Education activist Haleemat Adekoya to represent peers
By Ruth Young Tyler
Haleemat Adekoya, a junior at Milford Mill Academy was voted in as the next student member for the Baltimore County Board of Education. She was selected by her peers from across Baltimore County after they attended a half-day forum this past spring.
Nearly 100 students gathered at Pikesville High School to hear speeches by the two finalists, Adekoya and her opponent Yara Daraiseh of Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts.
The finalists were asked a range of questions about what they believed to be educational priorities, enhanced forms of communicating with students, and how to effectively manage pressures of the new role. Both candidates were questioned about their position on classroom technology, grading policies, bullying, and creating unity among the student body and administrators and teachers.
The ballots were cast and Adekoya emerged as the winner.
“I believe a child’s education is vital in their foundation,” said Adekoya. “When proper education is not given to a child it shakes them up. For me it’s important that I have the opportunity to be another active citizen in my community. I have the opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas ~ and not just what I believe but my peers too,” said Adekoya.
Prior to 2016, student members were chosen and recommended by a committee of BCPS educators, staff, and student leaders. The forum and student balloting were created to increase student participation, interest, and investment in the education process.
The Randallstown resident serves as president of the Class of 2019 at Milford Mill. She is a member of the National Honor Society, National Technical Honor Society and the Principal’s Advisory Board. Adekoya also operates her own non-profit, “Dare2Bee,” a female empowerment organization. She also serves as president of the Baltimore County African Student Association and participates in the church youth choir.
In her application essay, Adekoya noted that she seeks a seat on the board as part of her mission to become an activist for “all things children.” She said, “I believe in being a voice and never an echo.”
“If we’re the youth of tomorrow, we need the adequate education and atmosphere that’s based on what we want and how we believe we can learn to our best potential,” said Adekoya.
Adekoya’s name will be forwarded to Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R.) for appointment for the one-year position.