2014 U.S. Youth Ambassadors: Who they are

Mary Newton Bio PicMary Clarissa Newton
Age: 17
Hometown: Bozeman, Montana

Mary is an active and optimistic student.  She is involved with several activities at her high school, including the marching band, track and field team, National Honors Society, and speech and debate team.  Last summer Mary served as a student ambassador at Montana State University in the Office of International Programs.  After high school, Mary plans to return to the University to pursue a medical degree.  For her action project, Mary would like to organize an International Day at her high school.

Sierra Fisher-Dykman Bio PicSierra Marie Fisher-Dykman
Age: 15
Hometown: Bozeman, Montana

Sierra is a basketball player and participates in her school musical as well as Partners Club. In her spare time Sierra loves being outdoors. Her favourite activities include camping, hiking, rafting, and kayaking. She describes herself as a bubbly, outgoing person who loves traveling and service. She also speaks Spanish. For her action plan, Sierra plans to contact the mayor of Bozeman to help make the city more eco-friendly.

 

Cyree Bio PicCyree Bilal Bethea
Age: 16
Hometown:  Washington, D.C.

Cyree plays basketball, football, and the drums in the high school band.  He is also active in the JROTC.  After high school he would like to study civil engineering and eventually join the military.  For his action project, Cyree will work on the solving the issue of homelessness in Washington, D.C.

 

 

Emma BryantEmma Kathryn Bryant
Age: 15
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Emma is involved with hula dancing, the musical production at her high school, the ambassador program at her high school, and Key Club.  She is also interested in photography and engineering.  For her action project, Emma will work with The House Warming Project to solve Tulsa’s homelessness issue.

 

 

Rachel IjamsRachel Elaine Ijams
Age: 15
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma

Rachel is a member of the track and field and speech and debate teams at her high school.   She also plays piano and is an active member of her church’s youth group, Key Club, GirlUp, and Spanish Club.  For her action project, Rachel will work with children at Laura Dester Shelter who are awaiting foster parents.

 

Jess Juanich Bio PicJess Jefferson Juanich
Age: 16
Hometown: Seattle, Washington

 

Jess is involved with his high school jazz band, Model UN, Boys & Girls Club, Keystone Club, and church choir.  He is also active in the Filipino Community of Seattle as a youth academy leader, as well as other activities within his community.  Upon his return, Jess’s action project will stretch over all of his community, bringing multicultural understanding to all of his different interest groups.

Emily Rhodes Bio PicEmily R. Rhodes
Age: 15
Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Emily plays soccer and basketball and enjoys reading, knitting, and sewing.    She describes herself as a hard-working and dedicated individual who values her education and her family. She also speaks Spanish. For her action plan, Emily will promote community service in Seattle by creating a community service award.

 

JJR Bio PicJacqueline Joyce Reeves
Age: 15
Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Jacqueline is funny, goofy, and athletic.  She plays both tennis and soccer, and is involved with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s teen committee as well as Wellsprings.  For her action project, Jacqueline will make a system where community members can anonymously donate money to provide hungry students with a daily lunch.

 

Jimmy Bernard bio picJimmy Bernard
Age: 16
Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Jimmy is eager to learn and expand his knowledge of the world we live in through travel. He enjoys swimming, camping, boating, and hanging out with friends. Jimmy also plays the electric and acoustic guitar, bass, and a little on the drums. For the last three years, he has been volunteered at his church teaching kindergarten age children. For his project, Jimmy is interested in organizing fun and social activities for children that come backgrounds without tons of family support. These activities will focus on building healthy relationships with new friends and peers.

Kirsten Smith Bio Pic (Adult)Kirsten Diane Smith
Adult Mentor
Hometown: Seattle, Washington

Kirsten works as a manager of government affairs in Seattle, Washington.  In her spare time, she enjoys learning Spanish, mentoring youth, and serving as a co-chair of the neighborhood council.  She has had several travel opportunities in the past, but has yet to visit Brazil.  Kirsten looks forward to mentoring and supporting the Youth Ambassadors during their stay in Brazil and upon return to the United States.  She will be challenging the Youth Ambassadors to stay committed and connected to their action projects and each other.

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