Students throughout Central Florida are working diligently to plan the inaugural Take Action Conference in January 2022 to provide the next generation with the skills and resources needed to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion through year-round projects.
Our students are a diverse group of high school and college students. They meet monthly as a group and they meet regularly within their subcommittees where they work along side Holocaust Center board and staff members.
Kayley Klatt is a champion for bullying prevention exploring business management and international business at Rollins College. She is the current Miss St. Petersburg’s Outstanding Teen with the Miss America’s Outstanding Teen Organization which focuses its efforts on “preparing great women for the world and the world for great women”. Kayley is the CEO and founder of her business, Kayley Klatt Consulting, where she creates social graphics for clients looking to increase their digital footprint. She is the host of her own podcast known as The Choose Kindness Podcast. Through the podcast she educates all generations on the effects of bullying and the importance of being intentionally kind. At Rollins College, she is a proud member of the Accelerated Management Program and hopes to obtain her Master’s in Business a year early. In her free time, Kayley loves spending time in the Florida sun and rewatching Grey’s Anatomy.
Mackenzie Coultoff is a high school student interested in politics, economics and sociology. She is an avid musician, and a member of her school’s orchestra, jazz band, and drum line as well as a community orchestra. Outside of school, she is dedicated to working with children to help them become the best they can be. Mackenzie works as a gymnastics coach and is a teacher’s assistant for her synagogue’s 7th grade cohort. For fun, she enjoys hanging out with her dog, Raymond, and going on long walks.
Preston Flittner is a ninth-grade student at Bishop Moore who is passionate about addressing social problems in his community. He plays football and lacrosse at school and plans to join the debate team.
Leah Hornik is a current student at Rollins College. She embarked on a gap year after graduating high school, where she moved to Israel for nine months. She studied at Hebrew University and volunteered with Magen David Adom, the Israeli ambulances. Additionally, Leah is a member of the Bonner Leaders program at Rollins, where she volunteers at the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center. She recently worked on Phil Anderson’s mayoral campaign as a marketing and social media ambassador for the candidate. She is currently majoring in Religious Studies with a Minor in Political Science.
Madeline Grace Simpson is a 9th grade student at Lake Highland Preparatory School. At Lake Highland she is a member of the sideline and competitive cheer program. Outside of school she is a member of the Charmettes Club of Orlando. She has also been a member of Jack and Jill of Orlando for 9 years. While she is not serving her community, she enjoys tennis and spending time with family and friends. Madeline is a member of a cheerleading worlds team, The TopGun Guardians at TopGun Allstars Orlando.
Hi! My name is Matthew Ortega Osorio (he/him) I am current chairman of a club known as GSA (gay straight alliance). I am hoping to take active part in the Fight against inequality. My future career is to be a brain surgeon and attend UCF for a bachelor’s degree. I enjoy taking and drawing a lot as a hobby.
Sophia Gidewon is in the 9th grade and 14 years old. She currently goes to Montverde academy. She does volleyball out of school as a hobby. Along with Builders Club , National honor society, and Jack and Jill organization. When not doing academics and extra curriculars in and out of school she enjoys to support and spread word on issues people face in social justice and other areas.
Jayla Spencer is a human rights activist studying political science, philosophy, religion, and African/African American history at Rollins College. She is an active member of the Embark Leaders program on campus, which is an organization that promotes diversity and inclusion both on and off-campus by allowing under-represented students to participate in leadership workshops. She is also a member of the Black Student Union. Jayla is passionate about social and political issues such as racism, voting rights/participation, and educational reform and hopes to attend law school upon graduation in 2024. For fun, Jayla enjoys reading by the lake and going to dinner with friends.
Christie Louis is an Elevation Scholar currently studying Sociology, Education Studies, and Social Justice and Social Policy at Brandeis University. She was born in Haiti but was raised in Orlando, FL. Christie is passionate about advocating for a more equitable model within the education system centered around student success for all. She hopes to pursue a PHd in Sociology and/or Social Policy upon graduation. Christie enjoys spending time with family, volunteering, and writing poetry.
Sarah Zehnder (she/her) is a native of Orlando and is a sophomore at Trinity Preparatory School. She is a staff writer for the Trinity Voice newspaper and is a varsity cheerleader. She plans to study psychology and environmental studies in college. Sarah enjoys traveling, community service and hanging out with her friends.
Tammy is a senior at Winter Park High School. She has a passion for filmmaking and uses her skills to create short films, music videos, documentaries, and more. She has won many awards and received recognition ranging from local to nationwide levels. Tammy hopes to pursue a Film & Television Production major in California and wants to work in the film industry. At Winter Park High, she is president of Asian Student Association, helping others learn about Asian culture and shedding light on the issues going on within and against the Asian community. She is determined to use her filmography skills to spread awareness and stimulate change for current issues that we face today as a society. For fun, Tammy likes to watch Marvel movies and make films with her film crew.
