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    Youth Advisory Committee

Tasha Turner--  YAC President

Tasha Turner is in her second year of employment as Administrative Assistant at the Center for Independent Living of the Keys. Ms. Turner graduated from Florida Keys Community College with an Associate’s degree in Arts. From 2010 to 2014, Ms. Turner served as the secretary for the Florida Independent Living Council's Youth Advisory Committee.  She now serves as the committee president. She also currently does volunteer work serving the deaf community in her area. Before joining the Youth Advisory Committee, as part of the Florida Youth Senate, she spoke with her local Representative about the lack of accessible buses in her community, the intermittent schedule, and made suggestions to help fix the problem. As a result, within three months there were machines installed in the buses in her county that would scan bus passes, thus bringing more money into the system and allowing the buses to run on a more frequent schedule. Since joining the Youth Advisory Committee she has also come to be employed as the Administrative Assistant at her local Center for Independent Living. Joining the Youth Advisory Committee has given her support from peers that she did not have before as a person with a disability. It has helped her to feel more empowered toward positive change in her own life, as well as the lives of others with disabilities, and helped her to gain more knowledge in order to become a better advocate. 

 Jaquilla Lee-- YAC Vice-President

Ms. Lee resides in Jacksonville, Florida and has been involved with YAC since 2009 when she attended the very first Youth Senate. She is also the past President of YAC and remains an active advocate in the disability community.

Ms. Lee states,  "I am smart and a leader. I am glad I am a member YAC."

Michael Curtin--Secretary

Michael Curtin is Japanese, born in Hikari, Japan. He currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida now. He has moved from Japan to America and back multiple times. He is about to graduate from Paxon School for Advanced Studies, and go to the University of North Florida. Michael has joined the YAC recently; he has been part of it for a little over 1 year. He found out about the YAC after attendance at the Youth Leadership Forum in Tallahassee.  He really wants to help those that are affected by the social pressures for people with disabilities. He has had a past, as do most with being picked on and singled out for having a disability. He really feels that even if things work out, if people do not respect you as a person with disability, then no work really has been done.

Patrick Fronzini  

 I was born on 2/1/1986 in Miami and have been involved with YAC since 2008 originally as a Youth Senator and really proud of doing advocacy for people disabilities in Miami as well as I like to use my researching skills to look for services and other organization for advocacy in education and medical service.

Jonathon Stubbs

 My Name Jonathon Stubbs and I am currently a member of YAC.  I have been a part of YAC for about 5 years and in that time I have learned the ins and outs of the disability movement all while gaining vital leadership experience that I can take back into my community and make it a more inclusive. I am an Eagle Scout is the Boy Scouts of America. I am currently trying to make every day better than the last.

Hannah Chu

 Hello!  My name is Hannah Chu and is currently starting my journey with YAC.  I am very excited to learn and experience the different trials of advocacy for people with disabilities. I think advocating for the disabled is one of the vital necessities we as people should take in order to grow as a society. To talk a little about myself, I live in the small town of Oviedo, where I graduated high school. Currently, I am working towards a Health Administration B.A and hope to venture on into law school to become a successful lawyer, or attorney. Some fun facts about myself, I am learning beginner Japanese and know conversational ASL. I also really love animals, especially dogs. Just these past few years I have adopted a dog and a cat, and they are the love of my life. In conclusion, I am much stoked to see what my future awaits while being a part of YAC. I am positive that I will be able to see positive changes to better suit the accommodations needed for disabled citizens.

Curt Milner       

 My name is Curt Milner. I'm from small town Tallahassee Florida. I have been a member of the Youth advisory Committee since 2012.  I have spent my whole life riding horses as a country kid and I'm extremely passionate about anything dealing with horses! I'm 23 years old, finishing my AA degree at Tallahassee community college. I teach riding lessons to kids with down syndrome, I'm a part time horse trainer, training mostly horses with extreme aggression problems! I am planing for a career in the world of horse racing as a jockey!

 Val Baker 

Valerie "Val" Baker was born on July 17, 1992 in Philadelphia, PA. In June of 1993 moved to Tampa, FL. Valerie was born with a rare disability called Arthrogryposis. This condition is characterized by joint contractures and muscle weakness. Valerie endured numerous orthopedic surgeries and many years of therapy.
 
She was main-streamed through the public school system. While in high school she was very involved with the music program and participated in marching band, concert band and percussion ensembles all four years. Valerie graduated from Wharton High School in 2011.
 
Valerie is currently in her fourth year pursuing a Bachelors of Science degree in Marketing with minors in Music and Advertising from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, FL.  She has plans to continue on to earn a Master's Degree in similar fields. She's very involved with the School of Music. Valerie is an active member in Kappa Kappa Psi a co-ed National Honorary Band Fraternity and formerly served as their Historian. She mentors students with disabilities through the Office of Adaptive Services.
 
She has served as a member of the Youth Advisory Council since early 2014.

Ioana Zanchi

My name is Ioana Zanchi and I am seventeen years old. I am originally from Bucharest, Romania, but have currently resided in Tampa, Florida for the last seven years. I will be a graduating senior at H.B. Plant High School,and look forward to entering the next chapter of my life:college. I hope to take the advocacy skills that I have learned throughout high school and apply them to a law-based career. I hope to instill power, strength, and courage for individuals with disabilities. I am extremely honored to be part of the Youth Advisory Committee, surrounded by people who believe in change for equality. In my spare time I enjoy reading, watching a god movie,practicing yoga or traveling the world.