Five High School Students Serve as Advisors for Education Equity Initiatives While Learning New Skills

(San Antonio • March 27, 2024) Five Texas high school students will provide their insights about equity in education and advocacy. Since our founding 51 years ago, IDRA has remained committed to prioritizing students in our decision-making. We selected these five student leaders who now form IDRA’s 2024 Youth Advisory Board.

Our Youth Advisory Board provides a more focused way to engage with students to center their communities’ expertise, needs and dreams in our work. During this year, the students are learning to analyze policies and research, build networks with other groups of advocates, create engaging content and host a youth-led event.

IDRA provides the students training on research, advocacy and community engagement strategies to sharpen their relationship-building and presentation skills. The members are compensated for their work.

Donate icon 2024Much of IDRA’s work, like our Youth Advisory Board program, is made possible through the generous support of individuals and organizations. We invite you to donate to help us sustain and grow our work or contact us to explore programmatic support.

Diego Aranguiz Mourge photo

Diego Aranguiz Mourgues

Diego Aranguiz is a high school junior in San Antonio. He is passionate about education equity and mental health awareness, specifically as it relates to veterans and students. As a Youth Advisory Board member, Diego hopes to gain a better understanding of education policy and the state legislature so that he can leverage his experiences and skill set to create impactful change within the education systems.

Diego is a straight-A student and a student-athlete, serving as a member of the varsity cross-country and track teams. He was recently honored with the Fighting Heart Award for his commitment, leadership and mentorship of other athletes. After high school, Diego plans to continue his education by pursuing a degree in business. He hopes to one day build a legacy that will positively impact his community.

Grace Ding photoGrace Ding

Grace Ding is a Chinese American high school sophomore based in Houston. Her relentless passion for free speech and intersectionality stems from the recent book bans and censorship occurring in her school district. As the founder of her school’s civics club, she takes a special interest in advocating student rights and representation on all levels, including education.

She looks forward to learning more about quantitative research regarding education equity through IDRA. Grace actively envisions a future with intersectional social change, and she believes students are ultimately critical to this mission. In her free time, she enjoys reading, writing and sipping coffee.

Inayah Naqvi photoInayah Naqvi

Inayah Naqvi is a high school junior in San Antonio. She has a strong passion for learning about local policy in addition to foreign affairs and how they impact each other. Inayah’s interest in education policy sparked after what she felt were a series of unfair school closures in San Antonio ISD and laws putting restrictions on the content of class curricula.

Inayah is excited to be part of the Youth Advisory Board because she believes it will be an incredible opportunity to bring more attention to and advocacy to address those concerns. She looks forward to the collaboration within the cohort and understanding other visions on the future of education policy. In her free time, Inayah enjoys reading, watching movies and cooking. She is also very active in Model UN.

Mikel Quesada photoMikel Quesada

Mikel Quesada identifies as a 17-year-old neurodivergent junior from Heights High School in Houston, where he is involved in many activities like mariachi, ballet folklorico and swimming. He aspires to become an aerospace engineer, so is currently in advanced classes. He says that, despite his school’s attempts at taking away his accommodations, he receives help in these classes when needed.

He enjoys playing video games and staying home but whenever possible also enjoys hanging out with friends. He is excited to become part of the Youth Advisory Board so he can tackle problems, like funding and issues related to special education.

Aniyah Johnson photoAniyah Turner

Aniyah Turner is a high school senior from Houston. Her favorite hobby is to learn about new things and experiences.

She is excited to be included in the Youth Advisory Board because she feels like it is a great opportunity to help young kids in need, making them feel comfortable and like they are part of something bigger and that people are here to help them.

IDRA media contact: Thomas Marshall, III, M.Ed., IDRA Policy Communications Strategist at