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Student Voice Strategies

Your Partner in Change

Student Voice believes that students should be necessary partners at every table where decisions are being made about their educations. Student Voice Strategies, our in-house consulting practice, allows Student Voice to work with organizations to elevate youth partnership as a forethought in school and systems change.

We prepare institutions to accept youth leaders as partners in making change, while challenging systems that have kept marginalized voices out for too long.

What are you looking to accomplish?

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Coaching for adults seeking to center youth voice

Student Voice can support adult allies in learning youth engagement best practices that dovetail with their personal and organizational goals. We offer workshops, written materials and scenario-based best practices designed to dismantle inequitable barriers to student participation in decision making.

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Co-branded panels, workshops and events

Student Voice can identify students from our national student network and prepare them to participate in public-facing panels, workshops and events. Students can share their experiences in schools, train adults and other students in youth voice best practices and more.

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Focus groups, listening sessions and stakeholder meetings

Student Voice can design and facilitate focus groups, listening sessions and stakeholder meetings with students. Students can provide insight into their school experiences to inform research, policy and practice, in meaningful, intergenerational conversations with adult leaders.

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Comprehensive youth engagement strategies for adult-led organizations

For organizations seriously committed to building long-term youth voice initiatives, Student Voice develops close relationships to build capacity for intentional and authentic student engagement.

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Our Approach

Dedicated to meaningful student voice.

Student Voice is dedicated to ensuring youth voice is closely connected with equity. We equip institutions to dismantle youth participation barriers, upend tokenism, check norms around professionalism and more, ensuring partnership occurs with impacted students.

  • Student Voice Strategies projects are diverse and flexible. We collaborate with participating organizations to design a project scope of work that fits your individual needs, and seek to integrate youth voice in impactful and sustainable ways within each organization’s broader strategy.

  • By leveraging the widely varied strengths of our team members, prior Student Voice Strategies projects have ranged from designing organizational strategies to deep local organizing to communications and storytelling campaigns.

  • We have worked with schools and districts, non-profit organizations, think tanks, institutions of higher learning and mission-driven companies.

Our People

Evon Mahesh

Rochester, NY
Programs

Originally from Washington State, Evon is a student at the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. Coming from a Big Picture Learning high school, Evon believes in real-world learning and building community as the foundation of education. In high school, Evon interned with his school district to develop policies and practices around advancing equity work, as well as with several nonprofits and organizations furthering LGBTQ and restorative justice efforts in the greater Seattle area. Evon can now be found in every corner of the country working with educators and students, as well as facilitating workshops about empowering LGBTQ youth, building relationships, and reimagining what school could look like. Evon’s areas of interest include supporting LGBTQ youth, project and community-based learning, and student-centered education models.

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Jenna Yuan

Seattle, WA
Communications

Jenna is a first-year student at Columbia University and the Communications Director at Student Voice. Through Student Voice, Jenna helped lead the Move School Forward campaign, a set of ten key policy principles around schooling during the COVID-19 pandemic, the successful School Lunch For All effort for free school meals in 2020, the #TestOptionalNOW campaign, and more. Previously, she chaired the Legislative Youth Advisory Council in her home state of Washington to advocate for youth policy priorities in the state legislature. In her free time, Jenna loves to bake, read, run, hike, and watch any show in The Bachelor franchise.

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Maya Green

Charleston, SC
Organizing

Maya Green is a first-year student at Stanford University studying public policy and a graduate of the creative writing program at Charleston County School of the Arts in South Carolina. Through her role as Organizing Director at Student Voice and her involvement with organizations such as the Charleston Area Justice Ministry in high school, Maya seeks to elevate the lived experiences of marginalized communities to dismantle unjust policy. She is particularly passionate about educational and environmental justice. In her free time, she enjoys experimenting with recipes, blasting Taylor Swift, and writing everything from poetry to book reviews on Goodreads.

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Merrit Jones

Columbia, SC
Advisor

Merrit Jones is a senior at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She joined the Student Voice team after having founded Student Space when she noticed disparities among South Carolina schools and the lack of students in the conversation around how to improve them. In 2016-17, Merrit took a gap year to travel around the U.S. to meet and talk to students about their experiences in school. She is passionate about storytelling, policy, and youth organizing.

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Taylor Kahn-Perry

Charleston, SC
Strategy

Taylor is currently taking a gap year from Georgetown University in D.C. to support students navigating the complex process of school reopenings and to organize in her home state of South Carolina. Taylor joined Student Voice as a senior in high school in 2017 to address issues of educational inequity, school segregation and mental health in Charleston County. In 2018, she developed the organization's first program dedicated to youth storytelling for social change. She is passionate about building an education system that disrupts cycles of injustice through equitable resource distribution and prepares students to be active agents of social and political change.

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Get in Touch with the Student Voice Strategies Team

Begin your partnership with Student Voice.

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Student Bill of Rights

Not ready to engage in a strategic partnership yet? Start with our interactive Student Bill of Rights guides.

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Learning Lab

If you're looking for an easy way to engage with youth action nationwide, consider joining us for regular webinars and browse our resource guides.

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