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Governor, First Lady Bullock Convene Youth Leadership Council to Fight Childhood Hunger

20 middle and high school students to address childhood hunger in communities across Montana

Friday, November 17, 2017/Categories: Governor's Office/Tags:

Governor Steve Bullock and First Lady Lisa Bullock today joined 20 middle and high school students from throughout Montana selected to serve on the Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council and tackle the issue of childhood hunger.

“These students recognize that hunger is very much still a problem in Montana, and they are rolling up their sleeves, getting to work, and doing something about it,” Governor Bullock said. “This is a new generation of leaders not only committed to this fight against childhood hunger, but working with us to solve it once and for all.”

“I truly believe that a thoughtful and dedicated group of individuals can make a real difference in the lives of Montana students – and we’re fortunate to have that group right here,” said First Lady Bullock. “These leaders see this problem first-hand among their classmates, they know students need full stomachs to learn and grow, and they’re taking on the responsibility to ensure that their peers can be successful in the classroom and well into the future.” 

The youth leaders convened in the State Capitol for a full-day retreat and participated in leadership development and project management training, as well as discussions on solutions to tackling childhood hunger in communities.

The 20 members represent middle and high schools in 17 different communities across Montana, from Billings and Bozeman to Plentywood and Joliet. After meeting with Governor and First Lady Bullock, they began planning ideas that will culminate into service projects during Fight Childhood Hunger Week next April 16-22, 2018.

This is the 4th year Governor and First Lady Bullock have convened the Youth Leadership Council to engage youth in service projects intended to address the issue of childhood hunger. Past projects have included “Fill the Freezer” campaigns, food and fundraising drives, educational programs, and mobile applications.

2017-2018 Governor and First Lady Youth Leadership Council members:

  • Benjamin Costin, Saco, 10th grade
  • Emma Gunderson, Choteau, 8th grade
  • Anna Pallister, Thompson Falls, 7th grade
  • Jon Hertz, Billings, 10th grade
  • Nik Zora, Butte, 12th grade
  • Claire Downing, Helena, 9th grade
  • Sophia Gillespie, Joliet, 11th grade
  • Chloe Hunter, Malta, 11th grade
  • Omar Perez, Polson, 12th grade
  • Riley Gilsdorf, Billings, 9th grade
  • Emma McAninch, Bozeman, 8th grade
  • Hannah Ayers, Seeley Lake, 8th grade
  • Alyssa Hurst, Plentywood, 10th grade
  • Kelsyn Lohr, Shelby, 10th grade
  • Chloe Long, Frenchtown, 8th grade
  • Claudia Downing, Helena, 11th grade
  • Brielle Aklestad, Galata, 10th grade
  • Ursula Vlases, Bozeman, 7th grade
  • Sealey Raymond, Helena, 11th grade
  • Lilian Fouts, Red Lodge, 10th grade

More information can be found at

The Governor’s Office of Community Service expands and promotes national service and volunteerism in Montana and engages citizens in service. Visit


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