Meet the 2019 GA Youth Staff!
General Assembly has been a part of our faith since the beginning, and at every General Assembly the best part is the youth programming! For decades youth programming at GA has been known as General Assembly Youth Caucus. The word “caucus” may have come from the Algonquian people. It means a gathering of people, usually for business and governance (think “the Iowa caucuses” or “the Democratic Caucus”). Because youth programming at General Assembly is so much more than just the business, we’ve decided to change GA Youth Caucus to just GA Youth, and leave the Caucus designation just for the youth (delegates and non-delegates) who participate in the business of General Assembly. Learn more about GA Youth.
So without further ado, let’s welcome our first General Assembly Youth Staff!
The Deans manage the staff team and set the overall tone for GA Youth.
Kari Gottfried is the Senior Youth Dean for GA 2019. She lives in Corvallis, Oregon for the time being but is preparing a move to Wellesley, MA next year for college. Kari is a Thrive (‘17) and Summer Seminary (‘18) alumna and a Goldmine chaplain (‘18). She is president of her district youth board as well as an occasional guest preacher at the UU Fellowship of Corvallis. Kari loves giraffes, talking (not arguing) about politics, iced coffee, and Unitarian Universalism (ask her about her UU tattoo!).
Andreas Rivera Young is the 2019 GA Youth Junior Dean and hails from Staunton, Virginia. He was born in Los Angeles, and has mad respect for other Californians. He enjoys working in UU circles and splits his time between a myriad of activities. In particular he enjoys soccer, track, cello, and watching his beloved Arsenal. He loves his dogs and his family. He is an alumnus of both Goldmine and Thrive and enjoys collaborating with other youth. He is studying four languages and enjoys passing his time watching movies. In addition, he is the biggest Arctic Monkeys fan in the world. With a deep devotion to rap and the ever-illustrious reggaeton, feel free to talk to him or the Senior Dean about music or anything about GA. He is thrilled to be your Junior Dean this year and is looking forward to GA!
Jennica Davis-Hockett is the Youth Ministry Associate for the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries and serves GA Youth as Dean Support. She can’t believe it but this is her 6th year supporting GA Youth. She grew up and lives in Salt Lake City, Utah where the seasons, scenery and politics are all extreme. She’s particularly fond of scary things like haunted houses (Halloween is her favorite holiday), bees (she has a few hives in her backyard) and canyoneering (she weirdly loves rappelling off 100ft cliffs). Her favorite part about Unitarian Universalism is the way we believe that we’re all good enough and we can all do better. If you see her at GA tell her what YOUR favorite part about UUism is!
Youth Caucus Business Team
The Business Managers support youth who are delegates and youth who want to be involved in the business of GA by facilitating a youth caucus.
Julia Landis is the Senior Business Manager of GA Youth Caucus and attends Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church in Charlottesville, VA. She attended Goldmine (‘17), and a Summer Seminary (‘18) grad and is a Luminary Leader. She applied for Youth Caucus staff after her first GA last year, because she realized that the business of the UUA is vital to all UUs, and she wanted to help youth understand that. Through the youth caucus, she’s been able to connect with yoUUth from all over the country, and looks forward to meeting even more next year. If you see her at GA, ask her about her musical talents! She plays the flute and piccolo in several ensembles in her area, and is also the drum major of her high school’s marching band
Cammie Horne, the Junior Business Manager, is from Orlando, FL and she goes to First Unitarian Church of Orlando. Cammie joined GA Youth staff because she wants to grow and learn more about how the denomination works as a whole. You will see her in Spokane with Julia helping to inform youth on the business of the UUA. As a lifelong UU, she attended her first GA last year. She enjoys playing her instruments, including flute and piccolo, at school and church. She made lots of friends last year in Kansas City and hopes to make more at this year’s GA!
