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Lafayette Youth
Arts Society
About Us
Charlie Keohane President
Charlie Keohane, 16, is a junior at Acalanes High School. As a past participant in the LYAS Contest, she is passionate about extending more writing and photography opportunities for local middle schoolers. In her free time, you can find Charlie running varsity track, baking, backpacking, traveling, hanging out with friends, writing for Blueprint, and sharing her stories and photos. She is thrilled to be part of the LYAS team and excited for what's in store!
Uma Unni | Founder, Advisor
Uma Unni, 18, is a freshman at UC Berkeley, where she's studying computer science. She has four invisible cats (and hopes to add a visible one to the family). Much like her cats, she tends to stay up until the early hours of the morning writing fiction, and prefers to catch up on sleep during the day. Sadly, school prevents her from sleeping all day (though that hardly stops her from writing all night anyways). She also loves technology and web design, and when she's not writing fiction, she does another kind of writing- code writing.
Isabel Rurka was born in Berkeley, California, and lived there for ten years. She moved to Lafayette two years ago. Her favorite subject in school is anything but math. In her spare time, she enjoys Track and Cross country and taking pictures with her dad’s old camera. She has twin siblings, Nathan and Haley. Last year she adopted a Labrador retriever named Sammy. She is excited to help plan the next LYAS photography and writing contest. 
Isabel Rurka | Associate
Sam Swan is a 9th grader at Acalanes High School, and she likes to write and read in her spare time. (When she's not spending her time on Minecraft) She classifies herself as a huge nerd and loves Star Wars, Legos, Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, The Hobbit, and Harry Potter.
Samantha Swan | Associate
John Kalil Associate
​John Kalil is a junior at Acalanes High School. An LYAS writing competition legend, John won honorable mentions his 6th and 7th grade years, and 1st prize for writing in 8th grade. John plays varsity football and basketball at Acalanes, and is the Sports Editor of the award-winning school newspaper Blueprint
Sophia Benveniste is a 10th grader at Acalanes High School. She lives in Burton Valley with her parents, younger sister and 3 cats. Sophia loves to make art. Her favorite medium is painting on canvas but she recently became interested in photography and takes pictures everywhere she goes. Sophia also loves to play soccer, swim and decorate cakes.

Sophia Benveniste | Associate
Kristi Conner is 12 years old and currently a 6th grader at Stanley Middle School. She lives in Lafayette with her parents and her 10-year-old sister Kate, who she adores. Kristi loves photography along with traveling, sports and music. She plays soccer for LMSC and lacrosse for Tenacity and Lamorinda Lightning. Switching from flute, Kristi now plays the saxophone for Stanley's bronze band. In her spare time, Kristi likes to volunteer for organizations helping the homeless, work with her Lamorinda chapter of the National Charities League, as well as read and relax with friends.  
Kristi Conner | Liaison
Interested in joining the team? Click here for more information!

Mia DeLuca is currently 12 years old and in the 7th grade at Stanley Middle School. She entered her first LYAS competition one year ago and fell in love. In her free moments, you can find her reading, playing her flute, running track, swimming, or decorating her many notebooks. She can't wait to work with LYAS!
Mia DeLuca | Liaison
Ruby Koehler, 16, is a junior at Acalanes High School. She is proud to be an LYAS member and loves writing and reading. In her free time, she enjoys eating, spending time with friends, swimming, creative writing, biking, and walking on her hands. 
Ruby Koehler | Associate
Stella Bobrowsky | Liaison
​Stella Bobrowsky is currently a freshman at Acalanes High School and lives with her brothers, mom, dad, and two cats! She loves writing and photography as well as traveling and listening to music. Stella also enjoys playing basketball and volleyball with her friends. You can often find her cuddling with her cats, hanging with friends, or reading a good book. She is super excited to be a part of the LYAS team!