2020 - MISSOURI
Farheen Khan is a junior at Parkway Central High School in Chesterfield, Missouri. She serves as the president and founder of Students for Progressive Change (SPC) and the president of Colts Demand Action and Parkway Students Political Forum. For the last three years there have been issues with students making anti-Semitic and racist remarks via social media which negatively affected the students as well as the entire Central High School community. The last incident involved three intoxicated students shouting racial slurs and declaring that they wanted to bring back slavery and sharing these thoughts over social media. Many Central students were outraged by the lack of consequences and staged a walkout protesting the offenders' short punishments. Following this event, Farheen created Students for Progressive Change as an outlet for students to have a voice in changes necessary in her school district. The changes Farheen and SPC took on included changing the racial discrimination policy by rewriting the current policy and presenting it to the superintendent and school board; improving curriculum through work with curriculum coordinators and directly providing resources for teachers to use in the classroom; implementing racial sensitivity training for teachers and staff; and programs/events for students to engage in racial literacy and sensitivity such as the independent film festival and read-ins SPC hosted. While Students for Progressive Change has not been around long, Farheen is actively working to continue to change the climate of Parkway on a policy and administrative level as well as an educational and social level through her senior year and pass SPC on when she graduates. Outside of school Farheen is also the social media director and an executive organizer for St. Louis Pro-Choice Student Activists, an organization created by students to work to protect reproductive rights in Missouri, and a junior editor for State of the Woman newsletter. Farheen also volunteers for organizations such as the St. Louis Alliance for Period Supplies and Planned Parenthood.