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What makes Crew powerful? What are the attributes of an NYC Outward Bound Schools’ graduate? These questions are best answered by those experiencing the organization’s impact: the students!

A new group of students from several schools across the NYC Outward Bound Schools network have been appointed to the Student Advisory Council, a group that meets to discuss how to best meet students’ changing needs.

“We developed norms together, and are working on the Student Advisory Council being a space of trust, care and truth,” said leader Aurora Kushner, Director of Impact and Continuous Improvement.

Meet this year’s Student Advisory Council:

Angel Caceres

12th grader, WHEELS

My name is Angel Caceres and I am a senior at WHEELS. My favorite subjects are U.S. History and ELA. What I like most about WHEELS is the community. Last year, some of my fellow Crew Leaders and I advocated for change based on our concerns. The Student Advisory Council is providing a similar experience — I get to try and improve existing structures and share my opinion in a space where it is valued and encouraged.

Outside of school, I enjoy playing video games like Fortnite, Sims, and COD. My favorite artist is Nicki Minaj and I love rap music. I also like fantasy books and TV shows; The Vampire Diaries and The Originals are two of my all-time favorite shows.

Djeneba Aicha Sanogo

12th grader, West End Secondary School

My name is Djeneba and I am a 12th grader at WESS. I reside in Harlem. I am passionate about business, entrepreneurship and podcasting. My dream job is to start my own international acceleration program on the Ivory Coast. I want to teach women around the world about business and inspire them to start their own.

What I enjoy most about WESS is its location and the teachers. My most memorable experiences were our 6th grade camping trip with NYC Outward Bound and the first time I went ice skating with my Crewmates.

I am excited to be a part of the NYC Outward Bound Schools Student Advisory Council because I like taking on different leadership roles and being part of group discussions where I can provide feedback on how to help improve the school community. I like seeing and understanding the background work it takes to build a school and create a vision.

Ife Toussaint

12th grader, Leaders

My name is Ife and I am a 12th grader. I live with my parents in Flatbush, Brooklyn. I am currently applying to colleges and it has been one of the most stressful things I have ever experienced! My dream job is to be a lawyer and a psychologist.

My favorite part about going to school at Leaders is the small family that we have all built together. This was evident on the Outward Bound camping trip when we all participated in a high ropes course and had to trust each other.

I’m glad to be part of the NYC Outward Bound Schools Student Advisory Council because this experience allows me to share my own experiences with others within the community.

Lookman Mustapha

11th grader, Institute for Health Professions at Cambria Heights

My name is Lookman and I am an 11th grader at IHPCH. I’ve been a resident of Queens for the past seven years, where my interests and passions were nurtured from an early age. Some of these interest include law — specifically constitutional law — and advocating for people in need. I believe legislation is vital because it safeguards our human rights and general well-being.

What I like most about my school is the community. Everybody knows one another, which allows for a better learning environment. Participating in Crew activities outside — rather than just in the classroom — helped our advisory grow closer with each other.

I am excited to be part of the NYC Outward Bound Student Advisory Council to give my student body a voice. Too many times students feel as if they are not being heard, so I will do my best to make sure they are heard.

Marcus Hopper

12th grader, West End Secondary School

My name is Marcus and I’m a 12th grader at WESS. I live on the Upper West Side with my parents. My favorite part about WESS is being able to connect with everyone in our grade since we’ve all been together since 6th grade. We feel like family, and this is evident in our conduct in class and our social events — my favorite of which was ice skating at the Wollman Ice Rink in Central Park.

I really enjoy studying economics, and I strive to do my best in every subject I tackle! My aspirations are to one day own a film music production company and to be a business owner who makes good decisions. Music is the universal language of humanity, and I hope to influence the masses through its medium.

I am ecstatic to be a part of the Student Advisory Council because it gives me a chance to do something that will impact a large number of students and future students. Having the opportunity to work in a group with extremely intelligent and like-minded individuals also appeals to me. Overall, the goal of making our EL curriculum more inclusive and hands-on is the reason I joined the council.

Miriam Muntasser

10th grader, Leaders

My name is Miriam, I’m 15 years old, and a sophomore at Leaders High School in Brooklyn. I was born and raised here along with my four siblings. I have a strong passion for experimenting with different forms of literature and self-expression, which I find is crucial in coming to terms with your individuality and growth. I believe making changes in our schools and communities can only be possible with input from students who reflect and represent the needs of our schools.

One thing I enjoy about my school is that we are not always strictly focused on academic work. When we participate in Outward Bound activities outside of school, for example, we’re able to explore community and create deeper connections with classmates.

I’m excited to be part of the NYC Outward Bound Schools Student Advisory Council because my opinions reflect my classmates’ needs, and this input will be able to make a difference in our community. This seems like a constructive way to bring about potential change in our schools.

Nora Kovacevic

6th grader, MAELS

My name is Nora and I’m in 6th grade at MAELS. I live in Staten Island, and I’m passionate about making the world a better place! My favorite thing about MAELS is how easy it is to make friends. Everyone is really friendly and super likable. In Crew this year, we learned to work together. One fun and memorable activity involved building towers out of only cups, string and rubber bands.

I believe that everyone should be free to express their identity and background, and my goal is to take opportunities to help make that happen. I’m also a feminist and believe in equal rights for all. Being part of Student Advisory Council is an amazing opportunity for me to share my ideas on how to foster a better learning community.

Tailan Hamilton

8th grader, Launch

My name is Tailan and I’m in 8th grade at Launch. I live in Brooklyn with my family. I am very dedicated to achieving my future goals, one of which is to join the U.S. Navy. My favorite type of books are historical books on any era. I’m also interested in Sci-Fi and actions movies.

The best part of going to school at Launch is Crew. I like that during Crew we talk about how we feel towards each other and make sure that we’re doing alright. One of the most memorable Crew activities was when we learned about Tulsa during Black History Month.

Being part of NYC Outward Bound Schools’ Student Advisory Council is important because I have a role in helping to improve our schools. It makes me feel responsible.

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