Program guide for the 2022 Summer Conference

by Jeff Camp | May 7, 2022 | 0 Comments
featured image

Sessions and Speakers 2022

The summer conference of the 2022 Ed100 Academy for Student Leaders will take place online June 20-22, 10am to noon and 2pm to 4pm. Any student aged 13+ can apply, and it's free. Faculty advisors are invited, too.

This post is the digital "conference brochure" for 2022. Our vision is for every high school in California to be represented. Will yours? Don't assume — check here to find out. No nomination is required to participate. It only takes a few minutes to apply.

We urge educators and PTA leaders who have inspired students to apply for this conference to participate in this program as allies. There is no cost.

The fastest way to understand what this conference is all about is to watch this two-minute video:

Leadership opportunities. You'll be invited to pursue leadership opportunities (some competitive or selective, others not) in partnership with organizations in Sessions 5 and 6. Making these connections is a key mission of this conference!

Connections. You'll meet students in breakout sessions, and you will be invited to join the Ed100 Student Academy server on Discord, which has proved a great way for students to connect with each other and with leadership opportunities that come up throughout the school year.

Insights journal. During the conference, you'll be prompted to take note of what you learn in your Leadership Insights Journal. These notes can help you, as a leader, to bring what you learn back to your school community and to your college advisors. The journal will be released just before the start of the conference.

Civic engagement. Students who participate actively in the Academy will earn a certificate to use as evidence of civic engagement. Students will also learn about how to earn the California Seal of Civic Engagement for their diploma.

Session 1
Students and the Big Picture
Monday, June 20, 10am - noon

The conference will begin promptly at 10am.

Alvin Lee

Founder, GENup

Alvin Lee is the student founder of GENup, a fast-growing coalition of student advocacy organizations that elevates and amplifies the voices of students in both high schools and colleges. throughout California and beyond.

Alvin is a founding member of the California Department of Education's first Youth Advisory Council and a co-founder of the California Student Board Members Association (CSBMA). He just completed his first year at Claremont McKenna College. You'll get to know him as the host of the Academy.

Hudson Yang


Young people have a lot to offer. Hudson Yang asks: What will you do to make a difference?

Hudson Yang, named by Variety, The Wrap and other publications as a rising star to watch in young Hollywood, spent six years as irrepressible protagonist Eddie on ABC's historic Asian American family sitcom Fresh Off the Boat. His performance garnered him multiple NAACP Image Awards nominations for Outstanding Performance by a Youth, and Teen Choice Awards nominations as Choice Scene Stealer in 2016 and Outstanding TV Comedy Actor in 2017 and 2018. Yang has also appeared on Family Guy, Disney's Sophia the First, Liv and Maddie and The Lion Guard and PBS's Cyberchase. He will next be seen as the lead in director Tamika Miller's highly anticipated feature film debut, Honor Student. Born and bred in Brooklyn, Yang began studies at Harvard in 2021.

Josh Fryday

California Chief Service Officer

What is the role of volunteering in society, and how do students fit into that vision? As a member of the cabinet of Governor Gavin Newsom, Josh Fryday leads service, volunteer and civic engagement efforts throughout California.

Effective service requires effective coordination. Fryday is a military veteran and the former Mayor of Novato, his home town. Prior to stepping up as CSO for the state of California, he served as the president of Golden State Opportunity (GSO), led NextGen Climate, and served as an officer in the US Navy as a member of the Judge Advocate Corps (JAG).

Rana Banankhah and Naomi Porter

California State Board of Education

The student position on the California State Board of Education is the highest position in government that a student can serve. It is a full voting position, appointed by the Governor to represent more than six million students. This summer, Rana is finishing her year of service and Naomi is beginning hers. Together they will explain what the position entails and how rising juniors can apply for it in September.

Rana Banankhah attended Modesto High School, and concurrently served as the student representative to the board of Modesto City Schools in addition to the State Board of Education. She is an advisor to GENup and founded her school's literary magazine. She will announce her college plans at the conference.

Naomi Porter is a rising senior at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, where she serves on the school site council. She also serves on the Superintendents' Roundtable and founded EntrepreYOUership, a nonprofit focused on entrepreneurship and financial literacy. She is an Ashoka Young Changemaker, a Ted Talk Speaker, a Gold Award Girl Scout, and an Eagle Scout.

Ted Dintersmith

Change Maker

In his award-winning film "Most Likely to Succeed," Ted Dintersmith pointed out the many ways that the world has changed… but most schools have not. As homework before this session, students are invited to watch it, free.

