Meet The Board of Directors
Our Board of Directors leads our 5 core teams and 2 subcommittees composed of over 1,000 organizers around the globe!
Founder and Executive Director
Samir is a senior at McLean High School, in McLean, Virginia. Having spent much of his childhood traveling to Bangladesh and witnessing the detriments of climate change first hand, his personal convictions have led him to pursue climate activism. Outside of YCAT, Samir has led climate endeavors ranging from policy implementation in his school district to life-saving energy research at Harvard, as well as award-winning carbon sequestration research at professional engineering firms. Fully invested in changing the world for the better, Samir is immensely gratified by the past success of YCAT and the future impact it will cultivate.
Michelle Cheng is a senior at McLean High School. Outside of Youth Climate Action Team she is an active member of Model United Nations and In her free time she loves rowing, biking, and trying new restaurants. She is so happy and excited to be an Executive Organizer and to be part of an organization that highlights student activism and takes real steps towards change.
Anna is a senior at Dulaney High School who serves as an Executive Organizer for YCAT, which she joined to aid in fighting climate change and to advocate alongside her peers with the same interests. She has worked on a national political campaign, an experience which only pushed her to go further. In school, she participates in Mock Trial, HOSA and Science Olympiad, and outside of school, she enjoys playing video games, reading, and writing about her political takes.
Vihaan is a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School, in Alexandria, Virginia. He is an active member of his school's Model United Nations and Ethics Bowl teams where he has developed a passion for speaking and learning about current events. He also co-founded an initiative called Speak to Empower (STEP), which helps young underprivileged students learn about public speaking. He is also Executive Managing Editor for Lenses, a platform where teens voice their opinions through journalism and articles written by teens for teens. As Operations Director for YCAT, he is able to be a change maker and advocate for climate reform while also working to foster a environmentally aware teen population.
Odessa is a sophomore at McLean High School in McLean, Virginia. She is passionate about youth activism, specifically through the climate movement. She is the co-founder of the Speak to Empower (STEP) initiative working to cultivate public speaking and leadership skills in marginalized communities. Odessa is also part of her school's National Model United Nations Team, works weekends at her local Kung Fu Tea, and serves as a local tutor in her community. As the Communications Director, she is constantly inspired to continue the fight for climate justice by YCAT's growing success to an international scale.
Social Media Director
Melat Asmerom is a senior at McLean High School. In addition to YCAT she is involved in a multitude of other clubs like DECA, Big Mac Program, and McDance-A-Thon at McLean. She is really passionate about social justice and environmental justice and the intersections between those two. As Social Media Director of YCAT, she leads her team to make graphics regarding these intersectional topics on YCAT's Instagram and other platforms. She really enjoy learning more about these climate related topics both inside and outside of YCAT.
Cynthia Ma is a junior at McLean High School involved in soil and water conservation. She is particularly involved with the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District. Over the summer of 2020, Cynthia worked on a ten-week independent research project with the NVSWCD, and Cynthia will soon be starting a 6-month long environmental stewardship project with the Youth Conservation Leadership Institute. Whether she’s working on her personal environmental blog or interning for the U.S Department of Agriculture, Cynthia always emphasizes the importance of staying curious to look deeper into human interactions with the environment.
Nastaran Moghimi is a senior at Thomas S. Wootton High School. She is the President of her school’s Model United Nations and Ethics Bowl teams. She also works as a research assistant for a professor at Texas Tech University and has had the opportunity to present her research at the American Meteorological Society on several occasions. Despite her busy schedule, Nastaran finds time to stay up to date with current events, constantly listening to news podcasts and the latest Supreme Court hearings on Oyez. To Nastaran, YCAT is a platform where teenagers can voice any opinions and actively drive change during this existential crisis which affects every single person on this planet.
Victoria is a sophomore at Thomas Jefferson High School. She is on her school’s varsity volleyball team and policy debate team. In addition to YCAT, Victoria has participated in invasive species removal, stream monitoring, and trash pickup events. She is also the Director of Social Media for BranchOut! which empowers students to explore STEM. During her free time, she enjoys singing, reading, and watching cdramas and is always up to giving book or show recs! Victoria was drawn to YCAT for its youth led advocacy and intersectional initiatives and is excited to be a part of this movement for change.
Christian is a sophomore at C.D. Hylton High School in the CISL program where he studies the languages and cultures of our interconnected world. He enjoys being apart of the Russian club, Spanish club, LASA, BSU, and FFT. Christian has always been passionate about Human Rights. To start taking action in his community, he is an active member of the HRSLC and the Social Justice Literacy Initiative. Witnessing the environmental injustices experienced by his family in Louisiana fueled Christian’s advocacy for Climate Change. He is an impassioned Student Network Director who is eager to make a difference.
Jalen is a Sophomore at Prince George High School. Outside of being a Student Network Director for YCAT, Jalen spends his time in multiple extracurriculars including Key Club, DECA, and being a graphic designer for Medicine For Teens. Jalen cares about the voice of teenagers and has participated in multiple lobbying events that have encouraged state officials to pass certain acts regarding climate justice. In his free time, Jalen enjoys running track, hanging out with friends, and volunteering at his local library. Jalen is very honored to be a part of this team, and is excited to spread the work of YCAT to as many people as possible.
Max is a sophomore at McLean High School. He participates in his schools Model United Nations team, competes in DECA, and he is a Life Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. His experiences in the outdoors through scouting, volunteering, rowing, and cycling has made him passionate about environmental justice and working to combat climate change. As one of the organizations Student Network Directors, he plans to help empower high school students around the nation with environmental education and climate justice initiatives.
Lucy is a junior at the Fieldston School in the Bronx, NY. Outside of YCAT, Lucy co-leads both her school's environmental club and the Bronx Youth Climate Summit. She also volunteers with the non-profit Friendship Circle, works on local political campaigns, tutors with Learn to Be, participates in student government, and writes for her school's paper. She is passionate about environmental justice, sustainability, public health, and social equity. In her free time, Lucy enjoys running cross country, baking, painting, and spending time with friends. As Global Affairs Co-Director, she is excited to make connections with people around the world.
Colden is a sophomore at Caldwell Parish High School. In his free time, he serves on his parish and region’s leadership boards, CPHS’s student council, studies the Korean language and culture, and is on the varsity track team. He is the founder of Brighter Through Art, which is a club oriented around using art to educate those in his community on underrepresented issues. Colden’s passion for a sustainable future is what has driven him to become vegan and study environmental justice at Tulane University over the upcoming summer.
Climate Education Director
Cami Amaya is a sophomore at Hylton High School in Prince William County. At school, she is on the executive board for the center of international studies and language committee and Latin American student association. She contributes her writing to the school newspaper, The Watchdog and WeUnite on Instagram. Outside of these, she tutors elementary school students, frequently practices her Spanish and French, and enjoys playing tennis with friends. As Climate Education Director, she is able to implement environmental awareness in the lives of elementary and middle schools students and volunteers!