State Youth Activation Committee

A Youth Activation Committee (YAC) is a group of student leaders with and without intellectual disabilities who work together to plan activities and serve as advocates for Special Olympics Montana. YAC members provide advice and counsel on Special Olympics Montana’s Unified Champion Schools programming to reach other youth, engage in and promote activities and initiatives in their home environments, and network with other youth and local programs.

Special Olympics Montana is currently accepting applications for the 2018-2019 State Youth Activation Committee!

Responsibilities for the 2017-2018 State Youth Activation Committee include:

  • Attend Kickoff Conference – September 7-8, 2018 (Transportation cost, meals, and lodging provided)
  • Participate in 9 monthly Conference Calls – the 1st week every month (computer with webcam required)
  • Attend Midyear Conference – February/March Dates TBA (Transportation cost, meals, and lodging provided)
  • Attend all scheduled meetings between September 1 and June 1
  • Serve as a student ambassador for Special Olympics Montana
  • Learn, understand, and promote Special Olympics Montana’s Unified Champion School programs
  • Use knowledge developed through the YAC to lead Unified Champion School programs in your community
  • Host or support a Whole School Engagement activity in your community
  • Volunteer at an Area, Regional, or State Special Olympics Montana competition event
  • Attend at minimum one Inclusive Youth Leadership Summit (MBI Youth Days) event
  • Attend at a minimum, two Area Management Team meetings
  • Participate in at least one public speaking engagement to promote Unified Champion Schools and Respect
  • Assist with SOMT conferences, campaigns, and fundraisers
  • Represent Special Olympics youth by serving on other organization committees and boards

If you would like to apply for Special Olympics Montana’s State Youth Activation committee click here.

2017-2018 State Youth Activation Committee Members

Chris Clare

Chris Clare (Victor, MT)

I am a Special Olympics Athlete and a State and National Youth Activation Committee member. I have William’s Syndrome. I am 19 years old. I was born in Oregon City, Oregon then moved to Montana in 2005. In 2009 I went to Special Olympics for the first time. I competed for the first time in the Special Olympics that year.I will never forget the feeling that day. In 2013 I went to North Carolina for my first National Youth Leadership Conference. Special Olympics has changed my life, now I get help change others.

Email Chris:

Tanner YAC Photo 2017

Tanner Davis (Helena, MT)

Hi, my name is Tanner Davis but my friends call me Tan Man or T-Bone.  I am 17 years old and a Junior at Helena High School.  I work at MacKenzie River Pizza and am learning how to make Lodgepoles.  YUM!!  I have been an athlete in Special Olympics for 10 years and participate in basketball, track and field, swimming and bowling.  I am training with my dad to participate in powerlifting.  When I’m not busy with work or Special Olympics, I like to hang out in my music room, singing and playing the drums.  I’m super proud to be on the Youth Activation Committee!


Tanealya Hueth (Great Falls, MT)

Hi! My name is Tanealya, and I am an athlete with the Great Falls Hornets. I have been lucky to participate in the Youth Activation Committee as a Youth Leader, and am now transitioning to become an Adult Mentor! I enjoy playing basketball, skiing, soccer, and track and field. When I am not competing in Special Olympics or volunteering with the State YAC, you can find me spending time with my family and singing along to good music.

Email Tanealya:

Mercedes Courchesne (Missoula, MT)

My name is Mercedes and I am originally from Great Falls. I graduated from Sentinel High School in Missoula and now attending college at the University of Montana. I am studying Education with a minor in Special Education. I started working with children with intellectual disabilities when I was in the 6th grade and actually made it a career choice of mine. I work for Opportunity Resources, Consumer Direct Professional and Acumen and also Res Care.  I have continued as a volunteer with Special Olympics Montana because of all the wonderful leadership opportunities they offer. When I am not volunteering with Special Olympics Montana, you can find me enjoying the beautiful Montana outdoors with friends and family and shopping because most every girl loves to shop!! I love to travel, play sports, and stay as active as possible as I am in the process of losing more weight. I love anything with pink and “sparkles”!

