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November 23, 2010 > Divya Gupta represents students on Fremont School Board

Divya Gupta represents students on Fremont School Board

By Rajeswari Ramanathan

The last thing you want is a child whining and crying about completing homework. Yet students like 17-year-old Divya Gupta are enthusiastic to do more work for their community and achieve greater feats in life, other than just the typical schoolwork.

As a senior at Washington High School (WHS) in Fremont, Gupta is constantly finding ways to keep herself involved in school activities while succeeding in her academics. From ninth grade through her junior year, she had been an avid Junior Varsity Lincoln-Douglas debater, as it was one of the few things that allowed her to drill on public-speaking skills. Last year, Gupta became a member of the Model UN (United Nations) Club where she attended several conferences at colleges, including the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University, to discuss the social issues faced around the world. She says the club taught her a lot about law and human rights. Additionally this year, Gupta took part in the school's Burrito Club, where students are brought multi-cultural foods including burritos and crepes every week to taste.

All this diversity and ability to interact in so many clubs allowed her to become the Chair of the Students United Representative of FUSD (SURF) Board. She was also chosen to be the Student Board Member for the Fremont Unified School Board. Having served in WHS's Associated Student Body (ASB) for two years, Gupta was chosen last year to be one of the 15 representatives of the SURF Board. Each high school sends in three representatives who exemplify their school and attendance area to be part of SURF. Yet, even more impressive, Gupta is the only Student Representative for the School Board, meaning she represents the 30,000 students who attend school in Fremont.

Gupta, along with the SURF Board, work together to create their annual District Representative Conference (DRC), which is a leadership program for junior high and elementary school students who are either in their school's ASB or Student Council. For the 2010-11 school year, the theme is "Ingredients for Life," culminating with a March program. The SURF board is also required to do a community project each year and this year, they have decided to create a Student Council at every elementary school in Fremont, in hopes of bringing some basic knowledge of government to the students. By being part of the SURF Board and the School Board, Gupta has learned a lot about herself and her surroundings.

"I love being able to learn and be an active member of my community," said Gupta. "For instance, almost everything that I am learning in my government class now, I can relate to because of my experiences from SURF and the School Board."

In addition to having a vital role on the School Board, Gupta spends her time tutoring young elementary school students and is also the Vice-President of the Medical Explorers program at Washington Hospital. In her spare time, she cherishes dancing, reading, and hitting the theater for some Indian films or chick-flicks. With the skills she learned from taking these leadership positions, she hopes to pursue a career in the Pediatrics or Obstetrics medical fields.

"I don't think I have a specific inspiration," says Gupta. "After seeing what kids in my community are doing, I'm invigorated to achieve more and become that role model."

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