Student Leadership & Engagement


The Santa Cruz County Office of Education (Santa Cruz COE) is committed to ensuring that our students have the skills and support to become our next generation of leaders. We want our students to have a vision for themselves and our community, and the tools to manifest it. 

Dr. Faris Sabbah
Dr. Faris Sabbah
Andres Ortiz
Student Leadership & Engagement Coordinator
(831) 466-5713
Verenise Valentin
Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent
(831) 466-5909

Our student leadership initiatives provide opportunities for students to develop and practice essential leadership skills such as collaboration, public speaking, self-confidence, critical thinking and civic engagement. Santa Cruz County Student Leadership and Engagement Programs, including the Youth Led Leadership Alliance (YLLA), demonstrate to students the value of public service, personal growth, responsibility, and the power of collective action.  


To stay up to date please follow us on Instagram at @sccsstudentleadership.

YOuth Led Leadership Alliance (YLLA)

YLLA Group members
YLLA Group Members from across the county meeting at Sequoia Schools in January.

Through one of our six YLLA leadership groups, students from across the county can engage with like-minded peers and expand their networks as they address some of the most pressing issues facing their communities. What kind of leader are you? 

student resources and county wide student events

Student Trustee Academy
Student Trustee Academy Members, Summer of 2022.

Student trustee Academy

The Student Trustee Academy is a summer workshop aimed at preparing high school students from across the county to be student trustees on their respective school boards. 

Over six sessions, students learn the inner workings of a school board and the role they can play in the educational experience of their peers through their position as a student trustee. Under the mentorship of our county superintendent, Dr. Faris Sabbah, participants get a behind the scenes look at local education politics and pick up valuable communication and public speaking skills. 

This year’s Trustee Academy group is scheduled to make their final presentation to the County Board on Thursday, July 20th at 4pm at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education building. 

Civic Summit

The Civic Summit is a unique non-partisan learning experience meant to deepen the understanding of the local electoral process. Local high school students partake in a full day of learning about the importance of civic engagement and the role of elected officials.

Past Civic Summits

Join the Student Trustee Academy

High school students preparing to become student trustees or with a general interest in district leadership and governance are encouraged to apply to the Student Trustee Academy.  ...
Dr. Faris Sabbah - Featured Image

Our First Student Trustee

Dear community member, Yesterday the Santa Cruz County Board of Education marked a milestone moment. Oscar Alvarez-Delgado, a senior at Pajaro Valley High School, was ...
image of the santa cruz county office of education logo

In the News: Santa Cruz COE steps up for student board members – California School Boards Association

A recent study conducted at the University of California, Santa Cruz, examined student trustee participation in board of education meetings in the county and offered ...