Meet this week’s Forward Thinker Spotlight: Lila Rathhaus! Lila is a Peer Leader and a senior at Oakland Technical High School in Oakland, California. On her PeerForward team, she acts at the events manager. We caught up with her to ask what being a Peer Leader means to her:
In your own words, what is a Peer Leader?
To me, a Peer Leader is someone who steps up in their community and uses their unique identity as a student, more specifically an informed student, to give their friends and peers the opportunity and education they need to have a better future. They are someone who steps up and does what needs to be done right now, so that in the future the whole community can prosper.
What makes you feel like a Peer Leader?
When I mention that I am a Peer Leader to people, they start asking me stuff about college applications and stuff they don’t know the answer to. I usually can answer these questions and that always makes me feel really, really good, especially because I know that they probably wouldn’t have looked it up or asked a teacher. It is really nice because it makes me feel connected, but also like a helper. I’m helping other people, and when this happens it always brings me so much joy and happiness.
Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.