Meet The Anytown Youth Council

Rico Ocampo

Executive Director

Rico Ocampo was born in Morelos, Mexico and immigrated to the United States in 1992. He is a undocumented/DACAmented community organizer and activist and has engaged in local, statewide, and national advocacy efforts to advance systematic change for homeless youth and immigrant communities. In 2016, he was selected to lead the 37-year old Camp Anytown Las Vegas program, a dream come true after attending Camp Anytown as a student delegate in 2007. Through his decade of experience in youth development, he remains passionate about anti-racism work and amplifying youth voices. In addition, Rico also serves as the Youth and Programs Organizer for Make the Road Nevada, a non-profit organization that works with Latinx and working-class communities of color through policy innovation and transformative education.

 

Rico spends his spare time volunteering for interfaith and peace building organizations like the United Religions Initiative where he serves on the URI North America Leadership Council and helps provide strategic direction and helping to implement various programming and initiatives within the North America region. In addition, Rico is also a member of the UndocuCouncil, a subcommittee of The Nevada Immigrant Coalition whose mission is to build strategic communication and cooperation among immigrant rights organizations and activists.

SANNIYAH HAYE

Sanniyah Haye is a freshman at Virginia State University, an HBCU in Petersburg, Virginia. Her future career is to be in cyber security and computer engineering. As a black woman, she is often silenced, overpowered, or ignored by men and other races mainly because they underestimate her skills based on a perceived look. Her goal despite this is to be here to change that and bring diversity and inclusion to all spaces.  

 

Sannyiah wants to empower other young women to speak with their hearts and not be silenced or ignored by a man for their views and opinions. She wants Anytown women to stand strong in their beliefs, in themselves, and know they can do and accomplish anything. One of her goals is to ensure the AYC puts together workshops to empower women to take hold of their futures and spaces meant for them like they are destined to. Sanniyah’s grandfather, an intellectual and strong man, always quotes, “’The future is FEMALE” and from his wisdom and insight about several truths of this world, Sanniyah feels she is not to think wrong of this. Sanniyah believes women have been the backbone of civilization for centuries, and it’s now time for them to take the lead in many powerful positions to create a world that is full of respect, compassion, and love that we all wish to see.

JOSE RIVERA

Jose Rivera, better known as Josie, was born in Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico and raised in Las Vegas, NV. He is a first-generation high school graduate and college student. Graduated from Eldorado High School in 2018 and is now attending the College of Southern Nevada majoring in Elementary Education Program. Josie is one of hundreds of thousands of students protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) – he hopes to one day become a teacher so young students who look like him feel represented and seen.

 

As an undocumented student, he is aware that in order to have a society in which the word “different” is welcomed and accepted, children have to begin understanding that concept at an early stage – he hopes to change that through his educational work. Josie’s commitment and dedication stems from bearing witness to the marginalization and dehumanization of the undocumented community. Through his activism, he is determined to advocate and fight for the millions of undocumented immigrants whose lives have been in peril for far too long. 

SKYYLAR JORDAN

Skyylar Jordan, aka Cupcake, is a sixteen-year-old activist and high school graduate from Desert Pines HS. She is a member of the Anytown Youth Council (AYC) and serves as a Counselor for Anytown’s signature program, Camp Anytown. Skyylar uses her experience as an activist to add to the curriculum of the Anytown program and strengthen the delegate experience. As a result of the Anytown program, she has experience in facilitation and networking through leading discussion groups. Skyylar feels it is important that student delegate feels heard and taken seriously, without feeling like their feelings are heard louder than others. She believes student delegates need to feel validated as much as possible, but not favored over others. This is just one of the many things that Skyylar stands for, and she has chosen to use her relationships and time with the organization to raise other delegates into her position and beyond.

ABE LUGO

Abraham Lugo, AKA Abe, is a nineteen year old youth advocate and community activist. He is an undergraduate student at UNLV studying political science and minoring in public policy. Abe hopes to ingrain himself in the political climate as both a representative and ally to all races, cultures, religions, sexual orientations, gender, and immigration statuses. As a founding member of the Anytown Youth Council, he has used his passion for change to make strides into the professional world. This has included interning at the City Hall office of U.S. Congressman Steven Horsford, facilitated a civic engagement workshop for At-Large members of the United Religions Initiative North America Leadership Council, spoke on 88.1 FM about leading social justice topics, and served as the creative director for his own peace-building campaign. 

