Irene Kou

Job title: 
Class of 2026
2024 Cal-in-Sacramento Student Director
2023 Cal-in-Sacramento

Irene Kou is a rising sophomore intending to major in Legal Studies at UC Berkeley. Growing up as a first-generation, Asian American student living in a low-income community, she wants to further her understanding of the challenges she and others have faced first-hand. Through this past summer, she served as Co-StudentDirector for Cal-in-Sacramento and interned at the Federal Defender’s Office. She also researched the generational differences in Asian communities using Holistic versus Western medicine. For the 2023-2024 cohort, Irene will serve again as StudentDirector and aims to continue advocating through public service.

In high school, she served as Student Trustee for the West Contra Costa Unified School District’s Board of Education in which she advocated for herself and fellow students at board meetings and other private meetings. She also interned with the RYSE Center for the District Local Accountability Cohort and California’s Youth Organizing steering committee in order to advocate for youth empowerment and youth spaces. She also interned as a COVID-19 Youth Ambassador for Contra Costa Health Services where she advocated for stricter mask policies, social distancing and presented data or prepared presentations to local or state-wide officials.

At Cal, she is part of many organizations on campus like the Fiat Lux Scholarship Program, the Cal Alumni Association, EOP, DSP, Nav2Cal and NavCal. Currently, she is interning as a Nav2Cal Mentor in order to help students from her school district apply for higher education and work on personal development. She will also be working in the Ethnic Studies Podcast Department throughout the school year whilst preparing for the Cal-in-Sac Fellowship.

Research interests: 

Major(s): Legal Studies