April 24, 2018
An EPISD student who has worked effortlessly to improve her school and bring camaraderie and safety to her campus was named the 2018 Outstanding Youth Advocate of the Year by the National PTA.
Eleanor Schoenbrun, a freshman at Franklin High School, was given the award for being a powerful voice for change for children in education. She was selected from among hundreds of applicants from throughout the United States.
Schoenbrun was recognized for her efforts to improve a courtyard at Franklin in order to make it a safer and more welcoming place to gather during lunch. She secured the funding for the improvements by personally writing and earning grants from the Disney Foundation and generationOn, as well as the Franklin PTA.
“I am truly humbled and grateful to the community for coming through on this important project,” she said. Advocacy “has allowed me to be the voice for the voiceless.”
Thanks to her efforts, the Franklin courtyard is now a safe space for school events like pep rallies and band performances.
Schoenbrun received her award during the 2018 National PTA Legislative Conference in the Washington, D.C., area on March 13.
“Advocacy is critical to make a difference for education and the health, safety and wellbeing of our nation’s children,” said National PTA President Jim Accomando. “Eleanor exemplifies what it means to take action and be a voice for change for all children and schools.”
While in Washington for the National PTA Legislative Conference, Schoenbrun had the opportunity to meet with legislators and discuss her biggest concern in education: safety.
“I am working toward having a safe campus,” Schoenbrun said. “I want to make sure these legislators are backing up my work.”
Schoenbrun’s mother, Western Hills Elementary Teacher Lisa Schoenbrun, said her daughter does all the heavy lifting on her own.
“Eleanor has a gift for finding a niche in need and filling that void,” she said.
Eleanor Schoenbrun’s advocacy began at a young age. As a third-grade student, she founded Kans for Kids at Zavala Elementary. The program collects food for children who may not receive a meal outside of the school setting.