Email Mercedes:


Katrina Roberts (Great Falls, MT)

Hi, I am Katrina Roberts. I live in Great Falls Montana and am 15 years old. I have been in Special Olympics for three years as a unified partner. I became involved in Special Olympics when my older brother became an athlete. Once I saw what Special Olympics really was, I fell in love with it. I am excited to be a part of State Youth Activation Committee this year and I hope to make a great impact on my community as a whole.

Email Katerina:


Elaina Mason (Helena, MT)

My name is Elaina Mason and I participate with the Helena Bengals team. I am a Freshman at Helena High School. This is my first year as a Youth Activation Committee member and I am excited to make new friends and enjoy new experiences!


Nick Roberts (Great Falls, MT)

Hi! My name is Nick Roberts and I am a 21-year-old Great Falls native. I participate in track and field, bocce, and snowshoe and am a trained global messenger for the Great Falls Hornets adult independent team. This is my second year with the State Youth Activation Committee and am looking forward to making new friends and competing in Special Olympics!

Email Nick:


Somer Reidle (Bainville, MT)

I grew up on a ranch outside of Bainville MT, a small, rural community in the northeast corner of the state. I am currently 18 years old and am starting my freshman year at Montana State University. Some activities I am involved in include 4-H, BPA, FFA, National Honor Society, and student council. Along with that, I also play volleyball and basketball. A few years ago, one of my classmates left my school due to feeling excluded from groups. This led her to believe that she just didn’t “fit in.” It really made me realize how little we tend to pay attention to the things that we say and do on a daily basis.I heard about Special Olympics- Project Unify 2 years ago at a State BPA Conference, and immediately knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of. There is currently no Special Olympics program in Bainville, which makes it all the more exciting to spread the message of inclusion and respect that Project Unify is all about. I am thrilled to be a part of the State YAC and work with a great team to impact as many students as possible!

Email Somer:

Jayson Wanner (Great Falls, MT)

My name is Jayson Wanner and I am a junior at Great Falls High School. I have been a unified partner in Special Olympics for several years, and have been on the State Youth Activation Committee for three years. Through my volunteer work with Special Olympics, I have strengthened my leadership skills and gained confidence in myself. I look forward to working with the YAC and continuing to participate as a unified partner. When I am not helping with Special Olympics projects, I enjoy spending time with my three dogs Oreo, Bella and Gizzy! During the summer I play baseball for the Electric City Outlaws. I enjoy spending time with my family.

Email Jayson:

kyle norman

Kyle Norman (Helena, MT)

I am 16 years old and live in Helena, Montana. I am a junior at Capital High School this year. I have been involved as a Special Olympics athlete for six years, competing in basketball, bowling, swimming, and track and field. Outside of Special Olympics, I enjoy camping, hiking, four wheeling, and snowmobiling. This is my third year as a member of the State Youth Activation Committee (YAC), and I am very excited to be a part of it and spread the word about Special Olympics!

Email Kyle:

Laina Hall (Bozeman, MT)

Hello, my name is Laina. I am from Bozeman and will be a senior in high school this year. I’ve been involved with Special Olympics as a Swimming coach for six years now. More recently, I have began helping with track and field as well. I am involved with partners club at Bozeman High School and have also been a peer tutor. Outside of Special Olympics I enjoy running, swimming and being outdoors. I look forward to serving on the Youth Activation Committee!

Email Laina:

Scout Trom (Bozeman, MT)

My name is Scout and I am 17 years old, I live in Bozeman, MT, and I will be a senior at Bozeman High School (BHS) this year. I started peer tutoring with the Special Education Program my freshman year and last year was my first year as a Special Olympics swim coach and I love it! Outside of Special Olympics, I am the section leader of the front ensemble in the Bozeman High School Marching Band and a part of many clubs at BHS. This is my first year in YAC and I am very excited to meet everyone!

Email Scout:

William West (Bozeman, MT)

I am Billy West from Bozeman, MT and I am a Special Olympics athlete with the Bozeman Hawks. This is my first year as a Youth Activation Committee member but I have been doing Special Olympics for two years. I compete in basketball, bowling, floor hockey, skiing, soccer, and swimming. I have made many great friends in Special Olympics and I LOVE Special Olympics because it is the most fantastic thing that has happened in my life.

