From Rocklin, meet California Reps Rohan & Kasi, Be Strong’s April 2020 Students of the Month!
Rohan and Kasi, both high school seniors, became involved with Be Strong at the beginning of the 2019-2020 academic year.
Kasi’s positive attitude and empathy for others is apparent immediately upon meeting her. Not long ago, the school’s curriculum was undergoing improvements in the name of social acceptance. The updates faced heavy resistance from a number of local community members. Kasi organized a few fellow students and spoke out at a school board meeting to hundreds of protesting parents about the need for inclusion within the community. Being able to share her heart and point of view, Kasi was able to open the minds of numerous parents opposing the changes.
“Others state that my bravery and ability to stand up against hatred at such a young age is admirable, and that I speak to my convictions that the world can be a better place.” – Kasi
Rohan first realized a separation among students during lunchtime in his sophomore year. Already very well known for striving to advance social justice and inclusion, he wanted to bring his peers together. This ultimately inspired him to get involved with Be Strong’s We Dine Together movement, igniting togetherness and positive change amongst the student body.
Kasi and Rohan established a strong base of likeminded peers to help their diverse school population find common ground and appetite for community. The impact of their inclusive efforts has now surpassed 2,100 students, initiating greater empathy and values for their entire school.
While things were going very well in the spring semester – making monumental impact at their school, taking Be Strong’s message of hope and inclusion to neighboring schools, and seeking successors who will take over the on-campus work Kasi and Rohan started after they graduate – enormous change was on the horizon. In March, a coronavirus pandemic was threatening public safety around the globe. In order to slow the advancement of the highly contagious virus, schools everywhere were closed, leading to home-quarantining for practically everyone.
Amid the upheaval, Rohan and Kasi knew their calling. Stores were running out of food and necessities, feelings of isolation were transitioning into loneliness, and the strange new reality was taking a mental and emotional toll on many. As Be Strong Student Representatives, Rohan and Kasi were already very familiar with Be Strong’s Mobile App. They’ve been making it a point to share the app with their local and online communities, as it is a gateway to many local resources and immediate help.
Their understanding of the need for community has been unaffected. Kasi and Rohan continue to build up those around them – even through social distancing. They, among countless other Be Strong Student Reps, have been actively engaged in online gatherings, keeping up face to face contact virtually.
“We hope to spark a chain reaction, where students who used to spend time alone begin approaching students in similar situations.” – Rohan
Rohan and Kasi both hope to continue to unite their school and Rocklin as a whole, despite 2020’s “new normal.” We cannot wait to see the influence they leave on others as they change how peer interaction is done!
Click here to nominate your inspiring student to lead inclusive change as a Be Strong Student State Representative.