To contact any of the Minnesota Youth Council representatives, please email email@example.com, with the name of the council member in the subject line.
Congressional District 1
Zamzam Abdullahi, Senior at Rochester STEM Academy
Zamzam joined the Minnesota Youth Council with hopes to become more involved in youth groups around the nation. Going to a charter school for the majority of her life has made her very passionate about education equity. She feels that there isn’t enough representation of youth around the state, especially in matters pertaining to youth. She is also very passionate about the issues that surround accessible health care and housing around the state. Zamzam is also a member of her high schools fencing club.
Salma Abdi, Senior at Rochester Century High School
Salma’s passionate about about climate justice, educational equity, and public health. As the Southern MN co-lead of the Minnesota Youth Climate Strike(MNYCS), Salma advocates for climate justice across District 1 and the entire state focusing on the intersectionality of the climate crisis and other issues. Her deep interest in the healthcare field has led to her interest in global health and as the Co-President of her school’s UNICEF club she gets firsthand knowledge of her privilege to live in Rochester. Also, as the student body secretary of her school, she wants to make sustainable change when it comes to educational equity in her school district. If Salma’s not organizing, you can find her writing poetry and running.
Kaycie Brookens, Senior at Fairmont Jr/Sr High School
Being an involved and driven student, Kaycie is honored to have the opportunity to serve on the MYC, and represent youth from a more rural community whose voices often go unheard. Kaycie hopes to advocate for an equitable learning environment for all students, especially regarding issues like mental health, special education, and socioeconomic disparities. Kaycie enjoys being involved with her schools music programs and tennis team, and being a passionate public speaker, participating in speech, debate, mock trial, and theatre.
Congressional District 2
Sahasra Molleti, Sophomore at Eastview High School
Sahasra enjoys participating in a wide variety of activities such as volleyball, student council, debate, and more. She is passionate about women’s rights, increasing education opportunities, helping the homeless, and taking care of the environment.
Eric Li, Junior at Eagan High School
Eric joined the Minnesota Youth Council because he thought there was a lack of youth representation for issues specifically the school to prison pipeline, school environment, and updated education. Outside the Youth Council, he has been volunteering for Senator Jim Carlson for this election year and is part of the Women’s Empowerment Club as well as his school’s Multicultural Student Union where they look to expand equality throughout their school. He is also part of his school’s Speech and Debate Team and will be volunteering for the Minnesota Urban Debate League to help teach debate to schools throughout the Twin Cities. In his spare time, he loves playing tennis with his friends, playing with his dog, and watching his favorite TV show, The Office.
Congressional District 3
Jacob Kiflu, Sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School
Jacob is returning as a second year MYC member. He is interested in issues regarding education, juvenile justice, and youth voice. Outside of school, he plays basketball and soccer. He also plays Overwatch competitively.
Sage Hartman, Sophomore at Wayzata High School
Sage is passionate about environmental awareness. Sage cares deeply about racial equity and inclusion in education. Sage states, “I joined youth council because I want to make a difference within my school and Minnesota as a whole. Ever since I heard about Minnesota Youth Council I’ve wanted to join so I can give back to my community by using my voice to work towards change.”
Congressional District 4
Adri Arquin, Senior at St. Paul Central High SchoolAdri became a MYC Rep because of a noticeable lack of youth and youth of color in leadership spaces in Minnesota. Along with working with the MYC, Adri has focused his efforts on organizing against environmental racism and the climate crisis. Currently he is the lead of the Twin Cities Climate Strike, as well as doing work with COPAL MN on the ties between migration due to the climate crisis and BIPOC communities in Minnesota. Outside of that, he can often be seen on a field with a soccer ball at his feet or singing with friends.
Juwaria Jama, Senior at Spring Lake Park High School
JJ is the state lead for the Minnesota Youth Climate Strike, Youthprise ambassador, and a 3rd year youth representative on the Minnesota Youth Council. JJ is passionate about environmental justice, education reform, and most importantly police and prison abolition. Aside from organizing, JJ is an avid poet and spoken word performer.
Congressional District 5
Alexis Moracco, Senior at St. Anthony Village High School
Alexis is part of Youth in Government (YIG) and also enjoys playing soccer! She is excited to serve on the council so she can help bring youth voices into an area where their ideas and concerns can have an impact on both the present and the future.
