Fall Conference Candidates

February Blue Speaker of the House

Ariel Bennett

Watch Ariel's Video Here

I’m Ariel Bennett, and I’m your candidate for Blue Speaker of the House! I am dedicated and keep the best interest of everyone at heart. As Speaker, I will ensure that every student gets their voice heard while keeping a well-organized environment. Although this is my first year in MYIG, I do have some of leadership experience. I was in W.E.B. and student leadership in my 8th-grade year and a high school leader for my school's musical. I have directed various plays and performances and co-own a virtual theater company.

Madison Killian

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Hello! My name is Madison Killian. I’m a 1st year delegate, and I’m running for the 2023-2024 Early Conference Blue Speaker of the House. I’m excited to run against so many amazing delegates, but even more excited to be a part of the Michigan Youth In Government Program! Outside of YIG, I love to read, take my dog for walks, and help out at a local animal rescue! I love music and participate in my high school’s Marching band, Concert band, and Drumline. Outside of School, I’m in the Northern Lights Drum and Bugle Corp.

Amelie Mantha

Hi!! My name is Amelie! I Have participated in YIG for 1 year and this year will be my second as I am running for blue speaker of house! I enjoy doing theater, visual art, Tennis, and hanging out with people I love! My friends describe me as an extrovert and I definitely agree. My mbti is estp-t (entrepreneur). I´m a libra sun and cancer rising! I love listening to music (arctic monkeys, tv girl, Steve Lacy, Lana Del Rey, and so many others). I consider myself a very open minded person! Live laugh love:)

Belle Rush

Hello, Delegates! I am a sophomore. It is my second year participating in MYIG and holding an E-Board position for my delegation. Since I was in the Blue House last year, I have a unique edge and perspective to help lead the new delegates in this year’s Early Blue House. I would love to use my prior experience to help this year. My goal now is to lead new delegates and build a solid foundation for them to build on in future years of MYIG. I hopefully look forward to being a dependable leader for all new delegates.

Katelyn Schultz

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Hi, my name is Katelyn Schultz. This is my second year in Youth in Government and previously, I have served as Committee Clerk. I am running for the Blue Speaker of the House as I am passionate about government. I want everyone’s voices to be heard and for everyone to have a great time at YIG. I have previous leadership experience as I was president of my middle school FFA chapter and competed at state in the public speaking competition. Outside of YIG I participate in volleyball, marching band, basketball and track. I can’t wait to meet you all and have an amazing time together at YIG in February!

Gideon Walker

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Hi, I’m Gideon Walker, and I’m in the 9th grade. I am running for the 2024 Blue Speaker of the House at the Early Conference. I’m running for the Speaker position because I get to connect and reach out to people. My passion is people and making it possible for everyone’s voices to be heard. I have experience in leadership including: Middle School Student Council President, Student Council Secretary, Class President, and I was Middle School Red Speaker of the House last year in 2023. I will serve the people and represent them. Vote Gideon Walker!

February Blue Lt. Governor

Chaza Ben

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My name is Chaza Ben and I am a freshman running for your late conference Blue Lieutenant Governor. I do Track & Field, and other clubs, and am fluently bilingual. I believe you should choose me as blue lieutenant governor because as a freshman, being the youngest of the group many doubt us. That being so, becoming Lieutenant Governor will prove the skills I have to offer even at a younger age. I strive to achieve greatness and truly believe I can do that in this position. Therefore, vote Chaza B for Lieutenant G!

Abby Huffman

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Hi everyone! I’m a sophomore. This is my second year participating in YIG, and last year I founded my school’s delegation, where I serve as president. Besides YIG, I love playing soccer, am a co-vice president of DECA, am a student council and district student advisory council representative, am the state political director of MIHSD, and more. As lieutenant governor, it would be my objective to ensure all delegates feel comfortable participating, allow all voices to be heard, and be a resource to delegates throughout the entire year—not just at conference.

