National Leadership Council - Class of 2016W
Welcome! We are excited to share with you more about our National Leadership Council (NLC) class.
Meet our class and see our bios below.
Thank you for your interest!
2016W Class Leaders
2016W Class Members
2016W Class Leaders
Jeni Sammons is a lifelong participant in the Christian Science community. She is class taught and an active Branch and Mother Church member. Jeni is connected in many ways to Adventure Unlimited and DiscoveryBound beginning as a camper in the ‘60s, Chapter participant and Teen Council President. She attended and participated in the A/U youth regional in Canada, Conqueror staff in the early ‘70s, and A/U family camping for 8 years. She was a Bunkhouse Mom, camper parent, staff parent, Christmas camp guest, marriage workshop participant, and Women’s Artisan Weekend and Bible participant as well as participating in the A/U Adult Expedition to Turkey ’08. Jeni along with her husband have led 5 A/U Adult Road Bike Expeditions. Jeni was co-leader of the the DiscoveryBound National Leadership Council class of 2011 and now she co-leads the NLC class of 2016W. She also assists the DB staff with national programs and events.
Jeni has been involved with and provided leadership for the Portland, Oregon DiscoveryBound Chapter since 1993 and currently is a Board member. Jeni is an A/U Anderson/Ligner Award recipient ’98-’99, served as Vice President & President of the National Alumni Board and was a key player in promoting and facilitating the 2009 A/U Adult Mt. Camp and the 2010 A/U Adult Base Camp. She is a graduate of the University of Oregon, married 32years and mother of two sons. Jeni has a personal goal of providing leadership and support to youth in the Christian Science church community.
Most of her adult life has been spent as a community leader, coordinator and volunteer and has served on school boards and school and non-profit board of trustees. She is the recipient of the Catlin Gabel School service award ’97, the highest award given to volunteers. Jeni, along with her husband, Ed enjoy hiking, cultural and adventure travel, skiing, cycling, working with youth and spending as much time as possible with their sons Tyler and Parker.
My name is Ed, I am a co-leader for the NLC class of 2016W. I am a native Oregonian and call Portland home.
I graduated from the University of Oregon and worked my entire career at Oregon Transfer, our family business focused on warehousing, transportation and real estate development.
I got involved with A/U over 20 years ago when we brought our family to A/U. Jeni and I ran a local chapter for 12 years before we both got involved in regional and national DiscoveryBound programs, ranch programs and A/U Expeditions. I was also a co-leader for the NLC Class of 2011.
A/U has become a big part of our lives and we often wonder how we were so fortunate to get to work with fellow volunteers and staff as well as the amazing students that we work with and learn from.
2016W Class Members:
My name is Aaron. Some people would describe me as a kind, determined, soft-spoken, and analytical 13-year old. I have a 10-year old brother named Jordon. My mom is a teacher, and my dad is a musician.
Some of my interests and talents are art, technology, and being able to solve the Rubik’s Cube. I don’t participate in any school sports right now, but I love rock climbing, archery, weight training, and running, and do them whenever I can. In academics, I like math, computer graphics, and science. And so, in the future, I hope to be involved in computer graphics because it ties all of my interests together.
My family lives on an orchard that we own. We grow apples, plums, peaches, nectarines, pluots, apriums, sweet cherries, and pears, so there is ripe fruit on our trees from about the end of June to the end of October. If I am ever hungry, all I have to do is pick a piece of fruit and eat it.
In my spare time I have a few things that I like to do. The first is to read. I have a very large library that is currently overflowing with books. I also have an Amazon Kindle. Right now I have around forty or fifty books on it. I love to read the classics and a few of the modern book series. So far, I have found that I usually prefer to read the classics because a lot of modern books are not all that good. Another is to play sports. My favorites are soccer and baseball. I also enjoy basketball occasionally, even though I am no good at it. Third, I enjoy playing Chess, Monopoly, Risk, and Solitaire. In the rest of my spare time I watch older movies. I think that they are better than some modern movies. Lastly I enjoy hiking and running. I sometimes climb up the hill that is behind my house, or run along the grass in my family’s orchard.
