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Texans Standing Tall
Texans Standing Tall attracted and selected a stellar group of youth leaders to work in partnership with TST, to prevent alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use. Each Youth Leadership Council member is actively involved in numerous leadership opportunities to create healthier and safer communities while building upon their leadership skills. Throughout the year, members are required to complete a prevention project in their community and help prepare about presentation for TST's 2019 Statewide Summit. The members serve a one-year term from October through September.
Please welcome Texans Standing Tall's Youth Leadership Council Members!
Joseph Blackburn is a junior at Garland Sachse High School and a new member of the Youth Leadership Council. Joseph learned about Texans Standing Tall through his participation with Extreme Youth Leadership, which advocates for a drug-free Texas. Through his participation with the YLC, he hopes to learn more about underage drinking and develop advocacy and fundraising skills. He’s interested in pro-wrestling and comedy, and he hopes to help host a community-wide event in Garland in the future.
Jessica Corona is a freshman at El Paso Community college, second-year YLC member, and YLC co-chair with fellow El Pasoan Nikolai Petty. Jessica is involved with CADCA’s TOT (Training of Trainers) program and hopes to become more involved with the Tobacco 21 campaign to raise the sale age of tobacco products in Texas. She wants to help those who struggle with drugs and alcohol in her community and is pursuing a career in criminal justice.
Samantha De la Rosa is a senior at Coronado High School in El Paso and a second-year YLC member. She is active in her school’s varsity choir and involved in Teens in the Drivers Seat, where she serves as a Teen Advisory Board member. She is passionate about ending underage drinking and drug use among her peers, and she hopes to work to make change possible in her community by doing more to engage adults. She is interested in pursuing a career in the field of criminal justice.
Eliezar DeLeon is a sophomore at Haltom High School and a new member of the Youth Leadership Council. Eliezar is in his school’s marching band, where he plays the clarinet, and is also the president of DECA and class treasurer He learned about Texans Standing Tall through Extreme Youth Leadership and joined the YLC because he hopes to make an impact in his community to reduce alcohol, drug, and tobacco use among youth. Eliezar is interested in pursuing a career in business real estate.
Millenia German is freshman at El Paso Community College and returning YLC member. She hopes to make hers a “non-alcohol” community where teens have fun at parties without alcohol or other substances. She wants to work to make sure teens don’t risk their lives by driving while intoxicated and is also interested in learning more about the Tobacco 21 campaign to raise the tobacco sale age in Texas. Millenia is working toward a degree in criminology and wants to be a crime scene investigator.
Riley Latham is a senior at Lufkin High School and a new member of the Youth Leadership Council. She is president of the National Honor Society, Vice President of Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Secretary of Asian Cultural Appreciation Club. Riley learned about TST from YLC member Amy Tang and hopes to learn how to be a more effective leader to influence change and improve her community. Riley enjoys volleyball and biology and plans to be a physical therapist.
Ahmaris is a fourth-year YLC member currently working for Mars Chocolate and leading teens in her church. She is passionate about talking to peers and adults alike about preventing underage drinking and making a difference in her community. She hopes to continue building her community engagement skills and is motivated when she sees communities coming together to change and improve. Ahmaris hopes she can educate her community about the risks and dangers of alcohol and other drugs without making them feel punished or signaled out.
Nicholas McDaniel is a junior at Bryan High School and a new member of the Youth Leadership Council. He is president of VKOT (Vikings Kicking Out Tobacco), a member of National Honor Society, and a volunteer with Skybreak Church. Nicholas joined the YLC to learn more information about youth alcohol and drug prevention since he’s had previous experience working in tobacco prevention. He participates in football, powerlifting, and track and hopes that his experience in the YLC will help him become a more effective advocate and leader in his community. Nicholas hopes to work on passing a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance in his community and has goals to work in architectural design manager or a church pastor and theologian.
