BRAHMBHATT_HEAD

My journey as a school board student representative

By Kush Brahmbhatt | May | June 2020
My name is Kush Brahmbhatt. I am a sophomore at Milpitas High School, and I currently serve as the Milpitas Unified School District Student Board Representative. I was fortunate to attend the California School Boards Association student board workshop in San Diego on December 6, 2019. I started my role thinking that the student board member did not have enough power to make a large and positive impact on the district. I never quite understood anything that was going on, and thus I never quite felt included in the discussions. Whenever I was asked a question, I never knew what to say immediately, undermining my confidence and hope to make a positive change in my district. However, the CSBA workshop provided me a lot of insight into my position, which eventually changed my perspective about my role. Without a student board representative, there is no connection between the students on my campus and the school district board members. The student board representative is indeed the bridge to flow ideas between the board members and the student population. I realized that I should frequently go out on campus and survey all of the students on changes they would like to see in certain aspects of the district, such as procedures and events. This is one of the only ways for students to get their messages to the board as I am the voice of the student body. With this understanding, I went back to my school board meetings and began to speak out about any concerns I had, and start participating in discussions. I slowly began to regain my confidence and I actually started to enjoy being a student representative. During the conference, I was able to have discussions with other student board representatives from all across California. In one of the focused group discussions, we talked about creating an anti-drug program similar to the anti-vaping program that I have started in this school district. Together, we were able to come up with an eight-step plan that I have started to implement in my project. Our first step was to get a general idea as to how many people know about vaping, which I started through being a panelist at a community conversation. Thus, I was able to create and bring something back from the conference that has begun to benefit our district and to prove my fear of not being able to accomplish anything wrong. Overall, through the CSBA student board representative workshop, I was able to expand my knowledge on how to improve in my role as a student board member. I was able to come back to my district as a refined person with more confidence and courage and start to make a positive impact on my district. From these experiences, I have learned that in times when one is feeling powerless as a leader, it is really important to realize that everyone has an important role. It is just a matter of finding inspiration, and once that happens, there are no limits as to what one can accomplish. It is crucial to never lose hope even at rock bottom. Keep going until one’s “inspiration moment” comes and brings one back up to the top of the world.

Kush Brahmbhatt is a student at Milpitas High School in the Milpitas Unified School District.
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