Madi Makes a Difference!


Throughout my life, I strive to make an impact and always try to leave an impression on those with whom I interact.

With a passion for helping others, I have always been drawn to education. I served two terms as a Board Member on the RBUSD School Board while still in high school and I was on the Board for the California State PTA. I currently sit on the Boards of both the National PTA and the California Association of
Youth Courts.

I work as an educator with Parents, Educators/Teachers & Students in Action (PESA), a nonprofit that enhances youth scholastic and career achievement. I make a difference every day by helping
strengthen learning opportunities for students.

I graduated with honors from Sacramento State earning a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. I believe in the potential of all students, when they are provided the tools, skills and encouragement
needed to become productive members of our community. I work to ensure educational equity and mental-health services for those in need, especially in these unprecedented times of COVID-19.

Titles/Positions Held

  • Educator and Regional Director of the South Bay, Parents Educators/Teachers and Students in Action (PESA)
  • Board Member, National Parent Teacher Association
  • Board Member, State Parent Teacher Association
  • Student Board Member, Redondo Beach Unified School District Board of Education (2 terms)
  • Board Member and Liaison to the Youth Advisory Board, California Association of Youth Courts
  • Chair, Youth Engagement Committee at National Parent Teacher Association
  • Public Policy Intern, Capitol Advisors (LLC)
  • Volunteer Coordinator, Museum of Tolerance
  • Government Events Coordinator, Associated Students Inc.
  • Commissioner of Human Resources, Associated Students Organization

Educating/Teaching Workshops for Nonprofits

Over the past several years I have created and presented numerous workshops surrounding all areas of education. I have presented at conferences such as Beyond the Bench, Los Angeles Teen Court Annual Conference, the California Association of Youth Courts Annual Summit, and the California Parent Teacher Association Annual Convention. Some of the workshops included mental health awareness/self care for students, educational equity and diversity education, juvenile justice and transformative justice, and public speaking/leadership development. 

In addition to my nonprofit work, I also work as an Educator for PESA. In my capacity as Educator and Regional Director of the South Bay, I teach many workshops such as the County of Heroes and the City of Angeles presentations which combat hate and racial biases. I also train high school students on how to best be teen jurors for the Teen Court Program. Teen Court is a program where low level juvenile offenses are pulled to a diversionary track in which volunteer jurors make up a true jury of their peers. With a Superior Court judge presiding, the teen jury decides the best restorative sentence to give the offending minor a fresh start. PESA is the nonprofit that helps support the LA Superior Courts in this groundbreaking program. I work with many high schools throughout the county of Los Angeles and help organize their student club activities while also providing leadership training. In addition to the workshops, I also proctor the Teen Court cases to ensure the high school volunteer jurors are comprehending the sometimes dense law elements provided for the case. Teen Court is a terrific program that helps train the future lawyers and judges of our society.

Founding The Young Leaders of RBUSD

One of my proudest achievements comes from when I served on the Redondo Beach Unified School District Board of Education. I served two consecutive terms while in high school and held the duties of representing the nearly 10,000 students in RBUSD. While serving on the board I found it a challenge to adequately represent all of the students, particularly those in elementary and middle school. To help solve this, I founded the Young Leaders of RBUSD. While this committee was not embraced at first by other leadership in RBUSD, I fought hard to get the approval to start this committee. The committee consisted of two student leaders from every school campus and their insight proved invaluable. Not only were the students acting as liaisons from their schools, they became leaders in their community and even helped create the first district wide spirit week ever hosted in RBUSD. All schools participated in our Unity themed spirit week and it was a huge success. I also led many leadership development training and invited special guest speakers to our monthly meetings. The Young Leaders of RBUSD is one of my proudest accomplishments because I started something from scratch that solved a problem, gave leaders a chance for development, and helped encourage and inspire the growth for our future leaders of our community.

College Visits Attendance Policy

Another proud moment is when I passed a new attendance policy that promotes post secondary learning. While serving in my capacity on the RBUSD school board I looked for new ways to innovate student success. One day while speaking with the college and career advisor, she mentioned that students not visiting their college before they commit is one of the biggest reasons students take a gap semester and transfer. I saw this as a huge problem and one that needed some attention. At the time college visits, even with the proper documentation, were marked as unexcused absences, which can hurt a students academic record. In turn, many seniors were discouraged from going on a college visit or lying about their absence. College is something to be celebrated, not something to hide! After some extensive research and advice from many attendance policy experts, I presented a college visit attendance policy that was adopted by the school board. From then on students could receive an excused absence for up to 3 college visits. I am especially proud of this policy because it is a direct benefit to our students. 

Awards

  • Award from Los Angeles City Council- Presented by Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Koretz for my dedication to the Stop Hate And Delinquency by Empowering Students (SHADES) Program and Museum of Tolerance
  • Pi Sigma Alpha National Honors Society
  • Daniel C. Orey Equity Scholars Award
  • Top 3 Finalist for California State Board of Education Student Board Member

When it comes to helping students, I am all in.

Vote Madison Laster for Torrance Unified School District Governing Board Member.

(Appearances of others in the images above do not necessarily imply endorsement)