Upon scrolling through social media sophomore year, an interested and inquisitive volleyball playing and graphic design-loving high school girl came across a post from MCR-SGA. Having not one clue what this organization is, she joined with the hopes of learning more and getting involved with student advocacy.
Starting as a PR deputy, Layna Teitelbaum knew only one person and was scared and apprehensive to go to meetings. As the year went by, however, this once clueless PR deputy realized what MCR stands for, and became enchanted by it.
Fast forward to Junior year- now an experienced and skillful MCR veteran, Layna ran the MCR-SGA Instagram as PR director, where she further realized that MCR is “an amazing community that provides you with so many opportunities to get involved with so many other organizations and initiatives.” She built relationships, and learned of the importance of “listening instead of trying to speak for others because not one student in Moco’s experience is the same.” Layna explains that if she could be any character from a book, movie, or TV show, she undeniably would be C.J Cregg from West Wing- a precise indicator of the ambition and passion behind her PR work. She explains that in 20 years she sees herself living in Hawaii as a Hawaii senator’s press secretary- which, in addition to demonstrating her love of Hawaii, is another testament to her aptitude for PR.
After a tireless and persistent year of PR, Layna recognized that it was “time for more women in leadership as well as more DCC representation, as this is a crucial step in addressing the opportunity gap”- the motivating factor behind her campaign for president. Without in-person meetings, one of Layna’s favorite MCR aspects- bonding- has become increasingly difficult, and the challenge of making sure all events are effective, helpful, and accessible increased tenfold. This, however, has not deterred her from her goal of increasing opportunities countywide and providing free resources to help make it through this difficult time, and the reward of knowing students can come to MCR with questions, concerns, and assistance remains more intact than ever. Layna explained that if she could have dinner with any figure, dead or alive, she would have dinner with Nelson Mandela, who embodies the dedication and drive for change she strives for as MCR president.
Balancing her responsibilities as president with SAT and college prep, Layna’s busy schedule is fueled by green smoothies, caesar salad, vegetarian Indian food, and emotional support from her cat Aurora. With the little free time she does have, Layna enjoys phone banking, listening to podcasts, thrift shopping (pre corona), working out, and partaking in other student activist groups. Layna’s weirdest flex is that she can crack every bone in her body!
Ultimately, Layna’s PR skills are what brought her to MCR, and her commitment and drive for change and student leadership are the guiding forces behind all her work. She has become so inspired by student leadership in her time with MCR, and she encourages all MCPS students: “if you get the opportunity to be a part of or run for any student leadership or student lead groups, take the jump and do it because it's such a rewarding experience and can be so impactful on your high school.”
Written by Abby Leibowitz
Published by PR Department