2021 Youthlinc Utah Young Humanitarian Award Interview Panel
Adrienne Andrews, Weber State
Adrienne Gillespie Andrews is the Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Chief Diversity Officer at Weber State University where she has worked for 16 years. She holds bachelor of arts degrees in Political Science and Women’s Studies from the University of Utah; a MS degree in Women’s Studies from Minnesota State University, Mankato; an MA in Political Science from Rutger’s the State University of New Jersey and graduate certificate in Conflict Resolution & Mediation from the University of Utah where she is completing a Ph.D. in Education, Culture and Society. Andrews has worked in a variety of government capacities including as the Director of the Center for Youth Policy and Programs for the State of New Jersey.
A native Utahan, Adrienne was raised in Davis County and has a long history of advocacy in social justice and inclusion work with a special capacity for community building. Adrienne currently serves as a member of the MacKay-Dee and Layton Hospital Governing Board, the Boys and Girls Club of Weber/Davis, Honorary Base Commander of the 75 Air Base Wing at HAFB, Trustee with the Larry H. Miller Charitable Trust and as the Vice Chair of the Ogden Diversity Commission.
Adrienne is married to Albert “Chip” Andrews and they have one son. Whenever possible, they spend time at their ranch enjoying nature outside of Cody, Wyoming.
Asha Parekh, Director of Refugee Services Office at Dept of Workforce Services
Asha Parekh currently serves as the Director of the Refugee Services Office within the Department of Workforce Services for the state of Utah. During her tenure she started the Utah Refugee Center, a unique public private partnership that provides employment support and offers community space to build refugee community capacity.
Branden Dalley, Director of Development at the University of Utah
Branden works as the Director of Development at the University of Utah, where he recently completed his PhD in Education, Leadership, and Policy. His research is in the higher education finance arena with a focus on student loan debt and how debt can impact various student populations differentially. He is the founder of the Student Union Leadership Scholarship fund which has seen over $600,000 in scholarships awarded to students in need. Through programs such as the Union scholarship fund, Branden strives to create awareness of the importance of community on campus. He hopes to endow many scholarships in the future that will help students in perpetuity.
Erin Armstrong, George S and Delores Doré Eccles Foundation
Erin Armstrong is a Utah native and a graduate of the University of Utah in Behavioral Science & Health and Gerontology. Her experience at the University grounded her interest in serving within the community. Currently she is serving as a board member of Red Butte Garden. Erin was a board member for the United States National Committee for the United Nation Women Utah Chapter. She also has been involved in scholarship fundraising and other projects with the Young Alumni Association at the UofU, serving as Vice President. Erin is the assistant to the President & COO at the George S. and Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation. She enjoys the many engaging associations and activities that stem from her involvement with the Foundation and its varied projects. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking throughout the state, cooking good food, and spending time with family and friends.
Fiston Mwesige, 2020 College Finalist
Fiston is originally from the Republic Democratic of Congo. He moved to Utah 6 years ago with his family. He is a student at the University of Utah and will be graduating with an international studies degree in May of 2021. He is the founder and president of Umoja Generation, an organization that focuses on social issues and refugee youth education. He speaks seven different languages. He most enjoys helping people thrive. He is passionate about making a positive impact in people’s lives. In his free time, he loves volunteering, playing basketball, and going to the gym. He is a community advocate and was the 2020 Young Humanitarian Award college winner. Currently he is involved in peace talks and advocating for peace and justice for the population of the Republic Democratic of Congo.
Hay Soe, 2020 College Finalist
I am a Karen refugee originally from Myanmar but I grew up in Mae La Refugee Camp, Thailand. My family was able to immigrate to the US through the UN resettlement program and start a better life here. I am studying Philosophy and Entrepreneurship at the University of Utah with a special focus on poverty alleviation. I am a Real Life Intern with Youthlinc at Hser Ner Moo Community Center and the students call me Happy Hay Soe! I am passionate about serving my community here in Utah and the community back in Myanmar who still face ethnic cleansing. I believe nothing is more important to peace and prosperity than being human and service is a great way to bring out the human within yourself and those around you. This is why I am working with Youthlinc, Bridging Borders, New American Neighbor, and the Asia Center here at the U to serve my fellow human beings and to advocate for human rights.
Jennifer Covington, Murray School District Superintendent
Jennifer Covington has worked in public education for the past 27 years as a classroom teacher, school administrator, and is currently the Superintendent of the Murray City School District. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing/Business Education from Utah State University, a Master’s Degree in Information Systems Design and Development from Utah State University, and a Master’s Degree in Education Administration from Southern Utah University. She has spent her entire career in the Murray City School District and has enjoyed every opportunity she has been given to work with incredible students and staff. –as Jeremy heads to Provo to begin his freshman year at BYU.
Marta DeBellis, Youthlinc Board Member
Marta DeBellis is currently the Chief Marketing Officer at HireVue, and has held leadership roles at Instructure, Adobe, MRM/McCann and Intel. She is a 25-year marketing veteran across strategic marketing and business development in the areas of SaaS, technology, digital, content and partner marketing for both B2B and B2C. She has a breadth of global marketing experience with in-region assignments in the Americas, EMEA and APAC. Strong management and communication skills with the ability to work across complex organizations and geographies with a razor focus on strategy, results and output.
Sara Dorsey, UServe Utah Outreach Coordinator
Sara is from Virginia and moved to Utah in 2007 to study public health and international development. Internships and job opportunities took her to Costa Rica and Washington, but she always found her way back to the mountains of Utah. As an Outreach Coordinator for UServeUtah she is working to promote volunteerism throughout the state, inspire Utahns to become engaged in their communities, and educate organizations on available resources to manage volunteers. In her spare time she can be found trail running, hiking, rock climbing, and attending every possible pet adoption event.
Skylar Galt, President Murray Chamber of Commerce
Skylar Galt has been in the financial services industry for the last 20 years as both a producer and a leader. He started a recruiting company with his business partner Carol Almond 2 years ago. He was asked to be the Murray Area Chamber of Commerce president last year and has had the opportunity to volunteer with the Youth Chamber, Rotary club, Local and State government, and National Chambers.