Christina, my given name, translates to devoted follower of Christ in Latin, but everybody calls me Chrissy for short. I love to play sports, especially soccer and volleyball, and I also love to run with my dog. I have two amazing sisters that always look out for me and help me through the tough times. I lived away from my dad for two years while he worked in a different state which was the roughest time in my past. My mom was working all the time, and starting at a new school, it was not the easiest path. Having been at my school for 4 years now, I am settled in and love it. I was introduced to piano when I was 5 and am currently taking lessons. I have attended summer camp since I was six, and every year I love it more. I love to travel and have been to a lot of amazing countries around the world. My father is fully Swedish which makes me ½ Swedish. I have a dual citizenship with Sweden and the U.S., and I get to travel there to visit my relatives. I have been in Christian Science my whole life and continue to find inspiration each week. I love feeling the comforting presence of God and knowing I always have a father-mother, guiding me.
Hi, my name is Emily, and my favorite word is radiance. Why? Well, my Sunday school teacher told my class that it means ‘an explosion of light’ which I would like to say describes me perfectly! I am spontaneous, kind, and outspoken (in a good way!). I enjoy playing center for my middle school girl’s lacrosse team, and I hope to continue playing throughout high school. I love taking photographs and also making videos on the computer. I enjoy photography a lot, and would love to learn how to develop photos in a darkroom. Many people are saying to me that it’s not even possible nowadays; that the chemicals aren’t sold anymore, but that only makes me want to learn more. Someday, I would like to travel the world, and take photos of my travels. I am a very determined person.
I have a wide variety of interests. For instance, my favorite subjects in school are math and science. Also, I have been studying Spanish and would like to be fluent in the language by the time I am 25. My education is very important to me, so I do well in school so I can go to a great college. In the areas of music, my favorite genre is alternative, and right now my favorite bands are “The Summer Set” and “Parachute”. Listening to a lot of different types of music makes me want to learn how to play guitar. Also, I like to read. Currently my favorite book is “This Lullaby” by Sara Dessen. In my free time I like to make bracelets, read, and spend time with my friends and family.
Hi, my name is Hannah, I’m 13 years old and currently in 8th grade. I live in a small town. My favorite subjects in school are math and PE. I’m a very outgoing person, I can be a little shy when speaking in public, but I’m never shy taking on a new adventure. I play softball and take a photography class at an art school. I have learned to develop film and I enjoy the creativity of photography. I love sports, taking pictures, listening to music, and hanging out with friend. I also love traveling, but I wish that I did not have to go on long airplanes rides to get to my destination.
I am Kaiana. Kind, goofy, energetic, and helpful are some of the words my friends use to describe me. Which makes sense seeing as I love to dance, make people smile, and help others. I also like to babysit. I’ve been babysitting for a year or two now and I enjoy it because the kids can be so funny and always lighten my mood. I am in a program called Lego Robotics in which I get to program robots, learn about teamwork, and create solutions to problems and apply them to the real world while being with friends. It is my last year of Lego Robotics in the First Lego League since I am 13.
My family and I have two dogs (Kala and Mauka), one cat (Lily), one rabbit (Rusty), several chickens, and in the springtime and summer, I raise 4-H pigs. 4-H is all about helping people, being leaders, and learning about new things. My club meets once a month to discuss our animals. My favorite season is summer. In the summers, aside from taking care of my pigs, I like to swim in lakes, rivers, and pools and go to Adventure Unlimited. When summer is over and I go back to school I participate in a bilingual literacy class. I can speak both English and Spanish. Overall, I am a fun, outgoing person who loves to help people and make new friends.
Hello my name is Karl. My favorite subjects in school are Social Studies and I am particularly interested in the medieval ages. I go to Knight School and take jousting lessons from a professional who competes at international jousting tournaments. He even has a shop where he makes authentic armor. I have recently started taking a swordsmanship class too. I love being in Band, where I play the tuba and am in the school’s elite band, Select Ensemble. We were invited to play at the Chicago Symphony Hall last year for the Festival of Gold and we won 1st place, beating many High Schools. I am a Boy Scout. In my Troop the activities I enjoy most are camping, hiking and backpacking, and service projects to help the community.
At home I have three cats, two dogs, a parrotlet, a rabbit, a tank of fish and a red roan Quarter Horse named Ranger. I have been riding for a little more than 5 years and got my horse for my birthday about a year and a half ago. Our family likes to camp, hike, bird-watch and visit National Parks. Every summer I go to summer camp in Colorado where I participate in my favorite activities such as backpacking, rock climbing, horseback riding and shooting. I went on a seven day backpacking trip in the Rocky Mountains, during which we peaked three 14,000 ft. mountains. I also was in a two-week program in which we rode horses every day then had a three-day horse pack trip. We rode for multiple days on trail through the Rockies, with one or two horses carry the camping gear. At the end we had a rodeo in which we rode barrels, pole weaving, and the keyhole against a timer. I participate in gymkhana events like this at home too at the local rodeo arena.
