Toni Dower - Founder, President & Treasurer
Sophomore at McMillen High School in Murphy, Texas.
Growing up in Dallas, Texas, Toni was exposed to a plethora of political philosophies from a young age. This, in conjunction with past experiences of mental illness, has lead to Toni's universalizing demeanor. Most of all, she hopes to bridge the gap between the two divided parties and unite all students to fight for safer campuses. To Toni, S.O.S. is not only about school safety but about changing the way that we value our children. She is also the Captain of her debate team where she competes on the local, state, and national circuit in Congressional Debate. Toni is also very dedicated to her Jewish faith.
Dhruv Akshinthala - Vice President
Senior at San Mateo High School in San Mateo, California.
Prior to joining S.O.S., Dhruv ("Drew" to most) was instrumental in the development of the San Mateo Activist Coalition, where he worked to collect more than 7,000 feminine hygiene products for homeless women and organize walkouts to raise awareness for voting rights. Dhruv has experience in fundraising, project management, and public speaking. He is looking forward to fostering change in how political dialogue occurs in the United States, as well as creating a safer environment for students. Dhruv is also a member of his school's entrepreneurship club and maintains a GPA that ranks him in the top five percent of his class. For extracurriculars, Dhruv likes swimming, water polo, and playing the guitar and the drums.
Sophia Liu - Secretary
Sophomore at Ladue High School in St. Louis, Missouri.
As a former competitive figure skater, Sophia is a perfectionist at heart. She is passionate about mental health advocacy, as related issues have at times been intertwined in her desire to succeed as a student-athlete in a very demanding sport. As of now, Sophia is a speech and debate competitor in Public Forum Debate, Original Oratory, and Duo Interpretation as well as competing on her school's varsity tennis team. Through this, Sophia has developed a solid work ethic and is eager to use her professional skills to motivate others and help S.O.S. members coordinate. In the future, Sophia wants to pursue a career in marketing or become an Insurance Actuary.
Joshua Erched - Director of Finance & Administration
Junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
Josh is currently enrolled in D.E.C.A. and has taken multiple classes relating to Finance, including a college-level business course. After witnessing one of the worst school shootings in history first hand, Josh contemplated how he could help others. Soon after, he joined S.O.S. He hopes to encourage community responsibility both at home and abroad, including making changes in a still unimproved Parkland. Moreover, Josh is actively involved in community service and devotes most of his energy to volunteering. When he is not busy, Josh enjoys spending time with his two dogs, Jack and Ella.
Allison Denton - Director of Media & Communications
Junior at Clackamas High School in Clackamas, Oregon.
Being an avid debater, Allison has always been very outspoken about issues both inside and outside of her own world. She is involved in multiple organizations in addition to S.O.S., including Clackamas County Democrats, Oregon Youth for Gun Reform, and The Bus Project. In her (little) free time, Allison competes in Student Congress and serves as her speech team's Administrative President. When it comes to S.O.S., Allison hopes to tie in her own experience with mental illness to increase access to treatment resources and prevent teen suicide.
Garrett Forrest - Director of Events & Philanthropy
Senior at Deer Creek-Mackinaw High School in Mackinaw, Illinois.
During his junior year of high school, Garrett's community was nearly shattered by a tragic shooting. Thankfully, the student was reported and no one was hurt. In the time since, Garrett has worked to foster a safer atmosphere within his high school and hopes to do the same for schools across the nation. Throughout his high school career, he has successfully organized major fundraisers, service events, and fun activities for teens and teachers alike, including raising $21,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital from his school of less than 350 students. He hopes to use these skills to expand S.O.S.' ability to make change, whilst displaying its impact and bringing people together. Garrett also serves as Student Body President and Secretary of the Future Business Leaders of America in his school.
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