Pass the Mic Youth Bios


Katya Schwieterman- Arts Reporter

Katya lives in a cozy one-story house in Paonia. She enjoys being in theater groups and performing. Katya has appeared in over 10 productions between ages four and 10 (her current age). She has played everything from Starfish to Cindy Lou Who. Katya attends Paonia Elementary School. Her favorite subject in school is Art. She also enjoys hiking, kayaking and biking.


Leaf Michelsen- Recreation Reporter

Leaf was born in Crawford Colorado in 2002. He lives in Paonia and loves to bike, play sports, jump off of stuff and loves film and acting. He goes to Vision Home and Community, and his favorite subject is recess. Next year he is going to be in the Blossom Valley Coop. He likes to ski in the winter and eat fruit in the summer. He loves to be in plays and to sing and dance, because everything about it is fun. He has worked with Merrily Talbott and Lisa Madalone. His friend Eden and him have a film company called Black Rusted Films. Black Rusted films makes documentaries about scootering and movies that are dramas. He thinks that it is so cool that there is so much art in our valley and so much music. This is a really good, fun place to live.

Will Ela- Agriculture Reporter

Will Ela lives on Rogers’s Mesa, which is outside of Hotchkiss, on a 100-acre organic fruit farm. He will be in 6th grade at North Fork Community Montessori School, which is next to the Hotchkiss High School. He loves fishing with friends or family and building model rockets. In addition to his family living on the farm his aunt, uncle and grand parents live on the farm. His grand parents were the third generation and his mom and dad are the fourth generation farmers. We live in a valley where every one is different. He is different because he lives on large farm away from town and has a lot of space and things to do.



Allison Godwin- Energy Reporter
Allison, age 9, has lived in Paonia since birth. She currently attends Paonia Elementary School and will be entering the fourth grade this fall. In the past, she has been active with Linda Dysart’s dance company, the Sunshine Singers, and Tunget Gymnastics. Allison has wrestled with the Paonia Pee Wee wrestling program, played Pee Wee basketball, and youth baseball. However, soccer continues to be her favorite sport. Allison is also an avid and voracious reader. She enjoys small-town living and the tight-knit community. Her father is a mining engineer and her mother is a registered nurse. Allison has two older siblings

Noah Silverstein- Healthcare Reporter

Noah Silverstein was born and raised in Hotchkiss, Colorado on a vegetable farm. His father owns and works on the farm while also designing and hosting websites. His mother recently began nursing school. Since Noah was little he has had a passion and an interest in technology and inventing creations of his own. He has acted in plays and sung in musicals, and starred in 2. He also ran lights and sound for more than one play on his own. Noah has been a waiter for the Kids Pasta Project. Recently, in the past year he has began to learn Mandarin Chinese in the gifted program at the North Fork Community Montessori School.

  Riven Sky Badgett- Arts Reporter

Riven loves horses, cats and goats. She likes acting in plays and film, and reading too! She was born in Carbondale in the woods. She would like to be a detective when she grows up, and loves spying. Her mom, dad, grandfather, grandmother, and great grandfather are all artists.

Isaac Van Horn- Agriculture Reporter

Isaac is twelve years old, and was born in Alaska where he lived for ten years. In 2010, we moved to Powell Mesa just outside of Hotchkiss. After living here for two years, his family has discovered so many new opportunities. Currently, they are planting a vineyard and orchard, a family vegetable garden and growing hay. Here, they can grow many more things than in Alaska, but up north, what they could grow, grew well with the nighttime sun. Also, the main pests they worried about were moose and snow shoe hares. Since moving, they have discovered horn worms, cabbage worms, pear slugs, porcupines and deer. He is involved with the Sauce Plot at Thistle Whistle Farm, Kids Pasta Project and Junior Grange. He enjoys cooking, gardening and working with animals, which is why he loves living here in the North Fork Valley.