 

Abe’s core value is compassion, a concept he was able to realize and embrace through Anytown Las Vegas. The program has been a tool of positive change, including being a source of inspiration towards changing his career path in law and personal path into advocacy. With hopes of bringing unity in the future of our government and world, Abe hopes to be a leader who does not work to speak over those he stands for, but to amplify their voices in being heard.

KAITLYN MACATO

Kaitlyn Camille Macato is a big believer in the power of a smile. Born and raised in the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, she graduated from East Career and Technical Academy and is now attending the University of Nevada, Reno as an undergraduate sophomore. She’s majoring in Human Development and Family Studies and minoring in Psychology. After graduating college, Kaitlyn hopes to travel around the world, while educating those around her about mental health and well-being. This passion of hers has led her to create Stories Untold, a platform that serves to end stigma around mental health.

 

During her freshman year of college, she became a founding member of the Anytown Youth Council. Through this organization, she has served as a creative director for a program launch, participated in social justice campaigns, and feels blessed to be a part of the driving force for change in the Anytown youth program. On the UNR campus, Kaitlyn is a member of Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed national community service fraternity, as the VP of leadership and a co-recruitment chair, and the secretary of the Mind Over Matter club. She also became one of the first Social Media Student Influencers where she engaged with first-year and prospective students to give them an insight to life on campus.

 

Kaitlyn’s empathetic nature has given her the tools to lend a helping hand to everyone she interacts with. She believes that this world is more than capable of beautiful, positive changes, and it begins with a smile.

MARVIN VALDEZ

My name is Marvin Valdez – I am an Eldorado High School alumn and a current youth leader for Make the Road Nevada. I am excited to be a part of a group that shares the same determination as I do – the determination to dismantle stereotypes that we’re confronted with on a daily basis. I am proud to know that we can all stand together and play a huge role in this change. I believe, if we all live by the golden rule, we can achieve greatness. The Anytown program has educated me on all of these topics and I feel it is my turn to inspire others.

LEYLA LOPEZ

A first generation American, Leyla Lopez was born in Honolulu, Hawai’i and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada where she is currently a senior at East Career and Technical Academy (ECTA), majoring in Marketing and Hospitality. Fairly new to Anytown, Leyla attended Camp Anytown as a delegate representing East Career and Technical Academy. Emboldened and invigorated by the Anytown spirit along with her own passions for social justice, she became more involved with Anytown through her active attendance to events and fierce commitment to the values and goals of Anytown. Selected to serve as a Counselor-In-Training (CIT) for Camp Anytown’s Spring 2020 cohort, Leyla hopes to learn more about how to help elevate the voices of marginalized groups and looks forward to implementing different activities at camp regarding racial and socio-economic disparities to the disturbing realities of power and authority in the US along with other parts of the world. 

 

Alongside being At-Large-Member of the Anytown Youth Council, Leyla also serves as the Nevada DECA Vice President of Leadership, East CTA’s Student Body Vice President of Spirit while being part of her school’s Key Club and National Honor Society. She plans to major in political science to later go on and become an attorney and politician. 

MATEO BEERS

Born and raised in Las Vegas, Mateo Beers has been a long-time advocate for his people, peers,  and community. After attending Camp Anytown in 2018 as a delegate, he has attended all camps thereafter. Having been touched by Anytown’s message and spirit, Mateo is now attending UNLV on his way to graduate with two Bachelor’s, a BS in Human Services with a minor in Philosophy, and a BS in Urban Studies with a minor in Management. Upon graduation, Mateo hopes to join the non-profit sector to advocate and empower the systematically and politically disenfranchised focused within urban settings. 

 

Aside from school, Mateo spends his time as State Director for March for Our Lives Nevada, an organization by students for common-sense gun control. Being involved with MFOL since 2018, Mateo has transformed operations moving from MFOL Las Vegas to a statewide organization, as well as overseeing the administration, programming, and strategic future of Nevada as a whole. Mateo is also a founding AYC member, bringing LatinX voices an opportunity to be heard and seen. Within Anytown, Mateo has been a part and spearheaded many campaigns and new platforms, and ecstatic to be involved in many more

BRYANNA SALAZAR

Bryanna Salazar is a first generation American born in Salinas, California and raised in the vibrant city of Las Vegas, NV. She is currently a senior at Liberty High School and serves as the NASC 4A1 Vice President, Senior Class President, and is part of the Nevada Association of Student Councils board as 4A1 Vice President – all while being a part of various clubs and sports at her school. 