Email Billy:

Jazlyn Young (Helena, MT)

My name is Jazlyn Young. I was born and raised in Helena, Montana, but am excited to move to Bozeman to attend Montana State University. This is my first year being involved with the Youth Activation Committee and cannot wait to be a part of this committee and all the things it does. I have been involved with Special Olympics through being a Unified Partner in basketball and then a coach for track. I love trying new things and last year even decided to partake in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge. I am really looking forward to being a part of this amazing group.

Email Jazyln:

Amanda Penley (Helena, MT)

Hi! My name is Amanda Penley and I am a Junior at Capital High School in Helena. I’m thrilled to be part of YAC this year and can’t wait to meet everyone! I first became interested in YAC when my friend Kyle told me all about the fun he was having on the committee. I have been involved in Special Olympics Montana since I moved to Helena in 7th grade, but this year Kyle encouraged me to apply for YAC and I’m so glad I did! In Helena, I’m active with Grandstreet Theatre and Habitat for Humanity. At school, I’m in DECA, Speech and Debate, and Spirit Club. I’m so excited to work as an advocate for such a wonderful program like Special Olympics!

Email Amanda:

Madison Blatter (Billings, MT)

Hi I’m Maddi, and this is my first year being apart of the Youth Activation Committee. I live in Billings, Montana and I am a junior at Billings West High School. Outside of school I like to run, hike in the mountains, and dance. I dance at The Classical School of Ballet, a dance studio here in Billings. At my school I am apart of BPA (Buisness Professionals of America), which is where I was first introduced to a Special Olympics respect rally. After I was exposed to my first respect rally, I wanted to get involved with Special Olympics and I couldn’t wait to get started!

Email Maddi:

Nikole Brevik (Simms, MT)

My name is Nikole Brevik and every calls me Nelly. I am a 17 year old junior at Simms High Schools. Since I moved to Montana from Alaska in 2015 I have been an active Special Olympics athlete. I really enjoy being a part of the Great Falls Lions and hanging out with my friends. I enjoy lots of fun things like skiing, swimming, soccer, my dog (Chili) and horses. This is my first year on the YAC, I am excited to be a part of this group and I can’t wait to meet everyone!

Katelyn Wanner (Great Falls, MT)

My name is Katelyn Wanner and I am in 8th grade at East Middle School. I started Special Olympics in 2013 and just joined the State Youth Activation Committee this year. During my participation in Special Olympics I have gained confidence in myself and brought out my leadership skills. I have been to some YAC events with Kathy and Jayson and I’m excited to join in on the fun. I enjoy doing fun activities with my family and playing softball for the Selects!

Email Katelyn:

Katie Barrett (Billings, MT) 

Katie joined Special Olympics Montana in February 2015. I am a junior at Billings Senior High School. I love doing Special Olympics and recently joined the Global Messenger Program. In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with and helping out my family and friends!

Zoe Barber (Victor, MT)

My name is Zoe and I am a freshman in Victor, MT. I have been participating in Special Olympics for 3 years. I like snowshoeing, cross country, downhill skiing, swimming and equestrian.  I also enjoy art and writing stories!

ShayLee Alford (Sunburst, MT)

My name is ShayLee Alford and I’m 19 years old. I live 9 miles south of Sunburst and one of my favorite things to do is to hang out with friends and family. I’m starting my third year of being in Special Olympics and my first year on the Youth Activation Committee.

Email Shaylee:

Claire Carmody (Hamilton, MT)

I’m Claire Carmody, and I have been an athlete in Special Olympics for three years. This year I decided to become a member of the YAC because I want to be a leader in my school. I go to Hamilton High School and I am a freshman this year. I want to teach people about what it means to have a disability and how to be more kind. I have Williams Syndrome, and I’m ready to share my story with my friends so that they will not be worried about being different. I love Special Olympics because I find a lot of other people like me.

Email Claire: