The Neutral Zone

In 1998, teens in Ann Arbor, Michigan worked together with adult allies to form a nonprofit youth center called The Neutral Zone. Driven and centered by young people and their interests, the organization has made powerful inroads for youth throughout their area. In 2012, the Michigan Department of Education (MDE) approached the organization about infusing student voice […]

Students on School Boards in Michigan

The following are facts about students on school boards in Michigan. District School Boards There are 891 public school boards in Michigan. They serve approximately 1.5 million students in 3,550 K-12 schools. Students in Michigan can join district school boards but cannot vote. Their terms vary. High school principals generally train student representatives through their building’s […]

Youngest-Ever Candidate

Calling for student voice in educational decision-making, Sonia Yaco was the youngest-ever documented candidate for a publicly-elected school board position in the United States. In 1972, at the age of 16, she ran for the Ann Arbor, Michigan school board. After announcing her campaign, Yaco completed the procedural requirements for candidacy. However, Ann Arbor Public […]