Board of Organizing

Director of Organizing 

Iris Zhou (she/her) is a junior from San Jose, California and goes to Leland High School. Through school programs like speech and debate, she became aware of social injustices and inequality surrounding our community today. Attending local marches and rallies such as March for our Lives and Women’s March helped inspire her to take a more active role in political activism, hence why she joined GENUp and helped organize our first ever March for Education in San Jose. She loves grassroots organizing and knows firsthand the importance of speaking up and persisting toward your values. As GENUp’s national Executive Director of Organizing, Iris oversees GENup's Board of Organizing and manages relationship between the Executive Team and GENup Chapter President. In addition, she oversees strategic expansion into new school districts and manages/facilitates State Council. She is excited to be a part of GENup's Executive Team and can't wait to lead GENup's strategic organizing efforts in various facets of education advocacy.

Margot Barrett

Margot Barrett (she/her) is a junior from Pacific Palisades, California. Her political activism started in Youth and Government, where she was given a lead role in the Issues and Activism program area. Her position allowed her to help lead her political party through events such as our Styrofoam Boycott and Women's March. She is bringing her activism back to her community through volunteering in Voter Registration Drives and various community workshops. Today, she is the student representative on Palisades Highschool's Development Committee, where she advocates on issues that affect our entire student body as a whole. She is a committed advocate and activist for student voice and student issues in her school district and beyond.

Shraya Pal

Shraya Pal (she/her) is a junior at Leland High School. Her interests are honestly ever changing, but currently she's really into biology! Her past political advocacy experience entails being an active participant in her school’s speech and debate team for the past two years. She's gained a lot of experience regarding policy making, social injustices, and political reforms through her debate events. Shraya, although new to the advocacy scene, has found education advocacy an area of deep particular interest and commitment. She is excited to work with GENup and turn her longstanding passion and commitment with education activism into a reality.  

Jenny Hoang

Jenny Hoang (she/her) is a high school senior from Torrance, CA. She began working with GENup after developing a passion for activism and youth leadership in Youth and Government, where she serves as president of the Torrance South-Bay delegation. Her intersectional identity plays a large role in her devotion to advocating for marginalized groups. For this reason, she also works as a media curator for The Peahce Project, a digital media collective that highlights Asian creativity and issues. Jenny believes strongly in pushing for justice, equity, and progress so that every person may receive the resources they need and the quality of life they deserve.

Colman Sun

Colman Sun (he/him/his) is a senior at Northwood High School in Irvine, California. He has a passion for political activism and legislative development. He works locally and across the state with the California Association of Student Councils where he also serves on the state council. He enjoys the process of writing language for policies and implementing said policies locally whether in his city council or school board. Outside of his advocacy work, he swims competitively and plans on doing so in university.

Kristina Lopez

Kristina Lopez (she/her) is a junior at Ramona High School. Her passions are fueled by helping those in need and seeking guidance for those who are more resistant to help. The Students Utilizing Peer Educational Resource Counseling Program has given her the opportunity to advocate for her passion in mental health where students not only represent students but provide for their needs by undergoing mental health training, understanding the signs of suicide, and providing early intervention and prevention. She advocates to create forums to reduce the stigma and promote inclusivity beyond diversities within campus. The fight for equity is never over and civic engagement learning opportunities for all youth is one of the foremost concepts that she hopes is accessible to students. Her advocacy in civically engaged youth programs such as the California Association of Student Councils, Generation Up, 61st Assemblymember Jose Medina’s Youth Advisory Committee, and the Riverside Youth Council has prospered her belief to ensure that all students, especially those from historically marginalized communities shall have quality opportunities for civic engagement. We have not only understood the power of our youth but have seen change come directly from our youth.

Emily Zou

Emily Zou is a freshman at UC San Diego pursuing a Bachelors of Arts in Climate Change and Human Solutions and World Literature and Culture. With an added minor in Climate Change Studies, Emily is very passionate about climate change mitigation and working toward it in any way she can.

Angie Pace

Angie Pace (she/her) is a junior at Palisades Charter High School. She has a strong passion for political activism and education equity. Alongside this, she is the president and founder of the Multiracial Student Union club at her school and through this, she is able to advocate for the biPOC community. In addition to being on the Board of Organizing, she is also the Director of Graphic Design and has been a member of GenUp and the West LA chapter since the beginning of 2020. In her free time, she challenges herself with numerous crafts, music, and lacrosse. Her main goal is to create a safer educational space and equal opportunity for all students.

Kiran

Manghnani

Kiran Manghnani (she/her) is Junior at Monta Vista HIgh School, California. Her interests in activism and politics began to develop during middle school through mock trial, and speech and debate. Over the past few years her passion for social justice and activism have led her to organizations like GENup. She joined GENup in an effort to both help educate people on many of the injustices which underrepresented and marginalized groups across the world are forced to face, and to actively work against these injustices. Kiran has worked with similar advocacy clubs and organizations, volunteering with MoveOn, Team Everest, Leo Club, and other smaller organizations throughout her years in high school. She began working with GENup in 2019 with the Cupertino chapter and is now a member of the Board of Organizing as well as the Director of Content Creation for the Women and Marginalized genders caucus. In the future she hopes to take aspects from her experiences with GENup and implement these ideas of social justice into the medical and STEM fields as she is currently interested in pre-med specifically biochem. Her experiences in the past have fueled her passion for advocacy and fight for equity; having been to the Women's March three times and having the opportunity to participate in the Black Lives Matter protests over the past summer have in many ways changed her outlook and brought her to further educate herself and others. She is excited to work with GENup to help bring these ideas of equity and social justice to life.

GENup

is a California-based, nationwide student-led social justice organization and student activist coalition that strives to advocate for education through the power of youth voices.

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