I see myself as a compassionate, determined, searching girl. I’m most compassionate to everyone and everything, whether it is a camera or a stranger. I am completely determined to achieve what I really care about and to over-achieve the goals people have set upon me. I see myself as a searching girl because at the moment I am looking for the next step to my life; yes, no one stops searching, but right now I’m looking at every possibility and taking every opportunity. Currently, looking at the possibilities and what I enjoy the most, dancing, acting, law, and helping others (as in community service) are things I could see myself completely devoted to in the present and future.
I’m currently on a break from my dancing, but I had danced for eight years straight. I love my friends and would die for each one. I love every animal whether a slimy, icky snail or a loud, hairless Chihuahua-rat thing; I love them. After a short break from my years two and a half professional camera training, my acting career has taken a new jump and appears very nice and controlled. I used to study the flute, but now I am currently just learning piano. I am intrigued by the law and Mock Trial. I would love to be able to participate in an advanced soccer team and become a better player. Art, all matters and angles of it, connect with me on a million levels. All of this is what I love and wish to follow. Most of all I am most satisfied by helping others, their communities, or helping anyone else with anything possibly. Currently I find myself fighting my own demon; I appear to not think myself good enough or able to be on the better teams, better jobs, better grades, or do my best which I know is amazing (just like all of God’s children). National (servant) Leadership Council will help me break these boundaries I’ve set for myself, and help me achieve and be involved with all of my loves, passions, and interests.
Hello, my name is Mackenzie and my favorite activities are playing volleyball, volunteering, hanging out with my friends, and playing with my cats, Cocoa and Joe, and my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Tony Gwynn. I'm hoping to get another dog too, if I can talk my parents into it! I have been playing volleyball since 5th grade and have loved every second of it. I am hoping to play for my high school next year. Over the last year I've volunteered with another organization called NCL, which stands for National Charity League. This year I've helped out at my local library, the San Diego Humane Society, and with Chelsea's Light Foundation. I also enjoy providing food for homeless shelters.
I am currently studying two languages, French and Spanish, and I plan on trying to learn Russian, German, Italian and Latin. I am a huge Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Texans and Oregon Ducks fan! I love going to games and watching sports on TV. I have gone to A/U camp in Colorado the last three summers and am really looking forward to going again. I am so excited to be a part of NLC.
My name is Mandy-Kay and I am 14 years old. I live with my mom and little sister. Thankfully, I have been a Christian Scientist my whole life and have turned to it many times for inspiration, help and healing. One of my favorite places is my home because it is full of some of my best friends, my animals. I have a extremely large number of pets including a dog named Auggie, who we have had since I was about 10 months old, a hamster named Moehawk (Momo for short) and around 6 fish tanks, ranging in size from a ½ gallon betta tank to a 55 gallon community tank. My animals have become a very important part of my life.
I have a fairly diverse list of extracurricular activities I enjoy. One of these activities is basketball. I have been playing for about 3 years now. I also enjoy bringing out the creative side in me. I like to sing and act. In 6th grade I played “Annie” in my schools production of Annie the musical. I also enjoy crafts like scrapbooking, making jewelry and art projects. I am involved in my schools bully-proofing crew and in an after school newspaper. Like most other teens, I like to hang out with my friends and go to the mall. Also, I love to read. I try to try and do lots of different activities to find my favorites.
I think the most important things about me are my values, endeavors, and activities I hold dear. I rejoice in the beauty of nature by hiking, swimming, running, and fishing. My family and I travel a lot and nothing is more amazing than new destinations, new experiences, and new ways to express God. I also participate in volleyball, basketball, and track. Demonstrating grace, encouragement, and team spirit is crucial to any sport and has carried me far. In addition, I cherish books and school (especially world history and reading), and drawing and writing are among my favorite hobbies. Although there are over 6,000 forms of communication in the world, music is something we all have in common. I play the oboe, tenor saxophone, xylophone, and piano. Also, I am president of the middle school choir and singing is one of my favorite ways to glorify God and love others as well as myself.
