Students who work for better schools

Did you know the Oakland school district has a city-wide governing council made up of high school students? One of its leaders, Arwa Omar asked if I’d share some information she had written about the council’s work, as well as some thoughts from her colleagues. -Katy

All City Council (ACC) is a platform for youth empowerment and youth voice. We work with the leadership classes throughout the Oakland school district to push for positive change in our schools. We consist of eight governing board members: President, Vice President, Secretary, Historian, two Student Board Directors, Media/Outreach Director, and Treasurer. These positions are vital because they are the bridge linking the students to the decision makers (Board of Education).

Andrew Wilson, MetWest High School (President)
All City Council is important to me because first and foremost I am an advocate for student voice. It has shown me that with enough effort and determination anyone can push for positive social change. ACC is the vehicle that helps me push for positive change in my community. I made a promise to myself a long time ago that I would never let the voice of students go unheard and ACC is helping me live up to that oath.

Le’jon Isaacs, MetWest High School (Vice President)
ACC is important to me because it an outlet to voice my opinions and ideas to move the educational system in a positive direction. Through my work I am able to grow as a person and make connections with the people I come in contact with on a daily basis. I feel that change starts with self and if everyone puts in an effort to do so, the world will be a better place to live and learn.

Arwa Omar, BEST High School (Media/Outreach Director)
I feel that ACC is important to me because it’s a way for students to be heard. All City Council gives the opportunity for students to make decisions, and help change their school/community. I know for me, All City Council has helped me step out of my shadow and become someone who is well aware of my surroundings. I’ve always been passionate about organizing in my community and ACC has given me the tools to do so starting with my school.

If you want to learn more about All City Council, send an e-mail to accoakland@yahoo.com.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.