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FEMA Announces 2016 Youth Preparedness Council Members

Release date: 
May 17, 2016
Release Number: 

WASHINGTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today the selectees for the 2016–2018 Youth Preparedness Council.

Created in 2012, the council brings together youth leaders from across the country who are interested in advocating on behalf of preparedness and making a difference in their communities by completing preparedness projects. The council supports FEMA’s commitment to involve youth in preparedness-related activities. It also provides an avenue to engage youth by taking into account their perspectives, feedback, and opinions. Council members meet with FEMA staff throughout their term to provide input on strategies, initiatives, and projects.

FEMA selected the ten new members of the council based on their dedication to public service, community involvement, and potential to expand their impact as national advocates for youth preparedness. The members selected in 2016 are:

  • Kristen Lavoie (FEMA Region I, New Hampshire)
  • Ahjeetha Shankar (FEMA Region I, Connecticut)
  • Aahna Ghosh (FEMA Region II, New Jersey)
  • Sam Kleinberg (FEMA Region II, New Jersey)
  • David Bedard (FEMA Region III, Virginia)
  • Preston Buszka (FEMA Region V, Michigan)
  • Chandler Villa (FEMA Region VI, Texas)
  • James Hirsch (FEMA Region VII, Missouri)
  • Jerome Dinakar (FEMA Region VIII, Colorado)
  • Alexander Sun (FEMA Region VIII, Utah)

The returning council members are:

  • Kiahna Lee Espia, Council Co-Chairperson (FEMA Region IX, Guam)
  • Divakar Saini, Council Co-Chairperson (FEMA Region IX, California)
  • Angelo DeGraff (FEMA Region III, Maryland)
  • Hailey Starr (FEMA Region X, Washington)
  • Megan Stutzman (FEMA Region X, Oregon)

Each council member will participate in the Youth Preparedness Council Summit, July 19–20, 2016 in Washington, D.C. The summit gives members the opportunity to share their ideas and questions with national organizations; plan their legacy project; and meet with FEMA community preparedness staff, who serve as their ongoing support and mentors.

To learn more about the FEMA Youth Preparedness Council, please visit: //


FEMA's mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from and mitigate all hazards.

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Last Updated: 
May 17, 2016 - 11:46