We are excited to continue engaging local youth with the 2016 launch of the pilot Youth Leadership Council (YLC). YLC is a group of 16 diverse youth who have self-identified as sustainable youth leaders among their families, peers, and communities, representing a cross section of schools from the greater Seattle area.

We hope to create space for a community of students to work together and also build relationships with successful professionals in the sustainability field.

Each of the youth leaders has been matched with a mentor from ILFI’s staff and professional community. The mentors will provide the students with hands-on experience in the green building/design fields and give them guidance on the student’s design projects. The students will receive the same education track that is given to ILFI’s Living Future Network. They also meet biweekly to learn new strategies that will help them compete in a Living Building Challenge Design Challenge that will be featured at Living Future unConference 2017.

Community partners are supporting the program by teaching the students some techniques to help them influence policy makers and leadership skills to strengthen their voices. The generosity of the organizers supporting the youth leadership movement in Cascadia is inspiring and motivating.

We would like to introduce you to our dedicated and visionary YLC. You can learn a little more about these young leaders here.

Aditi Shreya

I’m Aditi Shreya, and I’m from the Fiji Islands. I hope to become a better leader, instructor, and a peer to my community about living and seeing a future in eco-sustainability, engineering, and sustainability. My motivation to join the Youth Leadership Council was to learn more about this cause and to possibly apply the knowledge I learn from the seminars to strength- en my life, my country, and the people. I currently don’t know what I want to do after high school, but if I were to choose on the spot, I’d like to go into information technology or computer sciences.

Juan Garcia-Bucio

An older brother, an imaginative young man, and an excellent student, Juan Bucio can be described as such and much more. He hopes to gain more knowledge about sustainability and how he can bring it into his community. The reason behind his initiative to become a member of the Youth Leadership Council is a desire to gain skills that can assist him in the classroom and at home. Being the oldest of five has prepared him for many things, but there are still greater lengths he can go to. For example, he sees himself as either an engineer or owning his own bakery after college.

Bianca Jensen

My name is Bianca Jensen, and I’ve loved being out in nature or tend- ing the plants in my garden since I was a little girl. I’m hoping to make some professional connections in the eld of ecology and sustainability because that’s what I plan on majoring in for college. Next year, I will attend the University of Montana. My sustainability teachers connected me with the program, and I am motivated to get other young people engaged in actively working to make this a healthier planet. After college I want to be a biologist and help change America’s agricultural system.

Zina Helal

As a junior at Tesla STEM High School, my passions for environmental science, leadership roles, and helping my community have grown immensely. The YLC at IFLI gives me the perfect opportunity to express myself, my ideas, and my concerns about our environment. I hope to continue to be surrounded by knowledgeable, active adults in this eld of work and to expand on how to grow as a youth leader. In college, I hope to excel in an engineering eld that allows me to create the world I picture in the future—one that is environmentally sustainable, socially just and culturally rich.

Sam Yun

I enjoy communicating with people and socializing. I spend a lot of time talking to people with more experience and learning from them. Self-improvement is important to me. I hope to become a strong leader and also be able to teach my peers about the changing world we live in. As global warming increases, looking for solutions and implementing them into our lives is the next important step. I also want to help others. Educating others by leading them is a unique experience that I love very much. You get to sit back at the end and see how your group went from just starting to succeeding. After college, I want to focus on finding ways I can lead different organizations/groups to start really moving toward not only a tech-heavy future but also a green future. I want to do this in as many fields as possible, including architecture, engineering, computer hardware, and classroom education.

Thaddeaus Dezeeuw 

As I enjoy using my time to socialize and self-improve, I want to use that skill to become a strong leader who leads my peers into a green future. I would like to continue to do this as a career after college. Educating others by leading them gives a unique experience that I love very much, and this motivates me to work harder to get the results that are expected.



Asillia Jacobs

Asillia is a 16-year-old high school student with a love and passion for many things. Her entire life was engulfed in her love of arts, but once she got to high school her passions expanded and she’s dived into the world of engineering. It led her to learn about many things that have a direct correlation to her arts. Because of her interest in engineering, she applied for the ILFI Youth Leadership Council. She considers herself environmentally conscious, but she hopes to grow with the program and to be able to confidently be labeled as an environmentalist. She is motivated by many things in her life but mostly because she wants to make a difference in the world, whether that’s through art, writing, engineering, or all of the above; she wants to influence someone in a way that makes them see the world differently. After college she wants to continue creating art hopefully by expanding her love for fashion, and by becoming a successful author.

Sydney Meade

My name is Sydney Meade, and I am a senior at Tesla STEM High School in Redmond, WA. I am extremely passionate about the environment, which leads me to being a part of ILFI’s Youth Leadership Council, as well as being the Director of Communications for Schools Under 2° C, an organization founded by my peers and me that is dedicated to reducing our school’s carbon footprint based on the Paris Climate Conference’s Climate Accord and challenging other schools around the nation to do the same. From being a part of ILFI’s Youth Leadership Council I hope to gain knowledge of the application of sustainability in creating buildings. My motivation for being a youth leader is that I want to make the world a better place, specifically in regards to the environment, and I believe that the first step to change is education. After college I see myself continuing to be an environmental activist and educating others about the environment through art.

Camila Amoedo

I am senior at Tesla STEM High School. I joined the YLC because I wanted a deeper understanding of creative solutions to improve the health of the plant. Being a youth leader is a way to show younger people that you can still make a difference in the world. After college, I hope to continue to encourage youth that they can be a part of improving their environment.



Adam Bernhard

I’m a fun and easygoing guy, and I hope to learn more about improving community living by being in this group. I would like to try being a leader because I would like to see people do better than what I’m able to do. When I finish college I plan to go into web or software development.



Toluwanimi Amudipe

When taking the sustainability class offered by my school for the third time, we began talking about the ILFI Living Building Challenge 1.0. Our teacher split us up into groups and gave us printouts of the Challenge guidelines. As a part of this assignment we were given a section of Seattle to walk around and look for aspects of the city that showed elements of a strong and resilient community. After walking around in the rain and cold for a half hour looking at hard concrete angles and trash soaking in the drains, we gave up and walked into a McDonald’s. I stood in the door and was immediately met with a hospitable warmth and a respectful quiet. After walking in the door of a fast food restaurant and noticing almost all the signs of a community almost immediately, it finally clicked for me. Sustainability turned from an interest to a passion and since then I have jumped at every opportunity to be a part of ILFI and the sustainability field.

Ravipon Khampradith

My name is Ravipon Khampradith. I am Lao. My family came to the United States in 1980 from Laos due to the Secret War happening alongside the Vietnam War. They came as refugees and sacrificed a lot in order to bring the entire family to the US. Knowing that my family gave up so much to give the future generations better opportunities is what pushes me to do so well. I really want to get an irreplaceable experience that helps develop my leadership and collaboration skills. Being in a program like this would also allow me to work on bigger projects and possibly get some exposure to professionals in the architectural/engineering eld. This will also be something to put on my resume, and possibly on future applications. I do plan to go into fields similar to the ones we are exploring while working on this project. For college I want to go into product design/industrial design and work on new innovations in green technology. This whole experience will be one that will help me in all aspects of my current and future life.

Written By

Shannon Brundle

Shannon manages the Youth Leadership Council for the International Living Future Institute.