By Katrina Ye
SCUSD Student Board Member, Age 17
If you asked me what I want to become when I grow up, I could honestly give hundreds of answers. In my optimistic mind, I truly believed and still believe I can become what I want most, as long as I put in the time and effort. I’m also adamant in my belief that becoming whatever it is I want takes many steps, which includes meeting and knowing the right people and building long-lasting connections and relationships.
How I came to the place that I am at right now took just that; time and effort. My sophomore year, I was introduced to the SCUSD Student Advisory Council and current Student Board Member through my older sister. My first time attending a Youth Council Meeting at the Serna Center, I was pleasantly surprised by the sense of community and teamwork throughout all the high school students all from different school sites. By the next monthly meeting, I had already signed up to run for elections as the next Marketing Chair. This was a turning point in my high school career: becoming Marketing Chair opened me to new opportunities and allowed me to connect with different students from different cultures, backgrounds, and lifestyles.
Not only did I improve with my public speaking through the Student Advisory Council, but with the tremendous support of friends, family, and coworkers, I was able to build up my confidence enough to pursue the position of Student Board Member. Elected by high school representatives, I won the opportunity to become Student Member.
Never before had I felt so grateful, but also never have I felt the amount of responsibility and pressure bestowed upon me. Representing 48,000 students within the Sacramento City Unified School District isn’t an easy task. On top of being a full-time student, I am constantly reminded of the role I’ve been given.
Twice a month I attend the district board meeting, where behind the dais, I am faced with impassioned parents, students, and community members, who are all there for the same reasons — for the students and to improve the quality of thier education. Moments like these are reminders I am indebted to. Not only am I the Student Member for my own education, but also for the other 47,999 students.
Being one student in a pool of thousands, it’s difficult to wholly represent the voice of students from all schools, especially when I come from only one small high school of thirteen in the district. How do I ensure that the voice of all students are heard when I hold the perspective of one? This is a question I ask myself all the time. But if I can represent the voice of at least one student who may otherwise be unheard, I know I must be doing something right.