Say Hello to This Year’s Southbay 20 Under 20

The future looks bright.

Madeline Tello

18 | Mira Costa High School

Hometown: Inglewood

Greatest Hits:

  • Created documentary film Reel Women
  • Film internship in Chile
  • Ballet and Mexican folkloric dancer

Future Goals:

Be a driving force to bring a greater amount of diversity to the film industry and create work that inspires more women of color to pursue a life in the arts, as well as to advocate for their unique stories.


“As a feminist, I believe that women have a right to the same opportunities and respect that are available to men. I hope that discriminatory norms that are embedded in our culture—such as the wage gap and lack of policies that support paid maternity leave—will be left behind by future generations.”

#lightscameraaction

Dylan Iskandar

15 | Mira Costa High School

Hometown: Manhattan Beach

Greatest Hits:

  • Accomplished pianist and guitarist
  • Solo debut at Carnegie Hall at 14
  • Winner of the worldwide 2019-2020 Google Code-in competition

Future Goal:

Create a start-up company to empower less fortunate kids with free and accessible education on technology and music.


“Our generation is capable of changing the world through our ability to create mass movements. In the day of the internet, we are capable of globally rallying together for the greater good of our world.”

#goingplaces

Alexis Ferguson

17 | Palos Verdes Peninsula High School

Hometown: Rancho Palos Verdes

Greatest Hits:

  • Competed on first season of Chopped Junior
  • Started the organization Nourish and Flourish
  • Conducts cooking classes for underprivileged kids

Biggest Hope:

That everyone is educated and exposed to how simple and delicious healthy eating can be.


“My generation is capable of changing the world because our lives revolve around technology. From a phone to a television, we can influence millions of people and share our ideas. I have an Instagram account for food with followers from around the world. It is amazing to see how I am influencing someone in another continent through my food.”

#culinaryjourney

Luke Antaky

17 | South Torrance High

Hometown: Torrance

Greatest Hits:

  • Fundraising for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
  • Accomplished debater
  • Vice president of operations for Congressman Ted Lieu’s Youth Advisory Council

Biggest Hope:

That people start living in the moment and appreciating what we have right now in the real world, rather than what’s on Instagram or Twitter.


“Teens right now are organizing marches for issues they care about. People in my generation do not believe in waiting for their turn to make a difference, and they definitely don’t believe in staying silent.”

#worksmarternotharder

Ryan Rossow

18 | Mira Costa High School

Hometown: Manhattan Beach

Greatest Hits:

  • Seven-time Junior Olympian in water polo and swim
  • Recipient of President’s Award for Academic Achievement
  • Founder and president of the South Bay Food Initiative

Proudest Accomplishment:

Educating tens of thousands of people about food insecurity and providing hundreds of fellow students with the opportunity to be a part of a collective effort to help feed more than 100,000 people in Los Angeles.


“Approximately one-third of all food produced is wasted. If we could recover it, we could feed all 795 million food-insecure people on the planet and reduce about 8% of the total greenhouse gas emissions. I believe that through the expansion of our model, we can engage millions of teenagers globally.”

#helpandheal

Cooper Powers

17 | Chadwick School

Hometown: Redondo Beach

Greatest Hits:

  • Conservationist at Palos Verdes Land Conservancy
  • Leader of school’s Sustainability Council
  • Launched a plant biology study for endangered Palos Verdes Blue Butterfly

Future Goals:

Tour local elementary schools attended by underprivileged students and educate them on climate change. Also, create a leadership academy to train a diverse, motivated group of students to be environmental leaders in their own local communities.


“My core value is being authentic and not allowing the thoughts and behaviors of others to determine my own.”

#environfluential

Brianna Cronyn

18 | Mira Costa High School

Hometown: Manhattan Beach

Greatest Hits:

  • Raises money through art for children’s cardiac care
  • Organized a student art show at a local gallery
  • Supports a nonprofit organization that builds wells in Africa

Proudest Accomplishment:

Overcoming challenges to pursue her artistic, academic and philanthropic goals while always being there for her family and friends.


“My biggest hope is for everyone to have access to medical care—regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual identity, gender expression, socioeconomic status or national origin.”

#compassionate

Brandon Yoon

16 | Palos Verdes Peninsula High School

Hometown: Rancho Palos Verdes

Greatest Hits:

  • Varsity golf and swim as a freshman
  • CIF finalist
  • Training for 2024 Olympics

How Others Describe Him:

A fun, loving kid who takes accountability of his own actions and will give it all at all times.


“I decided to let go my dream of playing golf professionally in order to pursue my goal to swim for Team USA at the 2024 Olympics. It showed me that I can make tough decisions that will eventually impact my life and be able to live with that decision whether I succeed or not.”

#nevergiveup

Maya Brawer-Cohen

17 | Vistamar School

Hometown: Manhattan Beach

Greatest Hits:

  • Traveled to 40 countries
  • High-altitude climber
  • Full-time intern at the UCLA Brain Mapping Center

Biggest Hope:

Pursue an MD in neurology and add her piece to the puzzle of the brain.


“Throughout my 17 years, I have taken advantage of every opportunity I have been presented with diligently—whether it be dissecting brains or climbing mountains. It is because of this dedication that I am on this list, and I plan to continue this trend for as long as I can.”

#worldtravelingbrainsurgeoninprogress

Joshua Masuda

17 | Palos Verdes Peninsula High School

Hometown: Palos Verdes Estates

Greatest Hits:

  • Field study intern in Mongolia with a stem cell research laboratory
  • Published a study called “Changing the World: Climate Change and a Path for Future Generations”
  • Tennis team captain

Future Goals:

Pursue a career in research and help find technologies to reduce our carbon footprint.


