Montana Students Selected to Tackle Issue of Childhood Hunger with Governor and First Lady Bullock

Prestigious Youth Leadership Council to Implement Projects for Fight Childhood Hunger Week

HELENA - Twenty middle and high school students from throughout Montana have been selected to serve on the Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council and tackle the issue of childhood hunger with Governor Steve Bullock and First Lady Lisa Bullock.

The youth leaders will convene on Saturday in the Governor’s Office at the Montana State Capitol for a full-day retreat. Youth leaders will participate in project management training and discuss solutions to tackling childhood hunger in communities across Montana.

"Ending childhood hunger is one of the most solvable problems we confront. It's truly incredible to see these youth leaders take part in a movement where they make a difference to their classmates and friends,” said Governor Steve Bullock. “This effort is valuable and it’s done the Montana way – by talking to our neighbors and seeking community-specific solutions.”

“Now in its third year, it’s always inspiring to see these youth leaders help us in this fight to ensure kids in Montana know where their next meal is coming from,” First Lady Lisa Bullock said. “It takes concerned community members and students, like those who serve on this council, to make an impact – and fortunately, this is an issue where we all can really make a difference.”

Hosted by the Governor’s Office of Community Service, these students are tasked with raising awareness of the issue of childhood hunger in their respective schools and communities. Members of the council will spend the following months organizing and implementing projects which will culminate into Fight Childhood Hunger Week, April 17-23, 2017.

2016-2017 Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council members:

  • Isabella Aaseng, Frenchtown Junior High School, Frenchtown, 8th grade
  • Deshawna Anderson, Hardin High School, Hardin, 11th grade
  • Taetumn Bailey, C.R. Anderson Middle School, Helena, 8th grade
  • Ammra Berger, Skyview High School, Billings, 11th grade
  • Emma Blakely, Sentinel High School, Missoula, 10th grade
  • Emily Brurud, Havre High School, Havre, 12th grade
  • Tiffanie Carter, C.M.Russell High School, Great Falls, 11th grade
  • Benjamin Costin, Malta High School, Saco, 9th grade
  • Emma Gunderson, Choteau Junior High School, Choteau, 7th grade
  • Brittany Hanson, Shelby High School, Shelby, 10th grade
  • Sierra Hutchin, Charlo High School, Charlo, 11th grade
  • Bonnie Jones, Malta High School, Malta, 9th grade
  • Vanessa Kent, Charlo High School, Charlo, 11th grade
  • Josephine Lange, Hamilton High School, Corvallis, 12th grade
  • Quinn McKearman, Sentinel High School, Missoula, 11th grade
  • Tessa Sawyer, Beaverhead County High School, Dillon, 12th grade
  • Kaitlyn Sharp, Browning High School, Browning, 12th grade
  • Sophia Skwarchuk, Flathead High School, Kalispell, 12th grade
  • Kylee Wells, St. Ignatius High School, Arlee, 10th grade
  • Olivia Zepeda, Hamilton High School, Hamilton, 10th grade

This marks the third year that students have participated on the Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council. Last year, youth leaders organized a total of 30 projects in 16 communities across the state. Students formed weekend backpack and elementary school snack programs at their schools, hosted fun runs that turned out entire communities, and organized food drives, fundraisers, community discussions, and more.

Full biographies and more information on the Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council can be found at

Fight Childhood Hunger Week is held in partnership with Global Youth Service Day. Global Youth Service Day is an annual campaign that celebrates and mobilizes the millions of children and youth who improve their communities each day of the year through service and service-learning.

The Governor’s Office of Community Service was selected to serve as a Global Youth Service Day Lead Agency by Youth Service America, the founder and chief convener of Global Youth Service Day. State Farm is the presenting sponsor of Global Youth Service Day in the United States.

The Governor’s Office of Community Service expands and promotes National Service and volunteerism in Montana and engages citizens in service and emergency preparedness.

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