Leadership Team

Interested in joining the team? Email us at climatyouthcoalition@gmail.com!



Jelena (she/her) is from Oak Park and now attends McGill University. She was trained as a Climate Reality Leader in July 2020 and has since co-founded the Chicago Youth Climate Coalition, taken leadership roles in the Green Schools Campaign and Climate Reality Chicago, and hosted events, presentations, and podcast episodes! She loves spending time outside with her friends, playing piano, and traveling with her mom and sister.



Danica (she/her) is a junior at the Illinois Math and Science academy (IMSA). She was trained as a Climate Reality Leader in May 2021 and has since risen to co-director of the CCYC, lead team member of Climate Reality Chicago, co-president of the IMSA club terra, and co-head of the Composting @ IMSA initiative. Danica is now vegan for the environment and works to educate and empower others to be as green as possible!

Elliott Natura


Elliott (he/him) is a junior at Maine South High School. He found interest in the environmental club and continued to pursue climate activism throughout the year eventually leading him to co-direct the CCYC. Having an upbringing surrounded by nature-loving parents and nature itself, he has goals and dreams of a greener future.

Gianna Guiffra

Artistic Director

Coalition Lead Alumni


Core Team Member & Co-Founder

Elizabeth (she/her) graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School. In July 2020, she became a trained Climate Reality Leader with her friend Jelena, and later that year the two of them founded the Chicago Youth Climate Coalition. She enjoys baking, listening to and playing music, and writing.gradu



Jessie (she/her) is from Park Ridge and graduated from Maine South High School. Trained as a Climate Reality Leader, she began working with Climate Reality Chicago and became involved in leading the Chicago Youth Climate Coalition. Her greatest environmental passions are spreading knowledge on the climate crisis, sustainability in food and agriculture, and clean energy. She will study chemical engineering with a sustainability concentration at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor this fall.



Abby Manos (she/her) graduated from Mother McAuley High School and currently holds the position of Vice President in the Environmental Club. She also volunteers her time at the NAWS animal shelter and a local resale shop that benefits the underprivileged in the community. Her passion for the environment was sparked after visiting Yellowstone National Park and viewing the beautiful landscape and animals in their natural habitat. CYCC has allowed her to use her communication and team building skills to organize agendas for the coalition meetings and is excited to help promote environmental change and awareness.



Daniel (he/him) graduated from Lane Tech; his care for the environment started with his travels where he learned how climate change affects different ecosystems. His growing urge to help fight for change in the environment led him to lobby for CEJA in Springfield and talk directly to Illinois’s legislatures. Danny is now the president and founder of Lane Tech’s climate change club and is the co central regional coordinator for the Green Schools Campaign. He loves being fully immersed in nature, playing sports, and sailing!


Website Coordinator

Maddie (she/her) graduated from Mother McAuley High School in Chicago. She is the current president of her school’s environmental club, Eco-Macs, and president of her school’s chapter of the Science National Honor Society. She  became passionate about environmental issues during quarantine; she began planning events for her school to promote the environmental club and going vegan.


Communications Director

Marin (she/her) graduated from the Latin School of Chicago and a head of their environmental club. Her group organizes beach sweeps, petitions, letter-writing campaigns, hosts speakers who work in the industry, develops book collections, and meets with their school’s lunch provider to promote sustainability within their high school. She loves the environment and can’t wait to continue helping out with environmentalism!


Artistic Director

Rae (she/her) graduated from Mother McAuley High School. She became the promotions committee chair of the conservation ambassador’s board at the Lincoln Park Zoo in September of 2020. Through this, she found her passion in conservation and the environment and combined it with her skills in digital art and design.


Project Director

Rebecca (she/her) graduated from Oak Park and River Forest High School. She became involved in the climate movement through Jelena and is excited to apply her organizational and executive abilities to the CYCC. As someone who has traveled and visited many National Parks, she wants to make sure that they remain available for future generations to enjoy.