OAKLAND, Calif. - ABC7 has celebrated student achievement with our Star Scholars program for 12 years. Each year, ABC7 recognizes seven Bay Area high school seniors for their extraordinary achievements and awards each with a $1,000 scholarship toward his or her college education.
ABC7 News Anchor Reggie Aqui introduces us to one Star Scholar winner who has dedicated his life to fighting the social injustice he's witnessed growing up as a black male in Oakland.
ABC7 Star Scholar Dylan Brown is a philanthropist. "We raised over $111,009 for the 2017 Endowed Scholarship Fund," said Dylan Brown, our ABC7 Star Scholar.
"My social justice club, Solidarity in Action is the first multiracial advocacy group on my school's campus," Brown added.
He's also a staunch advocate for human rights. "I think more of like an amplifier and it's not just amplifying my own voice but voices of other marginalized communities who aren't able to have their voices heard," said Brown.
This recent Bishop O'Dowd High School graduate has spent the last two years interning at the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland. He's helping with its mission to work for justice, opportunity, and peace in urban America.
"I want to be able to give back to the community that I'm a part of," said Brown.
Brown will be heading to New York University in the fall. He plans to major in global liberal studies with a concentration in politics, rights, and development.
"I'm really excited kinda gets a mix of everything I'm passionate about-- politics with human rights and social justice, influence on top of that it's a global education which is great," said Brown.
Dylan got his foundation here at Bishop O'Dowd High School, but his inspiration came from somewhere else, Washington, DC. It was that trip that sparked his interest in social justice issues.
"I actually worked at Van Jones' non-profit The Dream Corp," said Brown. "One thing he said that really stuck in my mind he was like in school you learn how to deconstruct everything but you can't build crap you don't have to wait till you're out of college you can do it now, cause it's happening and there are issues that need to be addressed by youth that will affect us and our world now," Brown told ABC7 News.
You can watch our ABC7 Star Scholar special on Sunday on July 23, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. Click here to learn about our other Star Scholars.
Do you know a change-maker in your community? They can apply for a $500 Summer of Service grant for their community project. Just go to ysa.org/beinspired.
Written and produced by Jennifer Rumple.