Youth Council Member
John Bandek, 17, born in Glendale, California, is a graduate of Clark Magnet High School. He will attend Glendale Community College after which transfer to a high-tier university. John seeks to pursue a career in politics for his interest in making a positive impact on the environment and other prominent world affairs. Since 8th grade, John has had a passion for the sciences. He first began his interest after winning 3rd place for his project, “What color is the candy?” at the Los Angeles County Science Fair. When he first began high school, he noticed that his school did not participate in the County Science Fair; therefore, John took it upon himself to start a science fair club to give students the opportunity to participate in the local, county and state fairs. Since then, numerous students have created award winning projects and several others even had the opportunity to reach the International Intel ISEF Fair due to John’s club.
John continued to take advantage of every opportunity offered at Clark. He took courses in his school’s scientific career pathway, including Science Research, Environmental GIS, and AP Biology. Through these programs, John has worked on various projects to help make a positive impact in his community and ultimately the world. He organized a campus cleanup, has created many story maps to depict the effects of plastic pollution on Albatross Birds, has conducted an analysis on Albatross Bolus, has been trained to use an ROV, and has learned to use the ArcGIS Mapping Software to create hotspots and other visual representations of environmental problems. He won an award for his article, “Crickets become the new protein source,” which until this day is the most read article on the Best of SNO website with more than 53,000 reads. The article shed light to a group of students on his campus who were introducing cricket protein as an alternative protein source to promote water conservation.
In his senior year, John participated in the Lexus Eco Challenge as a team manager with several other friends. After seeing the amount of plastic water bottles used on his campus, he worked with his school district on getting a refillable water bottle station. The station was successfully installed in October 2016 and has since saved 6,300 plastic bottles. John is currently also working on getting an Electric Car-Charging station for his school’s parking lot. John has participated in the Coastal Marine Bio-Lab’s Barcoding Life’s Matrix program for the past two years. Along with his classmates, John has helped with barcoding the DNA of a bee population in Santa Roza that has been declining over the past few years. The program has allowed him to use scientific instruments such as thermal-cyclers, gel-electrophoresis, and spectrophotometers.
John has played a significant role as a youth activist in his community and his school. At Clark, John was the Associated Student Body’s Vice President and the Principal Advisory Committee’s Chairman. He was also a member of the Glendale Unified School District’s Student Advisory Council. In his school, he held many leadership positions such as CyberSecurity Club team captain, Mock Trial Attorney and team leader, along with other clubs such as the Key Club, Multicultural Club, Pre-Med Club, and the Red-Cross Club. He was a tutor in his school’s California Scholarship Federation, an intern in the ACE Mentoring Program, section editor to the school’s literary and arts magazine, and 2016 school yearbook section editor.
John has spent more than 1000 hours volunteering in his community. He is a Boy Scout in California’s, La Crescenta Troop 306 holding the position as a CubMaster for boys ages 6-11. He currently interns and volunteers at the Glendale Adventist Medical Center’s Human Resource Department, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital’s Emergency Room and Laboratory, and the Glendale Public Library’s La Casa Verdugo Branch.
Throughout his four years in high school, John has received a various number of awards including: The Glendale Youth Activist Award, The Ronald Reagan Student Leader Award, The Jeanne Bentley Community Service Award, City of Glendale Mayor’s Commendation, County of Los Angeles Commendation, Glendale Kiwanis’s “Hope of America Award,” California Legislature Assembly — Certificate of Recognition, California State Senate — Certificate of Recognition, House of Representatives, Adam Schiff Office — Certificate of Recognition, and The Crescenta Valley Chamber of Commerce — Certificate of Congratulations.
In his spare time, John enjoys hiking and spending time with his family. He is determined to make a positive impact on his community and world through volunteering and helping in every way possible in hopes of inspiring other youth to do the same as well.