Read on to learn more about the #transformers and why they joined LA Students 4 Change…

Shemariel G. is a high school senior, school leader, and scholar. She challenges herself and others daily to do their best and live up to their full potential. Shemariel has taken various Advanced Placement classes and academic programs that will help her succeed in the future. When Shemariel is not in school, she is a part-time volunteer at her local YMCA, a Fashion Blogger, a Youtuber, and a Unity Activist, expressing her love for photography and politics. During her high school years, Shemariel participated in California Youth and Government, where she created and proposed her own legislation and became well acquainted with the policy-making process. She currently serves as her school’s student body president and hopes to find ways to expand extracurricular activities at her school. She believes that sports, arts and music classes, and other extracurricular activities are vital to student success because they are a positive and influential way for students to spend their free time. Shemariel is excited to join LA Student 4 Change and revolutionize the way student voices are represented by LAUSD.

Dante R. is a senior from South Central. He has been in honors classes and taken AP classes since tenth and eleventh grade. He is an athlete and plays for the baseball team at his school, which he has been playing on for three years so far, and will hopefully continue to do so in college. He is in a program that is associated with the University of Southern California called USC Trio which helps minorities with the application process through colleges. He has also finished a USC dental internship, allowing him to become a certified dental assistant. Dante’s future goals are to go to college and major in a field of science, becoming the first in his family to attend a Cal State College. In the past he has been woken up by the smell of smoke in the middle of the night and would like to change that by being successful enough to thrive on his own and move out on his own. He sees this internship as an opportunity to change his life and help him grow as a person.

Horlenes F. is a junior who has has been involved in several campaigns since her freshman year. Currently, she is managing a small student volunteer campaign group to elect the next LA City Council of District 1. Horlenes is also very involved in her local community, for instance, she teaches Saturday religion classes with the goal to help youth find hope and peace in themselves. Her sophomore year, she had an internship with Center Theater Group (CTG) , where she learned the importance of teamwork, value in everyone’s culture, and originality. She enjoys debating and is working on creating a debate team at her school to give her peers the opportunity to expand their horizons through a new experience. Additionally, Horlenes enjoys playing basketball and is working hard to overcome her injury to get back onto the team this upcoming season. Horlenes decided to join LA Students 4 Change because she wishes to represent students in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and make the school board aware of student needs and important financial and supportive balances between academics and sports and arts programs.

Michaella H. is a LAUSD junior. An avid volleyball player and Vice President of Black Student Union, she still finds time to manage a good GPA while taking AP classes and college courses. With a knack for fashion and love of 90’s music, she doesn’t let school stop her from having fun. Her desire to make people laugh and constant good mood helps to make others feel comfortable in any environment. After college she’ll use that gift to be the change she wants to see in the world; her dream job is to be a spokesperson for a non-profit organization that helps the less fortunate. Michaella’s excited to work with her peers allowing their voices to be heard in a school system that tends to drown the students out. Bringing attention to food being served, extracurricular activities, safety on campus, and bridging the communication gap between students and administration can help students many years down the line. Assisting in enacting these changes is one of the main reasons she joined LA students for change; school is where students begin to mold their future and without a solid foundation there’s no hope for future generations.

Eliza A. is a senior who is involved with Interact Club, photography, dance, and Care Mission. She serves as the Historian of Interact Club’s website, and has enjoyed getting to document the clubs progress and successes. Eliza also enjoys self defense classes and has taken Moo Do Kwan classes in her free time. She really appreciated the Moo Do Kwan experience because it taught her the importance of discipline. Additionally, Eliza is a proud member of her school’s Bronze Honor Roll for earning a 3.0 GPA. Eliza decided to join LA Students 4 Change because she wants to make a difference in schools around Los Angeles by making a statement to the Los Angeles Unified School District Board (LAUSD) that we as students deserve to be heard and need proper funding for our schools.

