Editorial Team

Briana Vanderstelt

Briana Vanderstelt

Editorial Assistant

Brianna, a resident of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, graduated with her B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice from Saginaw Valley State University. It was during her time there that she discovered her enthusiasm for social justice, advocacy, and helping others. While she ultimately hopes to pursue a career as a therapist for juvenile populations, she holds a special appreciation for writing and the power of language. With USYF, she aspires to further the cause’s goals of empowering youth, as well as share her passion across a variety of topics, especially those pertaining to uplifting underprivileged and oppressed populations. During leisure, Brianna enjoys playing video games, exploring new places with her dog, being outside, and coloring.

Jenna DeForte

Jenna DeForte

Editorial Associcate

Jenna, born and raised in New York, has always had a passion for literature. She graduated in 2016 from St. John Fisher College with dual degrees in English and Childhood Education. She currently works as a middle school English teacher, promoting the voices of her students through their writing and reading. She believes in the diversity of literature in being able to empower each reader in understanding the importance of their own story and why it should be shared. Through her work as a teacher she has witnessed the necessity of including young people in the discussion of our future. Outside of work, Jenna likes to stay active with her husky, bake often, and enjoy korean dramas on Netflix.

Maddox Larson (He/Him)

Maddox Larson (He/Him)

Editorial Assistant

Maddox is a second-year undergraduate student at Creighton University where he is majoring in Philosophy with a triple minor in Theology, Mathematics, and Behavioral & Cognitive Science. His interest in editing for USYF comes from his strong written communication skills and interest in furthering the voice that young people have in the United States. Outside of USYF, he is a GWR Research Fellow for the Menard Family Institute for Economic Inquiry where he is researching economic and political effects of state-religions. Additionally, Maddox is a fan of watching TV crime dramas, reading YA fiction books, and learning new skills. Following the completion of his undergraduate degree, Maddox hopes to pursue a PhD in an interdisciplinary field that combines his undergraduate interests.

Annie Vertin

Annie Vertin

Editorial Assistant

Annie is a second year undergraduate student attending the University of California, Berkeley, where she is currently double majoring in English and Political Science. She is passionate about furthering causes of political, legislative, and social justice and reform, and hopes to pursue a career in the human rights or international relations sector. Annie is looking forward to working with USYF on a variety of issues, especially climate change, gun violence, and racial injustice. In her free time, Annie enjoys hiking, traveling, reading, listening to podcasts, and going to new coffee shops.

Cameron Thomson

Cameron Thomson

Editorial Associate

A Chicago native, now living in Washington DC, Cameron is an assistant editor at Chrysalis Editorial, an assistant at Williamson Literary, and a freelance editor and writer at Wrestling With Words. While studying at Iowa State, Cameron also wrestled in college where he found his passion for writing, first as an escape from school and athletics and then later as a career. In addition to editing and writing, Cameron and his wife live in Washington DC, where he also coaches wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to kids, amateur, semi-professional, and professional athletes.

Joseph Sweeney (He/Him)

Joseph Sweeney (He/Him)

Editorial Assistant

Joseph, age 24, is a Texas tough activist looking to help advocate for younger generations to have more of a voice on their state and local issues. Graduating with a degree in English in 2020, he was disappointed with the conversations happening around him and sought to do something about it. In his free time, he writes fantasy novels, and he helps the Youth Forum by reviewing and editing their articles. Some of the issues that matter to him are the rights of women and the disabled, as well as disaster readiness.

Tatiana Pagan (She/Her)

Tatiana Pagan (She/Her)

Editorial Associate

Tatiana is a New Jersey native and Readers’ Advisor with her local library. She originally began studying towards a BA in English at Montclair State University and has since transferred to Southern New Hampshire University. Their passion for literature plays a large part in their advocacy, particularly within the LGBT+ and BIPOC communities. Tatiana’s goal is to attain a career in publishing or library sciences. Either way, she hopes to diversify the literary world by uplifting the works of underrepresented groups. They also hope that, by doing so, they can further raise awareness of the issues that affect the LGBT+ and BIPOC communities. Tatiana’s other interests include tarot, Dungeons and Dragons, and collecting far too many pens.