Department of Special Issues

Arusa Malik
South River High School
Anne Arundel County

Special Issues Director

Arusa Malik (she/her/hers) is a senior at South River High School in Anne Arundel County, MD. She is a dedicated, passionate, and smiley person who loves working with others. She became involved with student government her freshman year of high school and fell in love with it ever since! There is one quote that stuck with her growing up and it goes: “Do not wait for someone to come and speak for you, it is you who can change the world!” by Malala. Arusa has tried her best to do just that. She is the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils (CRASC) President, Student Government Association President at her high school, the Key Club President, co-founder and co-President of Backpacks for Baltimore (an organization aimed towards giving students living under the poverty line in Baltimore City the school supplies and support they need to succeed), a part of the Let’s Talk Justice planning committee, former chairwoman and current member of County Executive Steuart Pittman’s Youth Advisory Council, a part of the Anne Arundel County Police Department’s Minority Advisory Council, and a leader on the AACPS Student Service Learning Leadership Team.

Moreover, Arusa is a firm believer in leadership with passion. Change and success can only happen when you put your entire heart into the task at hand. The very first time she became involved with MASC, she saw how dedicated everyone was when it came to representing their peers- right away she knew this is where she belongs. Past high school, She hopes to study the interconnectivity between science and policy, as well as education. During her term as Special Issues Director, Arusa wants to make sure that this department can work together- past hoops and hurdles- so that MASC can be as productive as possible…with a smile of course!


Lauren Raskin
Poolesville High School
Montgomery County

Advocacy Coordinator

 

Bio: Lauren Raskin is a senior at Poolesville High School. She is one of this year’s Advocacy Coordinators, and she cannot wait to lead the Civic Engagement Committee and advocate for the students of MD through legislation.  Aside from MASC, Lauren serves as a delegate on the Maryland Youth Advisory Council and a Youth Board Member on the Black and Brown Coalition for Educational Equity.  Apart from politics, Lauren loves to bake, crochet, hike, and re-watch the entire Harry Potter movie series.


Hala Malik
Crofton High School
Anne Arundel County

Advocacy Coordinator

Bio: Hala Malik is a junior at Crofton High School in Anne Arundel County. Her passion for being involved in government and student council started when she attended her regional association of student council’s general meetings. She loved the community, drive, and passion to make change shared by her fellow peers. Ever since she has continued to make a change by being a part of the Let’s Talk Justice: Women’s Rights Forum, the Anne Arundel County Service-Learning Leadership Team, the AACPS Superintendent’s Teen Advisory, the Anne Arundel County Police Minority Youth Advisory Council, and of course MASC! She is vice president of her school’s SGA and also on the track & field team. Hala finds her joys in running, trying new things, and spending time with family and friends.


Advika Agarwal
Richard Montgomery High School
Montgomery County

Environmental Affairs Coordinator

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Bio: Advika is a sophomore in Montgomery County who has been involved in student government since 3rd grade and loves coordinating service initiatives! After a lively year as environmental coordinator for her regional student government association (SGA), Advika learned the power of community and found great inspiration from the 25 other students she led and the environmental experts she met, ranging from professors and local government officials to a bestselling author. With her belief that everyone is empowered to start conversations about change, Advika was able to convince the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS)  Board of Education to equitably install sustainable hydration stations in every MCPS school by the start of the 2021-22 school year. After implementing a long-running food waste collection program in a local elementary school in 7th grade, she also co-founded Compostology, a team dedicated to bringing such composting programs to all County schools, cluster by cluster. Advika is excited to explore topics outside of the environment as Special Issues Director for her regional SGA, and is passionate about singing- she loves the Hindustani Classical, musical theatre, and Western Classical styles. She also really enjoys poetry, modern art/art history, and playing board games!


Anita Hooshangi
Patterson Mill High School
Harford County

Environmental Affairs Coordinator

 

Bio: Anita Hooshangi is a junior at Patterson Mill High School in Harford County. She is a driven student who is constantly trying to find ways to help her community. Anita is a devoted member of her school’s student government and that has opened the door for her to so many other opportunities. For instance, her experience as Harford County’s Association of Student Councils green team coordinator has offered her insight which has only encouraged her to become more involved. Also, Anita is an officer in Students Working to Effectively End Poverty (SWEEP), secretary of the medical club, and a founder of a club at her school named Happy Tails, which is in support of animals at the Humane Society of Harford County. In her free time, Anita loves to play tennis with her friends or shop 🙂 Anita hopes to make an impactful difference at a state level by collaborating with the amazing student leaders in MASC!