Garrett Duncan is a sophomore at Lake Highland. He is a member of the Black Student Union, One Pulse, and March for Our Lives clubs at his school. He is a member of the Cross-Country team and does theater for his school. Garrett is passionate about issues young people face such as mental health issues, discrimination, and gun violence. He attends diversity exchanges with the Diversity and Inclusion coordinator at his school to help create a more positive environment there. For fun, Garrett likes to surround himself with friends and drive around Orlando.
Sophia Schier is a sophomore at Lake Highland Preparatory School. Sophia is passionate about grassroots organizing and social justice issues relating to poverty. She serves as a chapter lead with March for Our Lives and has been involved with the organization for three years. During her tenure, Sophia has organized a voter registration drive at her campus and is currently organizing a mutual aid drive for low-income children. Sophia also serves as the treasurer of her school’s High School Democrats branch. Afterschool, Sophia is a member of the varsity debate team at her school. For fun, Sophia enjoys baking and listening to Taylor Swift.
Lana Kolchinsky is a Honors Student and a Junior at Stetson University. She is studying Political Science with minors in Religious Studies and Management. Lana has served for two years as the president of Stetson University Hillel and is passionate about working for the Jewish community. Her other involvements on Stetson’s campus include working as a Career Peer in the Office of Career and Professional Development, serving as a Senator for the College of Arts and Sciences in the Student Government Association, and serving as the P.A.C.T. program lead educating students on Title IX issues. In her free time, Lana enjoys playing guitar, writing music, reading, and enjoying quality time with friends.
Colin Hedge is studying communications at Rollins College. He is actively involved with the Bonner Leader’s program on campus, an organization dedicated to giving students access to higher education in return for a commitment of community engagement. On campus, he is a member of the varsity Rowing team. Colin is passionate about social change and conservation education. For fun, Colin enjoys spending time with friends.
Lesley Roberts is a junior at Winter Park High School. She is actively involved with the non-profit Army of Angels as a tutoring coordinator, the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center as a volunteer, and the international competition Odyssey of the Mind. On campus, Lesley serves as the president of her school’s Model United Nations club and an editor of the International Baccalaureate Programme’s student newspaper. In the future, Lesley hopes to focus on building compassionate leaders through expanding access to quality education. For fun, she enjoys baking and listening to podcasts.
Jamie Chepenik is an exceptional student at Winter Park High School main campus. He takes AP and honor roll classes. Jamie is on the varsity golf team and they placed second at the state tournament this year. Jamie is involved in community service through the JCC leadership program over the summer, BBUO, and through his golf team. For fun, he likes to golf, hang out with his friends, and play cards.
Andre Graves is an IB Student who is attending University High School. He is currently partaking in the Congressional Award Program, allowing young Americans to achieve the highest honor Congress can bestow. Being born in Peru, he is fluent in English as well as Spanish. He is a varsity member of the UHS Track & Field Team and the Cross Country Team. He enjoys playing piano and having fun talking to other people. As a passion, Andre likes to print 3D models and designs through CAD, CAE, and CAM software, as well as having a fun time playing video games with his friends.
Brooke Chepenik is a hard-working student at the 9th grade Winter Park freshman campus. She is currently enrolled in the IB diploma program and takes guitar and computer science as her electives. Brooke participates in community service though the JCC, tutoring kids though army of angels, and she is now a part of this take action institute! Brooke is interested in Math and Science and wants to study genetics after graduation in 2024. For fun, Brooke enjoys baking and hanging out with friends. She has even created her own knish business called B’s Delights!
Alyssa Rae Connelly is a Pre-IB Freshman at University High School with an interest in Computer Science. She is currently participating in her school’s Chamber Orchestra, playing the upright bass and participates in her school’s competitive Color Guard. Her personal hobbies consist of playing piano and reading. She was accepted into the TAI as a member of their Administration Committee, and hopes to spread awareness throughout her community and learn from her peers.
Emily Curran is an intersectional feminist studying sociology, data analytics, and gender studies at Rollins College. She has been engaging with the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center as a volunteer through the Bonner Program for the past two years. Leading the Student Task Force at the Take Action Institute is her newest role with the Center. Emily believes in the strength of student activism and is excited to work alongside such a powerful team to create a more just society. On campus, she is a member of the varsity swim team and the Student Support Foundation. Emily is passionate about social issues relating to poverty, mobility, and care and hopes to enter into a PhD program in sociology upon her graduation in 2022. For fun, Emily enjoys making yummy vegan food and sharing meals with friends.
Katie Flecca is a junior at Lake Highland. For all three years of high school so far, she has been class president of her grade. She is so happy that she has had the opportunity to serve her school by being a part of student government. She bounces back and forth between doing cheer and the school musicals/ plays. Katie enjoys helping others in any way possible, whether that’s by holding the door open for strangers or starting to make a change in the community. For fun, Katie loves taking pictures, and listening to music on long drives.