The AFA Teens Advisory Board offers teenagers an opportunity to build strong leadership skills, offer insight to AFA about the needs of teenagers as they relate to Alzheimer’s disease, help steer the future direction of AFA Teens—and give back even more to the Alzheimer's community.
Meet the 2013-2014 AFA Teens Advisory Board
Dina Gad – Vienna, Va.
After witnessing how Alzheimer’s disease impacted her grandfather and the family, it “opened up [my] eyes to want to help others with a love one impacted by [Alzheimer’s] disease,” said Gad.
Gad, currently a senior at McLean High School, volunteers at a local hospital . There, she shadows neurosurgeons --pursuing her interest of the human brain.
By joining the AFA Teens Advisory Board, Gad hopes to increase awareness of the disease, and encourage her peers to get involved with AFA Teens. She plans to continue her involvement in the cause when she goes to college next fall .
Aliya Farmanali – Las Vegas, Nev.
Farmanali serves as president of the AFA Teens chapter at the Meadows School in Las Vegas, where she is a student. The chapter builds upon her school’s existing Alzheimer’s Awareness club, which she also leads.
“Being part of the advisory board would help me fulfill the mission of AFA Teens, and further my goal of spreading awareness of Alzheimer’s disease,” she said.
The teen became interested in Alzheimer’s disease awareness after completing several training courses at the Coalition for Quality Eldercare Services, a Las Vegas-based school that trains and certifies caregivers.
Her other academic activities include serving as a student ambassador, vice president of Key Club, and a member of the Honor Code Committee.
Kristina Jespersen - Lawrenceville, Ga.
Thrilled to be able to help raise awareness of Alzheimer's disease, Jespersen has had plenty of experience dealing with the disease. When Jespersen was in fourth grade, her mom, Lori, was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease; she later passed away in 2011.
"It was like someone had come in the middle of the night, kidnapped my mom and left us with a complete stranger that looked just like her," Jespersen said. "People don't understand what this disease is and how it affects patients and their families. I want to change that."
To carry on her mom's memory, the teen is working on a book to share her mother's story and has been captain of the "For Lori" Walk to End Alzheimer's team for two years. She is a student at St. Pius X Catholic High School, and sings, runs track, and trains as a figure skater in her spare time.
Sydney Stepovich – El Cajon, Calif.
Stepovich became interested in the AFA Teens Advisory Board after her grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
A freshman in high school, Stepovich is on high honor roll, enjoys sports and volunteers in her community.
By becoming active with AFA Teens, Stepovich hopes to increase Alzheimer’s awareness among her peers and facilitate interactive ways that teens can get involved.