Ryanne S. is a senior. She and her family originally immigrated from Belize to Los Angeles, California when she was fourteen years old. While living in Los Angeles, she was exposed to new cultures and diversity like never before. Nonetheless, she learned to integrate with her new American lifestyle without losing her cultural identity. She developed a love for fashion and even took sewing classes in middle school. She also likes art, and as a hobby, she likes to practice henna designs on her friends. The 90’s Era is one of her biggest obsessions, along with poetry. She is concerned about issues that affect society. She refuses to let her voice be silenced and won’t submit to societal norms. Becoming a part of LA Student for Change is the perfect opportunity for Ryanne to express her voice.

Elizabeth L. is currently a junior, and has dedicated herself to clubs and teams such as a volunteering organization known as Key Club, the Speech and Debate team, and the Cross Country/Track and Field team since 9th grade. Whether cheering on her teammates or delivering a speech in front of people at competitions, the Speech and Debate Club has given Elizabeth the confidence to learn and speak about important issues. Elizabeth has developed a fervor to help others by taking action and using her voice. Through Key Club she has volunteered at organizations such as MEND, Meet Each Need with Dignity, a non-profit organization that helps families living in poverty. This gives Elizabeth a sense of pride that she can help her people since many of these struggling families come from the Latino community, and packaging bags of food for them makes Elizabeth feel that she is making a positive impact in their lives.  Her background of service and dedication made her to want to join LA Students 4 Change to put her skills to the test. Elizabeth will strive to help raise awareness of the lack of funds in the arts, music, sport teams, clubs, and other extracurricular activities in LAUSD schools. Elizabeth believes school is a place where students can not only learn but also show off their talents that no test or class can display. To her, student lives matter and she aspires to be their voice and enact a real change in the decisions made by LAUSD!

Cindy G. is a junior who serves as a member of her school’s Donuts with the Principal, serves as an Advisory Representative, and participates in her school’s Volleyball and Cheerleading Teams. Her interests include helping people, being an advocate for students and the issues that they feel are important, and volunteering with the Friends of The Los Angeles River (FOLAR). Cindy won the 2015-2016 Student of the Year award in addition to Student of the Month. She has recently joined the LA Students 4 Change Team to become a part of her community and speak on behalf of the students who feel that there needs to be changes at their schools but feel that they have no voice to speak about their educational system.

Justin G. is a 16 year old, junior who is very dedicated and committed to what he finishes. He plays basketball and volleyball and runs for his school’s cross country team. He is an active member of the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) to promote equality among all. He also loves his involvement with the STOKED program, which allows others to experience fun activities such as skateboarding, snowboarding, as well as surfboarding. This also allows him connect with his other peers while also enjoying hobbies that he loves. He enjoys his mathematics and science classes immensely, and believes in helping his community by going to trash pick ups at beaches, near schools, the Los Angeles River and many more areas where litter is prevalent. He is a leader and hopes to be a role model for those around him. Justin is ecstatic to participate in the LA Students for Change because it is a chance to make a difference for his colleagues and show the power of student leadership.

Jaylene L. is in LAUSD’s senior class. Having been a student in Los Angeles, Jaylene  is able to experience the power schools have to motivate or put down students. Jaylene is bright minded and is ready to improve the LA school system in order for students to receive the very best out of their education possible. Jaylene is a kind hearted person who tries to make the best out of every situation. As a student she has experienced both teachers who don’t care about their students and teachers who will do anything to motivate you to move forward. Jaylene believes that all students have a right to a quality education and should be able to be supported and led to a great life through school.

As a senior, Simone G. has spent her last three years there participating in many extracurricular activities. She ran in track and field, was a member of the cheer squad, and an active leader in clubs. Outside of school, Simone has participated in state and national beauty pageants and currently holds the title of Junior Miss California. She is also a proud member of the Mayor’s Youth Council, which actively volunteers to help clean up our communities. Simone also serves on the first-ever National Congress of Black Women’s Youth Chapter, which volunteers at convalescent homes once a week. With her dream of becoming White House Press Secretary on her mind, Simone hopes to attend Chapman University this fall to earn a degree in Broadcast Journalism. Simone is happy to join the LASC family to gain new experiences and positively change LAUSD before she says goodbye to high school and hello to college.

