essex county commissioner board honors livingston high school sophomore nishna makala

Pictured from left to right – Commissioner Patricia Sebold, Livingston HS Sophomore Nishna Makala, Robin Weiss and Judith Freeman from the League of Woman Voters.” (Photo by Martha Clark Ackerman)

Livingston resident Commissioner Patricia Sebold introduces Nishna Makala at the Board’s Essex County Celebrates Youth Event

(Newark, NJ) – On Tuesday, April 26, 2022, the Essex County Board of County Commissioners held its 2022 Essex County Celebrates Youth Event via Zoom teleconference. The event is held yearly to acknowledge outstanding young people throughout the County who have accomplished and contributed so much at such a young age. This year’s honorees were: Nishna Makala of Livingston; Derrick Ogega of Irvington, Kimberly Gonzalez of Newark, and Makenna G. Davis of South Orange.

Longtime Livingston resident and Essex County Commissioner Patricia Sebold introduced Nishna at the ceremony where she was honored by the Board for her exemplary record of community service. “The future of Essex County is in great hands due to the contributions and service of young people like Nishna.” Commissioner Sebold stated. “The Livingston community, and all of Essex County, is proud of her hard work and the thoughtful nature in which she strives to educate her peers. I was honored to recognize her and present her with the Board’s commendation, and I am excited to see what she does in the future. I wish her nothing but the best on her future endeavors.”

Nishna is a sophomore at Livingston High School (LHS) and grew up in a household that emphasized the importance of education, as well as awareness about current events. As a seventh grader, she became a student member of the League of Women Voters because she wanted to get more involved in the community, learn about government, and educate others in the process. In December of 2020, she started a junior chapter of the League of Women Voters at Livingston High School to address the gap between lawmakers and young people. The main focus of the organization is to promote voting and voting rights, but it also focuses on amplifying student voices and activism. Her efforts amid a time of flourishing social movements like #MeToo, Climate Action Now, and Black Lives Matter inspired her to petition for racial equity at Livingston Public Schools.

“I feel as though I’ve only started exploring the mission of advocacy and civic service awareness among young people.” Miss Makala stated. “I want to use this honor to not only encourage others to do the same, but also to reiterate the importance of being an active citizen in a democracy through participation.”

In addition to her activism, she is part of the LHS Science Olympiad Team and is the Director of Research and Development at the Women in STEM Club.  In her spare time, she is a Lincoln-Douglas debater, loves to watch movies, and regularly writes film critiques on her Medium blog.

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For Additional Information – Contact:
Kyalo Mulumba, Public Information Officer
Essex County Board of County Commissioners
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Board of County Commissioners,
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