From Working on JSLT to Running Wolverine TV: A Profile on Asuka Koda ’23

The background story behind Asuka Koda’s involvement in several aspects of school leadership at Bronx Science.


Eddie Jiang

Asuka Koda ’23 has made a continued impact upon Bronx Science’s school community.

As the sun rises over the city of New York, thousands of students rise with it. With each new day, comes a new purpose. But for Asuka Koda ’23, she’s already found her purpose at Bronx Science. From establishing her position as our school’s JSLT, to being the assistant director of Wolverine TV, Koda has done much for our school’s community. 

Born and raised in Japan, her upbringing took place in three different countries, as she moved around the world. Koda has explored more of the world than your average teenager. She also lived in Singapore and later Taiwan, before finally moving to the United States. 

However, moving to the U.S. was more of a spontaneous choice. This is how her conversation with her parents went before deciding to move to the States:  

Her dad: “Do you want to go to America?” 

Koda: “Okay cool!” 

Her dad: “California or New York?” 

Koda: “New York sounds cooler.” 

And that was it. By the next week, she had a plane ticket and a fresh start in a different country. This was a change for her parents, too. They didn’t speak English, so Koda took up the task of communicating on their behalf, including responding to e-mails and texts. She adapted quickly to life in the United States. 

The experience of immigrating to the U.S. is very personal for Koda, as she understands the struggles of finding a community in an entirely different country. This is why she turned to the Student Organization (SO) at Bronx Science. The position of Junior School Leadership Team (JSLT) suited her best, since she would be able to directly discuss issues with school administrators. During her sophomore year, she ran for the position and won. 

“[It’s] one of those integral high school experiences that is painted in such a clichéd way in so many high school movies. However, if you run and involve yourself greatly with the process, you can actually kind of feel a lot of aspects of a high school election, as seen in the movies.” 

Other aspects of that year were also fairly unconventional for Koda. Through the period of remote learning during the 2020-2021 academic year, she spent the majority of the year living in Taiwan and attending classes via Zoom remotely (which is also conveniently 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time). Despite this fact, she claims that she took advantage of Bronx Science’s resources more as a sophomore, than any other year so far. 

“It was the year that I ran an election, it was the year that I contributed more to Wolverine TV and became its Assistant Director, and it was the year that I applied to LOP (League of Presidents) and that I started my work with managing clubs,” said Koda.   

From there, her political run at Bronx Science began. Her position as JSLT has primarily served for proposing changes in concert with the school’s administration. By working with the School Leadership Team, or the SLT, she found ways to bring change to our school. A large part of what she wanted to do at Bronx Science was to increase the translation program to include better translated e-mails and services for parents to make sure that those who are part of the immigrant community had access to our school’s information.  

Asuka Koda ’23, along with other members of the Student Organization, works to coordinate Valentine’s Day Carnation sales. This is just one of the many events that have been planned by the SO. (Eddie Jiang )

Other key parts to her campaign included her promises of transparency. She recognizes that there sometimes had been a disconnect between the student body and the SO. Our student body does many things contributing to school life, but there is also a plethora of information that is discussed that isn’t well known. 

For example, the LoP, or League of Presidents, is a section of our school’s student government that is composed of all the presidents of each club and the director of the whole board. The director of the LoP acts as a liaison between all presidents of clubs and the administration, in order to organize all club related activities. With around 3,000 students attending Bronx Science, clubs make up a considerable portion of the activities that students take part in. 

Koda is one of the directors of the LoP. One of her largest responsibilities this year was to devise a way to transition over 120 clubs from a virtual platform to an in-person setting during the current 2021-2022 academic year. This was by no means an easy task, but after careful consideration and lots of brainstorming, Koda was able to find a way for all clubs to continue their activities in person this year.   

Koda doesn’t know what she wants to do in the future, but she can see herself continuing to be more involved in an educational setting in the years to come. She expresses her interest in an interdisciplinary career where she would be able to bring an overall positive change to the world.

“[It’s] one of those integral high school experiences that is painted in such a clichéd way in so many high school movies and if you run and put yourself at great involvement with the process, you can actually kind of feel a lot of aspects of a high school election as seen in the movies,” said Asuka Koda ’23.