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Jonshell Johnson is a rising junior at Benjamin Franklin High School in New Orleans, Louisiana and is an active member of the Vietnamese American Young Leaders Association (VAYLA), where she serves as a youth organizer and community leader addressing educational equity issues. Jonshell has traveled the country advocating for educational equity and was recently a featured panelist on NBC News' Education Nation New Orleans Student Town Hall. After graduation, Jonshell aspires to pursue a career in the military and to work in the field of education policy. She is one of 18 girls in New Orleans selected to participate in the Essence of Girl Up NOLA, a special leadership program sponsored by Girl Up NOLA, First Lady Cheryl Landrieu's initiative to support girls in grades 5-12 across the city. The Essence of Girl Up NOLA commemorates each year the Essence Festival has been held in New Orleans, Louisiana, and represents the long-standing partnership between Essence and the City of New Orleans.