Dintersmith is a relentless optimist who knows a lot about innovation and innovators; before he became an education advocate he was one of the world's most successful investors in start-up businesses. How can schools and school systems work better? That's the focus of his recent series What School Could Be. Through examples and stories, he showcases the work of educators and schools that are mobilizing their community to reimagine learning. In these schools, students care about what they are learning because teachers connect it to the real world, not just to tests. How can student leaders play a role in transforming their schools into inspiration zones?

Session 2
The Education System
Monday, June 20, 1:30pm to 5pm

Mary Perry

Independent Education Consultant

Mary Perry will bring everyone to a shared level of basic understanding about how the education system works, including the critical role of money in it. This is a familiar role for Mary, who has demystified the system for thousands of education leaders.

Mary Perry understands California's school funding system and she knows how to explain it clearly. An independent education consultant, Mary has served many leadership roles for the California State PTA including Vice President for Education. She served as deputy director of EdSource from 1993 to 2011. A former school board member, Perry holds a B.S. in journalism from the University of Oregon and an M.A. in liberal arts from Stanford University. She has been a longtime adviser to Ed100.

Sal Khan

Founder, Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a nonprofit organization with the mission of providing a free, world-class education for anyone anywhere. Khan Academy's content and mastery learning platform has more than 137 million registered users across 190 countries. On an average day, the site supports about 80 million minutes of learning throughout the world. Increasingly, teachers and school districts are using Khan Academy as a way to personalize the process of learning for each student.

Sal Khan holds three degrees from MIT and an MBA from Harvard. He has been profiled by 60 Minutes, was the only nonprofit leader ever profiled on the cover of Forbes and was recognized as one of TIME's 100 Most Influential People in the World. His thought-provoking presentation at the inaugural Ed100 Academy for Student Leaders in 2020 was one of the highest-rated sessions of the conference.

Josh Becker

California State Senator, San Mateo and Santa Clara

California's education system is guided by laws. The process of making and changing law involves a lot of committees… how does that actually work? Senator Josh Becker will explain.

Elected to the State Senate in November 2020, Senator Becker represents the residents of California’s 13th Senate District, which comprises most of San Mateo County and the northern part of Santa Clara County. He is the author of several bills focused on accelerating California’s transition to 100% clean energy and net zero emissions, voter access and justice reforms, and leveraging technology to provide greater economic mobility for all Californians. In 2000, Becker created Full Circle Fund, the non-profit organization that developed Ed100.

Hae-Sin Kim Thomas

Charter Public Schools

More than a tenth of California's students attend a public school that is governed as a charter school. These schools, tuition-free and open to any student in the district where they are located, operate with somewhat fewer rules than traditional schools. When are charter schools the right answer?

Hae-Sin Kim Thomas received the Legacy Award of the California Charter Schools Association for her pioneering role in developing school options for students in communities that were poorly served by traditional district public schools, especially in Oakland. She was the founding principal of ASCEND, one of a handful of autonomous schools recognized for providing high-quality education. She founded Education for Change Public Schools, a network of charter schools. She served as CEO of urbanED solutions and was also the lead organizer and co-founder of Great Oakland Public Schools, an Oakland-based advocacy group.

Session 3
Tools for Informed Leaders
Tuesday, June 21, 10am to noon

Alex Padilla

US Senator for the State of California

Alex Padilla represents the state of California in the US Senate. He was sworn into office by Vice President Kamala Harris, his predecessor.

Senator Padilla is the proud son of immigrants from Mexico, his father a short-order cook and his mother a housekeeper. Padilla attended Los Angeles public schools and is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating, Padilla was elected to the Los Angeles City Council, where he became the youngest Council President in Los Angeles history. He served two terms as California's Secretary of State, launching the state's pre-registration program, which enables 16- and 17-year olds to automatically be registered to vote when they turn 18.

Dr. Marika Manos

The California Seal of Civic Engagement

The California State Seal of Civic Engagement, affixed to your diploma, recognizes and celebrates your informed participation in the civic life of your community. It's a fairly new program, and not every school district offers it yet. What does it take to make it real in your district?

Dr. Marika Manos is leading efforts to implement the Civic Seal in school districts in Orange County. She will provide her perspective about the value of the Seal, the challenges that must be overcome, and how students can help make it available in their the districts.

Carrie Hahnel

Opportunity Institute

As a student leader, will your voice be heard, or will you be dismissed? When you know your stuff, you are harder to ignore. In this session, Carrie Hahnel will give you a nuts-and-bolts rundown of the tools and data sources that can make you an insider.

