Northwood students take on the State Capitol in Sacramento


Ellen Wang

ADVOCACY IN ACTION: Northwood students visited the State Capitol on March 10 to meet and talk to representatives including State Assemblyman Steven Choi.

Jonathan Kang, Editor-in-Chief

Six students represented Northwood at the annual IUSD advocacy trip to Sacramento on March 10 to voice concerns on public education to members of the state legislature.

Seniors Liana Friedman, Franz Kievet, Emmersen Orozco, Jadyn Tiong and Ellen Wang and junior Rohan Agrawal represented Northwood in discussing varying policies on education, including positive class environments and course availability with state legislators. 

By expressing their concerns on these educational topics, they hoped to advocate for more direct and effective learning.

“I personally advocated for more funding towards teacher training and specializing programs,” Tiong said. “I also discussed issues like mental health, metrics of success and broader political issues such as climate change and homelessness.” 

History teacher Emily Rhodarmer accompanied the students throughout the trip, instructing them on how to effectively communicate their concerns by asking what legislators would specifically do to address them. 

The advocates talked to numerous lawmakers such as Assemblywoman Cottie Petrie-Norris, California Sen. John Moorlach and Deputy Superintendent Khieem Jackson.

“We ended up meeting a lot of different people with many different perspectives, which allowed us to get a comprehensive view of how legislation makes its way around the State Capitol,” Tiong said. “It informed and educated us students, which is crucial because we are the future legislators and constituents.”

The student advocates had to submit an application and go through an interview process in order to be selected for the trip. 

Once selected, they attended five weekly meetings from January to March in order to prepare and get ready for the trip, where they participated in panels to simulate the experience they would have in Sacramento.

“This trip was important since we’re now better prepared to interact with local governments to tackle these relevant issues and possibly pursue careers in the State Capitol in the future,” Tiong said.