Scott Stewart, YMWLS Co-Dean
Scott serves as the Director of Religious Education at Eliot Unitarian Chapel in Kirkwood, MO and has served on the YMWLS staff since 2014. He’s an enthusiastic supporter of UU youth and eagerly attends and supports as many UU youth events and leadership opportunities as possible. Scott and his wife Jennifer have been married for 15 years. He enjoys reading, traveling throughout the country, playing games with family and friends, hiking, viewing wildlife, and bird watching. Scott is also an avid supporter of the St. Louis Cardinals and the St. Louis Blues.
Nancy has been immersed in Unitarian Universalist faith development for the last 17 years, including 6 years as a Director of Religious Education, and 11 years on UUA district and regional staff, as the Faith Development Director in Heartland District, and the MidAmerica Coordinator for Emerging Models in Youth and Young Adult Ministries. Throughout this progression she has remained passionate about the transformative impact of our faith for children, youth, and young adults. She has worked closely as a regional liaison with our national Youth and Young Adult staff. Outside of the realm of faith development, she radiates a love of music and movement. One particular joy is DJing for multigenerational events as NC<* (NCLight), and spending time with family and friends in her hometown of Lexington, KY.
Heather Godbout is the youth coordinator at Unity Temple Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Oak Park, IL. She has been active in youth ministry as a volunteer advisor and/or youth ministry staff since 1996. Heather also serves as a youth conference consultant for the MidAmerica region's Northern Area. In her work-a-day life, Heather is the literacy coach at Crete-Monee High School in Crete, IL. She loves books, drawing, her garden, and all things nerdy.
Jennica is the Youth Ministry Associate for our UUA's Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. She supports Youth Caucus at General Assembly, Summer Seminary for youth exploring a career in UUism and the network of Luminary Leaders. She co-organizes the SURJ-SLC (Showing Up for Racial Justice) chapter, plays the ukulele and just got a slow cooker but doesn't know how to use it yet.
Spencer Thomas has been involved in UU youth ministry for over a decade, serving in such roles as Coming of Age mentor, YRUU advisor, and member of the Heartland area youth council. He was an RA at the MWLS in 2012 and found it to be a transformative and energizing experience. Spencer is a 3rd generation UU, and has been a member of the First UU Congregation of Ann Arbor since 2002.
Will Cannon is a fifteen year old homeschooler from Indianapolis, IN. He has been UU all his life and attends All Souls Unitarian Church of Indianapolis. He is involved in planning events for the youth group at his church, and is a trained youth chaplain. Will is very excited to be returning to leadership school as Youth Staff this summer after attending last year as a student, and is most excited to meet all the amazing youth that will be attending. As a student, Will loved leadership school and believes it was a very unique and life-altering experience for him.
Henry attended YMWLS in the summer of 2016, found the experience to be truly transformative, and can't wait to be on staff for 2017. Hailing from the First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin, Henry is an active member of his congregation and Madison community at-large; currently organizing around immigrant rights and the New Sanctuary Movement. When he isn't doing schoolwork in his bedroom (homeschooled), or lip-syncing to the latest Taylor Swift song (if you attend YMWLS you can count on several performances), Henry is taking the bus down to Chicago every weekend to study and perform improvisational comedy. He is so excited to be spending part of his summer with you and the wonderful (i.e. unlimited!) cafeteria food of Luther College. Henry also finds it awkward to write about himself in the third person.
Sarah is excited to join YMWLS this year! Sarah is an adult advisor to the Heartland Area Youth Council. She has been a UU for more than twenty years, and much of her involvement with UU churches centers around RE and youth programs. She is currently a member of All Souls Unitarian Church in Indianapolis, IN. Sarah is a children's author. Her debut novel comes out from Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan this fall. She's also a homeschooling mom and freelance writer. In her spare time, she likes to garden, knit, read, and play Pokemon Go.
Aislynn Pasierb (Lead Youth Staff)
Aislynn Pasierb is a Youth Member of Eliot Chapel located in Kirkwood, MO. She enjoys the advocacy, inclusion of everyone’s ideas, and guidance that Eliot’s congregation and Youth Leaders support and encourage. When she is not involved with Eliot Chapel, Aislynn focuses on her studies at Kirkwood High School where she is a Senior. She also enjoys acting, dance, and voice--combining all of these in musical theatre productions both at school and various other companies in the St. Louis area.
Izzy Spriggs is thrilled to be a YMWLS staff this summer! She went as a YMWLS student in 2013 and has been a part of the Heartland Area Youth Council for over 5 years. Izzy experienced an exchange year in Germany as a Congress-Bundestag scholarship recipient with Youth for Understanding for the 2015-16 school year and is about to graduate high school in Indianapolis, Indiana. Since her study abroad, Izzy has traveled to South Africa and Mexico. She hopes to major in English with an interdisciplinary in African and African American Diaspora Studies and a minor in international relations so that she can continue her love of traveling. Izzy loves her UU community and cannot wait to be apart of YMWLS once again!
Rev. Leslie Mills
Leslie Mills is the minister at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin, Illinois. As a third-generation UU, she has a passion for empowering teen voices and leadership, giving them the support and resources they need in order to become powerhouses of our liberal faith. Leslie has worked with youth for over a decade, from running a youth volunteer program to leading youth pilgrimages. She has served our denomination as the youth director of Camp StarTrail, the minister-in-residence at Summer Seminary for youth contemplating becoming religious professionals, and most recently as a youth chaplain at YMWLS. She’s thrilled to be back this year, and can’t wait to meet you!
Tim Murphy is a youth advisor at the UU Church of Indianapolis and served on the staff of YMWLS from 2010-2015 and is back! He loves to work with youth and promotes youth empowerment every chance he gets. He's been to tons of cons and trainings as both staff and attendee. He works as a cataloger at a public library, serves as the merchandise coordinator for Naptown Roller Derby and in his spare time watches lots of movies and rides as many roller coasters as he can find!
Many thanks to past YMWLS staff for 2016:
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