The High Rocks Youth Advisory Board, or YAB, is a group of dedicated young women who act as a liaison between the staff and participants of High Rocks and the variety of programs High Rocks offers. The YAB is composed of 6 members and 3 interns who each contribute their own skills in leadership, organization, marketing, community outreach, creative thinking, and most importantly; being the middle woman for High Rocks participants to express their ideas and feedback to the staff! The members get to experience building professional relationships with businesses while also building casual relationships with coworkers to promote a workplace that values both integrity and fun. The YAB includes traditional board positions such as: President, Vice President, and Treasurer, but adds a little flare with new positions such as: Reacher (Communications Expert) and Stenogritarian (A Ninja Secretary). Within the board there are three devoted committees, each with a chairwoman: Participant Outreach, Social Media and Marketing, and Fundraising and Finance.
The Youth Advisory Board is an important feature of the High Rocks community. Not only is it an employment opportunity for young women, but it helps allow such a crucial non-profit organization stay well-ordered and run smoothly.
“If High Rocks is like the human body, the YAB is like the heart! And we take pride in that.”
Shayna Hammons, President
Shayna Hammons is 16 years old and is a Junior at Pocahontas County High School in Dunmore, West Virginia. She is the President of the Youth Advisory Board for High Rocks. When Shayna graduates in 2020, she hopes to attend Virginia Tech and go into social science/ Pychology to help the youth of West Virginia. As a five year participant of High rocks, Shayna enjoys being active in leadership opportunities that High Rocks has had to offer over the years. Her favorite hobbies are volunteering in her community and the Arts.
Becca O’Dell, Vice president
Becca O’Dell is the Vice President on the Youth Advisory Board and has been since October 2017 to present. She is a member of the Fundraising committee and the Community service committee. Becca is a junior enrolled at RIchwood High School. Becca is part of the Varsity basketball team at RHS and is a softball player in the city league. Becca is also involved in Gear-up and is a HERO (Higher Education Readiness Officer) at her school. Becca plans to go to medical school to become a Nurse Practitioner, She does not plan to live in West Virginia after college, but does think she will move back when she is retired. She also hopes to travel the world and study abroad during college.
Faith Johnson, Treasurer
Faith Johnson has been the Treasurer of the Youth Advisory Board from August 2017 to present day. She is the former Chairwoman of the Finance and Fundraising Committee and is currently involved in both the Community Service and Finance Committees of the YAB. She is a senior (with a headache) enrolled at Pocahontas County High School. Faith has the sharp thinking of an intellectual and the wisdom of an old man. A nice old man. She hopes to pursue loving the cultures, philosophies, and people of the world. Ultimately, her heart rests in West Virginia. Her soul belongs in Appalachia. She will, sooner than later, build a small “Hobbit Hole” and live there until she croaks. Until then, she plans to take on the world day by day with her timid sense of humor and quest for what makes her happy.
Gillian Snyder, SECRETARY
Gillian has been a High Rocks girl since 2014 and is now the secretary for the YAB. She was born and raised in West Virginia and lives on a small cattle farm and apiary nestled in the hills. Her love for Appalachian flora and fauna started from a young age and is a passion she has kept with her. From braiding daisy chains to sketching wild life, Gillian is a lover of art and the natural world. She is enrolled as a junior at Greenbrier East High School and hopes to continue her education in college. Although Gillian is unsure of when and where she wants to settle down, she plans to travel the world. While on her adventures, Gillian hopes to accomplish at least one thing: take a Polaroid beside a desert cactus while wearing a really cool pair of shades.
Hazel Riley, Outreach Organizer
This is Hazel’s third year in High Rocks and is now the Outreach person on the YAB. She is a freshman at Pocahontas County High School. Hazel doesn’t know where her future is going to take her but she knows what she wants to do now. Hazel enjoys farming and playing her guitar. She is also a member of the Lady Warriors soccer team, Pocahontas County Archery team, and hopes to run track in the spring. She is also a member of her school’s citizen club. One day Hazel hopes to visit and work on a sheep farm in Ireland for a few days.
Stella mcNeely, human resources