The National Youth Leadership Institute (NYLI)  provides young people ages 18-24 years old in the bleeding disorders community with leadership opportunities to encourage personal growth, effect change, and positively influence others.

Meet some of the young people from the bleeding disorders community striving to become recognized leaders.

How to join the NYLI

Ali Haidar

Ali Haidar

NYLI Representative


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Ali Haidar currently is a Junior at Wayne State University earning a bachelor’s degree in Accounting and Information Systems Management. He is focused on accounting with a technical background. When Ali was one year old, he was diagnosed with Factor XIII (13) deficiency when his little sister was born, who also had it. Ali has been involved with the hemophilia community since he was 13 years old. Ever since, he has done more every year, going to conferences, talking to others, and volunteering. In his spare time, Ali enjoys designing and building gaming computers. Through NYLI, Ali hopes to better the bleeding disorders community as much as possible!

Austin Caldwell

Austin Caldwell


Concord, North Carolina

I am Austin a first year graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Previously I received my bachelors in Business Administration and currently pursuing my Masters of business administration. Career I hope to accomplish being a successful sales representative, account manager, advertiser in pharmaceuticals and serve on the board for my local hemophilia chapter (HNC) or NHF. Currently I work as a client account representative for Inmar Intelligence. When I am not working I like to workout, shop, listen to music and travel; my favorite place I have traveled is Montego Bay and California. I also like to volunteer by giving back to my pediatric hematology clinic and Victory Junction Gang Camp, which was my favorite camp I attended as a child. I have been honored to be apart of NYLI and could not have asked for better support and colleagues.

Dejah Smith

Dejah Smith


Charlotte, North Carolina

Hello everyone! My name is Dejah Smith and I am a graduate of East Carolina University. I dedicated my studies to both the hard and social sciences and enjoy learning more about the natural world and behaviors of people. In my free time, I enjoy writing poems, gardening and spending time with friends/family. Within NYLI, I am a member of the Non-Profit track which provides insight into the functions of business and networking. NYLI has positively changed my life and enhanced my leadership skills. If you are interested in joining, I say go for it! This program has so much to offer young adults and you will be welcomed with open arms! Good luck to all!

Delila Arreola

Delila Arreola


Chicago, Illinois

I'm a senior at UIC double majoring in biological sciences and English on the pre-med track studying to become a hematologist! I enjoy playing volleyball, going on runs, reading, playing the guitar and piano, baking, and volunteering in various areas in my community!

Donovan Guerrero

Donovan Guerrero


, New Hampshire

Hello, my name is Donovan Guerrero and I am in my first year of the NYLI program. I live in New Hampshire. I work at at a supermarket called Market Basket. I am a grocery clerk, which means I stock shelves, face shelves, sack groceries, and help the customers when they need it. I go to Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. It is my first year there. I am pursuing a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. I am living with family in the outskirts of Boston while I am attending college, to make for a shorter commute to school. My goal is to start my own business someday that pertains to my field. I would like to work in industry for a few years after college to get a good foundation and understanding of what the engineering field is like. I would say I am a hard worker and I believe in putting in the work to get to where you want to go to. I am an involved student at school. Some clubs that I am a member of at school are the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the Anglers' Association. In these clubs we design robots, machine projects, and take fishing trips. During the next semester, I plan to pursue my Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification to help me when I down the line when I open my own business. I have been a part of the bleeding disorder community since I was around ten years old. I have severe hemophilia Type A with inhibitors. I am a community member and volunteer in my local hemophilia chapter, the New England Hemophilia Association (NEHA). I have been a camp counselor in the summer at NEHA's family camp for the past two years. I try to be an advocate for my community in whatever way I can. When I am not in work or school, I like to go fishing, hiking, camping, do woodworking, read, and hang out with the boys. I am humbled to be a part of this group and am looking forward to these next two years with NYLI.

Eric Malone

Eric Malone


Detroit, Michigan

Eric Malone attends Henry Ford Community College and is majoring in Physical Therapy. Eric was diagnosed with severe Hemophilia at birth and has four younger siblings, one of which also has severe Hemophilia. He's volunteered at numerous chapters and events over the years and his love for helping people combined with his experience in the bleeding disorders community is what ultimately sparked his interest in Physical therapy. Some of his other interest include sports, music, and learning new things. As a member of the NYLI, Eric hopes to make a positive impact by continually spreading awareness and inspiring other to keep pushing the community forward.

Genesis Erickson

Genesis Erickson


Tampa, Florida

Genesis is a senior at the University of North Florida studying biomedical sciences and public health. She hopes to attend PA school after graduation and later work in the field of hematology. She was diagnosed at age 14 with VWD and recently with an unspecified platelet disorder. Since her diagnosis, she became involved with her local chapter, the Hemophilia Foundation of Greater Florida, where she found her love for serving the bleeding disorders community. Genesis enjoys exploring new places and learning new things! She feels blessed to be a part of the bleeding disorders community and the NYLI because of the people who have welcomed her with loving arms and been supportive and helpful through her journey. Through NYLI, she hopes to learn how to be a better educator and advocate for people with bleeding disorders.

