What We Do
We are young people co-creating more just, democratic Kentucky schools and communities as research, policy and advocacy partners.
How it Started
Researching the Possibilities
We spent a year researching and then pitching a proposal to the Prichard Committee to engage students as education advocacy partners.
Making the Case & Building Capacity
We promoted the value of student voice in Kentucky and developed a community and culture of support around it.
Amplifying Student Voice on Climate & College
We trained and supported students as school improvement partners, conducted school climate audits, listened to students about college affordability & access barriers.
Mobilizing Around School Safety
Rallied students to advocate for more school counselors in the wake of school shootings in Marshall County, Kentucky & Parkland, Florida
Informing on Covid-19
We created the Coping with COVID-19 Student-to-Student Survey, which reached almost 10,000 students in all 120 counties during the early months of the pandemic and released a report, which was later published in a scientific journal.
Advancing Youth Agency
We became an independent youth-led nonprofit and successfully advocated for the permanent inclusion of student and teacher seats on the Kentucky Board of Education.
Democratizing Education Research & Reporting
We led a statewide study of students on race, ethnicity and belonging in school and launched The New Edu education journalism site.
a few things we're proud of
Some of our Accomplishments
Made Kentucky colleges more affordable for 8,000 low-income students with our “Powerball Promise” campaign
Solicited stories from thousands of Kentucky students about college affordability leading to the publication of a book, Ready Or Not: Stories From the Students Behind the Statistics
Launched the first youth-run education newsroom in Kentucky, The New Edu, centering student perspectives within Kentucky’s education system
Advocated for the inclusion of student representatives on the Kentucky Board of Education, district school boards, and School Based Decision Making Councils
Adult allies and students partner to support youth-led work as an intergenerational team.
A native of Lexington, Hiatt co-founded the team as a junior in high school, drawn to the idea that students should have a say in their learning.
Esha Bajwa (she/her) is the Kentucky Student Voice Team's Representative to the Student Action Network for Equity and a member of the board.
Cindy Baumert (she/her) is a Kentucky Student Voice Team Board Member and long-time champion of its work.
Rachel Burg Belin
Rachel (she/her) is the Managing Partner and, with young people, a co-founder of the Kentucky Student Voice Team.
Sadie Bograd (she/her) is a senior advisor of the Kentucky Student Voice Team and formerly served as the Editor-In-Chief of the Student Voice Forum. She is a 2021 graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington and an undergraduate at Yale University. She joined the Team in middle school and has been deeply involved ever since.
Andrew is lifelong Kentuckian and a co-founder, senior advisor, and board chair & treasurer of the Kentucky Student Voice Team.
Cadence joined KSVT when she saw a climate audit being conducted at her own school and quickly jumped in to help with other school climate audits across the state. She now coordinates strategic projects and initiatives across KSVT.
Zachary Clifton is a junior at Corbin High School in Corbin, Kentucky.
Ian is a born and raised Iowan with over a decade of organizing, operations and communications experience in the education justice space, both locally and nationally. When not at work, you’ll find Ian constantly in motion traveling, cycling, practicing yoga or exploring local restaurants and shops near and far.
Ana leads the KSVT's school governance work and serves as an advisor to the team's journalism fellowship program. She is a senior at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington who has been with the Kentucky Student Voice Team since her sophomore year.
Daniela Kruel DiGiacomo is an Assistant Professor at the University of Kentucky.
Raima Dutt (she/her) is a co-lead for the team's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Research and Policy work, a member of the Board, and an analyst for the KSVT's Race to Learn Study, based on over 10,000 Kentucky middle and high school students' responses to a survey on race, ethnicity, and school climate.
Sara Falluji (any pronouns) is an associate editor of The New Edu, the Kentucky Student Voice Team's education journalism service, a producer for the “Get Schooled” Podcast, a school climate audit coordinator and coach, and on the board of the KSVT.
Connor is a Board Member and worked on the KSVT Coping With Covid project conducting quantitative and qualitative analysis.
Abraham Garcia-Romero (he/him) serves on the Kentucky Student Voice Team's board of directors.
Audrey Gilbert (she/her) is the Kentucky Student Voice Team's School Climate Audit co-lead and the Measurement, Assessment, and Accountability lead. She is also a KSVT Board Member. Audrey is a senior at Frankfort High School who has been with the KSVT her entire high school career.
Krupa advanced the geographic reach of KSVT, specifically in Western Kentucky, along with conducting school climate research and presenting to statewide organizations.
Lauren Hill is an English teacher at Leestown Middle School, working to support student voices for The New EDU
Zoë Jenkins (she/her) is a board member of the Kentucky Student Voice Team.
Norah Laughter is an Associate Editor of The New Edu education journalism news service, a senior advisor to the KSVT, a 2022 graduate of Warren County High School and an undergraduate at Yale University.
Beth Malcom is a KSVT Board Member and the outgoing President & CEO of the Kentucky YMCA Youth Association.
Solyana Mesfin (she/her) is a board member of the Kentucky Student Voice Team.
Francis Musoni is the Kentucky Student Voice Team's podcast production coordinator.
Minhal Nazeer is the co-lead of the Kentucky Student Voice Team's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Research and Policy work and a KSVT Board Member.
Emma Nesmith is a Senior Advisor to the Kentucky Student Voice Team and former Get Schooled podcast Executive Director.
Spandana Pavuluri (she/her) is the Kentucky Student Voice Team's General Research Coordinator and a member of the board of directors.
Ramona Pierce works with storytelling facilitators and student writers to edit submitted pieces for The New Edu newsroon. She also serves as a connection between the overlapping work of KSVT and the Student Action Network for Equity (SANE), where she helps review funding requests from student-led organizations across the country.
Kira Pusateri (she/her) is the Executive Producer of the “Get Schooled” Podcast.
Tala Saad (she/her) is the Policy Coordinator and Student Action Network for Educational Equity (SANE) Liaison for the Kentucky Student Voice Team and a member of the board.
Emanuelle Sippy (she/her) is a board member of the Kentucky Student Voice Team and formerly co-directed the organization for three years.
Arivumani Srivastava (he/him) is our Development Partner, Board Member, a recent graduate of the Gatton Academy and Greenwood High School from Warren County and currently an undergraduate student at Pomona College.
Rainesford Stauffer supports Kentucky Student Voice Team's journalism work, co-designing it with students from across the state. She is an author, journalist, and Kentuckian.
Krasimir Staykov (he/him) is a senior advisor of the Kentucky Student Voice Team.
Pragya Upreti (she/her) is a senior advisor at the Kentucky Student Voice Team and an undergraduate at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill who has been leading various projects and initiatives at the state and national levels since she was a sophomore at Lafayette High School in Lexington, Kentucky.
Aiden manages journalistic work in regards to student storytelling and edits submitted pieces for The New Edu.
Hayden Watkins (he/him) serves as the Kentucky Student Voice Team's Legislative and Policy Co-Coordinator, helps produce KSVT’s podcast, and is a student researcher. He is also a member of KSVT's Board.
*Donor list includes cumulative amounts since the Kentucky Student Voice Team became independent in January 2021.
The Kentucky Student Voice Team is honored to be fiscally sponsored by the Blue Grass Community Foundation.