Introducing 2020-2021 STF Chapter Presidents

Click on the name to see the STF Chapter President’s full response to:

  1. Why they wanted to lead their STF chapter?
  2. Why they joined STF?
  3. Why they believe our “Vote for Human Rights” campaign is important?

Uchenna Akanno, Carson HS, 12th Grade:

Leading my STF chapter provides me with the opportunity to be at the forefront of raising awareness and advocating for human rights while ensuring engagement during impactful activities at school. I joined STF to collaborate with other like-minded individuals to facilitate change in our local communities. The “Vote for Human Rights” campaign is critical to empower youth to urge for change necessary to mend and improve the shortcomings of society.

Jacob Chong, Sierra Canyon School, 12th Grade:

I wanted to lead my STF chapter because I wanted to help my school and classmates be more educated in human rights. At first I didn’t know much about human rights issues, but I learned through STF. I want to share this information with as many students as I can.

I joined STF because my friend introduced me. After attending a few meetings, I got involved in projects that sparked my interest.

I believe the “Vote for Human Rights” campaign is important because every vote matters. Not a lot of young voters realized the impact that their vote makes in deciding the future of our country.

Brian Cuellar, Hamilton HS, 12th Grade:

I  wanted to build on my leadership, communication, and teaching skills. Helping with leading the STF Chapter at Hamilton High School has given me the opportunity to communicate with others, educate people on societal and world issues, and learn from people’s experiences.

I  joined STF because I wanted to learn more about the campaign, how human rights are being violated, and the important issues that are happening all over the world.

With the campaign, I was able to learn about the issues with Human Rights being violated and the campaign provided a way to hopefully bring ease and change to these violations.

Morgan Daniels, Da Vinci Schools, 12th Grade:

I want to lead this STF Chapter because, as a member last year, I really fell in love with it. I want to lead this year because I want to further my leadership skills and stand up for the rights of those whose human rights are being violated.

I joined STF because I felt like I wasn’t doing enough in my community and my school, this club has allowed me to give back to my community and teach those around me.

I believe this campaign is important because we as young people have a lot to say and if we learn the right ways to voice our opinions big change can happen. A lot of people don’t realize the power of voting and how it can impact others and this campaign will show them the importance of it.

Logan Evans, Da Vinci Schools, 12th Grade:

I want to lead my STF chapter because I really enjoyed being a general member last year and since I was given many opportunities to help out last year’s Co-Presidents it only felt right for me to want to take on even more of a leadership role. I love STF and everything it stands for so being a Co-President this year is amazing!

I joined STF because one of last year’s Co-Presidents told me about what they did in the club and all the amazing things they had accomplished so I wanted to give it a try. I definitely made the right choice because in just one school year, I feel like I have already learned so much and become more aware and conscious of the world around me.

I believe the “Vote for Human Rights” campaign is incredibly important because it emphasizes how important voting is and how vital it is for everyone to understand that their vote matters. This being an election year, I couldn’t think of a more perfect way for high schoolers to get involved in protecting our rights by showing how people’s rights and voting are interconnected.

Isabel Gill, Palisades Charter HS, 12th Grade:

As a Student Task Force leader, I am excited for the opportunity to inspire and unite my STF team, so that we can effectively work towards community-wide change. I am looking forward to leading my club by implementing creative projects and events that will cater to our diverse student body and more deeply educate myself and my club members about human rights abuses all over the world.

I joined STF because I yearned to be a part of a school organization that was actively striving towards making a difference; I wanted to be part of a group of people that weren’t shying away from the issues plaguing our world, but rather confronting them head on.

Our “Vote for Human Rights” Campaign is of the utmost importance because we are facing a year like no other; without voters who put human rights above political party, our democracy, our livelihoods, will be in jeopardy. My peers and I have the power to influence this election by educating our families, neighbors and friends, but in order to educate, we need to learn. This campaign will allow STF members to focus on learning about voter suppression, about human rights abuses currently at work against Americans, so that we are well equipped to inspire our communities to vote with human rights in mind, in November.

Reese Gonzalez, Da Vinci Schools, 12th Grade:

I want to lead my STF chapter because it’s an amazing feeling to work with others who have the same aspirations as you do to change and acknowledge the world one issue at a time.

