Kentucky Student Voice Team Incorporated

Co-creating more just, democratic, Kentucky schools and communities.

aka Kentucky Student Voice Team   |   Lexington, KY   |


We are young people co-creating more just, democratic Kentucky schools and communities as education research, policy, and advocacy partners.

Ruling year info


Managing Partner, Co-founder

Rachel Belin

Co-founder, Board Chair

Andrew Brennen

Main address

2117 Woodley Cir

Lexington, KY 40502 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Prichard Committee Student Voice Team



IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.



Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Students are the subjects and recipients of education research, policy, and advocacy but are seldom agents in crafting those efforts. What we know from a range of evidence and best practices, however, including Stanford’s D. Lab, the Harwood Institute, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Measuring Effective Teaching study, and the most recent study of 12,000 Chicago students by the University of California, Riverside and Northwestern University is that co-designing strategies of engagement with the intended targets and not just for them is among the most effective ways to ensure academic and developmental success. We know this, and yet, the primary stakeholders of our schools, the ones we mean for education to engage, are all too often missing entirely from the education feedback loop. The Kentucky Student Voice Team model represents an attempt to address that.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

KSVT Press Corps

The Kentucky Student Voice Team's Press Corps trains, supports, and pays Kentucky middle and high school students to provide education news and commentary through our news publication The New Edu and our podcast Get Schooled. In centering student voices and perspectives and hewing to journalism's best and most ethical practices, our platforms offer essential insights on Kentucky schools from our system's primary stakeholders.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

As innovators of youth-led education research, we collect, analyze, and share data about a range of student experiences with policymakers and the public. Our studies include examinations of the effects of racial and ethnic identity on learning; the social, emotional, and academic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic; and what students need to feel safe, engaged, and included in their school communities.

Population(s) Served

The Kentucky Student Voice Team tracks and advocates for policies as a part of our larger organizational mission to co-create more just, democratic schools and communities and ensure that the voices of Kentucky students inform education decision making at every level.

As part of this work, we advance broad student representation on school governance bodies and advocate for policies that advance educational equity and excellence.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


National Center for School Mental Health Youth and Family Partnership Award 2021

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Civic Spring Award 2020

Institute for Citizens and Scholars

Kentucky Nonprofit Voice Award 2019

Kentucky Nonprofit Network

Breakthrough Innovation Award 2018

Pathway 2 Tomorrow

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of research studies conducted

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

KSVT Research Corps

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

All youth-led education research studies conducted solely by KSVT or in partnership with other organizations can be found on our website at

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Kentucky Student Voice Team seeks to normalize the presence and participation of young people as partners in education decision making in order to advance more just, democratic Kentucky schools and communities.

We support young people to accomplish our goals through youth-led education research, policy, and storytelling and through building an inclusive, capacity-building culture around our intergenerational community.

Examples of what this looks like in practice include two seminal student designed, analyzed, and reported studies, each eliciting over 10,000 responses from young people in nearly every one of Kentucky’s 120 counties and each designed to shape public narratives and public policy about pressing education issues to ensure that they are more student centered. Our 2020 Coping with Covid study detailed the impact of learning from home on Kentucky middle and high school students in the earliest days of the pandemic and was among the first in the country to lift youth mental health needs as a priority issue for policymakers to address. Our 2022 Race to Learn study captured feedback from middle and high school students about their experiences with race, ethnicity, and school climate and affirmed the need to create space for further discussions about the history and legacy of racism in the classroom despite local and national conversations attempting to censor them.

Beyond our statewide efforts, we also partner with schools at the grassroots level to coach teams of our peers to survey the extent to which their schools are safe, inclusive, and engaging and share results back with their school communities through our student-led school climate audits. We have shared results and the process behind our audits in numerous op-eds on our own blog and podcast platforms as well as through external Kentucky news media outlets and over 50 times in local and national forums, with audiences ranging from the state legislature, the Kentucky Pediatric Behavioral and Mental Health Summit, and the State School Superintendents Association to the National School Climate Center and the Aspen Institute. We have further used our audit data to push back on narratives centering the need to “harden” schools with metal detectors and armed teachers and school resource officers in favor of “softening” them with more mental health support and attention to creating an inclusive environment.

