Young Adult
Ministry Officers

Spiritual Advisor

Fr. David Sommer

St. Thomas, Snohomish, WA 

Fr. David is the father of 5 kids (16, 14, 11, 6, 3). Oldest two are boys and the rest are girls. He and his wife have been married for over 20 years. He was raised in a small coastal town by the name of Isla Vista in California and having lived there for 19 years, he moved to Alaska where he met and married Heather. Before becoming a priest, he was a General Contractor and home builder (he still occasionally swings a hammer). Now he helps his iconographer wife install icons in churches around North America.

For nearly 11 years, he has been a priest—first serving in Wilkes-Barre, PA while he finished seminary and then in Snohomish, WA for 10 years where he currently serves the church of St. Thomas. His involuntary hobby is to drive kids around but the thing he really loves and misses is the great Pacific Ocean.

 

President

Leilah Antoinette Rodriguez-Anter

St. Mark, Irvine, CA

Leilah recently graduated from the University of Southern California —(Fight on!)— with a B.A. in International Relations and a minor in Communication Policy and Law. Leilah is taking a gap year before continuing to pursue her goal of attending law school. It was her involvement as DLAW SOYO President and Vice President, and her years of being a counselor at Camp St. Nicholas, that led her to recognize that her dream is to serve God by helping people in conflict reach compromises. During her gap year, she is dedicating her time to helping students apply to college as a college preparatory coach and to leading DLAW’s Young Adult Ministry. She is looking forward to meeting new young adults throughout the diocese and to creating the many memories everyone is bound to make together. Leilah is an active member in her parish, St. Mark Church in Irvine, CA, and is extremely grateful for the opportunity to improve upon and expand the work of DLAW YAM!

 

Vice President

Josie Goson

St. Mark, Irvine, CA

Josie is a recent graduate from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. There she earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and a Bachelor of Arts in French Studies. After growing out of her time in SOYO, serving as both President and Vice President, as well as working as a counselor at Camp St. Raphael in Oklahoma, Special Olympics at Antiochian Village, and Camp Catanese in Phoenix, she has been eagerly anticipating her return to DLAW to continue involvement in Antiochian Orthodox ministries. Josie is thrilled to serve as Vice President of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West’s Young Adult Ministry board. Her goal serving on this board for the next two years is to help facilitate and further relationships - with God and each other - across Antiochian Orthodox Christians, as well as other jurisdictions of Orthodoxy, at regional and parish levels. She looks forward to beginning her service on board and cannot wait to grow in Christ alongside so many amazing young adults within YAM… even though she’s more of a sweet potato girl!

 

Treasurer

Julia Nercessian

St. Nicholas Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA

Julia is pursuing a career in nursing at Glendale Community College and aspires to attain a BSN from Channel Island University. She would someday like to work with children or in the ER. Julia loves being involved with her parish at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Los Angeles and takes advantage of every opportunity to deepen her faith. Whether it be going on international pilgrimages with His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph to Holy sites, or her leadership as a member of SOYO, the St. Nicholas Cathedral Choir, or Sunday School Teaching, Julia loves learning about God through others the most. She is extremely grateful to have this opportunity to grow and learn from serving the Young Adult Ministry of the Diocese of Los Angeles and the West.