We're excited to officially introduce thirteen students from across the state that have been selected to join Oregon Student Voice's Leadership Team. Hailing from a variety of schools, they are excited to utilize their experiences in order to further our mission of engaging students state-wide in becoming active agents of K-12 education reform.
Selected to head the leadership team is Jared Cetz, OSV's Executive Director. A sophomore from David Douglas High School in Portland, Jared has a heart for social justice and youth empowerment, both interests that are deeply rooted in his values of equity and advancement. "If I’m not buried in a book or writing poetry," he says, "honestly [I'm] just talking to people, getting to know people and their thoughts, how they think, and their perspective.”
OSV's Strategic Advising Council is comprised of four high school seniors that work closely with the Executive Director in operational oversight. This year's council members are Abigail Alvarez (David Douglas High School), Grace Didway (Oregon City High School), David Goncharuk (David Douglas High School), and Maisie Roberson (Ashland High School). With deep passions for student involvement and leadership within the education reform process, they are excited to help lead OSV to continue to engage students from all around.
OSV's Thrive Initiative, which is focused on the organization's internal operations, is led by Nick Paesler, a Cleveland High School junior who is deeply involved with student government. He believes that his generation possesses the motivation for change, and he cannot wait to see what they can accomplish. Nick is joined by Alexa Fuhrer and Dana Smiley, both active Constitution Team members and sophomores at Lincoln High School who work on Thrive as Recruitment Coordinator and Student Voice Blogger respectively. Also joining the team as Communications Coordinator is Justin Thach, a junior at West Salem High School whose interest in addressing educational disparities is rooted in his work with Asian-American issues and experience moving from the East Coast.
Empower, OSV's initiative focused on engaging and developing the leadership potential of Oregonian students is directed by Chloe Wright. Chloe is a junior at Grant High School who is passionate about invoking change within her school and local communities. Working alongside her is Youth Development Coordinator Sarah Ali, a junior at Centennial High School who wants to inspire and empower students to take action in their education.
OSV's policy initiative, Amplify, is headed by Lincoln High School junior, Raja Moreno. He joined OSV after founding SHOVELS, a student-run political action committee that advocated for the 2017 Portland Public Schools Health, Safety, and Modernization Bond. The Amplify team is joined by Amelia Ernst, OSV's Education Policy Organizer and a junior at Grant High School who quickly became passionate about improving students' role in the education system after attending OSV's first meeting. Deja Preusser, a sophomore at Lincoln High School, also joins the team as OSV's new Policy Research Assistant.
Samantha Holquist is OSV's Advising Executive Director. She graduated from Bishop Verot High School in 2007, and is OSV’s “adult in the room.” Always having dreamed of one-day having the opportunity to influence K-12 education policy in the United States, she could not think of a better way than empowering students to lead change.
To learn more about the newest faces of OSV's leadership, click here!