90% by 2020 Youth Graduation Task Force
The 90% by 2020 Youth Graduation Task Force is a group of engaged high school students working to educate their community on the importance of graduation. They are working with parents, teachers and their peers in an effort to engage and raise the expectation of every student graduating high school.
Most recently they have created a video for parents discussing the importance of attendance. Many community leaders who are also parents came together to be in the video, while many spoke their native language.
youth task force members
Anessa Feero was born in Anchorage, Alaska. She is currently a senior at West Anchorage High school. Anessa particpates in Debate, Drama, and Forensics at school. She is an avid reader (especially of Harry Potter). She does a significant amount of community service. Anessa is part of the Anchorage Youth Court as well as the Anchorage Youth Advisory Commission. Anessa would like to study biology and chemistry in college, but isn’t exactly sure what she would like to do with her life, but knows she wants to make a difference in her community.
Chue Lee was born in Thailand. Chue is currently a junior at East Anchorage High School. Chue is an avid member of JROTC. He also loves playing soccer. Chue has worked hard on his leadership skills through PYLI. He would like to attend the University of Alaska, Anchorage and join either the National Guard or become Military Police.
Filiberto Barajas Jr.
Filiberto (Fili) Barajas Jr. was born in Anchorage, Alaska. Fili is a junior at Bartlett High School. Fili enjoys participating in the Robotics Club and loves to read and write. He loves to play video games and both watch and play soccer. Fili would like to go to school in Germany where he will study game development and history as well as the language.
Haita Sallah was born in Gambia. Haita is a junior at West Anchorage High School. She loves playing soccer on her school team. Haita loves babysitting and spending time with children. She also is an avid volunteer and spends a significant amount of time serving her community. Haita would like to attend University of Alaska, Anchorage to study radiology.
Joanne Encabo was born in Cavite, Philippines. Joanne is currently a sophomore at West Anchorage High School. Joanne is an avid reader and spends a lot of time practicing her violin. Joanne loves to dance, garden, and bake as well as play tennis and practice yoga. Joanne would like to attend school in Oregon and study psychology or attend Berkeley’s School of Music and obtain a masters in violin performance and/or music education.
Mee Yang was born in Thamkrabok, Thailand. She is currently a junior at East High School. Mee enjoys getting on the court for a game of badminton. She is an avid participant in National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, and Interact Club. In her free time she enjoys reading, sewing, crocheting and baking. Mee is weighing her options between the medical field and other endeavors, but plans on doing her prerequisites at the University of Alaska, Anchorage and then heading out of state to finish up.
Maija Smith-Mclendon was born in Anchorage, Alaska. She is currently a sophomore at East Anchorage High School. Maija enjoys dancing and singing and is currently part of the Women’s Choir at East. She is an avid volunteer and participates in many different opportunities around the city. In her free time, Maija enjoys reading. Maija would like to attend the University of Washington, Seattle to become an ObGyn or Nurse Practitioner.
Mary Lee was born in Anchorage Alaska. Mary is currently a junior at East Anchorage High School. Mary is a member of the National Honor Society and JROTC. She spends her free time volunteering. She grew in her leadership abilities at PYLI this past summer. Although she isn’t exactly sure where she would like to attend school, Mary would like to join the military and work in the medical field.
Mon Vang was born in Rhode Island. He is currently a junior at Bartlett High School. Mon plays for Bartlett’s soccer team and enjoys playing during the off season. He is an avid fisherman and spends a large portion of the summer out on the water, catching fish. Mon would like to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology in order to study computer programming or engineering.
Mor Her was born in Thailand. Mor will be a junior at Bartlett. She enjoys drawing and other artistic pursuits. Mor loves to read and write. Mor participates quite a bit in community through different volunteering opportunities. Mor would like to attend either the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) or the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) and study designing art.
pa ying thao
Pa Ying Thao was born in Anchorage, Alaska. Pa is currently a sophomore at East Anchorage High school. She loves to play and watch football, soccer, and badminton. Additionally, Pa gives a significant amount of her time to her community through many volunteering opportunities. In her free time, she enjoys reading books and going for strolls. Pa would like to attend UCLA or Harvard and become an anesthesiologist or surgeon.
Sasha Addison was born in Anchorage, Alaska. Sasha is currently a freshman at West Anchorage High School. Sasha loves reading and visiting Anchorage’s many libraries. She also enjoys riding her bicycle around the city. Sasha aspires to teach Middle School History after obtaining her degree from a school in the lower 48.
Seekia Vang was born in Thailand. She is currently a junior at East Anchorage High School. She participates in Student Government, Interact Club, Mu Alpha Theta, and is a National Honor Society member. When she is outside of school, Seekia enjoys participating in community service, reading, writing, and drawing. Although she doesn’t know exactly what she wants to be when she is older, Seekia would like to attend the University of Alaska, Anchorage.
terence mcknight jr.
Terence McKnight Jr. was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina. He is currently a sophomore at East Anchorage High School. Terence participates in Riflery, Jazz Band, and Anime/Manga Club at school. In his free time, he enjoys reading, playing and listening to jazz music, and playing video games. He volunteers many of his weekends working to improve his community. Terence would like to attend Howard University or Berkeley School of Music to be a jazz musician and composer.
Marcia LaSalle, is an AmeriCorps member serving with TRIO’s Educational Talent Search at UAA. Marcia graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from St. Norbert College in Green Bay, WI in 2014. After achieving her degree, Marcia moved to Honduras, in order to teach English to Kindergartners. Upon moving to Alaska, Marcia has worked very hard to create an inclusive and informative environment for her students. After her year of service is over, Marcia is unsure what exactly she would like to do, but continuing to work with TRIO students has become a very important piece of the puzzle.