I joined STF because I wanted to be a part of something and with being in STF for the past year it made me realize that I’m a part of something so much larger than I thought.

The “Vote for Human Rights” campaign is extremely important, especially in a time where so much is happening in our world. It’s important for everyone to vote for change and especially towards their human rights. We are all valid humans and without rights what would we have?

Anna Kite, Culver City HS School, 11th Grade:

I love helping out in any way I can and I am always open to challenges. As public speaking/leading is a challenge for me, I thought this first step would be perfect. I love learning new things and STF has shown to be a very educating and rewarding experience. I wanted to try something new and what better way to do it than helping make the world a better place at the same time!

To be completely honest I joined the STF club at my school because my friends were in it but, as I learned more, I became interested and excited about everything STF does. I loved brainstorming ways to help the homeless youth at my school last year and, when we went into quarantine, listening to the virtual Q&As with multiple people who strive to end human rights violations. It’s been super eye opening and, as I said, really educational.

I believe this campaign is important because, for a democracy to work properly everyone should have access to ways to vote and get registered or preregistered. I think it’s also important for people to be aware and educated on who and what they are voting for. I’m super excited to help make resources available for communities so they can formulate their decision more easily and with less stress.

Madison Liberman, Palisades Charter HS, 12th Grade:

I wanted to lead my STF chapter to work side by side with the bold and intelligent students that are in the Human Rights Watch club.

I joined the Student Task Force in order to become more hopeful and create the changes in policy and in education that I wanted to see. I wanted the ability to listen to others and raise my voice about issues I was passionate about, and STF gave me the opportunity to do so.

The “Vote for Human Rights” campaign is so important because we need to vote for policies and leaders that will ensure our human rights are being protected and protect the most vulnerable individuals in our country.

Miranda Loyer, Academy of the Canyons, 12th Grade:
I want to lead my STF chapter because I have a whole lot of passion for social justice and particularly human rights. I see enormous potential in my school to really enact change in our valley and I want to be part of making that change.

I joined STF because I saw an opportunity to contribute towards some good in my community, as well as meet individuals who also were passionate about social justice the same way I am.

I believe our “Vote for Human Rights” campaign is important because although people often forget it, the people and laws we vote for directly impact millions of people’s lives in this country. It is important that we exercise our right to vote so our government represents our interests, what we stand for.

Karen Morales, Santa Monica HS, 12th Grade:

I want to lead my chapter because I am able to have a more direct impact on our events throughout the year, in addition to helping our general members get involved.

I joined STF because I wanted to learn more about human rights, as well as advocate for them in my community. It’s not only a great opportunity to get involved and educate yourself, you’re also able to make connections with others who are also passionate about human rights.

I believe our “Vote for Human Rights” campaign is more important now than it ever has been. In addition to our local elections this November, people will be voting for President, which can have major implications for human rights throughout the country. That’s why it is crucial to get people registered, educated and out to vote.

Natalie Pancho, Carson HS, 12th Grade:
As a leader, I enjoy collaborating with my peers because witnessing how much we can accomplish as a team is such a rewarding experience. I made a lot of great memories in the previous year organizing events that shed light on the current campaigns. I love that I’m able to work with students and staff alike who share the same goal as I do: to advocate for our human rights by educating others.

I’ve always had an interest in ongoing human rights crises so I decided to join my school’s club dedicated to acknowledging said topics to learn more about the issues at hand. Discovering that there were students from different schools coming together to make their efforts and voices heard had greatly inspired me to join STF, because I had also wanted to make a difference in my community.

The fundamentals of human rights asserts that everyone is entitled to basic rights and freedoms that cannot be taken away. These rights are relevant to us because it offers protection from the clutches of oppression and mistreatment, therefore advocating for our human rights provides a universal standard that empowers the individual.
Melisa Ramirez Hernandez, Santa Monica HS, 12th Grade:

I want to lead my STF chapter because I want to remind myself and others that although we’re just high school students we have the ability to create change at a greater scale.

I wanted to educate myself about human rights and be more actively involved in helping others express their voice.

I believe the “Vote for Human Rights” campaign is important because it emphasizes that everyone, regardless of where they are from or what they believe in, has the right to human rights education and safe and dignified standard of living.