Camryn Chehreh
Crofton High School
Anne Arundel County

Mental Health Coordinator


Bio: Camryn Chehreh is a junior at Crofton High School in Anne Arundel County. She has a passion for learning and creating a better environment for her peers. An active member of Crofton High’s Service Club, Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID), and student government, Camryn has dedicated her high school career to serving her community and bettering the lives of her fellow students. Her interest in student government started in middle school, where she did everything from planning school dances to attending regional voting conferences. Camryn became invested in student wellness when she saw how her peers were impacted by the stress of virtual learning. She currently serves on the Anne Arundel County Public Schools Teen Mental Health Advisory and is a voting delegate for her regional student council. In her free time, Camryn loves to spend time with her family, friends, and her two cats.


Melany Binetes
Oxon Hill High School
Prince George’s County

Mental Health Coordinator

 


Bio: Melany Benites (she/her) is a senior at Oxon Hill High School in Prince George’s County, where she is enrolled in the Science and Technology magnet program. Melany’s experiences as an immigrant have shaped her values and the way she views the world. Above all, she values resilience, empathy, and equity. Having witnessed firsthand the negative impacts socioeconomic inequalities can have on health, she has made it her mission to use her voice to raise awareness and advocate for reforms that will positively affect the lives of members of her community.

At school, Melany serves as Student Body President, Psychology Club President, and is involved in other organizations. Outside of school, she serves as the Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator for March For Our Lives Maryland (MFOL MD) and county representative on the Maryland Center for School Safety (MCSS) Student Focus Group. Although she has served on the PGRASG Mental Health Committee, she is eager to see what she can accomplish at the state level.

To explore her interests in biomedical research and public health, Melany has interned as a research assistant at Children’s National Hospital and the National Institute of Health. Additionally, she dedicates time to volunteering with her Girl Scout troop and organizations, such as the Arnold House and Latino Student Fund.

In her free time, Melany enjoys experimenting with food recipes, watching history documentaries, dancing in her room, and listening to the same music playlist on repeat until she grows tired of it.


Claire Cabral
Hereford High School
Baltimore County

School Safety Liaison – The School Safety Subcabinet Advisory Board Student Member -voting
(Maryland Center for School Safety)

 

Bio: Claire Cabral is a sophomore at Hereford High School who enjoys reading, conversations, and leadership in every aspect. She started her student council journey in seventh grade and never looked back! Claire currently serves as the Vice President of the Baltimore County Student Councils and the state representative on the Maryland Center for School Safety’s Student Focus Group. Outside of student council, Claire enjoys playing field hockey for her school team and H2O hockey club. She is passionate about politics and currently holds a position as a journalist for Luminate Politics. Claire can always be found sharing her knowledge on unsolved mysteries, checking the prices of stocks, recommending books, and theorizing with those who share her interests.

Claire is excited to continue to be an advocate for school safety this year. She encourages all students to check out the Safe Schools Maryland tipline using the Maryland Center for School Safety’s website and broaden their knowledge and on the topic.


Henry Meiser
St. Mary’s Ryken
St. Mary’s County

School Safety Liaison – The School Safety Subcabinet
(Maryland Center for School Safety)


Henry Meiser is a current junior at St. Mary’s Ryken High School. He currently serves as the Student Liaison between MASC and MCSS, as well as the Student Facilitator of the Maryland Center for School Safety’s Student Focus Group. Outside of student leadership, Henry is a certified U.S. Sailing Level 1 Coach, avid ski racer, and loves to travel and try new things!


