Annual Impact Report

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2022 - Celebrating Student Power

At Our Turn, we work with students to create scalable systems so that including young people — especially Black, Indigenous, students of color, and queer and trans youth — at the decision-making table is second nature, not an afterthought.

We want to see a world where district leaders, principals, and politicians think, “Of course, we should collaborate with students,” instead of “Why?” A world where we prioritize equity, versus incremental, one-size-fits-all approaches.

Now more than ever, students need to be heard, and adults need to listen.

Our 2022 Impact

“It’s rare to even see a school district that even asks for students’ feedback. That’s why establishing a solid platform for students’ voices is extremely crucial. I personally wasn’t allowed or even encouraged to ever voice my opinions in the classroom because it was often viewed as a disrespectful thing and frowned upon. Which ultimately led me to feel unrepresented in the class and it was honestly very hard to even have a voice for myself overall. This is why I believe we need to do better as a nation to advocate and platform student voices so that every student feels represented. So I decided to join Our Turn.”
Liza Akpoli, TX Cadre Fellow

“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.”
Isaiah Jiron, Our Turn Associate Organizer

2022 Impact Report Highlights
  • We gained 629 new supporters.
  • Over 70% of Our Turn student leaders identify with a marginalized group like BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and first-generation college attendees.
  • Our Truth(Ed) campaign to combat the anti-CRT rhetoric and policies sweeping the nation gained over 350 student pledges from 35 states.
  • We partnered with organizations including Leading Now, TNTP, Annie E. Casey Foundation, and School Board Partners to share and create resources that build capacity for youth centered engagement. Through deep partnerships and strategic consulting, we strive to shift power dynamics and mindsets.
  • See What We Accomplished in 2022

“I believe youth leadership starts with community service, as service is crucial to building and empowering those around us. It starts with advocacy, as change does not come from being a bystander and waiting for someone else to start the conversation. It requires speaking out against injustice, and constantly fighting for change in school systems that are broken and need help. It means empowering and inspiring your peers, to create a bigger movement to create more change.”
Megan Sawatzky, Culture & Community Fellow

Like what you read?

Students are advancing equity in education systems in cities across the country. Many young people are stepping into their political agency for the first time, channeling their experiences of injustice in schools into leadership that drives change.

You can support our young people and ensure our work continues in the following ways: