Sharing SMOB stories: Student leaders discuss experiences in pivotal role


Towson High Grade 12 student Aislinn Bratt and Kenwood High graduate Deeksha Walia greet visitors to the BCPS Student Member of the Board of Education information meeting. 

When the cameras stopped rolling, Towson High’s Aislinn Bratt took a few steps forward and smiled.

She was greeted by younger students. Some in Grade 8. Others in Grades 9, 10 or 11. They wanted to know more about what it’s like to be the Student Member of the Board of Education of Baltimore County.

And for the next 15 minutes, Bratt spoke about her experiences after the BCPS SMOB Interest meeting, which was broadcast live as a special edition of the BCPS TV Chat Cafe.

Bratt is the 2016-17 student member of the Board of Education. She was joined by 2015-16 Student Member of the Board Deeksha Walia, a University of Maryland freshman and Kenwood High graduate. Walia volunteered to participate during a break in her studies. So did Danielle Maduka, the 2014-15 Student Member of the Board, who called in to take part in the evening. Maduka, a Western School of Technology and Environmental Science graduate, is attending Georgetown University.

Applications are available for the 2017-18  Student Member of the Board of Education. This year, two nominations from every BCPS high school will be accepted, giving more students the opportunity to apply.

Bratt wanted to organize a discussion for interested students because she wanted potential nominees to understand the challenges of the position and answer any questions they might have. Bratt and Walia fielded questions from the live studio audience and from social media.

The takeaways? Being Student Member of the Board of Education is a wonderful chance to be the voice for all BCPS students and a voting member on pivotal educational issues. It’s a resume-building role. Many opportunities exist to visit schools throughout the county. Bratt and the previous SMOBs said they were rewarded to hear the educational experiences of their peers.

The search is on for the next student board member. Interested students should watch the special edition of Chat Café and visit the SMOB page on

We appreciate Bratt, Walia and Maduka taking the time to share details about this important position with their fellow students.


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