By Lauren DeMaria
The new student representative for Garden Grove Unified School District urges her fellow students to advocate for the change they wish to see in school and beyond.
Seventeen-year-old Jennifer Tran is a senior at Bolsa Grande High School and is the first preferential voting student board member for the GGUSD, representing up to 40,000 students.
“You do not have to be a board member or representative to create positive change,” said Tran.
She has stayed involved in California’s education system for over a year, as the California Student Board Member Association’s (CSBMA) Policy Director. In this role, she can work directly with student board members from across the state and sometimes outside of California. Collectively, they work to advocate for positive policy change for students, she said.
At her school, Tran is heavily involved in a broad range of extracurricular activities. She currently works as the President and Founder of the school’s Tri-M Music Honor Society and as a Co-Founder of Bolsa’s Debate Club. She is also a member of the school’s National Honor Society, Key Club, and Choir.
With her high school degree in sight, she plans to attend a four-year university as a double major in education studies and public policy, and possibly a minor in music.
Outside of school, Tran uses her time and her voice to continue to advocate for students.
“I serve as a Policy Director in GENup, a California-based, nationwide student-led social justice organization and student activist coalition that strives to advocate for education through the power of youth voices. In this role, I mainly work to further student civic engagement and mental health through the Association of Civic Engagement Coalition and the Students for Mental Health Coalition,” said Tran.
As a student board rep, she is passionate about her position and believes that “students are the primary stakeholder in our education system and being the primary stakeholder, we deserve to have representation,” said Tran.
Her main goal is to ensure that the district’s curriculum correlates to the diverse student body and that all students (especially underrepresented students) feel they have the resources to be successful students and active members of society.
“Every one of us holds power in our voices and our actions, so get out there and fight, vote, and advocate for what you believe in,” said Tran.