Loved ones (family, friends, pets, etc.) always come first in my life because there is no point of this journey if you’ve got no one to share it with (besides God, of course, He is always there). I am irrevocably proud to be a Christian Scientist because it enhances my understanding of everything and provides me with an amazing reliance, protection, and knowledge. I got to where I am today by believing in these major principals: pushing myself, loving, encouragement, discipline, and confidence. One of my favorite quotes is: “Only by going too far can one possibly find out how far one can go.” I have progressed a lot in athletics and academics this past year. This hasn’t occurred because I am older or because I am supposed to do it. I improved dramatically because my trust in God grew and my understanding has multiplied. There are no limits when God is your guardian.
Working as hard as I can and accomplishing goals is indescribably pleasing. Loving everybody is a very hard skill to master. I am getting better at expressing this quality, but I am still working on it. I have learned over the course of the summer and the first months of the school year that encouragement can go a long way. Simply saying, “You’re doing great,” can make quite an impact. When I acknowledge that I have done something unacceptable, I try not to focus on the past, but what I can do next time. Finally, another one of my favorite quotes is: “Confidence comes not from always being right but from not fearing to be wrong.” Confidence plays an important roll in how I live my life because I would be nowhere without taking risks and learning from my mistakes.
My name is Paige, I was born in 1998. I love animals, especially horses. I ride my horse about five days a week and go to horse shows often. I enjoy school and hanging out with my friends and family. I like going to church every weekend I can, where I get to learn more and more about Christian Science with my Sunday school friends.
Greetings from the Bay Area! My name is Quinn. I am a California native. I had been living near the beach in Southern California since the middle of August. I currently play all kinds of soccer including soccer, indoor soccer and futsal.
I currently have 2 siblings (a 9 year old sister and a 11 year old brother) along with my dog and my mom and dad. We love spending time together whether we go to the beach, eat dinner together or any other activities.
I have plenty of hobbies including bodyboarding, BMX biking, surfing, hanging out with friends, waterskiing, wake surfing and more. I basically love anything that includes strategy, physical strength or the risk of a major wipeout. I am really athletic but love to think too.
Christian Science has been a tool when under pressure or in need. I apply Christian Science to problems in school or just stressed, athletic development, when I am injured or sick and when there is a world problem. I have had a few problems that were either considered incurable or healed at an extremely fast rate. I am truly grateful for Christian Science.
Hi! My name is Sam. I am fourteen years old. I am a very bright and happy person. I love to hang out with friends and I love my family! I am a strong believer in Christian Science. I use it in everyday life! I am honest, helpful, and athletic. I like to play golf, shoot at targets, and I love to play paintball and video games! I also love to read. I enjoy having fun, but I know when to calm down and focus. I value my family because they encourage me to be who I am. My brother has inspired me to be tough and serious when I need to, he is a U.S. Marine. My sister inspires me to be fun and to try out new things. Both my mom and dad inspire me to always do the right thing.
I also enjoy playing the piano. I have been playing the piano for eight years now and I play for our Sunday school. I find that God and the piano are both good ways to enjoy life and refresh yourself. I am very grateful for a blessed life.
Growing up on a farm is lots of fun, but it is also hard work. Every morning, rain or shine, we get up to feed and water the animals. We clean the pens and milk the cows and goat. And we do it all again every evening. we have two cows, six sheep, five goats, 60 chickens, a miniature donkey, a miniature horse, two turkeys, two alpacas, two bunnies, one pig, three full size horses, and two dogs. So you can see that there are lots of animals to care for all the time.
A couple of years ago, I joined our 4H beekeeping group and now I have 6 beehives of my own. I love learning about bees and capturing wild hives and bringing them home. But my favorite part is the honey! In addition to beekeeping, I am raising a steer and a lamb to exhibit and sell at the San Diego County Fair. I am a member of the 4H horse group and am raising turkeys with our 4H turkey group. I enjoy roping cattle and have competed for 3 years on the the Junior Rodeo Circuit in calf roping and steer stopping. But my favorite horse activity these days is team penning. One of my favorite hobbies is black smithing because I can be creative and express my feelings and I think it feels good to pound hot metal.
I also like playing basketball, tennis, flag football, surfing, and raising animals. I also love to play the cello and I am a member of the San Diego Civic Youth Orchestra. I am in the 8th grade and am home schooling. But mostly, I enjoy life the animals here on the farm. They are a lot of work, but they teach me so much. And my bees are some of the most fascinating teachers of all.
