Kimberly Boateng, a sophomore at Lee High School, has been elected by the countywide Student Advisory Council (SAC) to serve a one-year term as student representative to the Fairfax County School Board, beginning July 1. Boateng will participate in School Board meetings as a nonvoting member, filling the position currently held by Bennie Tignor, a senior at South Lakes High School. She will be the 49th student representative to the School Board. Boateng believes her experience attending four schools in four years will contribute to her vision and ability to advocate for all students. “Through these years at a variety of schools, I’ve seen the diversity of people, location, and culture,” she states. “I’ve seen things that have really worked for schools and I’ve also seen things that don’t work in the slightest.” She hopes that, as a student advocate, she can offer students “the sense of having some sort of say in decisions that will be made involving them.”
Among the pressing issues for students, Boateng says that mental health, implicit bias awareness, the dress code, assistance for at-risk students, drug use, and punishment reform are most important.
Punishment reform, according to Boateng, “merges in with the issue of at-risk students and implicit bias … one can see that suspending or expelling students hasn’t been effective.” She adds that different solutions should be explored to help reform students who have committed offenses. “Instead of throwing the child away, I want to work with the School Board to find a way to fix the child,” she says.
Since seventh grade, Boateng has attended Twain Middle, South County Middle, South County High, and Lee High. Her activities have included membership in the Technology Student Association, International Club, Black Students Unite, South County Marching Band and Winter Guard, Jazz Band, Minority Achievement Committee, honor societies for math and music, National Honor Society, Lee Marching Band, and NAACP.
Boateng is currently enrolled in Advanced Placement (AP) Government, Honors English, band, International Baccalaureate (IB) chemistry and math, and Spanish 3. She plans to pursue the IB diploma and will be enrolled in IB Spanish HL (higher level), IB English HL, band, IB History of America HL, IB chemistry, AP Calculus BC, IB Theory of Knowledge, IB Anthropology, and economics and personal finance.
As a recipient of the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth scholarship, Boateng studied psychology at Lafayette College and principles of engineering at Roger Williams University, and will study global politics this summer at Princeton University.