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Region V Youth Preparedness Council

FEMA Youth Preparedness Council
Region V Youth Preparedness Council – Meet the Members
In 2018, the FEMA Region V office announced its inaugural Regional Youth Preparedness Council (RYPC). The council is made up of  8-12th grade students across the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota who are interested in promoting preparedness and safety in their communities. Students selected for the Regional Youth Preparedness Council serve a one-year term on the council and complete one preparedness-related community service project. The RYPC members also work alongside FEMA Region V and their state and local governments on current preparedness initiatives, develop valuable professional and leadership skills for the future, and work alongside other members across the Midwest to help build stronger and more resilient communities. In addition to the RYPC, Region V is proud to have two members serving on the National Youth Preparedness Council. Learn more about Banan Garada from Urbana, Illinois and Hannah Schultz from Marine City, Michigan. In addition to serving on the national council, Banan and Hannah serve as Council Leaders for the regional team.

Ryan Ciminski

Photo of Ryan Ciminski, Region 5 YPC MemberSecond Year Member
Ryan is a senior in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. He is President of Key Club, Vice President of the National Honor Society, a member of the speech team, a Link Crew Leader, and is a Student Page in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Ryan has played the violin for 8 years and is currently playing in the Stillwater Concert Orchestra. One of his most rewarding projects was serving as an officer on the H20 For Life Campaign, where he and his team raised $8,000 to build a drinkable water well in South Sudan. On the side, Ryan works as a math tutor at Mathnasium. During his time on the Region V Youth Preparedness Council, he plans to initiate a Preparedness Town Hall in coordination with the Minneapolis Fire Department.

Haily Dudzinski

Photo of Haily Dudzinski, Region 5 YPC MemberSecond Year Member
Haily is a 11th grader from Elroy, WI. She is a member of Juneau County ARES/Races Club, through which she assisted in providing emergency communication during the Juneau County Full Scale Exercise. She has also participated in READY (Responding to Emergencies and Disasters with Youth) Camp for two years, where she has acted as the Incident Commander during a mock disaster. Beyond her preparedness activities, she is also a drum major in her high school’s band. During her time on the Regional Youth Preparedness Council, Haily partnered with her state’s Student Tools for Emergency Planning (STEP) Program to deliver emergency preparedness training to 4th and 5th grade students at her local elementary school. Additionally, she assisted her school administration with putting on the annual “School Safety Skit,” which illustrated the importance of safe driving and learning life-saving first-aid skills.

Lucille Arbanas

Photo of Lucille Arbanas, Region 5 YPC MemberSecond Year Member
Lucy is a 12th grader from Buchanan, MI, where she participates in many musical and theater activities. She has also played a very active role in preparedness initiatives within her own school and community, where she has traveled to different schools to teach the importance of fire safety. As a member of the Regional Youth Preparedness Council, she wants to create an initiative focusing on preparing students for natural disasters and facilitating free CPR for Buchanan Students.

Vishnu Iyer

Photo of Vishnu Iyer, Region 5 YPC Member.Second Year Member
Vishnu is a 10th grader from Carmel, IN. He is passionate about serving youth experiencing homelessness, and currently serves as a youth tutor for School on Wheels. He was invited to give a presentation on Schools on Wheels to program sponsors and fundraisers for school supplies, as he believes that education will resolve homelessness. During his first year on the Council, Vishnu started a Teen CERT program at his high school. He successfully hosted CERT trainings to students at his high school with local emergency management officials and CERT volunteers. He is a certified hands-only CPR instructor for the American Red Cross. He plans to offer CPR training at his school and also the local community members. In addition, he is a disaster services volunteer and hopes to offer his services during times of need as part of the Red Cross.

Gracie Haupert

Photo of Gracie Haupert, Region 5 YPC MemberFirst Year Member
Gracie is a 9th grader in Slayton, MN. She participates in Cheerleading, Color Guard, Track, Choir and is a member of TEAM, an anti-bullying program in her school. She is also active in Civil Air Patrol where she is currently a Cadet Staff Sergeant and represents her Squadron as the Public Affairs Officer and serves on the Cadet Advisory Council. Additionally, she is a member of her Squadron’s Honor Guard. In her time on the Youth Preparedness Council Gracie hopes to raise awareness in her community by partnering with other agencies such as the American Red Cross to reach youth with their programs as well as develop a much-needed youth preparedness group in her area. Gracie has realized there is not a strong youth program in rural areas, and she would like to help develop a group organization to provide outreach to the youth in those areas.


Megan Rudquist

Photo of Megan Rudquist, Region 5 YPC MemberFirst Year Member
Megan is a rising sophomore in Minnesota. This is her first project with the Youth Preparedness Council, but she has done many tasks to help her community. This includes teaching people in her neighborhood about CPR and how to make disaster kits for different natural disasters. Megan also has many hobbies including volleyball, acting, and public speaking. Megan’s biggest accomplishment was raising $1,000 for a foundation to help kids in underserved communities play sports and be active. Most of all, Megan is excited to start working with the Youth Preparedness Council and can’t wait to help others in her community.


Alexander Ritter

Photo of Alexander Ritter, Region 5 YPC MemberFirst Year Member
Alex is a solution and team oriented junior in Wisconsin.  In 2018, Alex proposed and assisted in the implementation of the “Stop the Bleed Campaign” from the American Academy of Surgeons. His “Stop the Bleed” proposal includes training school district  and community personnel in life saving skills and proposed ordinance adoption placing wound care kits with AED’s and Fire Extinguishers in the same locations.  In 2019, he co-authored a “Discover Diving the Ridgewood Way” which focuses on the benefits of participation in non-mainstream safe aquatic activities and healthy lifestyles. Alex’s goal is to continue to learn about Community Risk Reduction initiatives, while leading towards positive societal impact.
Last Updated: 
09/10/2019 - 12:32