My name is Isaiah Jiron, and today I represent what leaders before me have laid out to achieve and excel toward. As a minority living in an underrepresented community during an extraordinary period in our history, I thought it was important to strive for educational excellence for my people. This includes ideas of diversity, equity, freedom and rights. For me, becoming a leader and advocate within my local community helped me find power that I didn’t know we as a people possessed. I discovered there were many opportunities to become an advocate, community spokesperson, organizer, and activist - all within my community. Keeping this in mind, it sparked my passion to constantly change my community for the better. I began to work with local nonprofits and philanthropic efforts to bring justice and inclusion back into workspaces that found it challenging to bring the next generation in. Advancing this movement was created in the name of community, and collaborations were made with change at the forefront. Today, my organizing and advocacy work continues in the field of education, perhaps the key to the spark of all change. Becoming an Organizing Associate with Our Turn has helped me find my place with an organization that can help me directly fight for educational justice, and this work has placed me in a position of power within my community.
As a youth leader, Our Turn gives me an opportunity to not only voice my opinion but also step into my power as an organizer. Every opportunity is a chance to grow and become a better leader. I have already learned many valuable skills and methods of community organizing in my short time with Our Turn. Such experience is vital to community progression which is ultimately critical social capital building. In today’s age, I believe that it is important to have diverse and equitable ways that leaders can develop. I can confidently say I have grown in terms of professional and leadership development. I will continue to be a leader within the movement of educational liberation and justice for people all over the world starting within my community…and my journey is far from over!