Carolyn Aguilar
Gwynn Park High School
Prince George’s County

Service Coordinator

Bio: Carolyn Aguilar (she/her) is a senior at Gwynn Park High School. She previously attended Surrattsville High School and transferred in 11th grade to join the Culinary Career Technical Education (CTE) program. Carolyn has grown up in Prince Georges County. She speaks fluent Spanish. She is the daughter of two immigrants who came from El Salvador. She hopes to study and work hard so that her parents’ struggle was not in vain. She’s had to overcome many obstacles on her own due to the language barrier her parents face but she believes it has made her strong and independent. She plans on majoring in nursing and becoming a pediatric nurse! Carolyn enjoys many hobbies such as painting, crafting, playing the viola, baking, biking, writing, journaling, and going to parks. Fun Fact: Carolyn is an ENFP (Myers and Briggs) 🙂


Shruti Vadlakonda
River Hill High School
Howard County

Service Coordinator

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Bio: Shruti Vadlakonda is currently a sophomore at River Hill High School. For a long time, she has been passionate about student leadership and outreach. Currently, she is serving as an appointed officer on the Howard County Association of Student Councils (HCASC). Furthermore, she is a volunteer for the Eastern Region American Red Cross and helps lead a social media campaign. She has also attended and presented at the National Student Council Conference. Outside of academics and student leadership, Shruti enjoys writing; she was a National Writopia Youth Essay Conference Science and Technology Panelist and won a Scholastic D.C. Metro Region Writing Award. In addition, she enjoys ice skating and dancing! This year, Shruti is so excited to serve on the MASC Executive Board as an MASC appointed staff!


Corrin MacCrehan
Edgewood High School
Harford County

State Legislative Affairs Co-Coordinator (SLACer)

 

Bio: Corrin MacCrehan is a freshman at Edgewood High School in Harford County, enrolled in the Global Studies/International Baccalaureate Program. Corrin served as the 2nd Vice President of Harford County Regional Association of Student Councils (HCRASC) in 2020-2021 and will be serving as treasurer of HCRASC for the 2021-2022 school year. In her free time, she enjoys volunteering, baking, and gymnastics. This year, Corrin hopes to help students become better advocates and become more involved in the current legislature. She can’t wait to see how much the MASC community blossoms as we learn to become better advocates and use the resources around us to make an impact on our communities!

 


James Mu
Thomas Wootton High School
Montgomery County

State Legislative Affairs Coordinator (SLACer)

 

Bio: James Mu (he/him) is a senior at Thomas S. Wootton High School in Montgomery County, Maryland. As an avid speaker and outspoken student leader, he serves on the Maryland Youth Advisory Council (MYAC), Montgomery County Regional Student Government Association (MCR), and the Wootton High School Student Government Association. James is an award-winning video producer who loves to film in his free time, having received recognition from C-SPAN and the NIH for his previous advocacy works on the topics of immigration, education policy, and research ethics. He is also very involved in multiple extracurricular activities, including serving as captain for both the Debate Team and the Science Olympiad Team, as well as being a varsity starter on his high school’s Division I Swim and Dive Team. James breakdances for fun and hopes to promote the message that no advocacy is ever too small to make a difference during his time in MASC.


Zachary McGrath
Severna Park High School
Anne Arundel County

State Legislative Affairs Co-Coordinator (SLACer)

 

Bio: Zachary McGrath is a junior at Severna Park High School in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. Zachary has lived all over the country due to his father being in the military and has a deep passion for helping all students in Maryland succeed. His experience in student government started in freshman year when he was elected class historian. He has continued to be a student leader on the school, county, and state levels. He is the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils (CRASC) legislative liaison, his school’s second vice president, the captain of his school’s trivia team, an editor of his school’s newspaper, founder and president of the Future Educators of America Club at his school, the Junior Assistant Scoutmaster of his Boy Scout troop, and the vice president of his school’s Model United Nations club.

Zachary is a firm believer in the idea that while it is easy to say something, it is harder to do it. Accomplishments and changes only occur when people come together as a group and use their different perspectives and skills to come up with a plan of action on how to accomplish things, and they don’t stop working towards something until it is accomplished. Past high school, he hopes to combine his love of history, education, and writing to become a professor of history. During his term as State Legislative Affairs Coordinator, Zachary not only wants to advocate for the students of Maryland in the Maryland General Assembly but to also encourage student engagement in government and policy. Zachary is excited to work with not only his fellow State Legislative Affairs Coordinators, but with the rest of MASC, to create a Maryland education system in which everyone can succeed and pursue their dreams.