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Published:March 15th, 2008 09:48 EST
Judy Piazza chats with Aaron Tang Co- Director of Our Education

Judy Piazza chats with Aaron Tang Co- Director of Our Education

By Judyth Piazza CEO (Editor)

Aaron Tang " Co-Director

Aaron Tang is a twenty-two year old"graduate of public schools in Painesville,"Ohio." He is a 2005 graduate of Yale University with a B.A. in political science." During the summers of his sophomore and junior year of college, he taught at Aspire, a tuition free summer program for Cleveland inner-city middle school students, summers which he considers to be the most important and formative experiences of his life.

Aaron is a 2004 Truman Scholar, 2005 USA Today All-USA College Academic First Team honoree, and recipient of the 2005 Alpheus Henry Snow Prize given by Yale University Faculty to the graduating senior who "through the combination of intellectual achievement, character and personality... has done the most for Yale by inspiring in his or her classmates an admiration and love for the best traditions of high scholarship."" Along with Ethan he was named one of the "World`s Best Emerging Social Entrepreneurs" by Echoing Green, and is a 2005 winner of the American Eagle Outfitters Live Your Life competition for his work on Our Education." Read Aaron`s latest entry in Our Education"blog, or email him at

Yale University Volunteer Staff


Student Voice Project

As students lead the call for a national right to high quality education, it is also important to recognize that a lot of what happens in our schools is determined at the local and state levels. With this in mind, Our Education is working to develop our Student Voice Project (SVP)." Our Education is currently piloting the Student Voice Project in Connecticut thanks to the efforts of Yale University student staff members."

The Student Voice Project works to engage and empower high school students to play an active role as partners in local school improvement efforts alongside teachers, parents, administrators, and community advocates." It does so in three ways:

1.) Increasing Youth Capacity. " If high school students are to have the most positive impact on their schools, they will need to be taught how their schools are run (i.e. who makes what decisions and why), how to seek out the views of their entire student body, how to come up with constructive solutions, and how to make effective presentations principals and school board members." Our Education trains students through regional leadership development conferences (read about the Connecticut Student Voice Conference held in November 2005), a seven-week civic engagement curriculum in high school government classes, and through online live chats.

2.) Increasing Youth Access " Young people also need to have access to the adults who make key decisions affecting their education: principals, school board members, and elected city officials." Our Education has developed a guidebook (download below) to help students navigate the process of securing a student voice in local school districts, and is also working on a state-by-state campaign in support of laws enshrining student representation in local level school policy.

3.) Increasing Youth Involvement " A high school that is successfully engaging students has the involvement of all of the students in the school, not just a select few." More information about how to succeed in this area can be found in our Guidebook for Student Representation."

To learn more about how you can bring the Student Voice Project to your school, download our Guidebook for Student Representation!"