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Young Leaders Council


The mission of the Young Leaders Council is promote the policies & legislative endeavors of the EDC by supplementing the legislativeprocess with teen and young adult feedback, advocacy & support. Members will make a difference by getting involved in research & education, planning community events & raising support for EDC’s legislation. 


Racial Disparities in Eating Disorders

Navigating Insurance Coverage for Eating Disorder Treatment

Fighting the Battle of Eating Disorders in the Military

Empowering the Next Generation: Nurturing Confidence in Adolescents

Impact of Grassroots Advocacy

Eating Disorders in the Military


Sarina Deb, California (she/her), President

Sarina lives in California and is a senior at Stanford University studying political science, psychology, and human rights. As someone who has recovered from an eating disorder, she is passionate about utilizing political advocacy, research, and direct mobilization to fight for a healthier and more equitable society for people struggling with mental health issues and body image struggles. She has interned for Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-CA-14), and several nonprofits, and runs the club Students Against Eating Disorders on Stanford’s campus where she leads weekly support groups and trains staff on eating disorders.

Chuying Huo, Ontario (she/her)

Chuying is a high school senior living in Canada. She is a research intern at the Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis, Harvard STRIPED Youth Corps member, and National Initiative for Eating Disorder Youth Advisory Board member. Amidst the havoc of the pandemic, Chuying discovered a passion for making a social impact and working on policy initiatives alongside individuals. She harnessed the power of storytelling to advance eating disorder prevention advocacy.

Najman Mahbouba, California (he/him)

Najman is a high school senior living in the California. He has worked on numerous public policy projects at Harvard STRIPED, UC Santa Barbara, and San Jose State University. Najman is the Executive Director of the Policy Initiatives Institute, a public policy education non-profit seeking to revitalize policy action by youth and a champion for eating disorders policy.

Jaanak Prashar, Texas (he/him)

Jaanak is a high school senior living in Texas. He has always been fascinated by the relationship between public health and research. Jaanak aspirations lie in mitigating inequities in the healthcare field through advocacy and science. As an eating disorders advocate, Jaanak is passionate about meeting with lawmakers to create change.

Edward Thomas, Illinois (he/him)

Edward is a high school senior living in Illinois. After experiencing a series of body dysmorphic episodes in his early high school career, Edward realized how body-image and eating disorders are simultaneously glamorized by popular media, yet largely ignored in men and those of South Asian descent--people like him. Realizing this as a barrier to care, Edward was driven to advocate with the EDC, to help start conversations and collaborate through policy to bring these conversations to a stage they can be heard.

Julia Hark, Louisiana (she/her)

Julia is a student in Delgado Community College's American Sign Language Interpreting Program in New Orleans, Louisiana and is a recent graduate of Tulane University where she obtained her BA in Gender & Sexuality Studies with minors in Psychology and Classics. She is a writer, mental health advocate, and performer. Her honors thesis, “Diet Culture and the Beauty Industry: A Contemporary Manifestation of the American Freakshow,” explores how the freakshow still exists in today’s diet culture through the binary of the desirable vs undesirable body; illusion of control over the body; and manipulation of the body on display for profit. In high school, Julia wrote an original cabaret entitled, "Public Privacy," about the challenges young women face today; the show was the winner of a short play project and produced briefly off-Broadway. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in social work before becoming a Child Life Specialist.

Ryan Dunk, Maryland (he/him)

Ryan lives in Maryland and is a recent graduate of Suffolk University where he obtained a BA in Psychology. He was a competitive figure skater for over 10 years and was a Team USA athlete from 2017 until 2022. Ryan was an intern with Harvard STRIPED where he helped advocate for state legislation to protect children from harmful weight loss and muscle building supplements. He was also intern at Boston Children’s Hospital in the eating disorder department where I assisted with a study related to atypical anorexia nervosa. Ryan hopes to become a psychologist in the future and plan to apply to graduate school programs in about a year.