Jessie Mastin

Hello there! My name is Jessie Wanthira Mastin. I am a freshman. I was born in Bangkok, Thailand, in 2009 and moved to Michigan in 2021. Growing up in a foreign country has given me a unique worldview and an open mind, which sets me apart from other candidates. My favorite hobbies include baking, dancing, singing, acting, and debating. I have been interested in leadership and politics all my life. I am also a people person and enjoy meeting new individuals. I hope to be elected as the Lieutenant Governor for 2024, but even if I am not, thank you for your consideration!

Olivia Searls

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Hello Delegates, my name is Olivia Searls, your Blue Lieutenant Governor candidate. YIG is the highlight to my school year and has been for the five years I have attended. I have held many positions during conferences in the past including Committee Chairs and Lieutenant Governor. Youth in Government has inspired me to become a legislator when I'm older. Apart from YIG, I also participate in many other activities, sports and clubs including: Student Council, Interact, Cheer, Track and Field, Band, Art Club, Bible Study and more. I enjoy the outdoors with activities like fishing, camping and hikes. With many activities and leadership roles comes with a cost of being a good leader. I am able to listen to many opinions, control a room full of people and execute confident and respectable qualities any position at YIG should hold.

Karis Wolff

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Hello fellow delegates! My name is Karis Wolff. I am a Freshman and I am running for Lieutenant Governor of the Blue Senate. I have been involved in Youth and Government for 2 previous years, both of which I have spent in the Senate. Some activities other than Youth in Government that I am involved in are varsity cheer and drama club. I am also an assistant rocket cheer coach. This has shown me what being a leader is truly about and has given me sufficient experience in teamwork and collaboration. I am incredibly hardworking, driven, diligent, passionate, and trustworthy. You can always count on me to make sure everyone's voices are heard. Thank you for taking time to learn more about me and thank you for your support!

February White Speaker of the House

Luke Joslyn

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My name is Luke Joslyn I am a sophomore. I have learned from my previous experiences of Youth in Government it is important to form connections with other delegates, and from those relationships along with personal experiences I have learned how important it is to feel as though your voice is heard. I am running for White Speaker of the House to make sure that everyone has their voice heard and we can be as efficient and effective with our bill decisions as possible.

Dady Lo

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Hi, I'm Dady Lo and I am a leader for my delegation. I'm running for the Early conference White Speaker of the House. I wanted to run for speaker because I really enjoyed my time at YIG last year and I think I could use what I learned to make this year go even better. Outside of YIG, I like to swim and follow politics in the adult world. (Fun fact about me I am a huge fan of Jimmy Carter)

Lizzy Rzepka

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Hi! I am Elizabeth (Lizzy) Rzepka and I am a junior. I am super excited to have the opportunity to run for Speaker of the House. I am very involved in my school and community and I participate in a variety of activities such as DECA, robotics, golf, interact club, my part-time job, and most importantly YIG where I am co-delegation leader! I love going on adventures and meeting new people and I hope you consider casting your vote for me for speaker of the house. I can’t wait to see everyone at spring conference!

Sadie Verheek

Hello! I’m Sadie Verheek, and I am a senior. I’m running to be your next Early White Speaker of the House! In Youth in Government, I have held many leadership positions, including committee chair, clerk, family group leader, and senate reading clerk! Outside of YIG, I still carry many roles. I’m a student teacher leading classes, Co-Captian of our varsity golf team, and I attended ALA Girls State over the summer! This year, I decided to venture out of my comfort zone! I want you to venture out with me. Vote Verheek for White Speaker of the House in 2024!

Isabelle Wickham

Hi, my name is Isabelle Wickham and I am running for white legislature Speaker of the House for early spring conference 2023-2024. I am currently a junior and this will be my second year in Youth in Government. Last year I participated as a committee chair as well as an inspirational speaker. I take pride in my ability to respectfully advocate for the greater good. I love spending time outside, going ice skating, playing piano and bass guitar, and creating art. I am very thankful for the friendships that I have built through Youth in Government and hope to represent you as the next Speaker of the House!

