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The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Welcomes 10 High School Students to Second Cohort of Rising Leaders

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools Welcomes 10 High School Students to Second Cohort of Rising Leaders

August 22, 2023

The Rising Leaders Initiative is a one-year program that trains exemplary students in civic participation, education advocacy, leadership development, and public speaking

The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools is thrilled to welcome the 2023-2024 class of Rising Leaders, the program’s second cohort. Ten charter high school students were selected from more than 100 applicants to grow their leadership and advocacy skills through intensive programming, team building, and opportunities outside of their school classrooms. Students will receive a year of training and mentorship from policy professionals and various experts. The program was designed to further develop students who have a demonstrated commitment to service, scholarship, and improving their schools and communities. 

The 2023-2024 Rising Leaders are: 

1. Abdullah Celik – Senior at Gateway Science Academy in Missouri
2. Anthony Ayer – Senior at Baxter Academy in Maine
3. Cameron Mirmelli – Junior at BASIS Scottsdale in Arizona
4. Darren Paredes – Junior at The ASK Academy in New Mexico
5. Kamila Almazan – Senior at YES Prep Gulfton in Texas
6. Maya Maliakal – Junior at Harmony Science Academy-Carrollton in Texas
7. Nathan Duguid – Senior at Great Oaks Legacy Charter School in New Jersey
8. Olivia Jones – Senior at University Prep Art & Design in Michigan
9. Rosamaria Villasenor – Sophomore at Elevate Academy in Idaho
10. Sahaana Rajagopalan – Senior at The Charter School of Wilmington in Delaware 

“We are thrilled to welcome these 10 outstanding students to our Rising Leaders Program,” says Nina Rees, President and CEO of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “It takes commitment, passion, and courage to publicly advocate for what you believe in – even more so when you’re in high school. These students are already fighting for strong public education options for families in America, and we are honored to be a small part of what will surely be a great journey for each of them.” 

“We are so proud of these students and what they’ve already accomplished,” says Sindy Pierre-Noel, Director of Programs at the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. “The Rising Leaders Program will only add to what each of them already possess – a desire to shape the evolution of education, advocate for the rights of their peers, and pave the way toward a brighter future.” 

Participants will have the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned by launching an education advocacy club in their school and advocating for federal and state legislation, with the guidance and support of the National Alliance. Rising Leaders are committed to civic action, community engagement, and ensuring fellow students have access to high-quality and free public education.   

All information about the Rising Leaders Program and the 2023-24 cohort can be viewed here.  

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