William Hornby, New York (he/him)

William lives in New York and is a recent graduate from Temple University where he obtained his BBA in Business Management and BFA in Musical Theater. He is at the forefront of raising awareness for men with eating disorders with his advocacy on social media. William speaks publicly on advocacy, mental health, and eating disorder recovery. He travels around the world both in person and virtually giving workshops and presentations on “The Power of Becoming the Advocate You Needed”. He is the recipient of the William Donald Schaefer Helping People Award for 2021 and has collaborated with the National Alliance for Eating Disorders and The National Eating Disorder Association. William is also a singer-songwriter with music about recovery and mental health, including "Clay", touted as a body neutral anthem.

Isabella Galichia, Kansas (she/her)

Isabella Galichia is a high school senior living in Kansas. After struggling with an eating disorder throughout her early adolescence and professional tennis career, she has made a point to provide support for those in her community who struggle in the same manner. Isabella advocates for the importance of insurance in receiving care, and for changing the means that define them. She has also worked on research projects individually and at Georgetown University regarding a wide variety of mental health struggles. Isabella plans to continue pursuing Neuroscience and Cognitive Sciences at the university level after graduation. Isabella has been involved with EDC’s Ambassador program since 2022.

Matthew Brown, New Hampshire (he/him)

Matthew Brown is a high school sophomore living in New Hampshire. Since 2022 he has been in the forefront of the push to add an eating disorders helpline to student ID cards in New Hampshire. Matthew was the namesake of a bill to do just that, the Matthew Brown Act (HB35). Matthew also serves as the founder and president of Eating Disorders New Hampshire and organization he started to continue his work in eating disorders advocacy. Matthew has been involved with EDC’s Ambassador program since 2022. 

Hollie Hagan, Kentucky (she/her)

Hollie Hagan is a high school senior living in Kentucky. She is a member of the Kentucky Eating Disorder Council’s Advocacy committee and is active in informing and working with educators and legislators in her community to end harmful educational practices centered around body image and eating disorders. Her foremost passion revolves around the creation of sustainable solutions and prevention methods of eating disorders for rural communities with limited treatment opportunities. Hollie has been involved with EDC’s Ambassador program since 2022.  

Athena McDowall, New Jersey (she/her) 

Athena McDowall is a mental health counselor living in New Jersey. She received her Master's in Social Work degree from Rutgers University folloring a time in which she served in the New Jersey National Guard. During college, Athena became the National Eating Disorders Association Philadelphia Walk Coordinator. Athena is the Vice President of the Board of Directors for a new nonprofit organization called SEA WAVES, which aims to increase awareness around eating disorders in the military and provide military personnel with the treatment resources that they need in order to pursue recovery. Athena has been involved with the EDC's Ambassador progream since 2022.

Tatum Graham, Wyoming (she/her)

Tatum Graham is a high school senior living in Wyoming. She began her eating disorder treatment and recovery and found a passion for eating disorder awarness and advocacy. She is the Executive Researcher at Recovery Meetups, an entirely youth-led initiative that supports young people in recovery. In her own recovery, she found the imporance of having a support system, so she emphasized the value of community and compassion in the process of recovery. She plans to study sociology in university next year. Tatum has been involved with EDC's Ambassador program since 2022.

Ella Kirksey, Virginia (she/her)

Ella Kirksey is from Virginia and is a junior at Duke University pursuing a BS in neuroscience and chemistry on the pre-med track. Her experience in the healthcare system during the height of her eating disorder inspired her work to work towards becoming a physician to revoluionize treatment practices using scientific evidence. Ella is also interested in using her creative brain to influence the public perception of eating disorders, seen through her role as a writer, graphic designer, and content creator for Project HEAL. Ella is passionate about brining her perspective of the biological basis behind eating disorders to exact change. Ella has been involved with EDC's Ambassador program since 2022.

Asha Patel, California (she/her)

Asha Patel is a high school senior living in California. She co-founded the nonprofit organization, M2Health, to spread eating disorders and mental health education to middle schools nationwide. Asha is also on the UCSD Advisory Council for Public Health, part of Unstrumental, an award-winning high school a Cappella group, and it also a data and engagement intern at MOVN Health, a virtual cardiac rehabilitation program. Asha seeks to educate new generations about eating disorder awareness and innovate preventive efforts tailored to younger age groups. Asha has been involved with EDC's Ambassador program since 2022.