Chiamaka Okafor is a senior at Arlington High School in Lagrangeville, New York. Chiamaka serves as president of the Student Equity Association, an organization committed to promoting the understanding of equity and amplifying underrepresented voices across schools and the wider community. Through creating conferences, workshops and interactive discussions, Student Equity works to build a more diverse and inclusive community. Chiamaka believes equity can't only be achieved by one person but takes myriad diverse backgrounds and experiences. As a young Black woman, Chaimaka also struggled with having her voice acknowledged in school spaces. As a member of the Equity Association, she can be in a space where changes can be made and voices can be heard. A passionate student leader, she has hosted multiple workshops — on topics including cultural and racial identity, LGBTQIA+, mental health, ableism, education systems, religion, and poverty in America — in Arlington's annual Spring Equity Conference, held virtually and welcoming over 500 viewers. The workshop on cultural and racial identity aims to educate people on the stigmas around race and identity while navigating society from a more open perspective. In the winter of 2022, Chiamaka and her fellow Equity leadership council members hosted the Student Equity panel "Becoming and Belonging," joining the viewpoints of other student-led justice clubs and Equity Associations from the middle schools within the district. In 2021, Arlington also became recognized as a Gold Star No Place For Hate environment by the Anti-Defamation League for the Northeast USA. Throughout Chiamaka's time in Equity, she has collaborated with district administrators, and local representatives, impacting hundreds and thousands of diverse people from local schools and communities. Although her journey in high school is coming to an end, Chiamaka is determined to continue creating equitable change not only within schools but in healthcare and higher institutions as well. Her passion for change has no limits, through her past experiences and new ones yet to come, she will continue to push for a more inclusive society.
2023 - NEW YORK CITY