My name is Shay. I have gone to Adventure Unlimited for six years now, and I am a part of the NLC class of 2016W. I have gone to Christian Science Sunday school my entire life. I’m usually the only one in my class…but that’s OK. Hmm…what can I say about myself? I love to sing along with the car radio at the top of my lungs. I love to walk down the middle of the street in the rain. My friends and family are my life, even when I’m irritated with them. I would gladly pick an evening alone at home watching Saturday Night Live and I Love Lucy reruns over going to a party. But shhh! That’s my secret.
I don’t have Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift posters. I have ones of Audrey Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. I really do think cupcakes should be a food group. I get told a lot of secrets and I plan to take most of them to the grave (or heaven) with me. I cry. I over-react. I love to be called pretty, but I don’t usually believe it. I’m a girl. I try to embrace my flaws. From this program I hope to get the opportunity to become a better leader.
I'm Skylyr. I currently live in Michigan, although I have lived in about 6 other states. A little about myself is that I play guitar, piano, cello, and I can pick up a new instrument pretty quick. I enjoy challenges, skateboarding, and music. I also like photography, design, architecture, and engineering. I like reading good books and I love having learned new things not always the learning process. I also love to travel. This year will be my third year at Camp Leelanau and I have loved it. Also I thoroughly enjoy art in every aspect but I prefer drawing, especially from my imagination.
HI! I’m Summer. The first question people normally ask when I meet them is: “Is your favorite season summer?” The answer to this question is no. My favorite season is spring, which is ironic given my name. My dad describes me as a nature girl, and my friends describe me as humorous, kind, generous, and quiet yet loud. I think all these attributes fit me well, especially quiet yet loud. I’m quiet when I first meet someone, but after I get to know them and become good friends, I’m very talkative. My dad’s description also fits me well.
I love being surrounded by nature while doing some of my favorite things: taking pictures, camping, climbing, reading, swimming, playing games, being with friends, and writing. I love helping others too; I can’t stand it when two of my friends are fighting, so I will try to help in any way possible to get them talking again. I volunteer at a homeless shelter on Saturdays, although some Saturdays I can’t make it because I’m busy, but I try to help out when I can.
At my school, I’m involved in Student Government. It’s my favorite class because I enjoy planning events, putting them on for the school, and then seeing smiles appear on everyone’s faces. I have done Student Government for five years now, and hopefully I will never stop. During the summertime, I love to travel with my mom, dad, and my brother, Denali. I also love to hang out with my friends, which includes going to camp, swimming, shopping, taking a lot of pictures, talking, and watching movies. All in all, I love being with others, helping them out, and making them feel good.
I love going to Camp Bow Isle, rafting, playing video games with my friends, and may other activities. For the last 4 quarters of school, I’ve had perfect Citizenship and a GPA of 4.0. Last year I was on the flag football team at my school. I have gone to three different C.S. camps, and so far, Camp Bow Isle has been the best for me by a mile and I’ve been going there for the past two years in a row. I will be going back for a third year this summer.
My favorite food is ribs and my favorite fruit is watermelon. My favorite word is Hippopotmonstrosesequippedadaliophobia.
Hey! My name is Zoë. Some things you should definitely know about me are that I have lived in the Midwest all my life. I’ve been out of the country twice, once to Costa Rica and the other to Switzerland. I have had so many great opportunities to travel with my family and explore, whether it’s in a jungle or on the top of mountains. Some of my favorite things to do outside of school are traveling, hang out with friends, horseback ride, and have family time. I was home schooled for 4 years, from 4th grade to 7th, that’s why I was able to do some international traveling. One thing that my parents have taught me from a young age is to always be myself and to not give into peer pressure.
The sports and activities I have been involved with are horseback riding, earning my black belt in Taekwondo when I was 7, and singing with our nationally known Children’s Choir for the past 4 years. I also enjoy tennis, soccer, basketball, and swimming. This past summer I went to A/U where I was able to summit La Plata. It was really challenging for me in the beginning, but my counselors kept asking me if I was lifting up my thought to a more spiritual level or if I was allowing myself to put limits on what I knew I was capable of doing. I’m so thankful to everyone who has pushed and helped me to see what I’m capable of accomplishing.