Arpita Gupta advocates for local teens

Cal senior is chair of the San Ramon Teen Council, which focuses on teen interests


Ayaan Karan

Cal High senior Arpita Gupta chairs the San Ramon Teen Council, which represents teen interests in the city. She has been part of the council for the past two years.

Cal High senior Arpita Gupta works tirelessly to represent San Ramon teens as the new chair of this year’s Teen Council.
The Teen Council is an advisory committee to the city government and comprises 19 teens (17 regular members and two alternates) who work to bring awareness to teen issues, advertise city programs and create subcommittees to deal with city issues.
As the chair, Gupta is responsible for leading the teen council meetings and guiding its several subcommittees. These subcommittees cover topics ranging from public relations to programming to community issues. They also work on organizing different events and discussing various issues throughout the year.
Gupta, who has been on the council for two years, said she joined as a junior because she wanted a straightforward way to help her community. She found that teen council was a good way to do that.
“I got involved in Teen Council because I was really looking for a way to make a tangible impact on the community,” Gupta said.
Gupta wants to be involved and initiate change around her. She believes that the Teen Council allows her to initiate change with like-minded people.
“Teen Council was like a group of teens that were actually committed to doing things,” Gupta said. “I felt like I was going to be working with people that genuinely wanted to make a change in the community.”
Usually, the council promotes its vice chair to the two-year position of chair through a training process. This year was different because the vice chair was unable to participate, so the council interviewed its regular members for the position of chair and Gupta was selected.
“I wanted to be chair so that I could kind of help motivate people to stay on task,” Gupta said.
Cal senior Sophia Pedersoli, who is also a Teen Council member, said she believes Gupta is a good leader from their interactions on the council.
“She has been very responsible and has kept all the members up to date,” Pedersoli said.
Parks and Community Services Department staff liaison Jennifer Gault, who is the adult supervisor for the Teen Council, said that Gupta is doing a great job as chair.
“Arpita was able to jump right in and get the year going, which is really important,” Gault said. “She has done an amazing job stepping into the role so far this year. She researched and has run every meeting in a professional manner, making sure to follow the Brown Act.”
The Brown Act is a California law that guarantees the public’s right to participate in meetings of local legislative bodies.
In addition, Gault said Gupta has been doing great fulfilling the goals set by the council.
“[Arpita] is a great role model and does a fantastic job of being a strong leader of the Teen Council members,” Gault said.
Outside of Teen Council, Gupta is president of Cal’s Red Cross Club, which is planning a blood drive with leadership in November as well as a separate CPR training event.
Principles of Biomedical Science and Academic Enrichment teacher Joanna Condon, who also serves as adviser for the Red Cross Club, said she has worked with Gupta for three years in the club and that she is an amazing role model and leader.
“[Arpita] has brought in a lot more people to help with activities regarding the American Red Cross, like blood drives,” Condon said. “She’s a natural leader and holds herself to a really high standard. She has realistic goals and she always follows through on her goals and she always meets her responsibilities.”
Condon said Gupta’s professional communication skills help motivate those around her to do better as well.
“She communicates constantly, so she doesn’t ever leave anything at loose ends,” Condon said. “She always ties up all loose ends so in that regard, people who know her see her be this way, and I think in that way, they might hold themselves to a higher standard as well.”
Gupta leads the Teen Council in reporting to the San Ramon Parks and Community Services Commission, which works to plan and advise city events.
“[Being chair is] really helpful because I can listen to [the commission’s] meetings and I can kind of give my input,” Gupta said.
She said the Teen Council appreciates high school students’ points of view and encourages students to share their opinions at the council’s meetings, which take place at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month at City Hall.
Aside from leading the Teen Council, Gupta still enjoys painting landscape and flowers in her free time. But she said she unfortunately doesn’t have enough time to paint this year because of her busy schedule.
She is also the captain of one of Cal’s competitive robotics teams and a prosecution attorney for the mock trial team.
“[In robotics] we’ve been building our robot since the summer and are looking to compete later this fall and hopefully make it to state and world [competitions],” Gupta said.