April Blue Speaker of the House

Kevin Carter

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Hi I'm Kevin Carter and I'm running for Blue Speaker of the House. This is my 3rd year in MYIG. Every year before I was committee chair and this year I plan on taking my skills from that position to the position of Speaker of the House. As speaker I plan on focusing on 3 things: respect, efficiency, and excellence. I will encourage all to listen and be heard especially those afraid to speak their mind. I will make sure that the house runs smoothly and on time. I will encourage quality conversations that make a difference and invoke thought.

Naiara Tamminga

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My name is Naiara Tamminga and I am running for your Late Blue Speaker of the House. I am a 15 year old sophomore. I first joined YIG in my freshman year and immediately fell in love with the program. My first year consisted of being my delegation’s president, serving as a committee chair, and even getting the opportunity to attend two Delegation Leader Retreats which truly changed my life. YIG has helped me meet some of the most amazing people and I can’t wait to hopefully learn more in this new leadership position.

April Blue Lt. Governor

Ishaan Thurman

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Hi, I’m Ishaan Thurman, running for Blue Lieutenant Governor. Last year, I served as a committee clerk and the sole legislative clerk to the Blue Senate, and won the award for Best Blue Senator. These experiences got me to understand parliamentary procedures and the Blue Lieutenant Governor position. I aim to streamline the bill passing process and increase parli pro proficiency to get all bills heard and passed during Conference, unlike previously. If you have questions, contact @Ishaan4LtGov or ishaan4ltgov@gmail.com. So remember, you can Lean on Ishaan, and vote Ishaan for Blue Lieutenant Governor!

April White Speaker of the House

Gursimar Arora

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Hey there, I'm Gursimar Arora, but most folks call me Gummy. With over a decade honing my public speaking skills, communication & empathy skills, Parli-Pro knowledge, I'm ready to serve as Speaker of the House. My goal? To smoothen the rocky road for newcomers, ensuring they step into YIG equipped with the right tools and guidance. Also, I'm all about inclusivity—creating a space where every voice matters. I want to foster an environment where everyone feels empowered and safe to share their opinions and ideas. Let's make this year a good one - "Don't be a dummy, Vote for Gummy."

Greta Bast

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I’m Greta, and I’m a junior! I’ve been in YIG for 3 years and have led the legislative program for our delegation for 3 years. When I’m not at YIG, you can find me playing violin, tennis, or at a coffee shop. As White Speaker of the House, I hope to get even more experience in leadership, to hear from more delegates, and to allow as many delegates as possible to have their voices heard. I’d love to make a difference at this year’s conference, and I hope you consider voting for me!

Claudia Bosworth

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Hi everyone! My name is Claudia Bosworth, and I’m running for the 2024 Spring Conference White Speaker! I’m in the 11th Grade. I’ve been in MYIG since the 7th Grade, making my time a total of 5 years (including this year!) I decided to run for White Speaker because I wanted to be able to give everyone in session an equal chance. I want to make the sessions a welcoming environment where everyone can share their opinions! I’m hoping for a wonderful year in MYIG, where everyone has an amazing time.

Rima Patel

Hello, My name is Rima Patel, I am a junior. I have been part of Youth in Government for 3 years and have been in many roles that require leadership. I have many hobbies outside of school like painting, sports, and more. I am fit for this position because I have a strong passion in changing/making a impact on things. I am aware of situations that are effecting us today and hope to create a safe and diverse environment at sessions were everyone feels comfortable to talk and express their thoughts without judgement. I have been in legislative program area for 2 years also having experience from MJP. My goal is to get as many bills passed that are not only joke bills but also things that affect us today. Things like short staffing, school safety, diversity/racism, mental health, gender equality, and much more. My Instagram is @youthgovrima, DM me if you have any questions or concerns.

