The Teen Advisory Council (TAC) is a group of highly motivated and respected teens that are an integral part of the NSA family. The role of the TAC is to exhibit strong leadership qualities and to serve as role models and mentors to their peers and younger members of Family Programs within the NSA. The TAC is also responsible for providing support and presenting a positive attitude to NSA teens and kids at the Annual Conference and throughout the year.
NSA Family Programs is honored to have the TAC as a part of the Family Programs team. They are expected to be excellent representatives of the NSA and its mission. TAC members will be featured on the website and may also be featured in various communications and publications. The TAC works at the discretion of the Family Programs committee.
For more information, check out our TAC Guidelines.
TAC member terms are 3 years. A member may only serve more than 3 years if they are elected to the TAC Chairperson position after serving on the council. The TAC Chairperson term is 3 years however if the Chairperson turns 21 years old prior to the conclusion of their 3 year term, they will be required to step down.
Caden Short, 16, is currently a Junior at Phoenix Country Day School in Arizona and has stuttered as long as he can remember. Dallas was his 6th NSA conference. Caden is a co-chapter leader of the Phoenix TWST Chapter and has been serving on the TAC since last year. Athletics are also a large part in Caden’s life. He enjoys playing both football and baseball for his high school’s teams. Caden also enjoys history, math, and physics. He believes stuttering is not something to be ashamed of, nor is it something to hide, and hopes to inspire others to become confident speakers. Caden is looking forward to his first year as the TAC Chair and meeting new people and catching up with friends in Chicago.
(bio updated 12/2017)
Lauren Cravaritis, 16, has stuttered since the age of 6 and believes it has changed her for the better; meeting other people who stutter she feels, has given her a positive spin on stuttering. She is proud to represent the NSA and hopes to help others figure out how to accept stuttering, in future years. She attends Patriot High school, and has started a club called “TWST Talk” for people who stutter. It’s her junior year and she has started up the club once again! She is excited to spread the word about how stuttering should be supported, not neglected. She wants to pursue a career in the culinary arts and plans to attend the Culinary institute of Virginia at ECPI. Lauren has been a part of the NSA since she was in 8th grade, and says that hearing other peoples’ stories and experiences inspires her to advertise her own stutter and become more confident. She has been on the TAC for a year and will be attending her 4th conference this year. (bio updated 12/2017)
Regan, 14, goes to Legacy Traditional School in Gilbert, Arizona. She has stuttered for as long as she can remember. Regan believes her stutter has changed her in life in a positive way and she wants to help others who stutter to gain confidence. Her passions include playing volleyball, softball, and riding horses. Regan has been part of the NSA for many years and Dallas was her 2nd national conference. She can’t wait for many more conferences to come. (bio updated 12/2017)
JD is 18 years old and currently a freshman at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. He has stuttered since the age of four and has been involved with the stuttering community since a child. He uses music as a way to cope and connect with other people who stutter, as he continues to meet old and new timers at the conference. He has made numerous YouTube videos concerning stuttering and plans to keep sharing his experiences. The NSA in Chicago 2018 will be his second year on TAC and his sixth year at the NSA. (bio updated 12/2017)
Axel Diaz, 16, is a junior attending Legend High School, home of the Titans. He is the oldest of three boys who are all currently residing in Parker, Colorado. He can remember stuttering since the age of 3. He firmly believes that stuttering should not hold you back from anything as there is more to a person than a stutter. This is apparent as he is involved in school sports and activities such as Cross Country, Wrestling, Echo Club, DECA and FBLA. Axel wants to inspire young kids to be confident with their stutter and showcase the world that stuttering does not define who they are. Axel is looking forward to attending the NSA in Chicago as part of the Teen Advisory Council and hopes to inspire young kids through his experiences. (bio updated 12/2017)
Lydia is a homeschooled high school sophomore, currently living near Dayton, Ohio. She has stuttered for a long as she can remember and through coming to NSA conferences has learned to be more confident and accepting of her stutter. She is the Chapter Leader for the Dayton Area NSA Family Chapter which she began in March 2017. Lydia loves country music, her two dogs, friends, and spaghetti. One of her passions is music, and she feels like music has helped her cope and deal with stuttering. When she graduates high school, she wants to pursue a career in cosmetology or become a veterinary assistant. This will be her 5th year attending the NSA annual conferences and her 1st year being on the TAC. (bio updated 12/2017)
Cooper, 15, lives in Thousand Oaks, California and he has his whole life; he attends Westlake High School as a freshman. He is a part of the water polo team, swim team, and ASG at his high school. Cooper started stuttering when he was four years old and it has made him into a stronger and better human being. He does not let his stutter stop him from expressing his feelings and interacting with others. He has attended six NSA conferences and cannot wait to attend his seventh and first on the TAC! (bio updated 12/2017)
Annie Hernandez, 16, is a student at Jupiter High School in South Florida. She has stuttered ever since she was in kindergarten, and Dallas was her 1st NSA Conference. Annie’s two passions, although completely unrelated, are marine biology and singing/songwriting. She has been obsessed with the natural world (especially the oceans) ever since she came out of the womb, but singing is a newer zeal that she took up in middle school. When Annie discovered that one does not stutter when he/she sings, she took the idea of singing and ran with it, eventually composing 7 of her own songs since 8th grade. Annie is a firm believer in support for teens who stutter as a means of helping them become more accepting of themselves and their speech, especially after her outlook on her stuttering significantly shifted from hopeless to hopeful once she joined a local TWST chapter during middle school. She longs to offer the same support that was given her to other teens who stutter and assure them that they are not alone, nor will they ever be. (bio updated 12/2017)
Matt Phillips, 18, is a senior at Ellington High School in Connecticut. Dallas was Matt’s 3rd conference and he is grateful for all the people he has met through the NSA. He has learned so much about advocacy and how to be a confident person through stuttering and hopes to inspire others. Matt can be found playing the sax in his high school’s jazz band, completing community service projects through National Honor Society and a local service group, and serving as Chapter Leader of the Ellington, CT Family Chapter of the National Stuttering Association. After high school, he plans on studying speech-language pathology so he can help more people who stutter. This is Matt’s first year on the Teen Advisory Council, and he is beyond excited to help make a difference in the stuttering community. (bio updated 12/2017)