The SHOREline Youth Advisory Board is composed of young leaders, innovators, and role models who have made tremendous differences in their schools and their communities. Members of the Youth Advisory Board include college students as well as young professionals who work with communities to reduce their vulnerabilities and increase the capacities of their residents.
Cassie Murray is a Washington D.C. area native and a current resident of Denver, Colorado. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education and a Vocal Performance Certificate from Colorado State University where she participated in an Alternative Spring Break to help repair New Orleans homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Following graduation, Cassie joined the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps as a Team Leader in the inaugural class of FEMA Corps, a collaboration between the AmeriCorps and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Cassie and her team canvassed New Jersey homes for several months following Superstorm Sandy, providing information about the variety of assistance available to storm survivors. They also helped launch a project focused specifically on the needs of youth in impacted communities that combined disaster preparedness education with creative arts presentations by students. At FEMA Headquarters in Washington D.C. the team coordinated press communications after the Boston Marathon Bombings and assisted in creating and monitoring local social media feeds during the initial response to the tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma. The team also made instructional videos about communicating with linguistically diverse people that will be shown at trainings for all new employees at several federal agencies. Cassie is currently serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA member at Mile High United Way in Denver where she focuses on building local nonprofits’ capacity to evaluate and improve the services they provide to clients. She is also a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Practitioner.
Katie Aspen Gavenus
Katie Aspen Gavenus grew up as part of a fishing family in a place called Homer, Alaska on the shores of Kachemak Bay. The Exxon Valdez gushed oil into nearby Prince William Sound when she was a toddler, and for weeks they dreaded the day that the darkness would roll into their Bay. Eventually, some of it did. Growing up in a community intimately connected with the land- and sea-scape and seeing this place endangered had a profound impact on her. She developed a passion for both science and art, for place and people, and traveled across the country to study this more at Bowdoin College. It wasn’t until she left Homer that she realized the depth of her love for and connection to Kachemak Bay. She soon came to understand that she wanted to help others nurture this sort of meaningful connection to place.
Katie has since been lucky to work as an environmental educator on the coasts of Alaska, California, and Maine. She has also traveled throughout south-central Alaska and coastal Louisiana, Alabama, and Mississippi with the Children of the Spills project. When the BP/Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill occurred in 2010, she believed that the experiences of Alaskan young people who grew up in the wake of the Exxon Valdez might be of use to people in the Gulf Coast states, and that perhaps these stories could broaden our understanding of the effects of oil spill, so she created the project to compile and share spill stories from both Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, she is an environmental educator at the Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies where her greatest joy is helping people young and old fall in love with Kachemak Bay and the tapestry of people and ecosystems that make it so remarkable. She still savors time on the Bay, catching salmon and halibut, picking (and sampling!) blueberries, or going for brief swims in the frigid waters.
Maria Oanh Do
Maria Oanh Do is an aspiring journalist from New Orleans studying mass communications at Louisiana State University.
Maria’s passion for her community blossomed with the development of an annual service competition, Mission Ignition, which she co-founded with the United Way of Southeast Louisiana in New Orleans. It was there that she utilized her media arts experience and produced several promotional videos for United Way’s philanthropic causes all before entering college.
Maria met the SHOREline team after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill where she shared with them one of her videos. Not long after, the SHOREline team welcomed Maria on board as a youth advisory board member and their very own documentarian.
Maria is currently producing videos about SHOREline’s progress and will direct a documentary as its inaugural year comes to a close.
Inspired by the research-based disaster relief efforts of SHOREline, Maria is now a volunteer for the American Red Cross and conducts disaster relief projects in her newly founded club Student United Way at LSU.
At age 19 in 2009, Meg Bourne-Hulsey created Art Feeds, to feed creative development and facilitate emotional expression in children. On May 22, 2011 Meg’s life changed forever, when at 5:41 pm one of the largest tornadoes in America’s history ripped through Meg’s hometown of Joplin, Missouri. Art Feeds programs were needed in Joplin more than ever before and scaled rapidly in response to the need of traumatized children. Art Feeds programming was used to facilitate expression, creativity and resiliency in the healing process. Art Feeds has been instrumental in the recovery of Joplin children and generated innovative programs now used for children worldwide. Meg has now worked with over 3,000 volunteers and 19,500 children providing free therapeutic art and creative education in Joplin, MO, Moore, OK, Jackson, NJ, Estes Park, CO, Ghana and Honduras. She has facilitated the creation of 11 student driven murals and creative change resonating community wide. Meg believes that all children are creative, innovative and imaginative artists. She was awarded the Missouri Arts Award in Arts Education 2013, was a finalist on VH1’s 2012 Do Something Awards, represented 1 of 25 causes nationwide honored in NBC’s 2012 American Giving Awards, was featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, New York Times, Huffington Post, Forbes, AXS TV, HuffPost Live, Teen Vogue and Fast Company.
Raised in the Rockaways, Milan Taylor attended local public schools along the Peninsula prior to his enrollment at CCSU (Central Connecticut State University) in New Britain, Connecticut where he ran track and field at the Division 1 level. While at CCSU, Milan was the President of the Black Student Union and a member of the Student Government Association. He ultimately decided to transfer to John Jay College of Criminal Justice to be closer to his hometown and use his leadership skills to improve his community. Upon his return, Milan became active in the local community; specifically in local politics. He began his journey by obtaining an internship with City Council member James Sanders Jr. From this opportunity, he was appointed to Queens Community Board 14, becoming the youngest active member of the board. As a result of his newly appointed position, he became acquainted with several community leaders with the intent of growing his knowledge of the issues surrounding the Rockaway community. Milan began to analyze the needs and concerns of the residents. His participation grew as he attended various community meetings discovering the lack of youth participation in the community. In fact, there were few politicians who were truly focused on youth-related problems in the Rockaways. As a young person with concern over his generation, Milan decided to take action. Looking around, he realized there were few places where young people in the Rockaways could grow and learn to be great leaders. Therefore the vision of Rockaway Youth Task Force (RYTF) came to fruition – an advocacy organization created and ran by the youth of the Rockaways to properly address youth issues in the community.
Sam Johnson has worked extensively as a thought leader, facilitator and relationship coordinator between corporate, government, non-profit and social enterprise groups following the Christchurch Earthquakes, both nationally and internationally. As Founder of the internationally acclaimed Student Volunteer Army, Sam has a deliberate focus on building community resilience and enjoys creating long-term systemic change in challenging environments on both a policy and grassroots level. Sam actively works with the Ministry of Awesome, Student Volunteer Army and social enterprise investment group Soul Capital to increase the resilience of organizations and young change makers. Sam is a Mayoral Ambassador for Christchurch and will graduate in Law in late 2014.
Tina Tran was born in Chicago, Illinois and was raised in Atlanta, Georgia. She and her family have also lived in Texas, Virginia, Illinois, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. During her senior year of high school, she was fortunate to attend the Sustainability Workshop School in Philadelphia. The Sustainability Workshop is centered around enhancing students’ knowledge and skills as they work to “solve real world problems.” Tina, along with a number of her classmates, developed the LandRafts concept to bring sustainable housing to disaster-affected regions. Their LandRafts project was presented at a national conference and is still in development today. After graduating from high school, Tina moved on to Penn State-Abington, where she is currently majoring in Biology. She plans to one day become an orthodontist with her own clinic. She is honored to be part of the SHOREline Youth Advisory Board because it has given her the opportunity to pass on her knowledge to her peers.