Meet EL Education’s Student Advisory Council Members
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New Student Advisory Council Empowers Students to Impact National Education Organization

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    EL Education

New York, NY (3/15/21)—EL Education announced today the launch of the Student Advisory Council—a new structure that engages students as thought partners to guide the organization’s national efforts to empower students to achieve excellent equitable outcomes across an expanded definition of student achievement.

Currently made up of a diverse group of six students ranging from sixth-grade to twelfth-grade, the Student Advisory Council empowers students to influence EL Education events, programs, and operations. They’ll lend their talents to deepening EL Education’s impact on education nationwide, ensuring that the organization’s work is more inclusive of authentic and ingenious student perspectives.

“Student voice and vision are essential to an organization committed to empowering all students,” said Scott Hartl, President and CEO of EL Education. Our organization’s positive impact is possible thanks to their wisdom, courage, and compassion. I’m honored for the chance to collaborate more closely with them as advisors.”

About the Students

Nova Cox

Sixth-grade student, The Springfield Renaissance School

Nova is described by his principal as recognizing the importance of lifting up what is going well while working to increase student voice and sense of belonging. As a transgender student with disabilities, Nova is able to push others to examine accepted societal norms that find their way into school environments and learning experiences.

“I want to be a voice for those in the disability and LGBTQ+ community. School should be a place where students feel understood, safe, supported, and respected.”

Moses Jackson
Sixth-grade, Capital City Public Charter School

Moses’ teacher describes Moses as an excellent student, a fierce friend and ally, and a kind big brother. One of the youngest council members, Moses displays compassion, courage, integrity, and self-discipline and pushes those around him to demonstrate them as well.

“When I play basketball, we have to be on the same page or we lose. This is similar to the Student Advisory Council because if we are arguing, nothing is going to get accomplished. I have very strong opinions and would like to share them with others.”

Stephanie Kacou
Twelfth-grade student, Metropolitan Expeditionary Learning (MELS)

Described as thoughtful and driven, Stephanie is motivated by a strong sense of social justice and has maintained an excellent GPA while volunteering, fulfilling leadership positions, mentoring younger peers, and leading the Black Lives Matter initiative at MELS.

“I have countless ideas on how to make EL Education even better that I would love to share. I’ve been a huge advocate at my school in fighting for more acceptance and celebration of different cultures in school.”

Kayla Mitchell
Tenth-grade student, Harborside Academy

Basketball player, student culture committee member, African American Youth Initiative member, student ambassador, mentor, church volunteer, President of National Honor Society, 3.8 GPA with multiple honors classes, member of the school leadership team, and middle school commencement speaker, Kayla also works a part-time job after school and has incredible leadership ability.

“My experience being homeless taught me that nothing is impossible with hard work and perseverance. I will make it my mission to contribute ideas to make our schools better as a whole, to empower leadership, redefining and raising student achievement, and voicing my opinion on some of the challenges we face as students. ”

Lauren Loy
Eleventh-grade student, Big Pine High School

Lauren is a distinguished leader and scholar-athlete in her community and tribe. She has an important voice and takes pride in sharing her perspective as a young Native American Indigenous woman.

“In 1924, a local 15-year-old Paiute girl fought for her right to attend Big Pine High School. As a young Paiute-Shoshone woman, I have been inspired by her and believe in the power of education. I want to follow in her footsteps and help promote equality for kids of color in education.”

Sydney Smith
Ninth-grade student, River Bluff High School

Sydney’s middle school counselor describes her as a leader with humility and respect for others and as having strong communication skills that allow her to have effective interactions with others.

“My future goal is to attend college with a major in Special Education and a minor in Women’s Leadership. I hope one day I will share EL Education with students in my classroom and put EL Education’s core belief in action, ‘The power of students’ voices to work!’”

These students were chosen by a diverse selection committee made up of award-winning teachers and leaders and EL Education staff from a pool of 60 qualified applicants. Each student will serve on the Student Advisory Council for two years and receive an honorarium for their service. After the first year, six more students will be added to the Student Advisory Council.

For more information, please contact:

Alexandra Fenwick-Moore, Associate Director of Communications:

afenwick@eleducation.org or 646-517-6911