APRIL YOUTH STEERING COMMITTEE
The APRIL Youth Conference would not be possible without all the work of our dedicated volunteers. Thank you for your commitment to youth with disabilities and APRIL. If you see these young folks at our conference, congratulate them on all their hard work and accomplishments, and give them a huge IL Thank You for getting the next generation excited to LEAD ON.
- APRIL STAFF
To join the Youth Steering Committee calls please jump on our meetings at 7:00pm EST
(6:00pm CST, 5:00pm MST, 4:00pm PST)
2nd Mondays of the Month
Follow us on facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/aprilyouth/
For more information please contact our Youth Advisory Specialist, Abby Ritter at 774-243-2267 or
We hosted the first large-scale gathering of rural youth with disabilities and CILs at the 10th annual APRIL conference in Minneapolis. Establishing an ongoing Youth Steering Committee to make sure the youth conference is for youth and by youth.
The Youth Steering Committee is comprised of young volunteers and more who are passionate about youth involvement and engagement. We meet once a month to plan every youth detail of the annual APRIL Conference. We plan details to the Youth Conference that is held the Friday before each conference. We also plan the youth activities that take place throughout the rest of the weekend. Our goal as a committee is to offer an opportunity to youth from across the country to come together to learn about issues in IL and how they can get involved when they return home.
2023 APRIL Youth Steering Executive Committee Bios
[positions run January 2023 - November 2023]
Noah Russell, Chair
Noah Russell is a member of the Space Coast Independent Living Center. He holds 4 going on 5 black belts, is a supporter of United Way, a member of the Autistic Community, and is the Chair of the YSC (Youth Steering Committee). He is a dedicated to helping people all around by advocating for people in his community and in his state of Florida. He works at Publix Super Markets and through them helps people with disabilities and non-disabled people.
Anya Carillo, Vice Chair
Anya Carrillo is a young adult who was born and raised in Arizona. She is an enrolled member of the Laguna Pueblo, and is equally proud of her Hopi, Lakota, and Seneca ancestry. Anya is the mom of three beautiful children; Judah, Marceline, and Saraiya, one of whom has Autism. Anya has been an advocate in the disability community since she was a teenager and is enthusiastic about helping others develop and use their voices in many ways. She has a passion for training and speaking to others about her experiences as an advocate and a survivor. She is an experienced self-advocate, a skilled peer navigator, and an accomplished trainer, presenter, and person-centered planning facilitator, who is conscientious about listening to how others need support. She is an employee for Diverse Ability Incorporated and is also the 2017 recipient of the national Advocates in Disability Award, and the 2019 recipient of the Marcus Harrison Jr. Leadership Award. She previously served on the Arizona Community of Practice on Transition (AZCoPT).
Jordan Hayes, Secretary
Jordan is a 26 year old woman who grew up in South Carolina. She graduated from Winthrop University with a Bachelors in Social Work in 2021. Previously, she worked as a self-advocate for York CAN and now works for a Center for Independent Living, Disability Rights & Resources, in Charlotte, North Carolina as a Peer Mentor. Jordan is passionate about being in community with individuals with disabilities, offering support to folks envisioning their future, and helping individuals navigate local resources. She enjoys working collaboratively and is always excited to learn something new.
Jazmin Barajas, Marketing, Outreach and Fundraising Coordinator
Jazmin Barajas (she/her) is a first-generation Mexican-American born and raised in Southern California who has a background in accessible technology. She recently completed a summer internship at the U.S Access Board in Washington D.C, where she improved government tools for testing accessible technology online. She is always looking for more opportunities to learn and connect with like-minded people, like through APRIL! In her free time, Jazmin enjoys spending time with her dogs outside as well as watching documentaries.
Zachary Staubitz, Social Media and Communications
Zach Staubitz is currently a sophomore at TCC, studying Graphic Design, and hopes to transfer to FSU next year for Media Communications. Zach has a passion for social media, communications, and advocacy. This passion has driven Zach to advocate for disabilities on Instagram and TikTok. Zach is heavily involved in the Wesley Foundation at FSU, which he considers to be his support system in college. Zach also is a Youth Transition consumer of Ability1st, The Center for Independent Living of North Florida and is excited to serve APRIL on this committee.