Carrie Hahnel is the Senior Director of Policy and Strategy at the Opportunity Institute, where her work focuses on improving systems of school finance, resource allocation, and school accountability to be more equitable. Previously, she worked as interim co-executive director and director of research and policy at Education Trust-West, a nonprofit advocacy group focused on educational justice. She also served as director of research and evaluation for the KIPP Foundation. She earned her undergraduate degree at Carleton College and her Master's of Education degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.

Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez

Past President, CSBA

Does California have a state system of local schools, or a local system of state schools? What is the role of policy in the way that a specific school works, and how can local action make change that matters? Do those arriving without English fluency have a shot in California?

Few people understand the role of school boards in this state as deeply as Xilonin Cruz-Gonzalez. She is the immediate past president of the California School Board Association (CSBA) and now in her 20th year as a trustee of the Azusa Unified School District in east Los Angeles County. In her day job as Deputy Director of Californians Together, she directs work to support immigrant and refugee students.


John Fensterwald, Editor-at-Large

How have changes in the education system affected the lives of the students attending this conference? How might the system change going forward? No one is in a better position to answer these questions thoughtfully (or playfully) than long-time education journalist John Fensterwald. Last year, John presented a brief history of California's education system through the allegory of Ginny the Guinea Pig. This year, John and Alvin will discuss what's changed — and what could. Visit our blog to watch it on YouTube

For anyone who hopes to keep up with California's changing education issues and policies, John's reporting is required reading. Prior to EdSource, he was editor of The Educated Guess website, which he founded in 2009. For 11 years before then, John wrote editorials for the Mercury News in San Jose, with a focus on education. He worked as a reporter, news editor and opinion editor for three newspapers in New Hampshire before receiving a Knight Fellowship at Stanford University in 1997. His wife is a retired elementary school teacher, and his daughter is a neurology resident at the UCLA School of Medicine.

Session 4
Issues that need student voice
Tuesday, June 22, 1:30pm to 5pm

Dr. Shirley Weber

California Secretary of State

This is an election year. You might think that you need to be 18 to participate in the process. Actually, there are many ways for students to get involved, as you’ll learn directly from the state’s top election officer.

Shirley Nash Weber, Ph.D. is the fifth African American to serve as a constitutional officer in California's 171-year history. Born to sharecroppers in Hope, Arkansas during the segregationist Jim Crow era, Dr. Weber earned her PhD from UCLA by age 26. She served as a member and chair of board of the San Diego Unified School District, and was elected to four terms as a member of the California State Assembly, representing the San Diego region.

Zaila Avant-garde

Winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee, 2021

What kind of practice does it take to become very, very good at something? This is the first question we will ask Zaila Avant-garde, the winner of the 2021 Scripps National Spelling Bee. With dreams of the WNBA, she also has set three world records for juggling basketballs.

Each year, some 11 million students aged 15 or younger take part in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Zaila is the first African-American winner. Learn more about her in this two-minute feature from Sports Illustrated:

Education Trust-West

Dr. Christopher Nellum, Executive Director

Universal public education is a core element of America's vision of a society that works for all of us, preparing each student for their future. The challenges are not the same for every student. EdTrust-West, a non-profit organization, advocates for educational justice and the high academic achievement of all California students, particularly those of color and living in lower-income communities.

Dr. Christopher Nellum regularly appears in media to speak on these themes. Nellum’s path from Head Start through K-12 education and college was not a straight line and mirrors many of the challenges students of color and students from lower-income communities face today. His home, California’s Imperial Valley, is rich with familial and cultural traditions, but also the site of extreme rural poverty. Nellum completed his undergraduate degree at UC Santa Barbara, his master’s degree at CSU Long Beach, and his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan.

Stella Keating

GenderCool Champion

With each generation, Americans are becoming dramatically more open-minded about gender identity and sexual orientation, including their own. In 2020, a survey by Gallup found that about 15% of adults born 1997-2002 identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual, and about 1.8% identify as transgender. For many people, especially in older generations, these figures are surprising. They aren't aware of the diversity all around them.

Stella Keating was the first transgender teen to testify in front of the US Senate. Her personal story, viewed by millions, has opened minds and hearts — and redefined a national conversation about equality under the law. Now a high school junior, Stella is a champion of the GenderCool Project, a youth-led movement helping to replace misinformed opinions with positive experiences by meeting transgender and non-binary youth who are thriving. Stella is deeply interested in the judicial system and plans to attend law school as part of her journey to becoming an elected official. She loves reading, writing, playing chess and the violin and doing artistic DIY projects.

