Dear Charter Public School Friends,
In our state’s 72+ charter public schools, young women are leading and making herstory.
With over 50% of our charter public school leaders being women, and the historic swearing-in of Kamala Harris as our country’s Vice President and Kim Janey as acting Mayor of Boston, our daughters and our children are seeing what’s possible.
As we close out the formal celebration of Women’s History Month, it is my distinct privilege to spotlight a few incredible young women leaders across our state (click on the links below to read more about each of them):
Kiana R., SABIS International Charter School
Kiana is a senior at SABIS International, where she leads social responsibility work on behalf of her school’s student-led organization. In this work, she helps her fellow students become better global citizens, be aware of global issues facing the planet, and, more importantly, gives others the opportunity to make a difference in the world. Kiana oversees all planning and logistics related to her school’s social responsibility work. She puts forth green initiatives, and local and global community service opportunities for all.
Cady S., River Valley Charter School
Cady is a young woman who is steadfastly committed to the greater good. Cady’s civic mindedness is evidenced by the work she does both in and out of school. In school, she is a voice of change and action, modeling and organizing her peers to advocate for environmental and social justice causes. Out of school, Cady regularly participates in ongoing, peaceful, demonstrations against climate change and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Hadiyyah A-S., Roxbury Prep
Hadiyyah is a passionate student leader at Roxbury Prep’s Lucy Stone campus. Hadiyyah co-hosts her school’s student-led podcast and is a proud leader of the school’s Lucy Stone Lion Council. Why is leading her peers as part of the student government important to Hadiyyah? In her words, “I want to make sure that other kids in our school are getting what they need to be as successful as possible.”
Claire K., Pioneer Charter School of Science II
Claire is a senior at Pioneer Charter School of Science II, and is the first student from the school to be accepted to the University of Pennsylvania! She credits the support of her counselor, teachers, and friends for helping her get into her dream school. She shares the following advice: “I learned that while it is important to have good grades and test scores, being able to showcase your personality can really help you stand out."
Jennaly K., Collegiate Charter School of Lowell
Jennaly is a member of a student-led group that empowers students to hold responsibility for many aspects of school life. As a 7th grader, Jennaly has been a great leader to her peers. She is organized and passionate about making the planet a better place for all living things. Jennaly has taken the initiative to organize a Lowell Clean-up, where she will help lead a group of students to pick up trash downtown.
Jay’dha R., Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy
Jay’dha is an activist and student leader at the Helen Y. Davis Leadership Academy. Jay’dha recently won a $20,000 grant to organize a COVID-19 self-care workshop for young girls who had a hard time adjusting to the pandemic. She also spoke at Boston’s “Be The Change” Peaceful Children’s March last June where she advocated for the Black Lives Matter movement.
Beshanna V., Tarsonn J-B., and Yaritza S., Boston Prep
Beshanna, Tarsonn, and Yaritza, three Boston Prep high school students, penned an original and powerful poem that compels us to consider the impacts of this past year and to find the strength to rise above the challenges before us. Performed by Beshanna, we are asked to reflect on the words: “Today I wondered to myself… I wondered, how long can I go without having to breathe?”
As the father of a biracial daughter, I feel a great deal of hope to be raising her during a moment when so many incredible women, especially so many women of color, are leading our schools, our communities, our state, and our country.
To our charter public school leaders and our elected officials, thank you for helping to blaze a trail for all our children.
To our young charter public school women – Kiana, Cady, Hadiyyah, Claire, Jennaly, Jay’dha, Beshanna, Tarsonn, and Yaritza – thank you for showcasing such incredible leadership. We cannot wait to see how you and your work will continue to shape our country for the better.
Executive Director, Massachusetts Charter Public School Association