Speaking up in Sacramento

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Six Northwood students attended the annual advocacy trip to Sacramento on March 6 to voice their concerns and ideas about the education system to the state legislature.

The students included seniors Hurya Ahmed, Celina Guan, Amy Guo, Amanda Miskell and Riya Chaudhry and junior Joy Chen, and they were joined by history teacher Steve Plette. The trip was funded by PTSA and gave the students the opportunity to speak directly with members of the state legislature to advocate their beliefs.

“It was really interesting to see how the government works firsthand and practice advocating for out beliefs with people who could really affect that change,” Ahmed said.

During the trip, the students were able to directly advocate for and discuss the issues they felt were important. They had the chance to ask State Senator John Moorlach questions about issues like arts funding and sexual harassment and to advocate for more funding for IUSD with the creators of LAO. They also sat in on an assembly meeting and saw a few bills getting passed.

“It was one of the best experiences of my life,” Chen said. “I was able to solidify my interest in politics and public policy. Having the opportunity to actually to my senator and representatives about the concerns I had really made me feel involved.”

The students were selected based on their applications and interviews, and they met weekly with students of other IUSD schools for five weeks before the trip and talked to members of the school board and IUSD administrators to prepare for the trip.

Chen and others that attended the trip believe it’s important for events like this to occur for students to be able to voice their ideas and concerns.

“I think it’s extremely important for people to advocate for what they believe in and for any issues that they see are happening in out world,” Chen said. “Throughout the trip, I advocated for more education to prevent sexual assault. It is important for me to advocate what I believe and hope that people are listening, because by staying silent, no real change will ever be enacted.”