Meet Our Team
Board of Directors
Madeline Manning is our Board Chair. She currently attends St. Joseph’s Catholic School. She has participated in four Youth and Government Conferences, and she especially enjoyed serving as leadership her past year. Additionally, Madeline is on St. Joseph’s varsity cheer team, has played the violin for five years, and is the prop designer for St. Joseph’s theater department. In her very limited free time, she likes to garden and cook. She is excited to be a part of Greenville Youth Alliance and is looking forward to meeting and working with other students in Greenville.
Vidya Mehta is our Secretary of the Board. She currently attends St. Joseph’s Catholic School. She has participated in 2 Middle School YIG conferences, and 1 High School YIG conference. Vidya is on the St. Joseph’s Varsity Tennis Team. She has volunteered with political campaigns like Bernie Sanders for President and Kim Nelson for Congress. She is passionate about involving more youth in politics and is extremely excited to work with the rest of the GYA team to make this a reality. In her spare time, Vidya enjoys playing the piano and dancing Bharatanatyam (which she has been learning for 12 years), a type of South Indian Classical dance.
Margo Schellinger of our treasurer. She currently attends St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Greenville. Outside of Greenville Youth Alliance she has participated in four years of Youth in Government and, this past year, served as a member of Ronald McDonald House’s Teen Leadership Board. Furthermore, Margo recently participated in Notre Dame’s Summer Scholars’ Global Health program. In addition to frequent swim practices, Margo spends her summers at Sanborn Western Camps in Colorado climbing mountains, hiking, and enjoying the fresh air. Margo is excited to serve as treasurer. and she hopes that her previous experiences will be helpful in furthering Greenville Youth Alliance’s mission.
Alyssa Alexander is our Secretary. Alyssa currently attends Wade Hampton High School. She actively participates in her school’s orchestra and varsity swim team. She hopes to attend her first Youth and Government Conference this spring. Alyssa also serves on the National Committee for High School Democrats of America (HSDA). Alyssa is excited to help get other teens involved in the Greenville community, and she looks forward to being a part of the change she wants to see.
She can be reached at [email protected]
Lynn Ballard is a native of St. Joseph, Missouri, and has been a resident of Greenville County since 1987. After obtaining a Degree in Chemistry from NW Missouri State University he worked in the Chemical Industry for 25 years – progressing through the ranks from a Laboratory Technician to Vice President of Manufacturing. The final 15 years of his employment he worked as a Rural Mail Carrier for the United States Postal Service, retiring in 2013. He is serving his 8th year representing District 26 on County Council, where he currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, and is the Council liaison to the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission. He is also the Chairman of the Board of SHARE and a Board member of the Greenville Housing Trust Fund, and now is a Board member of Greenville Youth Alliance.
Connor Farrell is as a member of the GYA Board. He is a sophomore in high school at St. Joseph’s in Greenville. Connor joined Youth in Government as a sixth grader and has served as a Committee Chair twice and as a candidate for Speaker of the House in 2018. This year he will serve as a Committee Chair for his third year. As a cofounder of his own nonprofit, Bright Lights Greenville, Connor has worked in nonprofit management. After gaining experience with his nonprofit and achieving much recognition for his work such as a Global Youth Mobilization nominee, Connor brings experience and dedication to the GYA table.
Davis Summer is our Executive Director, and has lived in Greenville his whole life. Davis graduated in 2021 from Eastside High School. Davis joined Youth and Government his freshman year, and participated in it every year he was in school. He has taken part in three YIG conferences, as well as one Conference on National Affairs. Through his work with the YMCA and their Youth in Government program he saw how many young adults want to be involved in the community, but don’t know how to get involved – and so, with Olivia Peck, he founded Greenville Youth Alliance in 2020.
He can be reached at [email protected]
Olivia Peck is our Deputy Director. She currently attends Eastside High School. She has previously participated in Southside Christian’s theater program, has played tennis for the majority of her life, and has danced for several years. Additionally, Olivia just earned her pilot’s license. She has attended two Youth and Government Conferences, where she met Davis Summer. Together they started Greenville Youth Alliance. She looks forward to working with other students who are interested in what they can do for their community.
She can be reached at [email protected]
Gracen Miller is our Events Coordinator as well as the Vice-Chair of our Community Outreach Committee. She attends Christ Church Episcopal School, and has participated in Youth and Government and is very active in youth programs in her church and diocese. She is on the executive team for the Diocesan Youth Leadership Committee, which plans retreats for youth grades 5-12, and the Student Leadership Team which plans youth group and other youth based gatherings. Additionally, Gracen has been in the Leadership Development Program at YMCA Camp Greenville for the past two years and is in the Carolina Youth Symphony as a violist.
Mary Kate Farrell is a rising senior at St. Joseph’s Catholic School. She is a competitive swimmer who swims for both St. Joe’s and for her year-round team, Team Greenville. Mary Kate is also super excited to continue swimming in college at Villanova University! When she’s not at the pool, Mary Kate enjoys working (as a lifeguard and swim instructor) and volunteering for a variety of organizations, one of which being Bright Lights Gvl, which Mary Kate helped found as the Director of Communications. Mary Kate also enjoys serving as the Editor in Chief of St. Joe’s newspaper. She hopes to utilize such skills in both nonprofit management and literary advocacy on GYA’s Board to promote community service and youth involvement. A fun fact about Mary Kate is that she lived in Amsterdam for 4 years and attended an international school whose diverse and inclusive atmosphere she hopes to replicate on a broader scale through GYA!
Shelley Summer is our Chief Financial Officer. Shelley has lived in Greenville since the mid-80’s. She graduated from Christ Church Episcopal School and went on to receive a BA in Art History from Wofford College. After trying out the corporate world, she turned her attention to early childhood education and the nonprofit sector. Shelley co-founded a non-profit, Palmetto Shared Services Alliance, which works with childcare providers across the state of South Carolina to help them run their programs more efficiently. Shelley has two sons: Briggs and Davis. She is an avid artist, selling her work throughout the country. She is passionate about education and is excited to be working with Greenville Youth Alliance.