Stevie Carmody is from Arlington, MA and serves our congregation in San Diego as the intern minister. The adult advisor to the Youth Business team, he is thrilled to help amplify the youth voices in our wider faith. As someone who came to Unitarian Universalism in high school, Stevie hopes to make ministry to youth and young adult communities a big part of his ministry. During seminary, Stevie served as youth program coordinator to the awesome youth community of his home congregation in Arlington, before heading to the West Coast this year. When not doing ministry things, Stevie loves to cook with friends, go on long runs, sing, and dance. He cannot wait to bring joyful, fun-loving vibes to the Youth community at GA in Spokane this year!
The Worship Coordinators plan and lead worships and spiritual practices that are youth centered and multigenerational.
Emma Merchant, Senior Worship Coordinator, is from Columbus, Ohio and even though she lives in a suburb of a major city, there’s still two cornfields and one student teaching farm within a 5 minute drive of her house. She attends the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus currently, but for her senior project she’ll be interning with the All Souls Unitarian Church in Indianapolis! Emma’s a Luminary Leader and a Summer Seminary grad. She really misses her SumSem pals and wants them to come to GA *cough cough*. She loves worship with all of her heart and truly wants to help people experience the holy if she can. She’s a pagan sort of gal, so if you ever want to talk about rocks/witch stuff you definitely should. One time she tried to grind up a huge chunk of quartz and definitely got a chunk in her eye. Emma really loves ugly stuff in general and she’s very excited about getting crocs. At GA you can probably find her swapping tips on recipes for roasted vegetables, rocking her crocs, or debating why on earth there weren’t any scholarships for Hogwarts students. (Like really, at the very least the school should have paid for Ron’s new wand in the second book it was actively dangerous for him and the other students and the school KNEW the Weasley’s couldn’t afford it) She’s real passionate.
Junior Worship Coordinator Iris Chalk lives in Yorktown, Indiana where she's a junior in high school and attends the Unitarian Universalist Church of Muncie. She loves her congregation and the opportunities she's had to take on leadership roles there. She is a Luminary Leader and graduate of Summer Seminary ('18), where she met the wonderful people who later encouraged her to apply for this position! She's so excited to be a part of this amazing team of yoUUth, and can't wait to help create meaningful and fulfilling worship and spiritual experiences through her time on GA Youth Staff. She's passionate about many things, from music to social justice to rainbows to Harry Potter, the list goes on. You can usually find Iris randomly bursting out into song, laughing, or eating. She's pumped to attend her very first GA and develop meaningful connections with awesome yoUUth from all over!
Worship advisor Tyler Coles (they/he) is a native of Roanoke, Virginia and the only child of Monica and Terry. Inspired by the good news of Unitarian Universalism, Tyler is a Candidate for the Ministry who conjures at the intersections of spiritual practice and collective liberation. This work includes interfaith organizing, supporting the growth of queer spiritual communities, and continuous efforts towards creating the Beloved Kindom on earth. Beyond the "work stuff," Tyler is super excited to be a part of the GA Youth Staff and is looking forward to supporting everyone in having a meaningful time while in Spokane, WA.
Youth of Color Coordinating Team
The Youth of Color Coordinators (formerly Thrive Coordinators) support the spiritual lives of Youth of Color at GA.
Senior Youth of Color Coordinator Ehlona Walker lives in Milwaukee and attends the First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee. At church, they co-lead their youth group and serve as the youth on the church’s anti-racism team. Ehlona is recognized as a Luminary Leader and is also a graduate of Thrive (‘17), Midwest Leadership School (‘16), and Summer Seminary (‘18) and this will be their second GA! They joined as youth of color coordinator to engage with more yoUUth of color and help them explore and support their beliefs and identities at GA. Ehlona’s favorite part of GA is the worships because it creates a time to be with new and old friends and worship together. While at GA, youth attendees should know that Ehlona is always willing to give a hug and listen!
Imiloa Borland is from the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu, Hawaii, and serves GA Youth as the Junior Youth of Color Coordinator. She’s a youth activist both in her church and in her broader community, and led her island’s chapter of March for Our Lives. Imiloa joined GA Youth staff because she believes in amplifying and supporting the voices of yoUUth of color not only in the youth community, but in the wider community of GA. Imiloa’s favorite part of GA is getting to know new youth from all across the country. Imiloa loves dancing hula, cuddling with her cats, and laughing loud. Imiloa wants to let yoUUth know that she’s always ready to laugh with them and if they ever need a hug she’s ready to give one!
