NASBE Recognizes California Student State Board Member Naomi Porter with National Award
Alexandria, Va.—The National Association of State Boards of Education (NASBE) is pleased to present its first national Distinguished Student Service Award to California’s Naomi Porter. This award was established in 2023 to recognize the dedication and education policy impact of student representatives on state boards of education.
Naomi Porter, a recent graduate of Palos Verdes Peninsula High School, finished her term as student member on the California State Board of Education in July 2023. During her tenure, Porter prioritized student engagement, reaching students across the state through social media and working directly with superintendent student advisory boards, youth commissions, and student councils to gather student feedback. Through these efforts, Porter participated in 35 events serving 50 districts, including Los Angeles and San Diego Unified School Districts, and the Sacramento County Office of Education.
“I’m proud of the work I did to engage students across California,” Porter said. “A highlight for me was serving as a liaison to the Student Advisory Board in helping students research, craft, and submit proposals to the state board on important issues like school safety, civic education, staff qualifications, mental health and political literacy.”
Porter is currently a freshman and Ingram scholar at Vanderbilt University. Previously, she was a student advisor to the Los Angeles County Office of Education and served on her School Site Council, Principal’s Advisory Committee, and Superintendent’s Roundtable.
In 2019, Porter founded EntrepreYOUership, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing educational equity and removing barriers for young people to learn about entrepreneurship and financial literacy. She and her team of over 200 individuals serve 3,800 youth in over 42 countries by hosting events, startup funding competitions, financial literacy book clubs, and implementation of curriculum. Porter was noted as a top innovator in her field by Forbes, Wharton, Business Insider, Prudential Financial, and Yahoo News. She is also chief executive officer of Bright Futures Tutoring and Academic Coaching.
Porter was a global research and design intern for Girl Scouts of the USA, where she coauthored a 2020 research report for the Girl Scouts Research Institute that highlighted the need to address and destigmatize mental health. She served as a youth ambassador for America’s Afterschool Alliance, where she advocated for expansion of congressional funding for afterschool learning. During the 2021–22 school year, she organized a team to host “Inclusion Week” and spearheaded an advocacy campaign for students with disabilities that culminated in a Unified Track Meet in collaboration with the Special Olympics.
“Naomi cares deeply about the well-being of all students, and this is reflected in her work on the California state board and in her efforts to make her high school a more inclusive campus,” said California State Board Member Francisco Escobedo. “Her contributions to the state board have made a lasting impression. There is no doubt we will be reading about Naomi’s civic achievements in the not too distant future.”
“Two-dozen state boards give students a seat at their table. Naomi has served the California State Board of Education with distinction and positively impacted her school community and fellow classmates in countless ways,” said NASBE President Paolo DeMaria. “NASBE is honored to recognize her accomplishments as a student state board member with our first Distinguished Student Service Award.”
NASBE’s full slate of annual awards will be presented during its Annual Conference in San Diego, California, October 25-28, 2023.
NASBE serves as the only membership organization for state boards of education. A nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, NASBE elevates state board members’ voices in national and state policymaking, facilitates the exchange of informed ideas, and supports members in advancing equity and excellence in public education for students of all races, genders, and circumstances. Learn more at www.nasbe.org.