A campus of activists

Why Paly students care about social change


Sasha Kapadia

A person stands with a protest sign in front of the tower building.

The household I grew up in really impacted the way I view the world. My parents are political scientists who study violence and poverty in Mexico. As a young child I would go on their research trips, and see the injustices the world faces. It was very hard to grasp as a young child, but in a way made me understand things that others didn’t. In high school I explored my passion for social justice. I wrote research papers on violence and impunity in Latin America and made a project in SJP about all the migrant deaths crossing the US- Mexico border, showing the impact the drug war has had on the region. Giving voices to the voiceless inspires me.”

— Senior Mateo Diaz


I care because it’s the only appropriate way to approach it – if I see someone hurting or injustice, it is only right to do something about it, whatever is in my capacity. I want a world where people are treated with compassion and dignity, and ensure our world systems reflect that.”





— Senior Johannah Seah

I am a part of Social Justice Pathway because I really care about helping people in regard to social justice issues. I love all of the projects that we do in the pathway that actually help people, and instead of just talking about these issues we are actively fighting against them.”





— Junior Olivia Lindstrom

I feel that being an activist isn’t a choice, it’s a responsibility. I make the choice to take action on issues that matter to me. I care about social justice because I want to leave the world a better place than when I entered for as many people as I can. It can be disheartening to watch the news and witness the regression that occurs in our society and worldwide, but what keeps me passionate is the fact that there are so many activists who aren’t willing to give up the fight. I also believe that there is no perfect way to be an activist, and that everyone is on a different journey to accomplish the change they want to see.”

— Junior Athya Paramesh


I am passionate about advocacy because I strongly believe in equality and the proper protection for all. Growing up in New York City, I was exposed to people from different cultures, backgrounds, walks of life, and even hardships. This exposure opened my eyes and ears into understanding what various people go through and as well as fuel me to speak out and help create change. All my life, I valued and upheld the importance of speaking up for myself and especially for others whose voices aren’t heard.


— Senior Trianne Hontiveros


Even if I don’t experience the injustice I still want to help other people because injustice is injustice no matter what or where it is taking place. People fought to get us to where we are, but that fight is not over yet. There are still a lot of changes to be made and being an activist allows me to make a small change to our world.”




— Senior Ila Perinkulam

“I am an activist because I want to make the world a better place. Advocating for plant-based eating is my biggest passion because it benefits the world by the choice of an individual. Climate change, human health, animal lives, and social justice issues are all positively impacted by plant-based eating, making it one of the most impactful decisions an individual can make to create change, and activism allows me to share this with others.”



— Senior Morgan Greenlaw


“While I don’t necessarily plan protests and make big speeches, I stand firm in my belief in fundamental human rights. I care a lot about social justice mainly because there’s so much hate in this world that people use to influence society. I mean how often has the American Government made laws that say one thing but essentially are made to discriminate against a minority? I’m most passionate about anti-racism, feminism, and religious freedom, as I align with them the most, but I really support any minority. I think advocacy is important since if nobody stands up for what’s right then everyone will accept that what’s wrong is acceptable.”

— Freshman Nusaybah Mohsin

“I care about activism, because even though I’m not very affected by social injustices, these injusticed people deserve better, and they deserve to be treated better. Things like not having electricity to get light to study, and not getting equal opportunity by things that don’t really matter like being a part of the LGBTQ community. Again, even though I’m not different from other people in the way that I’m not discriminated against, those people are out there, and they deserve a world with equal opportunity.”


Freshman Omkar Perinkulam


I’m passionate about involvement in social justice issues because of the privilege that I benefit from every day as a wealthy, white teenager living in Palo Alto. I believe that part of the journey of social justice is acknowledging this privilege and actively working to listen to underrepresented groups and the issues that they face, in order to dismantle the systems that maintain the inequities. This is why I think it’s so important to become involved as a child/teenager in order to become a well-informed adult who is capable of creating social change. I’m also passionate about being a part of social justice conversations because I know, and have experienced, how easy it is to opt out of them when you have privilege that allows you to not think about these issues on a daily basis.”

— Senior Katie Dorogusker

“I think that it is important for us to understand what every group of people is going through. More importantly, I want to make a difference for people, especially people that I might never see. I want to make the kind of difference that touches more people than just people in my vicinity.”




— Junior Cal Currier