Youth Engagement

IYAB Leadership Team

The IYAB Leadership Team helps set the board’s priorities for the year and make suggestions that will lead to changes in the foster care system.

These leaders make a big impact on their peers and the foster care system in Indiana.

Leaders serve one-year terms from July 1 thru June 30. Interested in joining the Leadership Team? Reach out to one of the current team members to learn more!

Current Leadership Team:

Stephaney Knight

Alix Porter (He/They)

Alix serves as a leader on the Youth Advisory Board (IYAB) while also balancing a job as a shift supervisor at Popeyes and pursuing a full-time education at Ivy Tech. Recently, he has also embarked on a journey in the social work field by working with Rescare and Developmental Services Inc.

Drawing from his own experiences in the foster care system, Alix is passionate about representing IYAB and Foster Success. He hopes to empower others by demonstrating that positive change in the system is possible and that every voice matters.

During his downtime, Alix enjoys streaming his gameplay on Twitch, where you might catch him playing Dead by Daylight or Fortnite. He also cherishes spending time with his close-knit group of friends and his beloved husky, Lulu.


Stephaney Knight

Praise Ferguson (She/Her/Hers)

In July 2022, Praise became a member of the Indiana Youth Advisory Board (IYAB) Leadership Team. Her optimistic and endearing personality inspires her to advocate for the next generation, knowing the importance of being a role model. She hopes to influence others by encouraging them to make the most of life, despite its difficulties. 

Some of her biggest accomplishments include securing her own apartment and remaining positive and successful every day. She enjoys expressing her creativity through singing, songwriting, and art. She also finds joy in finding laughter and positivity, even during serious moments.

Alayna Leonard

Ash Gann-Gatt (She/Her/Hers)

Meet Ash, a compassionate and dedicated leader of the Indiana Youth Advisory Board (IYAB) and a Jim Casey’s Fellow. In her free time, she enjoys sewing and caring for her four cats, two dogs, and a bearded dragon. One of Ash’s top accomplishments is being nominated for a national foster youth advocacy organization. Additionally, she was an intern at the Noble County United Way in 2019 and is now in her second year as an IYAB Leader. 

Since graduating from high school in 2020, Ash plans to attend cosmetology school while continuing her advocacy work on the side. As someone who has experienced the foster care system, she is passionate about giving a voice to minorities and young people in foster care. Her ultimate goal is to ensure that all young people have a voice that is heard. When Ash is not working, you may find her going on adventures and chasing the stars.

Alayna Leonard

Emma Blackwell (She/Her/Hers)

Emma joined the Foster Success team in January 2024 as an Indiana Youth Advisory Board Intern. In this role, she will assist in guiding the focus of health and wellness resources for young people aging out of Indiana’s foster care system. Emma will work to empower young people with the knowledge and skills needed to navigate healthcare systems and become advocates for their own health.

Emma graduated from Arsenal Technical High School with plans to study education. She is enthusiastic about her hopes to become a teacher, and eventually a foster parent. Outside of her internship, she devotes her time to substitute teaching and occasionally doing hair. Emma defines her success by the amount of lives she has changed and the amount of people she helps. 

Being creative consumes the majority of Emma’s free time. From styling hair, painting a beautiful landscape, drawing in her sketchbook, to making one-of-a-kind clothes, if it’s creative, you can catch her doing it.


IYAB logo
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Stephaney Knight

“I have learned not only to advocate for others, but for myself as well. I have learned patience and independence. I have gained a community of people (who) are there to support me.”

– Stephaney K.
Foster Success | Angel Crone

Questions? Contact Diana Brownlow, Assistant Director of Youth Engagement

Call or text 317-504-4196   •

Indiana Youth Advisory Board (IYAB)

The Indiana Youth Advisory Board (IYAB), is a group of teens and young adults from across Indiana who are currently in or have lived experience in foster care. Learn more...

Current Leadership

The IYAB Leadership Team helps set the board’s priorities for the year and make suggestions that will lead to changes in the foster care system. Learn more...


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