Francisca Mendoza is a senior at Brazoswood High School and a new member of the Youth Leadership Council. She is involved in Extreme Youth Leadership, where she learned of Texans Standing Tall. She decided to join because she felt that the knowledge she gains from her membership to the YLC will help her bring about change in her community. Francisca is interested in learning about strategies to prevent drug use among youth and how to start a prevention group in her area.
Lauren Oliver is returning for her second year on the YLC. She is a freshman at Angelina College and is a lieutenant volunteer with the Zavalla Fire Department. She wants to contribute to ending underage drinking and drug use in her community. Lauren is especially interested in social host ordinances, which hold adults accountable for underage drinking on their property. She is motivated to help members of her community steer clear of harmful substances and avoid the pain that substance abuse causes family members.
Nikolai Petty is a third-year Youth Leadership Council member and sophmore at El Paso Community College. He is this year’s YLC co-chair along with fellow El Pasoan Jessica Corona. Nikolai said he’s learned a lot about the effects of alcohol and other drugs through the YLC and hopes to continue educating his peers. He hopes to become a law enforcement officer and a detective.
Alex Sanchez is a senior at Diboll High School and a new member of the Youth Leadership Council. He is president of the Spanish Club and Robotics, among other groups, and is a member of the National Honor Society and Drug-Free All Stars. Alex hopes to gain new leadership skills as a member of the YLC, and is passionate about working to spread prevention knowledge among youth. He plans to get his MBA after college.
Daegen Smith is a sophomore at Shepherd High School and enjoys being a member of his school’s band. He is a Teen Ambassador with TX Say What! and learned about the YLC from his older brother, a YLC alumni. He wants more people to join the fight for healthier lifestyles, and he is interested in working to prevent underage substance abuse. He also hopes to improve his presentation skills while he’s on the YLC. They will come in handy when he becomes an astrophysicist!
Amy Tang is a second-year member of the YLC and a freshman at the University of Texas at Austin. Originally from Lufkin, Amy is involved in UT Tri-Beta (Biology Honor Society) and the AACM, Asian-American Christian Ministry. She learned of TST through her involvement with the Angelina County Drug-Free All Stars and has been involved so that she can make a difference in her community. As a college student at a large university, she hopes to bring more awareness to underage drinking so that she can help decrease risky behavior and ultimately save lives. Amy is pursuing a career in the medical field so that she can one day become a primary care physician in underserved areas.
Amanda Torres is a sophomore at Loretto Academy and a new member of the Youth Leadership Council. She is a member of the National Hispanic Institute, sings in her school choir, runs cross country and track, and is involved in the photography and pre-med clubs. She learned about TST through a friend and knew she had to be a part of the organization. Amanda wants to become more informed about underage drug and alcohol use so that she can work with members of her El Paso community on reducing use among youth.
Veronica Verango is a sophomore at Bryan High School and a new member of the Youth Leadership Council. She is on her student council and a member of TX Say What!. Veronica is also vice president of VKOT (Vikings Kicking Out Tobacco). She joined the YLC to hone her leadership and advocacy skills and learn more about peer education. She hopes to help lead her community in becoming a smoke-free, alcohol-free, and drug-free environment for youth. She is interested in a career in fashion design and advocacy.
Hannah Via is a sophomore at the University of the People and a new member of the Youth Leadership Council. She is the co-president of her school’s book club, a youth advisory leader at her public library, and counselor at a Jewish summer camp. Hannah hopes to learn how to assist in prevention efforts in her community and wants to educate youth and adults on the dangers of alcohol and drug use among youth. She wants to be a child psychologist or mental health counselor.
Kaileigh Wahl is a freshman at Vernon College and a returning member of the YLC. She is currently involved with the TPCC (Tobacco Prevention and Control Coalition) in her area. She wants to make a difference in her community by raising awareness about the effects of alcohol and substance abuse on the body. She hopes to see a halt in the sale of tobacco and alcohol to minors in her communities and hopes to personally improve her leadership skills and build confidence through her work on the YLC. She loves being around her friends and family, and is studying to become a pediatric nurse.