Youth on the Air is a program for and by young amateur radio operators in the Americas, closely modeled after the Youngsters on the Air program in IARU Region 1 (Europe, Africa & Middle East). The goal of the program is to build skills and foster lasting friendships and mentors with younger hams. This web site and our social media sites are connecting places for groups and events like YARC, YCP, and other activities for young hams.
The YOTA camp planning committee in the Americas began in March, 2019 and is funded through Electronic Applications Radio Service (EARS), Inc., an Indiana and 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization dedicated to education and service through wireless technologies. Donations made to EARS go directly to fund YOTA camp expenses, and are eligible to be tax deductible. Check with your tax professional. A receipt with the appropriate tax ID numbers is available upon request.
Youth on the Air Americas Camp Planning Working Group
Camp Director 2021-2023
Neil Rapp, WB9VPG has been a chemistry teacher and the sponsor of high school radio clubs for 28 years. Neil was at one time the World’s Youngest Ham, licensed at age 5 in 1976. He upgraded through to Advanced by age 9, and Extra at 20. He became the youngest member of QCWA in history at age 29. Neil is currently teaching chemistry at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Prior to moving to Northern Kentucky in 2021, Neil taught at Bloomington High School South in Bloomington, Indiana where he guided the radio club to international recognition for their contesting efforts. He is the 2021 HamCation Carole Perry Educator of the Year, 2004 ARRL Professional Educator of the Year, the 2014 Indiana Radio Club Council Amateur of the Year, and a graduate of the ARRL Teachers Institute on Wireless Technology I and II. Neil is a member of several organizations, including ARRL, AMSAT, QCWA, Southern Indiana ARA, Northern KY ARC and the West Chester ARA. He also brings youth camp experience with over 15 years of service as a faculty or staff member at summer church camps and basketball camps. Neil is an anchor for Amateur Radio Newsline, the Next-Gen Contesters contributing editor for the National Contest Journal, a member of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station (ARISS) US Education Committee, and the host of his own live webcast show, Ham Talk Live!.
Frankie Bonte, KE8HPA is from the Columbus, Ohio area and became a ham in 2017. She is studying Materials Science and Dance at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, where she is the president of the Amateur Radio Club. She is also the co-winner of the 2022 Young Ham Lends a Hand award. She has been a presenter at the Dayton Hamvention Youth Forum. Frankie was a camper in 2021, and joined the camp planning working group in 2022.
Jocelyn Brault, KD8VRX (and VA2VRX) first became interested in ham radio as a boy scout. He became licensed in 2013, and now holds an extra class license. He is a technical analyst and systems administrator with Vertical Solutions in Cincinnati. He was a scout leader, and is now a radio merit badge counselor, a mentor with VEX robotics, past president of the West Chester ARA, and a member of the Dayton ARA, Ohio Valley Experimenter Club, and the Greater Cincinnati Builders Group. Jocelyn volunteers at the Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting, where he is the IT director and organizes and conducts youth events. He is the proud father of Chris, KD8YVJ, the 2015 Hiram Percy Maxim Award winner, a member of the 2017 Youth DX Adventure to Costa Rica, and the 2020 Newsline Young Ham of the Year Award recipient.
Taylor Laub, KE8KWZ is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, and resides in nearby Amelia, Ohio. He has been a ham since 2018, and was a camper in 2021. He joined the camp planning working group in 2022. Taylor served as the "shack master" at the 2022 camp, where he did special event station troubleshooting and scheduling.
IARU Region 2 Youth Liaison
Sterling Mann (formerly Coffey), NØSSC, is from St. Louis, MO. Sterling is currently an avionics antenna design engineer in St Louis. Sterling became a ham at age 16, is one of the former youth editors at ARRL, and has his own YouTube channel about ham radio. He is a 2014 graduate of Missouri University of Science and Technology, where he was the president of the WØEEE Amateur Radio Club. His degree is in electrical engineering with an emphasis in electromagnetics. Contesting is Sterling’s favorite ham radio activity, but also enjoys portable and remote operation, QRP, kit building, as well as advocating for the young people in amateur radio. Sterling is the current president of the Young Amateurs Radio Club, better known as YARC. He is also the IARU Region 2 Organization's Youth Liaison. He attended YOTA camp in IARU Region 1 in the summer of 2016, held in Austria.
Sam Rose, KC2LRC, is from Syracuse, NY. Sam was first licensed in June 2003 at the age of 13. He studied electrical engineering at Clarkson University, where he was president of Clarkson's radio club, K2CC, from 2010 through 2012. He started his career doing engineering and data/performance analysis work on the C Speed LightWave Radar, a next generation S-band air traffic surveillance radar. He now supports phased-array radar systems at Lockheed Martin. Sam is an avid contester, works satellites, public service events, IRLP, restores radios, and enjoys special events such as balloon launches, ISS retransmissions, and weird contests. Since he started ham radio at a young age, he’s particularly interested in introducing ham radio to youth and young adults. He also attended YOTA camp in IARU Region 1 in the summer of 2016, held in Austria.
Adam Johnson, KD9KIS is a heavy equipment operator from Ellsworth, Wisconsin. Adam was a camper in 2021, and became the assistant director in 2022. Adam is heading up the host selection working group for the 2023 region wide camp. Adam is well known for bringing fresh Wisconsin cheese curds to camp! Adam has been a ham since 2018, and also convinced his parents to become licensed as well. He is a former Eagle scout, and his favorite mode is SSB on HF. He is a 2019 graduate of Chippewa Valley Technical College, where he became a Commercial Drone pilot and studied bookkeeping.
Ruth WIllet, KM4LAO is a graduate of Kettering University and is attending graduate school at Penn State where she studies acoustics. Ruth was the 2018 recipient of the ARRL Hiram Percy Maxim award. She became a ham in 2015, and restarted the amateur radio club while she attended Kettering. She is well known within the amateur satellite community, and is one of the hosts on the video that plays just prior to ARISS contacts in the USA. Ruth is also an alumnus of the Dave Kalter Memorial Youth DX Adventure. Ruth was a camper at YOTA 2021, and satellites session leader in 2021 and 2022. She also was the organizer of the 2021 YOTA ARISS contact.
YOTA Month Americas Coordinator: Kees Van Oosbree, WØAAE | email@example.com
YOTA Month Americas Coordinator: Blake Pearson, KN4VKY | firstname.lastname@example.org
YOTA Month Americas Coordinator: Bryant Rascoll, KG5HVO | email@example.com
Social Media Chair, Assistant to the Director: Christopher Brault, KD8YVJ | firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel Chair, LoTW: Marty Sullaway, NN1C | email@example.com
Paper QSL Manager: Kees Van Oosbree, WØAAE | firstname.lastname@example.org
Public Relations Manager: Abby Kimi Matsuyoshi, KK7CFJ | email@example.com
Webmaster: Peter Fujisawa, KE8MPK | firstname.lastname@example.org