For the Media

Student Voice Honored with Inaugural Award Celebrating Youth Advocacy in Education

Student Voice Honored with Inaugural Award Celebrating Youth Advocacy in Education


Washington, DC (April 26, 2023) – The NEA Foundation will honor the nationwide, student-led nonprofit organization Student Voice with its inaugural Student Voices for Education Award at the 2023 Salute to Excellence in Education Gala occurring on Friday, May 5. This award recognizes an individual student, group of students, or organization that provides exemplary leadership in elevating students’ voices in school communities, building student movements, and/or advancing efforts to advocate on behalf of students in other forums. The award honors Student Voice’s work to equip students as storytellers, organizers, and partners advocating for student-driven solutions to educational inequity.

Through their savvy use of technology to organize, Student Voice transformed a weekly Twitter chat into a national student-led movement, engaging more than 10,000 students in the pursuit of more equitable schools. For over a decade, Student Voice has shined a light on equity issues students and schools face. It also has developed thoughtful opportunities for the country’s next generation of leaders to combat inequities through collective organizing, knowledge building, and advocacy.

“The bright future of public education depends on having youth voices centered in conversations about educational excellence and opportunity,” said Sara A. Sneed, president and CEO of The NEA Foundation. “Student Voice is powerfully demonstrating shifts in power dynamics resulting in young people from marginalized communities being directly involved in powerful actions to advance equity and justice in public education. The NEA Foundation is honored to uplift these students leading their generation’s charge to create a public education system that wonderfully serves all students, regardless of their background.”

The NEA Foundation Student Voices for Education Award aims to bring greater attention to students’ role in advocating for improved public education. With education justice at the center of Student Voice’s work, it has created opportunities for students to learn how education systems work, elevate their voices in the national conversation, and build coalitions to address injustices through policy. Student Voices’ leadership provides a model for the future of organizing in public education, recognizing the importance of students being at decision tables.

In addition to recognizing organizations advancing the best in public education, the NEA Foundation Salute to Excellence in Education will honor 45 public school educators nominated by their peers for attaining the highest teaching standards, as illustrated by their exemplary instruction, advocacy for the profession, and staunch support of public education. The annual Salute to Excellence in Education Gala is public education’s biggest celebration, attracting more than 800 of the nation’s leaders and supporters of public education.

The Salute to Excellence in Education will occur at The Anthem in Washington, DC, and be live-streamed on Friday, May 5, with the program beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. Learn more about the event and how you can join virtually here.


Editor’s Note: Please use our correct name, The NEA Foundation. The “NEA” is never spelled out in our name. It is not the National Education Association Foundation. Many thanks!


About The NEA Foundation

The NEA Foundation is a national philanthropic organization that invests in educators’ leadership, shared learning, and collaboration; supports partnerships and initiatives that strengthen public education; and promotes public education policy and practice improvements. Find us at www.neafoundation.orgFacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

About Student Voice

Student Voice is a by-students, for-students 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that works in all 50 states to equip students as storytellers, organizers, and institutional partners who advocate for student-driven solutions to educational inequity. Through direct civic action, Student Voice helps students hold their schools and surrounding communities accountable to the Student Bill of Rights and prepares them to become lifelong social and political change agents.