walk through life with purpose. The C.O.R.D Ministry has also allowed Cedric to be a peer counselor among many teens and an example of how one can grow out of their struggles. He personally believes in giving wholeheartedly, not just in money, but in time, which is what many children are not given. Membership in the Garnet & Gold Dance Company, CORD Ministry, Project Upstart, and Pure Faith Youth Ministry has enhanced his ability to be cooperative with others.
Cedric shared “I have learned to listen, understand, and embrace the youthfulness in myself and others. Lack of involvement and bonding between individuals spawns the harvest of hate, which is why organizations like the Sandy Hook Promise and SAVE Promise Clubs are needed in today’s society. One word can change a mindset, two words can make an impact, but one action can change a life.” Cedric wants to devote himself entirely to making the world a more peaceful and promising place. Cedric believes that living one’s life in anger only serves to deprive an individual of the opportunity for growth.
Steele Canyon Charter High School, CA
Advisor: Jillian West & Jennifer Serban
Braelyn Willis is an upcoming Senior at Steele Canyon Charter High School in San Diego, California. She will be starting her 6th year in SAVE and her second year serving as a member of the Youth Advisory Board for the SAVE Promise Club. She is so excited and thankful for this wonderful opportunity to be a part of the national youth voice for Sandy Hook Promise for a second year to share her passion in working to end the violence in communities and schools across the nation.
Braelyn is a home group leader in a program at her high school, called Cougar Crew, that trains students to host Freshman Orientation and welcome 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.
Braelyn has recently been selected to be apart of the leadership board for her SAVE Promise club at her high school for her second year and wants to follow her hopes of making the world a better place starting with her school and community. When asked about this upcoming year, Braelyn shared “I am ready to serve another year as a YAB because working for this cause is what I love.”
Past youth advisory boards: