Local LEADERS! 2023 Pleasanton USD Scholarship Awardees

This year’s Local Leaders scholarship awardees in our home district have a lot to be proud of!

Together they conducted city-wide outreach for water conservation, waste reduction, and diversion compliance. Our leaders led a Community Education Series, developed Youth Outreach programs, were active participants in community events, and much more! Take a look at all our Pleasanton USD Local Leader awardees accomplished this school year.

Local Leaders meeting with students at Valley View Elementary to educate them about the importance of proper waste sorting.


Amador Valley High School Local Leaders

2023 Amador Valley High School Local Leaders scholarship recipients Alena Gagnon, Amanda Liu, Regina Rajbanshi, Victoria Liu, and Aditi Karthik.


Aditi Karthik

As Amador Valley Local Leaders President, Aditi Karthik has led projects to educate our community about trash sorting, water conservation, and sustainability, co-leading the project proposal bringing the app  ‘Too Good To Go’ to Pleasanton. Aditi says with Local Leaders she “found a community of people eager to bring positive change and protect our planet”. While co-heading the Sustainability Shop, she helped raise more than $1000 to incentivize business participation in the app. Aditi participated actively in Pleasanton’s Make A Difference Festival and the Community Education Series.  She plans to attend UCLA, majoring in Cognitive Science and adding a minor/double major in Environmental Science. 

Amanda Liu 

Amanda was the Communications and Outreach officer, and led Amador Valley’s Green Team this year on behalf of Local Leaders. She led her school’s efforts to track waste, improve the use of the 3-bin system, and instill a sense of environmental stewardship into the student body. Through her work and leadership, Amador Valley was able to earn $1200 with over 6 months of consistent waste tracking. Amanda was very active in community events, participating in MRF tours, Adult Waste Workshops, and others. Amanda will be attending UCSD this fall as an urban planning studies major specializing in environmental policy with the goal of helping create more sustainable cities.

Local Leaders from both Foothill and Amador Valley came together to table a booth at the Make a Difference for Pleasanton festival.


Victoria Liu

As Vice President of Amador’s Local Leaders and Co-lead of the Youth Outreach Committee, Victoria led with passion and a positive attitude. Victoria organized 7 classroom visits to Pleasanton Elementary Schools, reaching over 200 young students regarding waste sorting. She was involved in MRF tours, Sustainability Shop, Community Education Series, and many more. Victoria also helped lead Amador Valley’s Green Team and continued to assist the green team in different ways. She explains, “starting local with our own Pleasanton community is what matters the most to meI remind myself, through every local action that I take to spread awareness, everything ultimately adds up in the long run”. Victoria will major in bioengineering at Rice University with a minor in data science. She hopes to be involved in many clubs and organizations while supporting women in STEM.

Regina Rajbanshi

As Local Leader’s Treasurer and head of the Fundraising small group, Regina made lasting impacts on the club and green team. With her experience with Local Leaders she explains that “everyone has different skills, and as the leader, I learned that it was my job to find out how to best utilize those skills.” She was able to help host fundraising booths which raised funds for the club. Regina also let her creativity and leadership skills grow with her involvement in the Sustainability Shop and community events. She is pursuing a degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of California, Davis with hopes to help develop sustainable and accessible technology. 

Alena Gagnon 

As the Local Leader’s Public Relations officer and co-head of the Youth Outreach Committee, Alena was able to expand on her communication and organization skills while growing as a leader. With the Youth Outreach Committee Alena helped cultivate lesson plans which were taught at four different elementary schools in Pleasanton. As the Public Relations officer, she helped with the Make a Difference Festival, fundraising, and creating activities to keep folks engaged and informed. Alena will be attending Santa Clara University, with a double major in Political Science and Biology.


Foothill High School Local Leaders

2023 Foothill High School Local Leaders scholarship awardees Alan Wang, and Mikayla Johnstone.


Mikayla Johnstone

As President of the Foothill Local Leaders Club, Mikayla cemented herself in all things surrounding her school’s club and Green Team. She was a leader in the Community Education Series at the senior center where she and the rest of the officer team presented on the issue of waste contamination to residents of Pleasanton. Mikayla notes, “it is imperative that communities work together to achieve the best outcome.” She was also involved in the NOTA, a school magazine, and Local Leaders collaboration article discussing the issue of PFAS contamination within our city’s water supply. As a member of Local Leaders she said she learned “that passion to create change is the only prerequisite to actually create the change.” Mikayla plans to attend the University of California, Santa Barbara majoring in Biological Anthropology on the Pre-Med track.

Scholarship awardees Mikyala and Alan participating in our joint tour with Pleasanton’s Material Recovery Facility (MRF).

Alan Wang

Alan served as the Treasurer for Foothill’s Local Leaders Club. He was an active participant in many of the club’s community events. Alan helped host our MRF tours, tabling at several events, and assisting with a Pleasanton Creek Clean-up. He was able to use his interpersonal skills to excel at communication with members of our community. Alan plans to attend UC Davis, majoring in chemistry. During his time there, he hopes to join environmental advocacy clubs and continue to make a difference in sustainability and climate change. 


Congratulations to all of our Pleasanton USD graduating seniors and scholarship recipients! We’re so proud of your contributions to your clubs and community. The future looks bright with these Local Leaders at the helm!

Awardee Alan Wang along with members of Pleasanton’s community participating in a creek clean-up.

Learn more about Local Leaders of the 21st Century and Internship programs.