Youth Leadership Team 2019-2020

The American Battlefield Trust is excited to introduce our first Youth Leadership Team! 

The American Battlefield Trust Youth Leadership Team (YLT) is a rotating group of 10 young people, aged 15-18, who serve as the youth face and voice of the American Battlefield Trust. Youth Leadership Team members are required to become experts on the Trust’s mission, history, and media talking points, participate in a youth Lobby Day and create preservation, education, or visitation projects in their local communities over the course of one year. 

By supporting this group of motivated young leaders, we hope to create a ripple effect for battlefield preservation, visitation, history education in our nation. Our goal is for young people to connect and empower each other to create change within their own schools and communities. 

Taylor Bishop, Springfield KY

Taylor currently attends Green County High School and hopes to take at least 30-35 high schoolers and a few 8th-grade students to the battlefield at Munfordville and give them the name of a man that was either killed, wounded or fought in that battle. By making the location relatable and personal he hopes they form a closer connection to the Civil War.


“I’m excited to be a part of this program because It allows me to really teach the importance of our history and the men and women who formed our nation. I really can't wait to ignite a spark of interest of the History of our nation and it’s many unique stories.” 

Makayla Decker, Dillsburg PA

Makayla currently attends Northern High School and seeks to make a new and more informative walking tour pamphlet that tourists can pick up and learn about the Battle of Hanover. The pamphlets will show military and factual information and there will be a link created with recordings of personal experiences from townspeople and soldiers during the war. To showcase the new pamphlet, she will host a guided tour with a social following the tour. 


“I am excited to be involved with the American Battlefield Trust Youth Leadership Team because History is such an interesting subject that gets overlooked. It is very important to know our history and by being part of this organization, I hope to spark interest in not only the people of my community but also the younger (my) generation. The people of Hanover during the Civil War were true heroes and I'm excited for light to finally be shown on them for their patriotism and for the people of the past to get the recognition they deserve.” 

Scott Lee, Los Angeles CA

Scott attends North Hollywood High School and looks forward to creating an exhibit of the role that financial institutions played in the Civil War in addition to a possible partnership with the Museum of Tolerance to introduce diverse historical figures that all Americans can feel inspired by to make their own mark on this country. 


“I want to make sure that no one feels left out on the beautiful tapestry that is our shared history. Personally speaking, I can't wait to see how history can serve as a way to bring even the most different communities together. Personally speaking, I can't wait to see how history can serve as a way to bring even the most different communities together.” 

Sarah Schwartz, Fort Myers FL

Sarah is a rising Senior at Estero High School and is already making great strides towards inviting each principal from the public schools in her county to nominate 3 upperclassmen students that have a passion for learning/history to tour and/or preserve Olustee state park, the site of the Battle of Olustee. 


“I love history and want to make sure the past remains preserved for the future. I'm looking forward to speaking with members of Congress to inform them about the necessity of preserving historic battlefield land.” 

Jessica Grajeda, Goodyear AZ

Jessica attends Desert Edge High School and Seeks to make the struggles of Civil War or Revolutionary War soldiers more relatable through physical demonstrations of what they experienced. This could include marches, erecting a campsite, loading a cannon, or cooking a meal. Through these hands-on activities, she hopes to inspire a life long interest in history and the lives of the soldiers who fount on hallowed ground. 


“I am excited to be involved in this program because I will be able to bring my community closer by helping and inspiring others to share and hear our state history. I am looking forward to working with high school students who are passionate about learning history.” 

Hays Turner, Middleburg VA

Hays attends the Foxcroft School, an all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, and is excited to research horses during the Civil War and write an essay about what she uncovered. Hays believes this will be an interesting topic to research and will be something her community would be interested in. She also hopes to arrange several community fundraisers to help support battlefield preservation. 


“I'm excited to be a part of this program because I want to increase education about these hallowed grounds that surround us. I am so excited to get the chance to have first-hand experience with lobbying for something I love.” 

Karalyn Viszoki, Monroe Township NJ

Karalyn is a student at Monroe Township High School and hopes to bring history to life through music. More specifically she will research and bring to light the life of military band members during the Revolutionary War, specifically at the Battle of Monmouth. 


“Being a part of the American Battlefield Trust Youth Leadership Team allows me to spread my love of both Music and History to an audience that isn't as passionate as I am. Additionally, I am excited to gain the experience of Lobbying at Capitol Hill later in the year.”

Olivia Brinkman, Patchogue NY

Olivia is a rising Senior at Patchogue-Medford High School and hopes her project will allow for easier education on her local, recently restored, Civil War statue. She plans to build a plaque with a quick response (QR) code attached. The QR code will be linked to a page that will give information about the soldiers listed on the plaque.    


“You do not see as much interest in American history from my generation than older ones. I hope, with the help of my peers in the Youth Leadership Team, we can spike inspiration to help preserve more hallowed ground. I am also looking forward to the support I will receive from my community. My community always has my back and I am excited to have this opportunity to give back to them.”  

John Mugabe, Rock Hill SC

John is a student at the York Preparatory Academy and is looking forward to educating visitors about the individual stories about the people who fought in the battle by adapting Robert Dunkerly's book, The Battle of King's Mountain: Eyewitness Accounts, into recorded podcasts and share those stories with the public.     


“I’m excited to be a part of this team because it's going to help me learn how to make a positive impact in my community and allows me to learn by doing something that I am passionate about.    I can't wait to unearth the mostly unheard stories of America's true heroes.” 

Owen Lanier, Gloucester VA

Owen currently attends Gloucester High School and is eager to help maintain and educate his community about Civil War and Revolutionary War actions at Tyndall’s Point and to inspire others around him to preserve our nation’s history.     

“I am working with an outstanding organization and a group of my peers to preserve our nation’s battlefields and the legacies of those who fought and died on them. I am looking forward to sitting down with Virginia’s legislators in person to ask them to support the mission of battlefield preservation.”