Sara Green is a southern, cis/queer/poly, Black femme minister living in Lawrenceburg, TN. She works at the UUA as the Youth and Young Adult of Color Ministry Associate and understands herself as part of a legacy of cultural workers, healers, maroons and creoles, southern queer freedom fighters and artists trying to shape god. She serves GA Youth staff as Youth of Color Support.
Care Team supports the pastoral needs of our GA Youth community and helps people connect with each other and the wider assembly.
Micaela Lattimer is from the UU Congregation of Columbia in Columbia MD. She is a Thrive (‘17) alum and worked on staff for the UU United Nations Intergenerational Spring Seminar (‘18) on the programs and workshops team. She is very excited for GA this year after having attended for the first time last summer. She is a complete extrovert, making new friends wherever she goes and looks forward to developing her faith and spirituality.
Zoe Johnston is from Littleton, Colorado and attends the Jefferson Unitarian Church. She loves attending church on Sundays as well as being District Chair for the Mountain Desert District. Zoe is a trained chaplain, Goldmine Alumni ('17), and a Luminary Leader. You will soon learn that one of Zoe's favorite things is friendship so she is incredibly excited to be working with the GA staff as part of the newly created Care Team. This will be Zoe's second General Assembly, and she is excited to cultivate an empowering community that will be sustainable even after we no longer share the same physical space. Besides making new friends, she loves reading, movie montages, culturally relevant memes, Star Trek, and making funny faces. Come enjoy life with her at GA!
Tyler Dettloff is from Redlands, CA, and attends church at Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Pasadena. They enjoy cooking, D&D, theatre, and yoUUth leadership! Local Camp De Benneville Pines has served as an emotional home to them, and through that community they have taken on roles such as small group ministry coordinator, right relations coordinator, social action coordinator, chaplain, and chaplain trainer. This will be their first ever GA; they can't wait to be involved in Unitarian Universalism on a national level! Tyler joined GA staff because they wanted to help support youth like you, so if there's ever anything you need to talk about-- whether happy or sad, serious or small-- Tyler and the rest of the community care team are there to talk.
Sarah Bishop is from Atlanta, Georgia and goes to the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett. She loves reading, music, playing soccer, and learning about history. She started a feminism club called HERStory at her high school and is very passionate about equal rights and social justice. She’s been a UU for as long as she can remember and some of her best memories come from church and General Assembly. 2019 GA will be her third General Assembly and she can’t wait to be part of the staff. Her favorite part of General Assembly is meeting new people from all over the country who share the same values as her and making connections with people.
Adult advisor Beau Ohlgren is the Director of Family Ministry at Quimper Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Port Townsend, WA. This is his second time on working with youth staff at GA and he loves that it provides him the opportunity to connect to a wider UU community, support UU youth connection, and enjoy making GA a wonderful experience. He likes singing, reading, playing games, silly puns, and is always up for a good conversation!
Adult advisor Heather Godbout is the youth coordinator at Unity Temple UU Congregation in Oak Park, IL. She has been involved in youth ministry as a volunteer advisor or paid staff for over two decades. She has served in various roles within youth ministry, including serving on the District Youth Steering Committee of the Central Midwest District, acting as a Resident Advisor at Youth Midwest Leadership School in the MidAmerica Region, and supporting youth cons as a con consultant in and around Chicago and southern Wisconsin. She is also one of the founders of the MidAmerica Youth Advisor Network, a professional organization by and for youth advisors in the MidAmerica region. This year at General Assembly she will serve on the Care Team, as well as collaborating with Beau Ohlgren as youth sponsor coordinators.
In addition to her Sunday gig as youth coordinator, Heather works as a literacy coach at a high school in the south suburbs of Chicago. She lives in Homewood, IL with her lovely wife, Second Unitarian of Chicago Music Director Amanda Thomas, and the most adorable puggle on the planet, Dolly. She is proud to be known as the “book lady”, and enjoys knitting, painting, and all things crafty.