Even though students are the people who spend 35 hours each week learning in classrooms and are the primary stakeholders in our public schools, we are rarely tapped to provide essential feedback on what works and what doesn’t in our education system. However, we know that with structure and support, students can be partners with older stakeholders, including parents, teachers, administrators, boards and other community members, to ensure our schools are the best they can be for all learners.

We are youth-led and inter-generationally sustained. At any given time, we comprise approximately 100 Kentucky youth as members who, in turn, are charged with reaching exponentially more youth and adults through our work across the state to amplify and elevate student perspective to inform education decision making.

Through considerable experimentation, our organization has identified three key strategies that help us ensure greater equity in our organizational culture, practices, and programming. Specifically:

[1] We offer self-selective membership and leadership roles but are intentional about targeting students from marginalized backgrounds–often along with their adult community-based supports–for additional encouragement and recruitment efforts;

[2] We offer compensation for work and training, mileage, and other basics such as meals, and at the same time, offer regular opportunities to collectively and transparently reflect upon and refine our compensation rates and strategies;

[3] We co-design with participants our mission and a number of defined projects that center education equity and justice, building on students’ unique lived experiences and emphasizing throughout an approach that gathers and amplifies the voices of young people who tend to be otherwise least heard.

the KSVT targets an intergenerational audience at the grassroots (school, community, and district levels) as well as the grass tops (policy, legislation). The team conducts roundtables, interviews, and quantitative research that harness, amplify, and elevate the voices and experiences of young people who represent the diversity of the state, and it shares them across a range of platforms to inform public conversations about education. The team runs a podcast and blog; designs and delivers professional development for students, educators, and policy influencers; mobilizes intergenerational coalitions around policy issues and legislative initiatives; generates policy reports, social media, public testimony, and op-eds; and facilitates and normalizes dialogue between young people and other education stakeholders and decision makers.

In recent years, we have published research and stories in over two dozen external academic, public and commercial news media outlets in addition to producing content for our own media platforms. Since our move to a youth-led independent organization in January 2021, we also have published eight major original research studies, (including one that was IRB approved and peer-reviewed), involving over 20,000 Kentucky students from all of Kentucky’s 120 counties, conducted five youth-led school climate audits, created a podcast fellowship program and an education justice op-ed writing workshop series to support underrepresented students to tell stories about their schools, facilitated roundtables and interviews with young people on a host of education issues, presented our work featuring Kentucky students' stories and statistics in local and national professional development presentations and workshops targeting educators, legislators and other policymakers over 70 times, and been cited over 100 times by local and national news media outlets from the Louisville Courier Journal and the Lexington Herald-Leader to NBC News, the Washington Post, and Teen Vogue. Increasingly, the Kentucky Student Voice Team is a brand our Commonwealth and the country associate with credibility in the education improvement and justice space.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    encountering misrepresentation by bots in virtual focus groups


Kentucky Student Voice Team Incorporated

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Kentucky Student Voice Team Incorporated

Board of directors
as of 06/28/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Andrew Brennen

Cadence Brown

Audrey Gilbert

Raima Dutt

Minhal Nazeer

Hayden Watkins

Esha Bajwa

Abraham Garcia-Romero

Emanuelle Sippy

Solyana Mesfin

Connor Flick

Hiatt Allen

Cindy Baumert

Beth Malcom

Arivumani Srivastava

Krasi Staykov

Spandana Pavuluri

Tala Saad

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 6/13/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Black/African American
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Gay, lesbian, bisexual, or other sexual orientations in the LGBTQIA+ community
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity


Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 06/17/2023

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.