Sivan Kotler-Berkowitz is a rising senior, an athlete, and a member of a local youth commission working to address the racial and economic inequities that have been highlighted by the pandemic. He speaks Hebrew and is learning ASL.

Daniel Trujillo is a rising ninth grader. He and his family were featured in People Magazine’s first ever print Pride Issue in June 2020. He hopes to contribute to creating change through continued advocacy and telling the stories of Latinx trans youth like himself through his music, art, and stop motion movies.

All of these champions enjoy the support of a loving family that accepts them. "Less than half of the states in our country provide equal protection for me under the law," Stella pointed out to US Senators in her testimony for the Equality Act. "How is that even American?"

Session 5
Getting Involved - Making a Difference
Wednesday, June 22, 10am to noon

In this session, you'll have some decisions to make. You will hear a series of brief, well-crafted "pitch" presentations from organizations that work with student leaders. Each of these presentations will answer four questions:

  • What does your organization do?
  • Why is it important?
  • How can student leaders get involved and help?
  • Why should student leaders choose to get involved with your organization?

Based on these presentations, you will fill out a survey to provide feedback and indicate organizations that you want to connect with. Your survey responses will directly affect breakout sessions that will take place after the conclusion of the conference.

California Student Board Member Association

Zac Patterson

Each school board in California should include a student member if the district includes one or more high schools… but many still don't. CSBMA is a student-led organization for students who serve on school boards. CSBMA provides support for efforts to expand student board membership and connects student board members to help them better represent their constituents.

Zachary Patterson, the student founder of CSMBA, began working on education reform in 7th grade. Recognizing a disconnect between students and decision-makers, he spent three years leading a campaign to add a student to the San Diego Board of Education, a position he was then elected to serve in. Zachary’s activism throughout his high school years involved him in the leadership of many youth activism priorities as he helped lead the San Diego March For Our Lives, successfully passed student sexual harassment regulation at the state level, and helped the district set vaccination policies during the pandemic. In the fall Zac will begin studies at Duke University. Learn more about Zac's leadership in this feature on KPBS. (4 minutes)

ACLU of Southern California

Irene Rivera, Education Policy Advocate

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) defends the fundamental rights outlined in the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights through public education, lobbying and litigation.

Irene Rocha Rivera is the Education Policy Advocate and Organizer at the ACLU of Southern California. She focuses on community engagement, advocacy, policy research and litigation support for the statewide education team to ensure that the public education system provides quality education to all students. She is a graduate of UCLA and the first in her family to attain an undergraduate degree. She is a native Spanish speaker and proud daughter of immigrant parents who is committed to working on educational equity issues across CA.

Student leaders in Los Angeles County should consider applying for the Youth Liberty Squad. Applications due June 5, 2022.

Black Youth Leadership Project

Lorreen Pryor, President (INVITED - not yet confirmed)

BYLP is a non-profit and non-partisan educational organization dedicated to developing California's next generation of public policy leaders.

Lorreen is an Alumna of Sacramento State and a veteran Legislative staffer with 16 years under the dome. She serves as the President of Black Youth Leadership Project (BYLP), where she devotes her time in support of Black students throughout California. BYLP’s programming has expanded to include the NextLevel Luncheon, Social Justice Bootcamp, G.O.A.T (Goals, Organization, Applications, and Transcripts), Black Graduation Celebration, and in direct ongoing services with BYLP Advocacy - which helps Black children and their families address systemic racism on their school campuses. You can find Lorreen at School Board Meetings addressing inequities and attending several types of parent/student meetings with District Administrators advocating for the rights of Black students in multiple Districts. The podcast Black v The Board of Education is available on Apple Podcasts & Spotify.

California Association of Student Councils (CASC)

Ellie Lian, President

Established in 1947, CASC develops skilled, ethical, and sensitive leaders of diverse backgrounds and cultures by providing leadership development for students through peer training. CASC programs emphasize authenticity, ethics, and collaborative decision-making which enhance learning outside of the classroom by fostering self-esteem and civic engagement.

Ellie Lian is president of the California Association of Student Councils and a senior at Portola High School in Orange County. "Successful activism relies on more than effective planning," she says. "Unity among student activists is essential as it strengthens individual ties to a cause. Students often lack an established support system as well as prior experience in activism, so a wide network of informed peers is essential."

CASC has open positions for student leaders in some areas of the state. Visit the CASC site to find out more.

