BC students are Elevating Student Voices across the Capital Region

group of students with their teacher; all are smiling

Throughout the 2023-24 school year, six Bethlehem Central High School students have been working with students and teachers from 23 school districts in the Capital Region to learn about the experiences of their peers and discuss critical issues together as part of the Elevating Student Voices program sponsored by Capital Region BOCES.

The BCHS student representatives included:
  • Lulua Umar
  • Mysha Sajid
  • Johanna Radcliffe
  • Anika Kalam
  • Bhavya Kakarala
  • Oona Ko Knight (not pictured)

On Wednesday, April 24, these students were invited to participate in a Youth Summit at Proctor’s Theater in Schenectady, as the culminating experience in the year-long Elevating Student Voices program. The event featured a panel of students and community members talking about their experiences in promoting diversity, equity and inclusion in their personal and professional lives.

“Every school created a presentation that showcased how their schools have spread the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion among their student population,” said teacher Elizabeth DeVanzo, who accompanied the students to the Youth Summit. “The Bethlehem students created a slideshow highlighting a range of schoolwide activities and events, including ALANA, the ‘We Belong Campaign,’ and Windows of the World, among others.”

The Youth Summit concluded with an inspiring speech from New York State Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, in which he celebrated the students for their courage and advised them to “always lead with love.”