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Nikhil Badlani Foundation Youth Advisory Board Recognized by Governor Phil Murphy

WEST ORANGE, NJ – The Nikhil Badlani Foundation Youth Advisory Board was recognized during the April 15 Board of Education meeting by Gov. Phil Murphy for their ongoing efforts to pass Bill S2789 regarding traffic safety legislation in Trenton.

The framed copy of the Bill (S2789) signed by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, read, “West Orange High School Youth Advisory Board  - You made this a reality in remembrance of Nikhil. Stay strong. Sincerely, Phil Murphy.”

Tracy Noble, Shani Jarvis, and Lauren Paterno from the American Automobile Association (AAA) surprised the YAB members with the gift at the Board meeting and extolled the students for their commitment and dedication to improving teen traffic safety.

“You should all be beyond proud of these students,” said Noble as she addressed the board and crowd.

“They were grilled about the legislation and held their own. I don’t know if the legislation would have passed if not for the Youth Advisory Board,” she exclaimed.

“There were senators who changed their minds and voted yes after the students testified,” added Lauren Paterno.

Bill S2789 “requires certain permit holders to complete practice driving hours to obtain a probationary driver’s license.” Read S2789 in its entirety HERE. Specifically, the law requires permit holders under 21 years to complete a minimum of 50 hours of supervised driving, and ten hours in darkness.

Members of the YAB testified multiple times in Trenton to encourage the passage of S2789, most recently on Nov. 30.

In addition to S2789, the YAB has:

  • Been three-time winners of the U Got Brains Champion Schools Program presented by Brain Injury Alliance of NJ
  • Been recognized by the Traffic Officers Association of Essex County Timothy Larney Memorial Traffic Safety Education & Enforcement, named Graduated Drivers License Champions by the Teen Safe Driving Coalition of New Jersey
  • Collaborated to create a street mural to reduce speed on a West Orange roadway by Hazel Elementary School
  • Educated over 400 first-year students on safe driving practices and 400 elementary school students on pedestrian and bike safety
  • Hosted two Traffic Safety fairs
  • Launched Distracted Driving Awareness Campaign in West Orange; created a powerful PSA
  • Held a week-long Traffic Safety Awareness week in March at West Orange High School

“Our teens are shaping the policies that govern teen traffic safety,” declared NBF co-founder Sunil Badlani.

Follow the Nikhil Badlani Youth Advisory Board on Instagram at


Front Row (L-R): Lauren Paterno (AAA), Tracy Noble (AAA), YAB April Torres, Olivia Gart, Krish Patel, David Tamay, Tatiana Garcia, Reya Deshpande, and Joanna Rubinstein. Rear (L-R) YAB Advisor Eugene Pinkney, WOHS Principal Oscar Guerrero, YAB Burhaan Khurram, Sunil Badlani (NBF), Shani Jarvis (AAA), Superintendent Hayden Moore


Students present a slide show about NBF YAB accomplishments



Cynthia Cumming
April 15, 2024