Congressional District 6
Trinity Hanif, Senior at St.Michael-Albertville High School
Trinity joined MYC to further pursue her legislative interests and help better her community and Minnesota as a whole. She is very passionate about helping others, especially those who are unable to advocate for themselves. She hopes to continue the fight for equality as an MYC representative. Outside the council, she is involved in a variety of activities such as speech, debate, NHS, and Youth in Government. Trinity also runs a Women’s Advocacy Club that advocates for better conditions and intersectionality within her school!
Congressional District 7
Karen Guise, Senior at Red Lake Senior High School
Karen jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the Minnesota Youth Council believing her voice will be heard. Ask any of her social studies teachers, they’ll say she’s perfect for this role and also joke about her being future president or chairwoman. If Karen’s not challenging your beliefs she’s questioning them, wanting to understand your standpoint. She’s extremely tolerant and won’t force her beliefs onto you. Many of her passions include ethnic discrimination, gender equality, bullying, abortion and gun control. She’s a social butterfly which gave her the ability to meet different people and learn about their beliefs and most importantly the why.
Bridget Westrum, Homeschooled Senior – Bemidji
Bridget Westrum is ready to begin her third year on the Council with confidence! She is a Junior from Bemidji, Minnesota, who has been involved in politics since a very young age. She hopes that by continuing her time with the MYC, she’ll be able to bring more awareness to issues in her district, such as MMIW, the Opportunity Gap, Line 3 and gender equality. When not advocating for her community, Bridget can be found in front of a piano, planning her next adventure, or acting in the community Theatre.
Alya Nimis-Ibrahaim, Junior at Bemidji High School
Alya competes on the robotics, math league, and cross country teams at her school. She is committed to social justice issues and participated in the ACLU High School Advocacy Institute during the summer of 2020. She will serve on the Minnesota Youth Council in order to gain the skills to make a positive difference in her community.
Congressional District 8
Ria Edberg, Senior at Mora Junior/High School
Ria is active in many clubs like 4H, theater, spanish, choir, and FFA. She is in tennis and track & field. Ria is passionate about helping students in Minnesota that struggle with educational equity, substance abuse, and mental illness. She has been in the MYC since 8th grade, and is grateful to be able to serve the youth of MN.
Katelyn Dorry, Senior at Grand Rapids Senior High
Katelyn is on track for the international baccalaureate diploma at her school and plans on continuing her education and working in politics. This is her second year as an MYC rep and she is so excited to be part of the team and tackle community projects related to juvenile justice, public education, and outreach.
Emily Geier, Junior at Cambridge-Isanti High School
As the coming year is Emily’s third year on the council, she is looking to plant more action into her work. She is interested in uplifting the voices of youth in Minnesota and making sure their voices can be heard. She is also interested in mental health resources in schools, making sure that all students have access to counselors that care and resources that work. Lastly, Emily would like to be able to educate young people about the government, and get them involved.
At Large Representatives
Rhys Wiloughby, Junior at The Blake School
Bio coming soon!
Rhea Rajvansh, Senior at Eastview High School
Rhea joined the Minnesota Youth Council because she wanted to see more youth representation on issues that directly impact youth. Rhea is especially passionate on issues such as womxns rights, mental health, and climate change. Outside of Youth Council, Rhea enjoys debate/speech, traveling, and running.
Paula Akakpo, Senior at Math + Science Academy – Woodbury
Paula has always been incredibly passionate about history and how it affects us today. As she continued to research, it made her aware of past and current injustices, which lead her to join the Minnesota Youth Council. During her time at the MYC, Paula hopes to address issues affecting young people such as the School to Prison Pipeline, racial equity, and the education system. During her free time, she can be found reading books, writing, and hanging out with her family and friends.
Laichia Vang, Senior at Roseville Area High SchoolLaichia is a Co-Chair of Youth Executive Board, a multi-district group of high school students to influence change, learn about social and political advocacy, and create year long service-learning projects. She also is an active member of Becoming Organizers Becoming Advocates (BOBA), an Asian Minnesotan youth leadership program to learn advocacy and organizing skills, and create solutions to inspire change. Laichia joined MYC because she continues to notice the lack of representation and diversity in positions of influence, but she aspires to use her background and voice to bring justice for marginalized communities. During her time in MYC, she hopes to address the importance and need of ethnic studies, comprehensive sex education, criminal justice reform, LGBTQIA rights, climate change, and among other issues. Beyond her activism, Laichia oftenly participates in theatre, reads novels, listens to KPOP, and searches through Netflix and Hulu to find something new to watch.