Nora Ngo Mitchell

2023 - TAMPA

Nora Ngo Mitchell is a senior at Booker High School in Sarasota, Florida. As a young woman of Black and Asian heritage, Nora was deeply impacted by the prevalence and publicization of pandemic racism. In 2020, Nora founded (and continues to lead) her social justice group, Sarasota Students for Justice, originally focusing on achieving racial equity in her school district through advocating for a culturally-responsive curriculum and closing the opportunity gap. Nora's work with her district's school board culminated into the creation of the Sarasota County Schools Equity Committee (which she served on), the creation of the district's first equity policy, and, most importantly, the inclusion of students in the district's decision making. Since its initial inception (and further incited by Florida's latest policies in education) Sarasota Students for Justice has expanded to advocacy for educational equity, anti-discrimination against minoritized/marginalized groups, and student issues (e.g. mental health and sex education) at the state level. Since 2020, SSFJ has organized against Florida's abortion bans, the Don't Say Gay Act, the STOP Woke Act and myriad other education bills being reviewed in the 2023 legislative session. Nora hopes that, despite the growing bigotry in Florida, her work will continue to make students in Sarasota County and across Florida feel represented, valued and empowered. Upon her graduation, Nora will transition to an advisory role, and SSFJ will be handed over to the next group of young high school students eager to make change in the hope that the group will be a constant voice for student activists who demand more from Florida officials. Outside of SSFJ, Nora is a Girl Up Teen Advisor (with the United Nations Foundation), president of multiple academic clubs at her school, and a College for Every Student (CFES) Brilliant Pathways Ambassador/peer counselor to her fellow students. In the fall, she will enter university as a sociology major, hoping to concentrate in the intersection of gender, race and biraciality.