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Raymond Arias joins COSA as Legislative Intern

My name is Raymond Arias and I am the new COSA Legislative Intern for the fall.

I am from Tualatin, Oregon where I recently graduated from Tualatin High School in June. I’m currently on a gap year from my collegiate education and hope to spend this hiatus away from school engaging in non-profit and activism-based work. When in college, I plan to major in economics on a pre-law track. In the meantime, however, I look forward to working with Parasa Chanramy, COSA's Legislative Director, and gaining more professional experience in the policy-making sphere. 

Throughout high school, I committed myself to advocating for and representing my peers, especially those from low-income backgrounds. This commitment manifested itself in many ways and leadership titles, namely through the Oregon Association of Student Councils (OASC) where I had the honor of serving as the State President of the Student Executive Council from 2019-2020. It was during my term at OASC where I began collaborating with state organizations like the Coalition of Oregon School Administrators (COSA) in developing legislative measures that sought to improve our public schools for the better. My goal for this internship, now as a member of the COSA team, is to continue to immerse myself in similar ventures and help in any way I can.

For the coming months, I will focus on three main projects: 

  1. Racial Equity and Justice Student Collaborative Bill: Help plan for, document, and support the passage of the Racial Equity and Justice Student Collaborative Bill, in partnership with student leaders, OASC, REAP, OASSA, ODE, and other community partners. The concept of this bill was one I have worked on since its inception the summer of my senior year in high school. I’m highly committed to seeing this Collaborative become law.
  2. Student Leadership and the Policy-Making Process: Develop a memo that outlines different models, policies, and promising practices on student leadership, engagement, and the policy-making process at the district, regional, and state levels. 
  3. BIPOC Superintendent Study Review and Future Research Question: Review the report once released and develop a research question and proposal to explore further based on the study’s findings.

Overall, I am incredibly grateful to have received this opportunity, and I am excited to see what the next couple of months bring!