Alexandra Raphling, Santa Monica HS, 11th Grade:

I became a leader of the Samohi STF chapter my freshman year. I saw that the club had so much potential to do great things within the Samohi community, and that was something I wanted to help direct. My passion for human rights has only grown as our amazing leadership team has grown, and we have been fortunate to put together a number of successful events on campus.

I joined STF at the urging of one of the leaders at the time. I have always been passionate about social justice and activism, and STF was a great outlet to pursue those passions and help get other students involved.

The “Vote for Human Rights” campaign is so important because we stand at the precipice of immense human rights challenges, such as climate change, the refugee crisis, Covid-19, and so much more that will be greatly affected by the results of this election. As minors who cannot vote, this campaign is a great way to further human rights while not yet being eligible to vote on the ballot.

Ayden Reading, Valencia HS, 12th Grade:
I wanted to lead my STF chapter at Valencia high school because I want to be able to make an impact and show everyone how important human rights are and the impact they can have on our society. I also saw many flaws on my school campus which is on a smaller level of course, but I knew we needed to make change.

I joined STF because there are so many people in this world who do not have a voice, who lack human rights even though human rights are universal rights that everyone should have. I joined STF to be a voice for them and to be a voice for change.

I think that our vote for human rights campaign is so incredibly important because now more than ever human rights are at stake. This “Vote For Human Rights” campaign is so vital in today’s society because it is educating people on how important human rights are and how important it is to vote for them in this election. Human rights are rights such as healthcare, education, right to a fair trial, equal treatment and so much more. In today’s society it shouldn’t matter what race, religion, sexuality, or social status you are. Human rights are rights that everyone should have, so go vote for the right thing. Equality and Human Rights for All…

Stella Robinson-Rosendorff, New Roads School, 11th Grade:

Leading my STF chapter is very important to me because I feel as though I have a strong voice that can guide my chapter in the right direction. I am devoted to the members and to our mission!

I joined STF because I knew it was important to make change and be an advocate, and my STF chapter gave me the resources to do so. It is also a good way to stay informed and grounded in human rights.

Our “Vote for Human Rights” campaign addresses one of the easiest and most important ways to make one’s voice heard. Focusing on voting this season is crucial in making sure human rights are protected for the years to come.

Alexis Robles, Canyon HS, 11th Grade:
I have always loved taking on leadership roles so that I can incorporate my ideas and peers into action. I want to lead my STF chapter to raise awareness about the violations of even just the basics of human rights and other necessary issues that are currently happening.

I joined STF to make a difference, even if it is something like executing an event related to an issue. Standing up and speaking out forms a significant impact.

Human rights are meant to protect every individual no matter gender or race. I believe our “Vote for Human Rights” campaign is momentous, because we speak up about the many human rights violated when they are supposed to guarantee safety and protection for the people.

Liv Schachner, New Roads School, 11th Grade:

I wanted to lead my STF because being a part of the New Roads community has prompted me to have a growing passion for advocacy and educate the members of my community on human rights violations happening every day. I joined STF to take action on injustices happening in the world, not merely stand by and watch them happen.

I joined STF because I wanted to take action on injustices happening in the world, not merely stand by.

The vote for human rights campaign is important because voting is the best way we can use our voices to make real, systematic change. Educating people on that fact is imperative.

Demi Tamayo, Hamilton HS, 12th Grade:

I want to lead my STF chapter because I think it’s a great opportunity to improve on my leadership skills. These skills can help me succeed in the future.

I joined STF because I wanted to feel like I am making a difference in my community. STF not only talks about issues America faces, but also the world which further educates me and other students. I also want to take advantage of the privilege I have to speak up for others who can’t.

I think at time like this, it is crucial for people to vote. I think voting allows people to express their opinions and feel like they are being heard.

Josh Teichman, Santa Monica HS, 12th Grade:

I wanted to help lead my chapter because I like being involved in finding and executing better ways to plan events more efficiently. I was also passionate about creating new events that are even more impactful and organized.

I see STF as a meaningful way to get involved in helping people who don’t have the fundamental rights and opportunities that should be afforded to everyone. STF seemed like it was passionate about educating others about helping humanity and self-advocation.

I believe our “Vote for Human Rights” campaign is important because it helps people under the voting age reevaluate their mindset from thinking they can’t make a difference to becoming educators and involved in the political climate.

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