WATCH: Seniors Anjani Sharma of West Shore and Emily Qu of Edgewood Elected Governor and Lt. Governor at Girls State
By Steve Wilson // August 16, 2023
Both students heavily involved with 'Minds Without Borders', A Mental Health Advocacy Organization
WATCH: Anjani Sharma and Emily Qu talk with the Friday Night Locker Room’s Steve Wilson at the Erdman Automotive Studio in Cocoa. Sharma, a senior at West Shore Jr./Sr. High School, and Qu, a senior at Edgewood Jr./Sr. High School, both attended Girls State this summer in Tallahassee, Florida, and were elected Governor and Lt. Governor. Sharma and Qu also founded Minds Without B0rders, an organization that aims to create more mental health resources in schools, colleges, and communities.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – It’s always fun to talk with young people that are bright, vibrant, full of ideas and want to make a difference. I got just that when I was joined in the Space Coast Daily–Friday Night Locker Room Erdman Automotive Studio by Anjani Sharma and Emily Qu.
Sharma is a senior at West Shore Jr/Sr High School, and Qu is a senior at Edgewood Jr/Sr High School.
Over the summer, both girls attended Girls State in Tallahassee, which is a program affiliated with the American Legion Auxiliary Department of Florida.
According to their website, the purpose of Girls State is to provide citizenship training for girls of high school age in every Department of the American Legion Auxiliary; to afford them an opportunity to live together as self-governing citizens; to inform them about the duties, privileges, rights and responsibilities of American citizenship, in order that they may understand and participate in the functioning of their government; and to help them grasp them meaning of some of the responsibilities which they must assume when they become adults.
During the week-long event both Sharma and Qu ran for political office and won – Sharma was elected Governor and Qu was elected Lt. Governor.
I asked Qu about Girls State, and she told me, “It was a really positive environment.” They met girls from all over the state of Florida with varying opinions and ideas and it really made for a wonderful experience.
Sharma and Qu are currently quite busy, not only with school, but an organization they are involved with called Minds Without B0rders. Sharma told me that it is an “international youth led initiative aiming to create more mental health resources in schools colleges and communities.”
When talking about Minds Without B0rders, Qu said, “It’s not a hobby, it’s a passion. Mental health affects everyone.”
Anjani Sharma and Emily Qu will be heading off to college in 2024, but for now, they continue to work hard to make a positive impact in their community, and beyond.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Steve Wilson was born in DeRidder, Louisiana and grew up in both New Orleans and Macon, Georgia. He moved to Brevard County in 1984 and retired from local government as the Community Advocate/Assistant to the City Manager with the City of Rockledge in 2018.
Among the awards and accolades Steve has received over the years are 15 + year Rockledge Little League volunteer, Brevard Public School Jefferson Award Recipient, Rockledge High School Raider Booster Award 2001, 2006, City of Rockledge Employee of the Year 2006, Rockledge Kiwanian of the Year 2006-2007, City of Rockledge Quality Public Service Award 2008, 2012, 2017, Rockledge Kiwanis Citizen of the Year 2012-2013, Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame – Sportscasting 2015, Rockledge High School Leadership and Service Award 2016, Central Florida Humanitarian Award 2017, Space Coast Inspiration Award – 2018 and Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame – Lifetime Achievement – 2020.
Wilson is especially proud of is chairing two fundraisers in support of pediatric cancer research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation in honor of Merritt Island resident Julie Spurlock that raised over $25,000.00.
He has been a partner, along with Orville Susong, for the past 24 years with the Friday Night Locker Room, a broadcasting team that covers and reports on a wide variety of local events that are of significance to the residents of the Space Coast and beyond. Their mission is to promote youth sports, support first responders and law enforcement personnel, and showcase community and charitable events that are produced by our nonprofit partners in central Florida.
The Friday Night Locker Room has awarded hundreds of sports achievement plaques to Brevard County student-athletes over the years. They have also awarded more than $18,000 in academic scholarships to Brevard County high school seniors.