As a senior, Guadalupe G. has participated in various extracurricular activities such as swimming, the Student Technology Leadership Club, the Business Club, and the Stanford Pre-Collegiate Institutes Program.  The amalgamation of these experiences strengthened her knowledge that good schools are the key to success. After earning a score of 5 on her AP U.S. History exam, Guadalupe solidified her career interest in fields that empower the community through hard work and dedication. She is deeply interested in taking Pre-Law and Sociology classes once she begins college. Guadalupe is ecstatic to work with LA Students 4 Change so that she can begin to help her local community by contributing to the LAUSD reform. Particularly, she aspires to make sure that LAUSD stops leaving its students with learning disabilities behind.

Carina C. is a senior, and she has always taken courses that challenge her academically, including plenty of AP and honors classes. Carina has managed to bring balance into her life by participating in extracurricular activities such as sports and community service groups. While being captain of both her school’s Cross Country and Soccer teams, she has learned how to be a leader. Community service is important to Carina. That’s why she participates in CARE Project, a student ran service group that hosts blood drives, feeds the homeless, reads to preschoolers, raises awareness for cancer, and cleans up the community. Carina also interns with the USC Shoah Foundation, where she has gotten the chance to work alongside experts in developing new technology that allows future generations to ask holocaust survivors anything about their lives. Carina has also found comfort in working with MOSTe, a non-profit organization that helps guide girls towards college. Carina has been MVP for Cross Country and has always earned Gold Honor Roll for having a GPA of 3.5 or higher. Carina believes that schools should be a place in which students are a priority and given the best opportunities. While working with LA Students 4 Change she hopes to bring more extracurricular activities and electives to the schools in order to create a healthy balance in a student’s life.

Roxana C. is a senior, Mexican-American, honor roll student who will be the first in her family to attend college. Having gone to public schools all her life she has seen first hand the reductions made in different education departments. One of these programs is tutoring- there have never been many free tutoring programs available to students around her community which is why she tutors students during her free time. Roxana found her voice when she would draw, so she became the president of the art club to help others express themselves. Since she enjoys math and sports she volunteered her junior year to become the statistics keeper for her school’s volleyball team. This later led to being president of the athletic club. Roxana is proud to join LASC on this adventure because she believes that change has to be made for future generations.

Justin D. is a junior who loves the the biological sciences as well as French. Justin serves as a mentor to freshmen as a part of the LEAD program at his school, enjoys volunteering for Giovany Hernandez’s campaign for LA City Council, and is the founder of the Culinary Club at his school, which aims to promote healthy and environmentally friendly diets. Justin is also a recipient of the Grand Concours Silver Medal twice, Student of the Month, Student of the Year, and Jose Huízar’s Adelante Award. Justin is a dog-enthusiast and hopes to become CEO at a major social media company. Justin joined LA Students 4 Change because he wants to be an advocate for students who may not feel that their voices are heard.  He plans to work with his peers to assess dilemmas faced by students today and formulate the best possible plan to resolve them so that they feel safe and have a proper education.

As a junior, Joselyn is busy with her school’s Junior State of America (JSA), the Makeup Geeks Club, and her coursework in addition to her work with LA Students 4 Change. Joselyn loves the opportunity to debate today’s important issues in JSA, and she created the Makeup Geeks Club to promote make-up as a form of art and its impact on self-representation. In addition to all of this, she volunteers to help children with disabilities complete their homework. Joselyn is passionate about helping those around her, and that’s why after graduation she hopes to attend UCLA and study psychology. For now, however, she wants to raise awareness that many schools in her Los Angeles community do not have the advanced classes or extracurricular programs that are necessary for kids to succeed. Joselyn knows that schools are the only path to success for many. That’s why she is truly excited to join LA Students 4 Change and help her community find its voice.

Keren M. is a senior at ESAT high school; Keren is currently the president of French Club and has led many community events at her church, giving her an extensive knowledge of social relations. She was born abroad and lived in another country during her youth, and Keren believes that this experience taught her the key differences in the education systems across the world. That’s why she wants to do everything possible to improve LAUSD and create educational equality for all, regardless of race.