“My generation is filled with hardworking and passionate people who want to have a positive impact on society and can change the world. We have more of an inclusive culture and a desire for fairness and equality in the world.”

#tirelesspursuit

Kami Miner

17 | Redondo Union High School

Hometown: Redondo Beach

Greatest Hits:

  • Selected for 2019 U.S. Girls’ Youth National Volleyball Team
  • Won gold medal at FIVB U18 World Championships in Egypt
  • 2019 CIF Southern Section Division 1 champ

Impactful Event:

Death of her grandmother last May. Her love of cooking inspired Kami to prepare meals for the Ronald McDonald House.


“I think my generation is capable of changing the world for better by approaching challenges with fearlessness and not being afraid to push the limits on what is possible.”

#courtingsuccess

Daniel Johnson

18 | Palos Verdes High School

Hometown: Palos Verdes Estates

Greatest Hits:

  • College baseball recruit
  • Church leader
  • Overcoming visual impairment

Biggest Hope:

To be seen as a light in this world who can lead others toward joy and community, rather than hate and separation.


“The generation that I am a part of is extraordinarily vocal. My generation wants to be heard and knows exactly how to do so.”

#fortunate

Amalia Goshtigian

14 | Rolling Hills Prep

Hometown: Hermosa Beach

Greatest Hits:

  • Aspiring musician and opera singer
  • Multidisciplinary instrumentalist
  • Promising poet

Future Goals:

Be a good inspiration and role model for up-and-coming actors and actresses. Work to find solutions for the problem of climate change.


“I think my generation has a very forward way of thinking that keeps us motivated. We are very driven by the hopes that we can heal the world and make it a better place. Even those with a ‘nothing matters’ attitude pitch in, because if nothing matters, then what have you got to lose? More so, you have everything to gain.”

#renaissancegirl

Samuel Takano

18 | Palos Verdes High School

Hometown: Rancho Palos Verdes

Greatest Hits:

  • Editor, reporter and photographer for Live From 205
  • Clutch baseball pitcher
  • Avid skateboarder

Memorable Moment:

When Korean-American skateboarder Daewon Song skated with him and his friends around a school parking lot. It inspired him to make the same joyful impact on others.


“My core value is similar to taking a test. I don’t want to get stuck worrying about a single problem and miss the rest of the questions.”

#saidaigen (“utmost” in Japanese)

Kirra Troeger

17 | Mira Costa High School

Hometown: Manhattan Beach

Greatest Hits:

  • First person with Down syndrome to make Los Angeles County Junior Lifeguards
  • Sandpiper Junior and Girl Scout
  • Cheers for Mira Costa

Future Goals:

Learn American Sign Language and be an interpreter for people who are unable to hear.


“Recently I lost my dad to cancer. I saw every day how he was the strongest person on the planet. I will remember everything he taught me like learning how to sail, catching a wave and always being the first one on the dance floor. I am someone because he believed in me.”

#livingmylifelikeitsgolden

Kai Nickerson

17 | Rolling Hills Prep

Hometown: Los Angeles

Greatest Hits:

  • 1st place at Junior Olympics for track and field in the high jump
  • School photographer
  • Will play volleyball for West Point

Biggest Hope:

Graduate from West Point, complete medical school and eventually become a medical examiner.


“I’ve learned quality is better than quantity when it comes to the people you choose to surround yourself with. And I value loyalty within my friendships greatly because I feel safe and secure in knowing I have people who have my back no matter what.”

#itiswhatitis

Liam Coggon

17 | Mira Costa High School

Hometown: Manhattan Beach

Greatest Hits:

  • Jazz saxophonist and Outstanding Musician of the Year
  • Helped his mother through Stage III breast cancer treatment
  • Walk With Sally volunteer

Future Goals:

Pursue environmental engineering and contribute to lessening human impact on the world.


“I have found my generation to be very pragmatic and individualistic. They are realistic thinkers who prioritize personal happiness.”

#shaka

Dylan Charlap

14 | Ad Astra School

Hometown: Palos Verdes Estates

Greatest Hits:

  • Represented USA and won at World Junior Tennis Finals
  • #4 tennis player in nation for age
  • National title at the Boys 14s National Indoor Championships in Chicago

Biggest Hope:

As a vegetarian, he is very conscious of how eating meat negatively impacts the planet. He hopes everybody can do their small part to take care of our earth.


“I try to give 100% in whatever I’m doing. I’m not the smartest kid at my school or the best tennis player, but I know if I continue to work hard, I can achieve all of my goals.”

#thefunnyguyinthegroup

Hailey Staszkow

18 | Mira Costa High School

Hometown: Manhattan Beach

Greatest Hits:

  • Founded theatre nonprofit for young adults with developmental disabilities
  • Volunteer and counselor at Friendship Foundation
  • Talented singer

Future Goals:

To stand for inclusion and inspire others to do the same.


“It’s hard to see both sides of the story at all times, but it’s important to respect other people’s feelings and needs, as well as your own. You never have to agree, but it’s important to understand and work with them. Respect is something wanted by all but demanded by few; however, I believe it is essential in relationships and communities.”

#independent

Lilly Spangler

17 | Redondo Union High School

Hometown: Redondo Beach

Greatest Hits:

  • Junior Lifeguards cadet
  • Water polo and swim team player
  • Body positivity advocate

Core Value:

Self-care is the most important tool one needs to live a long, happy and fulfilled life.


“I am most proud of being able to build my confidence through my teenage years. Although it’s still a work in progress, my confidence in myself has greatly increased, and I have decided to use my knowledge in confidence-building skills to help others around me.”

#sorrynotsorry

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