As a member of the council, Perry is a representative for El Segundo students, communicating the issues students are currently facing in school.
LACOE Superintendent Debra Duardo launched the advisory council to bring the views of students into conversations and decision-making about public education. “Education leaders must be informed by the experiences and voices of our young people,” Duardo said. “Their perspective is vital to addressing issues and solving problems facing our schools and communities.” The student advisory council members will engage in dialogue with Superintendent Duardo on educational equity, the quality of public education, student well-being and other topics of concern, advising her on key issues facing youth.
The first online meeting of the council was at the end of September and members had the opportunity to split up into smaller groups for break-out sessions—each group of students had one LACOE administrator facilitating. Perry was honored that her break-out session was facilitated by LACOE Superintendent Debra Duardo.
Perry says being a member of the council offers her the opportunity she was looking for to participate in her community and enact change. “I was excited that I was selected for this honor,” said Perry. “I can’t vote yet because I am not 18 and I wanted to find other ways to advocate for the things that are important to me. I wanted to use my voice to hopefully influence change for the better.”
Perry is involved in a wide range of academic and extra-curricular activities at ESHS. She has served as the ESHS girl’s track team captain since freshman year, and was a member of the 4x1 relay team that won first place in the 2019 league finals—a memory which she considers to be one of her best ESHS moments. She is also a member of the National Honors Society and participates in Link Crew, a peer-led transition program were juniors and seniors welcome incoming freshmen and help them feel comfortable at their new school.
Perry is also gaining more leadership experience by serving as co-president of ESHS’s Black Student Union, following a term as the student club’s sole president last year. She encourages all interested students to participate in ESHS’ Black Student Union, which meets via Zoom every Tuesday from 3:00-3:30 p.m. "It is important and comforting to have other students to identify with, and for students of other races and ethnicities to hear about our experiences for a better understanding and to be allies,” said Perry. Last year, Black Student Union members shared their experiences with the ESHS faculty and staff, and according to Perry, “the response was positive; after talking with ESHS faculty and staff members, I believe their eyes were opened to our perspective. Maybe they didn’t realize students of color have these experiences; I think it helped them be more aware.”
According to Perry, ESHS has prepared her for higher education by providing college preparation resources and helping with deadlines and essays. “Our counselors hosted a Zoom session covering all the college preparation information that we need know,” she said. “My English teacher gave us a full week as part of our classwork to work on essays. I also took advantage of the counselor drop-in workshops online for college preparation and questions.”
Upon graduation next June, Perry plans on attending a four-year university to major in biology. She is interested in applying to Howard University, Pitzer College, Pomona College, San Diego State University, UC Davis, and UC San Diego. While she is not sure of her specific career path yet, she plans to explore different fields and career options the first two years of college. “Right now, I’m leaning toward a career teaching biology or possibly doing some kind of scientific research.”