June 20, 2022 – The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is thrilled to announce the first class of Rising Leaders, a cohort of 10 high school charter students who have earned the opportunity to develop leadership and advocacy skills with training from policy professionals. More than 100 students applied to this new program, and the 10 students selected have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to leading by example to improve their school community. The Rising Leaders Initiative is a one-year program that will offer 1:1 training with experts in civic participation, education advocacy, leadership development, and public speaking.
The 2022 Rising Leaders Are:
- Alayna Crafton (12th) – Palmetto Scholars Academy, South Carolina
- Daniyal Hussain (11th) – Cottonwood Classical Preparatory School, New Mexico
- Dayanna Vann (12th) – Canton Preparatory High School, Michigan
- Dylan Conard (12th) – Valor College Prep, Tennessee
- *Dylan Park (11th) – Washington Latin Public Charter School, D.C.
- Isabella Paez (10th) – Mater Academy Charter Middle and High School, Florida
- Jah’mere Jackson (11th) – Riverhead Charter School, New York
- Lauren Chiemeka Usonwa Ejiaga (12th) – Benjamin Franklin High School, Louisiana
- Naimisha Chakravadhanula (11th) – BASIS Scottsdale, Arizona
- Stephanie Robinson (12th) – Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas, Nevada
“These young leaders are the reason we do this work. In less than 20 years of life, they’ve already made waves through their community. We are incredibly excited to connect with them, teach them, and learn from them,” says Nina Rees, CEO and President, National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “We can’t wait to see the change they will create in the decades to come.”
Participants will have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned by launching an advocacy club in their school to help address education issues their community is facing. Rising Leaders are committed to civic action, community engagement, and access to a high-quality and free public education.
“For the future of public education to be strengthened in a way that is sustainable and meaningful for students, is to have student voices be part of future policy,” says Sindy Pierre-Noel, Director of Programs at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “We need these student leaders to continue their work into their adult life and continue to grow and improve the public education sector, especially charter schools, with a perspective from their lived experience.”
*Dylan Park spoke at the 2022 National Charter Schools Conference. Park said to an auditorium: “The National Alliance’s Rising Leaders Initiative will provide a platform to amplify the perspectives of students about what’s working, what’s not, and what must be done to create an education system today that prepares all students for success tomorrow in college, career, and life. My parents instilled in me from an early age that equitable education should be a right not a privilege.”