New ASB President Kaia Benien is helping to make a change through activism

Activism in Kaia’s life, why she believes activism is important and how it has helped influence her career choices.


Kyiara Benien at Rogers’ 2022-2023 prom.

Kaia Benien is a student at Rogers and the upcoming ASB president. She hopes to bring some of her passions outside of school into the school, hoping to make the environment more accepting and inclusive.

Over the years Kaia has been involved in activism.

“Activism  is very important to me. I think it’s great we actively participate in creating change, especially because we are the next generation that is going to be controlling everything,” Benien states.

In June 2022, Benien attended March for Our Lives, a demonstration in support of more gun control to prevent gun violence. Gun violence has become more prevalent in America, threatening the wellbeing of everyone, including students.

“We’ve had our fair share of gun violence here in Washington and I’ve seen it across the country, it’s important to me. I don’t want to see my peers dying in school because we don’t have proper gun control,” she said.

Benien began attending protests in October 2021, going to a women’s march to advocate for women’s reproductive and fundamental rights where she listened to other women share their stories and experiences, influencing her to want to further advocate for, and create change.

Social justice even had influence on her academic career, including speaking at a school board meeting and her choice to run for ASB president.

Earlier in the school year, the school board had a meeting where they included a three-minute window for students to bring up issues they feel are important. Kaia took the opportunity to write a speech and touch on a rule regarding outing students to parents.

One of Benien’s friends, Gavin Haugen, said, “I personally find Kaia’s speeches and sense of activism to be inspiring. Being able to push past her fear of public speaking to deliver a powerful speech at a school board meeting was an experience I’m glad I could be there for.”

Benien decided to run for ASB president due to wanting to create a more inclusive space for students and help plan fun activities for students to enjoy. She felt that more work needed to be done to create a more comfortable environment for students of all backgrounds and identities.

As she began her election, she was surprised to receive so much support from people, even surprised at her winning the title of ASB president. She even had a few doubts in herself, but she states that her mom, her biggest supporter, and her friends were a huge reassurance during her campaign.

Benien is an open person, from wanting others to be comfortable talking to her, to being herself no matter what. After years of bullying and hatred for being openly queer, Benien has learned to not let people’s words bother you, but rather to grow from the experience.

“[What inspires me is] myself, I experienced a lot of bullying and a lot of hate growing up especially trying to figure out who I was and especially being openly queer with people I have received a lot of hate,” she said, “but I’ve never let that stop me from being myself and I’ve honestly used it as a motivation because like ‘wow, you’re really that affected by me being myself?’ that is just more motivation for me to be me, I’m not going to change just to fit how other people want me to be.”