Jesus Lopez

Jesus Lopez


Reno, Nevada

I am currently a senior at the University of Nevada, Reno pursuing a degree in business management. I have worked various positions in a resort/casino and i hope to continue a career in the hospitality industry after my graduation. I have been a member of the national hemophilia foundation, chapter of Nevada since my diagnosis at 6 years old. I enjoyed camp as a camper and now i enjoy it even more being a counselor. I would like to show anyone with a bleeding disorder how it is not a disorder at all and of all the good it can bring.

Joseph Mah


Arvada, Colorado

Joseph is currently a biochemical engineering student at the University of Colorado, Boulder. After graduation, he is currently planning to apply to medical school or go into the pharmaceutical field as an engineer. He is a member of the Colorado Chapter advisory board, and a student researcher with the Colorado HTC, investigating the use of inexpensive wearable sensors to analyze the gait of those with bleeding disorders. In his free time he enjoys hiking and climbing Colorado mountains. He is grateful for the opportunities afforded by NYLI, both to grow as a leader and meet the diverse set of individuals that represent the community at a national level.

Kyla Toney

Kyla Toney


North Bend, Oregon

Kyla is a student at Eastern Gateway Community College and is studying to get a degree in Healthcare Administration. After obtaining her degree in healthcare administration, she will attend university to obtain her bachelor's degree in Public Health. In the future, she hopes to work for a non-profit organization. Kyla became involved with the Oregon chapter after being diagnosed with type 1 Von Willebrand Disease in August of 2017 at the age of sixteen. Kyla is the first and only person in her family diagnosed with a bleeding disorder. Being involved with her local chapter helped her to educate her family on what it is like to live with a bleeding disorder. Community service has always played a big part in Kyla's life. She has volunteered much of her time to many non-profit organizations. Kyla realized advocating for the bleeding disorders community was a big passion of hers after attending Oregon's advocacy day. Kyla wants to use this opportunity to not only continue to advocate, but to also educate others on bleeding disorders. Kyla wants to encourage others to be involved with their local chapters.

Kyra Calbero

Kyra Calbero


Kailua Kona, Hawaii

Kyra Calbero graduated from Pacific University in June of 2019 with a degree in Public Health and a minor in Disability Studies. After graduation, she worked in Forest Grove, OR as a Skills Trainer at a school serving teens with severe behavioral disabilities. As of July 2020, she moved back home to Hawai`i to work for the National Hemophilia Foundation as the Hawai`i Chapter's Program Manager. After being diagnosed and becoming involved with her local chapter in high school, Kyra became involved with NYLI and discovered her passion for helping the people within the bleeding disorders community. She can't wait to use all her trainings from what NYLI has taught her, and put them toward her Program Manager position. When Kyra isn't working, she enjoys playing beach volleyball, spending time with her family, or being a homebody with her dog cleo and snuggling up to watch Christmas movies (yes, year around).

Madeline Smith

Madeline Smith


Corvallis, Oregon

Madeline is a student at Oregon State University majoring in political science. She has von Willebrand Disease and has several family members with VWD and hemophilia. She volunteers often with her local chapter and enjoys attending advocacy events. She is a competitive Irish Dancer and likes biking and hiking in her free time.

Maree Johnson

Maree Johnson


Fort Mill, South Carolina

MaRee is currently a full time content creator and preschool teacher. She graduated from Valdosta State University with a BBA in International Business. Through the support & encouragement of NYLI she has been able to experience real community that has helped her become a better leader, friend & entrepreneur.

Nitya Bhattarai

Nitya Bhattarai


Orange, Connecticut

Nitya Bhattarai is a third year student at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT where he is majoring in Allied Health Sciences on a track to go to Nursing school. Nitya has severe Hemophilia B and has been involved in the Connecticut and New England Chapters of the National Hemophilia Foundation for eight years, where he has volunteered and attended several camps throughout his life. His career goal is to work as a Pediatric Hematology Nurse, get his Master’s Degree in Public Health, and work within the bleeding disorder community. He is excited to learn and grow in the NYLI program.

Patricia Williford

Patricia Williford


Fairfax, Virginia

Patricia Williford is a 3rd year NYLI member in the non-profit track. She was diagnosed with Hemophilia C as a young child and has been involved with the bleeding disorder community ever since. Patricia graduated from George Mason University in December 2020 with a degree in Community Health and a concentration in Clinical Science. During her last two years of college she served as the Program Coordinator for the Hemophilia Association of the Capital Area. Going forward, she plans to work in public health and healthcare. In her free time, she enjoys crafting, hiking, traveling, and learning about environmental sustainability.

Tyler Jones

Tyler Jones


Evansville, Indiana

Hey there online world! I’m a 19 year old with Hemophilia A that recently teamed up with NHF via their National Youth Leadership Institute. With NHF’s help I’ve been able to expand my involvement with the bleeding disorder community outside of my home state of Indiana, and work with members of the community all over the country! I’m currently involved in the advocacy track, learning how to advocate for our community through politics, stakeholder meetings and more. If you would like to contact me please email me: tyler2.jones01@gmail.com or give me a call at +1 (812) 499-2354