A group of students pose kneeling and standing with the Superintendent.

In Garland ISD, a dynamic group of students, the Change Agents, is making waves. They represent a powerful force driving positive transformation within their schools.

The Change Agents are a group of 49 juniors and seniors from all seven Garland ISD high schools and Memorial Pathway Academy. They meet throughout the year and speak candidly and openly with the superintendent, Dr. Ricardo López, and members of the district leadership about issues they’re facing within their schools and offer ideas for improvements. 

Sadra Ameen and Asir Saboor, two Change Agents, said the meetings are essential because they allow the students to voice their peers' concerns and aspirations. 

“We’re hand-selected by the superintendent to provide insights into what goes on in our schools and to create positive change,” explained Ameen. “We also advocate for public school districts on a larger scale and work alongside district leaders to push for change within our tri-city communities.”

As representatives of all Garland, Rowlett, and Sachse high schools, the students navigate their community's unique challenges, advocating for meaningful change. Their impact extends beyond campus boundaries, as they also participated in district bond election meetings and supported statewide initiatives, such as the Texas PTA, backing critical issues like school funding, teacher retention, the school rating system, and student mental wellness.

Their time as Change Agents is filled with excitement and a strong sense of responsibility as they work with their peers and district leaders.

“My experience with the Change Agents has been amazing,” recalled Saboor. “They've given me many opportunities to work with other students from other schools and get a different perspective on how other schools operate. It’s been a positive effort and a rewarding feeling knowing that we’ve contributed to changes within the district.”

Through collaborative efforts with district stakeholders, the Change Agents say they have made progress in addressing pressing issues like the fentanyl crisis. Their initiatives aim to raise awareness and prevent substance abuse in schools, highlighting the crucial role of student-led advocacy in fostering positive change.

Saboor says he’s grateful to be a voice for his campus.

“Dr. López takes note of the issues we see in our schools and cares about what we bring to his attention,” said Saboor. “He values our opinion and asks about solutions we feel can tackle the issues. The Change Agents meetings give us a safe space to exchange ideas, which is awesome.”

In late March, the Change Agents were rewarded with a tailgate-themed celebration for their hard work throughout the year. They played traditional tailgate games, including jumbo Connect Four, cornhole, football toss, and more, and they were treated to lunch with the superintendent.

Garland ISD is proud to offer students the opportunity to be positive forces on their campuses and promote change within their communities through the Change Agents initiative.