YMWLS Shannon HarperShannon Harper - Chaperone 2016
Shannon is excited to join YMWLS for the third year!  She currently works as Director of Religious Education at the Miami Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Dayton, OH.  She also serves as adult advisor on the Heartland Area Youth Council and youth consultant for MidAmerica Region.  In addition, Shannon teaches art classes at a local community center.  She has two teenage daughters of her own, but when she's not hanging out with young people she tries to spend as much time as possible visiting Chicago, collecting beach glass and making art.

YMWLS Rhianna GironRhianna Giron - Lead Youth Staff Member 2016
Rhianna is a seventeen year old from Omaha, Nebraska, and became a UU when she was ten when her parents discovered Unitarian Universalism. Rhianna is the Lead Youth Staff member for the summer of 2015, was a member of the staff for 2014, and was a student for 2013 at Midwest Leadership School.  She is a member of the First Unitarian Church of Omaha. She is involved in the youth group at her church and is the President of the Youth Adult Committee for the group. Rhianna recently finished her Junior year in High School and loves participating in school and in the drama department there. Rhianna is looking forward to her last year at Midwest Leadership School and hopes to help make it a wonderful experience for all the youth and adults involved.

YMWLS Colleen LeeColleen Lee - Youth Staff Member 2016
Colleen Lee will be a junior in high school and attends Eliot Unitarian Chapel in Kirkwood, MO. She has been UU all her life and is also a trained youth chaplain. Colleen loves traveling and new experiences and is excited to be staffing YMLS this summer and is most excited to meet all the amazing youth that will be attending. As a student Colleen loved leadership school and believed it was the most unique and life altering experience for her: meeting new people, discovering herself, UUism and acquiring new leadership skills.

YMWLS Caleb LemanCaleb Leman - Youth Staff Member 2016
Caleb Rakesh Leman is a Junior at Deerfield High School and is on the youth staff for Youth Leadership School 2015. He has a leadership position in his youth group at North Shore Unitarian Church and his greatest passion is all things UU- the ideologies, people, and spiritual exploration. Caleb’s extracurriculars include Marching Band, Student Congress, and Mountain Biking. His favorite subjects in school are English and History, and he has a particular fondness for poetry and transcendentalism. His favorite bands are Muse, Pink Floyd, Arcade Fire, and Cage the Elephant. His favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut, and his favorite book is The Ox-Bow Incident (Catcher in the Rye is a close second). And above all, he is very excited to help staff YMLS this year.

ymwls-schuyler-vogelSchuyler Vogel - Youth School Chaplain 2016
Schuyler Vogel serves as minister to congregations in Waukesha, Wisconsin and the greater Rock Valley region, where the Youth Midwest Leadership School is located. A recent graduate of Harvard Divinity School, Schuyler grew up in Milwaukee and attended Carleton College. He has served as the Director of Faith Development at River of Grass Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Plantation, Florida and as the Director of Religious Education at North Shore Unitarian Church in Deerfield, Illinois.

YMWLS Dori ThextonDori Davenport Thexton - Co-Dean 2016
Dori has loved working with youth and young adults for most of her 30 year career in Unitarian Universalism.  She has served two congregations as Director of Religious Education prior to joining the UUA’s fieldstaff group in 1998.  Dori also works with congregational growth and staff team development and training in the MidAmerica Region.  She is married to former youth advisor Arthur Thexton and lives in Milwaukee, WI where she enjoys time with her 5 grandchildren and pets.

YMWLS - Ben Wallace

Ben Wallace - Co-Dean 2016
Ben is a fourth year staff member and MWLS Adult School Alumnus.  Ben is a member of First Unitarian Church of Omaha and is involved in various regional efforts including as an advisor for the MidAmerica Region Youth and Young Adult programs.  Employed by TSYS Acquiring Solutions since 2008, Ben is currently an Assistant Director of Sales Support for TSYS.  Ben enjoys sharing puns with others but most of all Ben enjoys learning and teaching about leadership, empowerment, and inspiring others to follow their dreams.

Many thanks to PAST YMWLS Staff for 2015: