Padilla Meets With 2022 California Senate Youth Delegates

Padilla Meets With 2022 California Senate Youth Delegates

WASHINGTON, D.C. — This week, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) met with the 2022 Youth Senate Delegates from California. Each year, the U.S. Senate Youth Program brings together student leaders from each state for a week-long educational experience and scholarship sponsored by the United States Senate. Delegates are outstanding high school students who are interested in pursuing careers in public service.

“I was pleased to meet with these outstanding young students who are already leaving their mark on their country,” said Padilla. “I am inspired by their appreciation for, and commitment to, public service. It is my hope that this unique opportunity to learn about public service at the federal level, encourages these outstanding students to continue down this path.”

Joleen Bakalova, Sneha Revanur, and Gabriel Stephenson were selected from some of the most impressive and accomplished students in the state to represent California in the Youth Senate Program delegation.

Joleen Bakalova, a junior at Citrus Valley High School in Loma Linda, serves as the chair of the California High School Democrats. Additionally, she has interned for UN Women and Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Reyes and is president of her school’s award-winning Vocal Department. Through the NYC Future Researchers Scholarship, she was one of 24 high school students selected worldwide to participate in Columbia University’s Social Science Summer program, where she conducted cross-cultural research on adolescents’ views of government surveillance in China and the U.S. She founded Inland Teens Respond, which organizes service opportunities, and, as a State Honors pianist, teaches music composition to foster youth. Joleen desires to improve life for disadvantaged communities in different areas of the world with an emphasis on girls’ education. She plans to major in global affairs and public international law, learn a security language, and work in the Foreign Service at the State Department.

Sneha Revanur, a senior at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose, serves as a student member of the Santa Clara County Office of Education Youth Advisory Group’s Core Advocacy Team. She is the founder and president of Encode Justice, president of her school’s Amnesty International club, and editor in chief of The Youth Digest. She’s involved with the Systemic Justice Project at Harvard Law School as the youngest volunteer for the Justice Initiative and has also conducted research with the MIT Media Lab. She is a Princeton Prize in Race Relations recipient and Youth to the Front Fund frontliner. Her advocacy has been profiled on CNN. Sneha plans to study political science in college, with a desire to eventually attend law school and pioneer a branch of civil rights litigation dedicated to challenging algorithm-driven discrimination. She hopes to later run for office on a platform that advances racial, social, and economic justice.

Gabriel Stephenson, a senior at Lakenheath High School in Lakenheath, serves as president of his senior class and vice president of his school’s chapter of Sociedad Honoraria Hispánica. Throughout high school, he has been extensively involved in athletics, academics, and performance arts. Gabriel feels that the Senate Youth experience will provide him with increased insight into government and politics and enable him to better understand his own role in the process of government.


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