Young Adult Council

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Join Our Young Adult Council!

The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation (“AARBF”) Young Adult Council (“YAC”) program serves as an advisory council and provides a connection between young adults that are currently participating or have participated in AARBF programs and the AARBF Board of Directors. Members of YAC will host or assist with an AARBF fundraiser, assist with AARBF social media, implement a one-year project, and assist with other activities or programs as deemed necessary by the AARBF Board of Directors and/or YAC.

Champy-On Challenge

Our YAC members have a team in the Champy-On fundraiser. Help them exceed their goal and give them bragging rights for being this year’s winning team!

The Champy-On fundraiser runs April 15, 2022 – June 11, 2022. Click here to learn more and support their efforts!

Meet Our Young Adult Council Members

Pradnya Bergdahl

My name is Pradnya Bergdahl. I am a college student aiming for a communications degree. I have been involved with the AARBF for the past ten years. I attended my first camp in 2011 and regularly showed up for annual events. My favorite camp activity is the ropes course! I chose to be a part of the Young Adult Council because I wanted to have a voice and be part of the foundation in a more significant way. I hope to one day use my story and experience of being a burn survivor to inspire and educate those around me. I believe that working alongside my peers on the Young Adult Council will allow me to make positive and sustainable changes.

Kai Levenson

I’m Kai Levenson, I’m 19, and I use he/him and they/them pronouns. Originally from the Bay Area, I go to college in Oregon and am a history major. I was burned by hot tea at the age of 15 months; after my burn, AARBF support groups were invaluable for my family. I’ve been going to Champ Camp since I was seven, where I’ve met some of my closest friends — some of whom are also Young Adult Council members. I’m so grateful to be able to get more involved with the AARBF and make a difference in the Foundation that has helped my family so much.

Megan McKeon

My name is Megan McKeon, I’m 22 years old and I’ve been with AARBF for 15 years. When I was five months old my birth mom got severely drunk and dropped a cigarette in my crib and then passed out and left me burning for two to four hours. I have burns over 55% of my body 2-4 degree.

I never fully accepted who I was at a young age. I hated the way I looked and felt. It wasn’t until I found the burn foundation that I truly felt comfortable in my own skin. Since 2007 I have been involved in all of the events which include: Monterey Bay aquarium trip, surf trip, ski trip, outdoor trip, and finally champ camp! I am so grateful to have these amazing people on my side my entire life. I wouldn’t be who I am and where I am, if it weren’t for The Alisa Ann Ruch Burn Foundation!

Callie Frost

My name is Callie Frost. I am 19 years old and I am moving to New Mexico from Colorado to start a new adventure in my life. I’ve decided to take a year off of college to better understand the educational fields I have to choose from, but with my year off I hope to become more involved in the foundation. I have been going to AARBF events since I was 12, and like many of my peers preach, it truly did change my life. I would love to put forth my own effort to make other kids feel how the AARBF has made me feel. Which is why I am involved in the Young Adult Council. I have been a part of the Young Adult Council for over a year now and continue to grow stronger connections and develop new ideas. My overall long-term goal is to develop a way for young people to have the resources I was fortunate to have. With the help of my fellow survivors, I believe anything is possible.

Sami Valdez

My name is Sami Valdez and my camp name is Squid. I am 20 years old and a sophomore at The University of Alabama. I am also a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority. I’ve been a part of the AARBF for about 4 years now and have loved every minute of it. Joining the Young Adult Council was an amazing decision because I love how closely we get to work on the board and make our own voices heard.

Justyce Gaskins

My name is Justyce Gaskins. I was burned at the age of 2. I have been involved with the foundation since 2012. Since then, I have been blessed with the opportunity to become a member of the Young Adult Council.

Yara Heredia

My name is Yara Heredia and I am 20 years old. I am currently in my second year of attending a community college, and I am a biology major. I attended my first AARBF event, Champ Camp, five years ago, where I realized that I would always like to be a part of the foundation. The Alisa Ann Burn Foundation was something that I needed before I realized it, which is why I joined the Young Adult Council in the hopes that I could contribute to the foundation and help other burn survivors. I have spent time with other foundations, but I realized very early on that the people that make this foundation are special, and I would like to help however I can.