 

Bryanna began her Anytown journey in Spring 2019 attending as a student delegate. Since then, she launched the #NextWave campaign at her school during Week of Respect and was a focal part of Camp Anytown’s 2020 International Golden Rule video campaign which garnered over 11,000 views across several social media channels. Most recently, Bryanna was selected to serve as a Counselor-In-Training (CIT) for Camp Anytown’s spring 2020 cohort and At-Large-Member for the Anytown Youth Council. 

 

Through the Anytown spirit, Bryanna is passionate about social justice issues and hopes to unlock potential and move the Anytown spirit wherever she travels. She brings an array of experience by serving in Student Council for 4 years where she helped the community through acts of service and learned what it means to have privilege among everyday life. She hopes to help make people confident in their own skin and create an environment where everyone can be themselves without any fear.

SHAUN MABANTA

Shaun is passionate about spreading kindness and letting others know that they matter. He is an alumni of Liberty High School and a current sophomore in the Honors Program at the University of Nevada pursuing a degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Psychology. After graduating in 2023, he plans to take on medical school. This past year, Shaun was actively involved in the University of Nevada’s student government, ASUN, by interning for the department of clubs and organizations and receiving intern of the year.

 

Outside of his role in ASUN, Shaun also works part-time at Crisis Support Services of Nevada as a Social Media and Communications Specialist. Through this experience, he has learned of the great amount of crises people go through – becoming more cognizant of the importance of kindness and compassion. He has also attended ASIST, a suicide-intervention training, where he learned how to interact with someone with suicidal thoughts or plans. On-campus, Shaun has been involved with several clubs and organizations including volunteering at the Student Outreach Clinic, and being part of the Phi Delta Epsilon Pre-Medical Fraternity, MedLife, HDFS Club, and Mind Over Matter. Through his extensive involvement, Shaun has learned about the various walks of the student life at the University of Nevada. This perspective will enable him to best serve student leaders and their clubs to the best of his capability.

 

Shaun believes that everyone deserves a fighting chance and everyone deserves to be listened to. He is willing to listen to anyone no matter their circumstance or situation and will provide caring support and a calming voice to ease them through their struggles.

TAFINA PELE

I am a junior at Silverado High School and former Camp Anytown delegate. I am esteemed that my peers and I of the same generation have obtained the opportunity to project our voices advocating for social justice on a broader scale. I am enthusiastic to have the opportunity to shape the direction of Camp Anytown’s social justice and youth leadership program for years to come and eager to make our mark on it. I am looking forward to implementing curriculum that addresses domestic abuse and the psychological facets behind it.

MARCOS MEDEROS

I am a junior at Advanced Technologies Academy and am extremely excited to serve as one members of the Anytown Youth Council. I am excited to reach out to other youth leaders, create a better today for the nation’s youth, protest injustices in our community and above all else, bring new and impactful decisions to better the Anytown curriculum. I am eager to introduce new curriculum about climate change, antiracism, how to make changes once you go down the mountain and most importantly, living by the golden rule.

KOLBY LAWSON

Kolby is originally from Oahu, Hawai’i but has lived in Las Vegas, Nevada for the past 10 years. He is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Las Vegas Nevada as an Exploring Major with plans to declare a major in Communications. Kolby is multiracial with various racial identities; Asian, White/Caucasian, and Polynesian and is also part of the LGBTQ+ community, Kolby’s many identities ignited his passion for social justice.  In the fall of 2018, Kolby attended Camp Anytown Las Vegas as a student delegate and in the fall of 2019, he returned to the Anytown program in a volunteer capacity as a Counselor. In early 2020, he was selected by his peers to join the Anytown Youth Council and has since been a major influence in the program planning for Anytown.

 

Kolby is motivated by fellow youth. Witnessing the audaciousness of young people within Las Vegas has pushed Kolby to help carry out the Anytown legacy – he hopes to be as audacious as those who inspire him, in order to provide a brighter future for upcoming generations.