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ADVISORY: Students Call On U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Cardona to Prioritize Youth Engagement

Students to host press conference on Monday, February 8th and call for voices in the Department of Education.

Press Release
February 4, 2021

Student Voice is calling on the U.S. Department of Education and Education Secretary nominee Miguel Cardona to start with students in all aspects of decision-making in the next four years. As students, we are the sole stakeholder group with the lived experience of learning in the context of our world’s current challenges. Therefore, we must be essential partners in developing accurate policy priorities and actionable plans to substantively impact our educations. Now, over 1,500 students and 100 organizations have joined our demand for student voices in the Department of Education.

In the press conference, students will share our stories of learning in this pivotal moment and articulate our vision for what equitable education could look like. Ultimately, we will make the case for student-adult partnership in the Department of Education—particularly, for five key mechanisms as outlined in Student Voice’s student-written report “A Roadmap to Authentically Engage Youth Voice in the U.S. Department of Education.”

What: “#StartWithStudents: The Next Four Years” Press Conference

Claire Gelillo
(moderator), she/her, Student Voice team member & high school senior at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville, Maryland
Pragya Upreti
, she/her, Student Voice Ambassador & high school junior at Lafayette High School in Lexington, Kentucky
Nyasha Musoni
, she/her, Student Voice Journalism Fellow & high school senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington, Kentucky
Opal Besaw
, she/her, Student Voice Journalism Fellow and high school junior at Glacier High School in Kalispell, Montana
Andrew Sung
, he/him, Student Voice Learning Lab Member & high school junior at Troy High School in Fullerton, California
Mekeala Watkins
, she/her, Student Voice Organizing Fellow & high school junior at Redan High School in Stone Mountain, Georgia
Ianne Salvosa
, she/her, Student Voice Organizing Fellow & high school senior at Liberty High School in Lake St. Louis, Missouri 
Meril Mousoom
(opening), they/them, Student Voice Ambassador & high school senior at Stuyvesant High School in New York City, New York

When: Monday, February 8th at 3 p.m. EST / 12 noon PST
Where: The event will be streamed live on Student Voice’s Facebook. A recording will be available after the event and can be distributed directly upon request.
Journalists are invited to submit questions for panelists ahead of time or ask questions in the live chat during the event. 

Please RSVP and direct additional inquiries to Jenna Yuan, Student Voice’s Director of Communications, at or (425) 260-8146.


Our Call to #StartWithStudents: The 2020 elections may be over, but our work is just getting started. Student Voice is organizing at the federal, state and local levels to ensure all decision-makers start with students when making decisions about our educations. Across the country, students are building transformative power to hold leaders accountable to advancing education justice. Working at all levels of government, students are ready to make the Student Bill of Rights and Move School Forward Principles a reality in every school. Learn more about Student Voice’s call to #StartWithStudents at

About Student Voice

Student Voice is a by-students, for-students 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in all 50 states to equip students as storytellers, organizers and institutional partners who advocate for student-driven solutions to educational inequity. Through direct civic action, Student Voice helps students hold their schools and surrounding communities accountable to the Student Bill of Rights and prepares them to become lifelong agents of social and political change. For more information about Student Voice, visit our website at and follow @Stu_Voice and #StuVoice on social media.

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