Alliance for Climate Education

Marco Marquez - (INVITED - not yet confirmed)

The climate crisis is an existential threat. Students can have an impact on the future by acting together in coordinated ways.

ACE is shifting the narrative on climate change. We educate young people on the science of climate change and empower them to take action. At the 2021 Ed100 Student Academy, ACE launched a new approach to organizing, creating a Youth Action Network with new opportunities for student leaders.

Marco Marquez will explain ACE's new youth organizing program and how to get involved in growing it.

The Student Conservation Association

Jenifer Huckabone and Arnold Palomo (INVITED - not yet confirmed)

The Student Conservation Association (SCA) conserves land and transforms lives by empowering young people of all backgrounds to plan, act, and lead while they protect and restore our natural and cultural resources. The SCA is America’s oldest and largest youth conservation organization. SCA places participants in fisheries and wildlife management, environmental education, backcountry trail construction, community engagement and more, from Alaska to Puerto Rico.

Jenifer Huckabone leads the Student Conservation Association (SCA)’s nationwide recruiting effort that connects young adults with hands-on, career-building opportunities with the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service, state departments of conservation and natural resources, municipal parks and recreation departments, and nonprofit organizations including The Nature Conservancy and the Audubon Society. She will be joined by Arnold Palomo, SCA Program Manager.

Session 6
Uniting for Impact
Wednesday, June 22, 1:30pm to 5pm


Iris Zhou and Cady Chen

GENup is a national student-led social justice organization and student-activist coalition that strives to advocate for education through the power of youth voices. Thousands of student leaders participate across chapters in high schools and colleges all over California.

How do you find a GENup chapter? How do you form one? What are the roles involved, and how do you learn what you need to know? Iris Zhou, a graduate of Leland High School in San Jose, directs the work of organizing the organization. She manages the GENup board of organizing and the GENup state council.

Cady Chen, who attends the Harker School in Saratoga, serves as the Director of Innovation and Strategy for GENup. She co-leads a campaigns team that is responsible for identifying, developing, and planning new initiatives for the organization as a whole. Cady also focuses on identifying new areas of potential development and growth within GENup.

California State PTA

Shereen Walter and Kathryn Rickard (tentative)

Students serve on the governing boards of at least 325 high school PTAs in California. Why not all of them? Students also serve on the governing board of the California State PTA, where they participate in the dialogue about the organization's policy positions.

Shereen Walter is the President-elect of the California State PTA and a consistent advocate for student leadership in school communities. Last year she joined Kathryn Rickard, an Ed100 graduate (and now also a graduate of San Ramon Valley High School in 32nd district PTA), to speak about the many leadership opportunities that students can find through their local PTA as well as PTA councils. This summer's student speaker is to be announced.


Caitlin Lainoff, Youth Engagement Manager

CreateCA advocates for high quality arts education for all students by providing policy expertise and by mobilizing a statewide network of allied partners.

As the Youth Engagement Manager for Create CA, Caitlin Lainoff advocates for equity in arts education. She has over a decade of experience in the field of arts and education. She graduated with honors from Washington University in St. Louis, and has an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts. Caitlin designs locally and is a teaching artist at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Ed100 Academy

Kaylee Nguyen, Director of Outreach

The Ed100 Online Academy for Student Leaders brings student leaders together to learn, connect, and make a difference. A select team of student leaders plays a central role in planning and carrying out this conference,including outreach, marketing, technology development, social media, speaker recruitment and more.

Kaylee Nguyen joined the founding leadership team of the Ed100 Academy in 2020, and served as Director of Admissions in both 2021 and 2022. She recruited and directed the team of Outreach Ambassadors and oversaw the addition of the certificate program to recognize students who participate deeply in the Ed100 Academy summer conference. Kaylee is a rising senior at UC Berkeley, where she studies psychology and English. She plays midfield for the Cal Bears women's soccer team, and received the Haas Jr. community service award for student-athletes.

Questions & Comments

To comment or reply, please sign in .

©2003-2022 Jeff Camp
Design by SimpleSend

Sharing is caring!

Password Reset

Change your mind? Sign In.

Search all lesson and blog content here.

Welcome Back!

Login with Email

We will send your Login Link to your email
address. Click on the link and you will be
logged into Ed100. No more passwords to

Share via Email

Get on Board!
Learn how California's School System works so you can make a difference.
Our free lessons are short, easy to read, and up to date. Each lesson you complete earns a ticket for your school. You could win $1,000 for your PTA.

Join Ed100

Already a member? Login

Or Create Account