April Red Speaker of the House

Caden Besteman

I’m Caden. I have been in YIG for 3 years and have loved every minute of it, and I want to give something back to the program. When I’m not participating in YIG you can find me playing guitar, throwing shot put and discus, hunting and fishing, and participating in Scouts.

Miah Gill

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Hi my name is Miah Gill. This is my second year in MYIG. During my past year in MYIG, I served as the Blue St Clair Committee chair, a family group leader, an inspirational leader, and an assistant delegation leader. I want to be your red speaker of the house because I want to make sure that all of our bills have an equal opportunity to reach the governor's cabinet. I also want to make sure that we can maintain discipline but still have a good time with the chambers.

Tyler Soderman

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My name is Tyler Soderman. This will be my second year in MYIG. I am an Eagle scout and currently serve as Senior Patrol Leader of my troop, I am Vice President of my class's Student Council, and I served as committee chair in last year's MYIG conference. I believe that my multifaceted involvement in roles of leadership reflect my passionate commitment to civic service and make me a compelling candidate for Red Speaker of the House. It is for these reasons that I humbly ask for your consideration when voting this December.

Peyton Von Bernthal

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I'm Peyton von Bernthal and I'm thrilled to run for Red Speaker of the House. With 7 years of experience, I have the qualities to excel in this role. As Speaker, I'll ensure each session runs smoothly, allowing every speaker equal opportunity to express their views and engage in productive debates. I'll create an inclusive space where everyone feels comfortable sharing their opinions. I'll assist with parliamentary procedure and ensure a positive experience for all. With my knowledge, dedication, and passion, I'm confident we can make a difference. Thank you for this opportunity! Together, let's create a vibrant MYIG community.

February Red Speaker of the House

Andrew Barbaro

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Hi delegates, I’m Andrew Barbaro and I want to be your early conference red Speaker of the House. YIG is something that has helped change me as a person and leader, and I want to make that experience possible for all of you. If you elect me as your speaker, I will make sure to give everyone a voice and get as many bills passed as possible. Outside of YIG, I am a good student, athlete, and leader. I am also a member of my school’s debate team, which has helped me grow my public speaking skills.

Ethan Bryant

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I am Ethan Bryant. This is my 7th year in Michigan Youth in Government. Over my time in MYIG, I have had the honor of being a committee chair, family group leader, delegation leader, and Youth Governor candidate. Despite my concession, I will be focused on our student’s needs, getting bills through in a swift and productive manner. As your Red Speaker of the House, I will continue my promise of educating so we can eliminate the extra things that complicate our lives so we can create a better world for us all.

Katherine Desel Dolan

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I am Kate Dolan. This will be my 4th year in the YIG program, two of those years were in Washington DC (Lobbyist and Legislative)! I have gained incredible experience and despite the wonderful challenges I wouldn't change it for the world. As Speaker of the Red House at MYIG, I promise to work hard on and off the committee floor to ensure all members are seen and heard by the House. I know how daunting bringing your bill to the floor is. I will foster an environment to make that a smoother, more enjoyable experience for all!

Jazira Lara-Flores

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I am Jazira Lara-Flores and I would like to be your Red Speaker of the House. I come from a family where if you have a dream, then you work hard to get it. That is what I plan on doing to become Red Speaker. The quote that motivates me is, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing is going to get better.”-The Lorax. I am someone who cares a whole lot when I put my mind into something. I will always listen to people's opinions and try to make a difference after hearing them. As your Red Speaker, Jazira will hear ya!

Claire Warren

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I love YIG, this love stems partially from how it allows me to pursue my passions for government and public speaking, but more than that it comes from the people, and their ideas. YIG is a unique program which connects passionate young adults from across the state, giving them an avenue to express and discuss their ideas with one another. These young adults and their ideas make this program what it is and I would love to have a hand in facilitating the discussion of these ideas and the connections between delegates this coming year. You can ask me any questions at clairewarren.myig@gmail.com.

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