Meet Them All! 2017 Youth Caucus Staff
General Assembly 2017 of the Unitarian Universalist Association will be a gathering like no other. Responsive to the hurt and upheaval enhanced by the Trump administration and more responsive still to the yearning for joy, creativity and togetherness, GA17: Resist and Rejoice will be a transformative spiritual community event. The 2017 Youth Caucus staff are dedicated to creating an experience that galvanizes the youth of our movement by deepening our collective Unitarian Universalist spirituality and helping youth make an impact on our association through General Assembly.
Eric Broner Sr. Dean
Eric Broner lives in Atlanta, GA and is a high school senior. He’s a member of his school’s cross country, swimming, track, and Quizbowl teams, and he is the senior co-facilitator of his youth group at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta. In his free time, Eric likes to fantasize about all the things he could do if he had any. Eric is an avid reader, a frequent viewer of documentaries, and a huge fan of the Atlanta Hawks, Falcons, Dream, and United FC. He’s very excited about Youth Caucus this year in New Orleans, LA and looks forward to meeting UU youth from across the country as they join together to improve our faith and national communities.
Jaidyn Bryant Jr. Dean
Jaidyn is a sophomore from Baton Rouge, LA. She attends the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, where she has served on the worship guild for almost 2 years. She is also a Thrive alum who can talk for hours about social issues ranging from police brutality to climate change. She loves sports, including track, tennis, and volleyball. She can be found in the weight room, or at one of several clubs after school. This year, she is serving as the Junior Dean and can’t wait for GA this year in New Orleans!
Andreas Rivera-Young Connections Coordinator
Andreas is a freshman who attends the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Waynesboro, Virginia where he serves as a childcare provider and is active within his youth group. Originally from California, he is a second generation Unitarian Universalist. He is a alum from both Thrive (2016) and Goldmine (2016). Andreas is passionate about activism, especially related to racial justice. In addition to being a total soccer nerd (go Arsenal) and running track, a generous amount of his time is devoted to consuming just about anything that is near him. He not only enjoys creating music through playing the cello, but he can also be found listening to his favorite guilty pleasure artists. He looks forward to meeting youth from all across the country for this amazing GA!
Elesa Turner Connections Coordinator
Elesa is a senior from First Unitarian Church of Providence in Rhode Island. She enjoys crafting, debating about Gilmore Girls, and watching the bachelor Monday nights at 8pm EST on ABC. She can be found at any time adding to her Pinterest boards or asking people if she can pet their dogs. She is so excited to be a connections coordinator at GA in New Orleans- even more excited than when her beloved Patriots won the Super Bowl!
Nyana Harper Peer Chaplain
Nyana Harper is a sophomore attending Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Ohio. She is the Chair Elect of Heartland Area Youth Council. She enjoys nature hikes, helping to plan youth events, and doodling. She is super excited to see all the awesome youth and adults at GA for her second year attending and first year as a youth chaplain.
Kiernan Dean Hall Peer Chaplain
Kiernan Dean-Hall is a Junior at People’s Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He is an active member of his youth group and has had in integral role in the planning and execution of cluster cons hosted by his church. While not in church, Kiernan likes to swim, eat, and sleep as well as work to become a Pokémon master and working on his YouTube Channel.
Hannah Rigdon Sr. Business Manager
Hannah is a senior from the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood, NJ. She enjoys doing arts and crafts, watching Portlandia, and doodling on her homework. You can find her playing the cello in a orchestra for retired people or getting lost in the woods with her dog. She is a hostess at a Chinese restaurant, and is also a renowned author of terrible poetry. Hannah cannot wait to meet you all in New Orleans and looks forward to seeing your bright faces in General Session.
Annalee Durland-Jones Jr. Business Manager
Annalee is a junior who attends the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church Unitarian Universalist in Charlottesville, Virginia. As an active part of her church community, she helps to lead youth group, worships, and is the first youth Board of Trustees member at her church. When she is not at church, she enjoys exploring the world around her through photography and cooking new foods. Annalee is a Goldmine alum (2016). She is passionate about getting youth interested in social justice issues and what is happening in the world around them.
Colleen Lee Sr. Worship Coordinator
Colleen Lee is senior at Eliot Unitarian Chapel in St. Louis, Missouri. She spends time working with Planned Parenthood, graphic designing for her school’s yearbook and art journaling. She also enjoys listening to podcasts, and taking buzzfeed quizzes all while drinking hot tea and petting her cat, Midnight. She is also a life long UU who can’t wait to worship with all of you in NOLA! See yah there!
Elliot Crary Jr. Worship Coordinator
Elliot is a junior who attends the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson, Arizona. He’s a huge nerd and enjoys rock climbing, music, fitness, painting, and games of all kinds. He is a Summer Seminary 2016 alumni and loves working with UUs to make awesome youth events. He can’t wait to meet all of you in New Orleans!
Shari Halliday-Quan Adult Chaplain
Shari is a second-year seminarian at Union Theological Seminary and the Youth Ministry Coordinator at First Unitarian in Brooklyn. She and her wife Elisabeth share their home with a 17-pound cat named Hildegard von Harlem, more houseplants than is reasonable, a lovely roommate, and a regular slate of visitors and dinner guests. Her pastimes include cooking, podcasts, and travel, while her past times include serving in the Peace Corps, selling artisanal cheese and bread, and a very brief stint in showbiz. Shari is one of the adult chaplains for Youth Caucus this year.
Jordan Licari Adult Chaplain
Jordan Licari is a second year seminary student at Starr King School for the Ministry, and this will be her first year at GA. She lives in Denver, CO and is a Youth Advisor at First Unitarian Society of Denver. While not doing school or ministry work, she enjoys being part of the thriving activist community that often meets at her house. Her favorite things are poetry, yoga, cats, and smashing the heteronormative patriarchy.
Sam Wilson Advisor/Sponsor Coordinator
Sam is in his 3rd year as the Director of Youth Ministries at Winchester Unitarian Society, having previously advised youth at Main Line Unitarian Church in PA and others through the former Joseph Priestly District Youth Steering Committee. He also works as a “Guru” for an SAT Company and has otherwise taught art, English as a Second Language, GEDs, singing, and theatre. He is a Program Leader for the UU College of Social Justice, through which he has led several Activate Youth Justice training sessions. He particularly loves to: create art for social change, dance like no one’s watching, embrace silliness, empower young people, practice anti-racism, sing karaoke, and uplift Unitarian Universalism as a beacon of hope for our world.
Pam Lepley Advisor/Sponsor Coordinator
Pam has served as the DRE at the UU Fellowship of Winston Salem for fifteen years. Her previous professional experience includes serving as a foster care social worker for the Department of Social Services and an advocate for survivors of domestic abuse and sexual assault. She lives in a chaotically peaceful home with her two teenage daughters, husband, four cats, a dog, and regular drop-in visitors occupying the spare room.
Kathy Smith Advisor/Sponsor Coordinator
Kathy Smith serves the Unitarian Universalist church in Plano, Texas as Director of Religious Education. She was on Youth Caucus staff in at General Assembly 2012 in Phoenix, AZ and loves every (exhausting, amazing, incredible) minute of General Assembly. As DRE, she is passionate about faith formation that works, social justice that reflects our faith, and building community that sustains both. In her free time, she chases Poke-dudes, performs in community theatre musicals, reads voraciously, and enjoys board games with anyone who can be persuaded to play.
Please welcome them in the comments!