If you’re a member of FCDC, you’ve probably heard from me in some way by now. I encourage you to reach out if you missed my message and hope to meet you soon. We may have met on the campaign trails for Obama 2008/2012, Bernie, or local and state politicians, even as far back as when I was the co-president of High School Young Dems. I also ran to be a Bernie delegate and will be working for the DNC after the campaign.
I am passionate about public service and community work and have served as a student, advocate, student government official, teacher, older sister, and community member. Growing up, my parents raised me to appreciate small blessings that came our way, and they made sure I understood that one must always be humble. My father is a surgeon who works very hard to ensure parents are comfortable and well-cared for. My mother is a professor in biology and genetics at NOVA where she caters to students from a variety of backgrounds and helps those on non-traditional paths succeed. Driven by my faith and shaped by their example and sacrifices, I am committed to servant leadership that puts others first and that considers devotion to people and community an obligation and expectation.
With this in mind, I have always been interested in education and its potential to be a "great equalizer" for students of all backgrounds and privileges. I remember distinctly how friends of mine like Sam or Desiree whose parents could not take care of them fell into harmful habits. I also remember the incredible impact of self-confidence and one's own expectations of self on a student's belief in their worth and probability of success like it did for Zev. I also recall a time when a friend with special needs, Paul, was harassed and disciplined for an action he did not fully understand. Many of these experiences are imprinted in my mind, and in having been taught that the best communities give everybody a fair chance, I want Fairfax County, the place I will call home for the rest of my life, to be up to that standard.
The experiences I saw motivated me to engage with FCPS leadership actively. Just a few years ago, I ran for the student position on the school board and lost by a single vote to the only voting candidate of 13 in a three-round, non-anonymous election convention. I have been incredibly passionate about equity and have, driven by this interest, gained unmatched credentials to serve on the School Board. I served as the President of the Superintendent’s Advisory Council where we carefully studied skills for "21st Century Learning" and proposed implementation that contributed to the current FCPS "Portrait of a Graduate." I also served on three School Board committees: advanced academics, where I consistently advocated for additional resources for students who are disadvantaged and whose chances at success are undermined; one on student discipline following the tragic suicide of a fellow classmate and friend, lead by his father and sparking necessary conversations for our county; and the Superintendent selection committee, which contributes to the primary official role of the School Board.
I was also an intern for the FCPS Superintendent’s Office and, separately, led an anti-bullying campaign that amended our own FCPS policies. I also co-founded a completely youth-led, youth-run non-profit organization that serves lower-income youth in twelve centers across the county (www.giveyouth.org). Since then, I’ve worked in several levels of government and policy-making and have been a part of community projects that have been generating real solutions tested on the ground.
Having served as a beneficiary, partner, agitator, and advisor to both the administrative and political sides of FCPS, I bring the perspectives of our many stakeholders to the School Board. Coupled with my experience as the only FCPS alumni candidate (having gone to Mantua ES, Frost MS, and Robinson SS for the International Baccalaureate program) as well as my robust policy and leadership background in the last four years, I would be a strong voice for equitable education and young people in Fairfax County. Moreover, I have siblings who are in FCPS schools and I remain an active part in their schooling. I also hold a double B.A. in the Intensive Political Science major and in Modern Middle East Studies from Yale.
I am incredibly blessed to have had the chance to work alongside mentors both on and off of the School Board who have advised me well for the demands ahead. I am also pleased that many students are already encouraged by our campaign and have signed on to join! Our campaign represents the experience, the character, and most importantly, the appeal throughout the county among students and educators to win the general election and to serve us well.
We’re excited and ready to secure the Democratic seat and urge you to join us in doing so!
Co-founder and Board Member, GIVE: Growth and Inspiration through Volunteering and Education (www.giveyouth.org)
- Summer intern, FCPS Office of the Superintendent
- President, FCPS Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council
- Student representative, FCPS School Board Committee on Advanced Academics
- Student representative, FCPS School Board Committee on Student Discipline
- Student representative, Superintendent Selection Committee
- Chair, Fairfax County Student Human Rights Commission
- President, The Bring It On Campaign (anti-bullying initiative, changed SR&R policy)
- Student Anchor, FCPS Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Robinson representative, Fairfax County Youth Leadership Program
- Member, Principal’s Advisory Committee
- Former teacher and tutor for over ten years
FCDC-related (other than regular volunteering):
- Runner-up candidate, Bernie Delegate for DNC (CD-11)
- Co-president, Virginia High School Young Democrats
- Founder, Robinson Young Democrats
- Field organizing volunteer, Obama 2012
- Phone banking lead volunteer, Obama 2008