Board Profiles

William Gardner - Chairperson, Communication Committee

William Gardner, of Martinsville, is a junior at Magna Vista High School. He has been a member of Christ Episcopal Church Youth Group, Boy Scout Troop 326, Future Business Leaders of America and Future Farmers of America, and volunteered with the Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival. He is founder and captain of the Magna Vista Debate Team, an alumni ambassador of the Broadreach Program that advocates earth-friendly methods in people’s daily lives and was a working student at the Sandy River Equestrian Center.

“It’s time to focus on moving forward,” Gardner said. “My initial goal in this world is to make positive change, and I believe that serving on the Harvest Youth Board is my first step in getting there.”

School: Magna Vista High School

 

Finley Underwood - Vice Chairperson, Grants Committee

Finley Underwood, of Martinsville, is a junior at Magna Vista High School. He has been a BETA Club member at MVHS and a 4-H public speaking champion. His activities include being a Life Scout; concert band; junior varsity soccer team and serving as its captain; varsity swim team; Piedmont Youth Soccer League (PYSL) Hurricanes U16 travel soccer team; Future Business Leaders of America; Youth Group of  First United Methodist Church; and co-owner/co-founder of “collectionsmva,” which resells new and used clothing and shoes. He has volunteered with Richard’s Dinner, a community meal at Christmas, for three years; the Youth Board’s Thanksgiving dinner; the Food Pantry and Clothes Closet at First United Methodist Church; Grace Network Christmas food boxing; and the Smith River Cleanup. He also has been an acolyte at First United Methodist Church. 

“I feel that my current standing as a student in Magna Vista High School’s Warrior Tech Program offers me valuable insight into many of the challenges faced in our area,” he said, adding that he is familiar with the area’s history. “I want to do all that I can to help restore vitality to the area and make it a place where everyone wants to work, play and live.”

School: Magna Vista High School

Matthew Wells - Treasurer, Special Events Committee

Matthew Wells of Collinsville is a junior at Bassett High School. He is a member of the Bassett High School BETA Club, and he has completed 100+ volunteer hours for various projects including the W. Dan Prince III Thanksgiving Eve Dinner, MHC After 3 after-school remediation/enrichment program, Missoula Children's Theater, and he volunteered as a member of the stage crew and as a tech at the Black Box Theater. 

"Knowing that a group of young people with big dreams for our area will be discussing ways to help the community inspires me to want to be a part of the Harvest Youth Board. This organization will make Martinsville, Virginia a better place in the coming years and I truly want to be a part of this youth-led program that helps many different people in numerous ways."

School: Bassett High School

Madison Ross - Secretary, Communication Committee

Madison Ross of Collinsville is a junior at Bassett High School. She is involved in BETA Club, is a volunteer for the W. Dan Prince III Thanksgiving Eve Dinner, Night to Shine, and a volunteer for various activities at her church. She has also volunteered for Tackfully Teamed Riding and the Angel Tree program. 

"Growing up in a small town has its challenges. We hear about them almost every day in the news. Through the Youth Board, we are given the opportunity, we well as the means, to do amazing things for our area. If I were chosen to be a part of the Harvest Youth Board, I would aspire to become a voice for the youth in our community and help to find ways to create a lasting influence in our town."

School: Bassett High School

Corey Brandon - Communication Committee Chair

Corey Brandon of Martinsville is a sophomore at Magna Vista High School. He is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, a volunteer at the Grace Network pumpkin patch, a  member of BETA Club, a timer for YMCA swim meets, a member of the 4-H Teen Club, and helped paint the Laurel Park football stadium. 

"Personally, the growth of Martinsville-Henry County (MHC) is something that has always been important to me, and this is an opportunity for me to act on it. It distresses me to hear parents in the community encourage their children to 'get out' of the area. The Harvest Youth Board is an opportunity to make our community a place where people want their children to stay and be successful."

School: Magna Vista High School

Taylor Jo Gary - Grants Committee Chair

Taylor Jo Gary, of Martinsville, is a junior at Bassett High School. At Bassett she is active with cheer, swim, Beta Club, French Club and FOCAS.  She also is involved with First Baptist Church of Collinsville Children’s Ministry, Wednesday night meals, Youth Group and Special Needs Class and Public Relations Committee. She's also worked with Upward Basketball at Fort Trial, Mt. Calvary and Horsepasture Christian churches for three years, and with the Henry County Schools she worked with Book a Treat, Book a Hunt, Family Reading Nights, Movie Nights, Valentine’s Dance, STEM and Science Night.

“Because of my travel with competitive dance I have seen firsthand how events can help the economy of a community. Community service should start at a young age, Gary said, and Youth Board members become role models for other young people. “I would like for the board to research a program for our younger students to learn the value of giving back and value of volunteerism. In doing this we may spark more interest in leadership in our community and leadership,” she said. 

School: Bassett High School

 

Anne Catherine Harris - Special Events Committee Chair

Anne Harris of Bassett is a sophomore at Bassett High School. She is involved in Junior District Band, All-Area Band, participates in competition dance, is a member of the Bassett High School marching band, is a member of BETA Club, volunteers in the Crosspoint Church Youth & Nursery, and she received the Fieldale-Collinsville Middle School Principal Award in 2017.

"I hear people in high school say all the time, 'I cannot wait to graduate, go off to college and never come back.' This statement is heartbreaking for me and I, along with the Harvest Youth Board, would like the opportunity to change their perspective of this community. I feel we live in a great community and need to continue to cultivate great experiences for our friends and families."

School: Bassett High School

Savannah Brown - Communications Committee

"I wanted to serve on the Youth Board because I wanted the opportunity to serve those around me, grow in leadership, and to help make genuine, positive change in my community."

School: Martinsville High School

Jaydon Carter - Special Events Committee

"Martinsville-Henry County is filled with so much diversity, and if we all strive for the advancement of our dreams, we can turn Martinsville upside down and make it into something that it has never been before." 

School: Magna Vista High School

Cristiano Di Maro - Grants Committee

"I joined the Youth Board because I want to see my community soar to new levels and the Harvest Youth Board is how I can be a part of that change."

School: Carlisle

Piper Doughton - Special Events Committee

"At school, I heard about this program called the Harvest Youth Board that was putting on a Thanksgiving Eve dinner. What an amazing idea! So many people were helped and the community was touched. After this event, I became interested in the Harvest Youth Board and wanted to know more about what they do. ... I hope to bring my creativity, knowledge of business, and work ethic to the Harvest Youth Board to improve our community any way I can. I can’t wait to get out and get involved!"

School: Bassett High School

Caleb Jenkins - Grants Committee

" I joined the Harvest Youth Board in order to work alongside peers to promote and encourage youth opportunities in our community. I am committed to seeing my hometown of Martinsville and Henry County thrive and develop and am eager to be engaged with community efforts that will promote its success. I hope to encourage others to see our hometown as a community of choice, a place where we each can build a successful future. I truly look forward to being a part of this board and am honored to serve as a youth representative."

School: Magna Vista High School

Olivia Keller - Grants Committee

"One of the most important reasons I wanted to join the Harvest Youth Board is to help bring Martinsville-Henry County back to its full potential again."

School: Martinsville High School



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