Fueling Passion- A Rise in Student Activism

Hannah Scarborough, Online Editor, Staff Writer

As adolescents, we are passionate people. We are constantly learning, constantly changing, constantly becoming different. We are sponges of ideas and knowledge. But all this passion and inspiration must go somewhere. How should high-school students, no matter how old or how high one’s SAT score is, channel this passion? For many students, it manifests itself in the form of activism: taking an active role in one’s community and creating change where one sees fit. Lately, Amador has seen an influx in student activism- not only within the school, but within our community at large.

Junior Savannah Gray, Co-President of Our Movement club to prevent suicide and depression, says, “I consider myself an activist, and I encourage others to also become active in their communities!

She continued by saying that she helped create “Our Movement” to create a positive support network at Amador.

“I’m super proud and excited by the reaction to the club. Although we’ve only had a few meetings, being a new club and all, the turnouts have been huge and everyone seems to be having a great time bonding. If you’re passionate about a cause, you’re halfway there. Channel that passion into real change.”

Gray mentioned that many students think they have little influence at their age, and that change can’t be accomplished as a student.

She stated, “I think that a lot of students don’t think that they have it in them to be able to affect the world in a positive way, but you can start small! Any size of change is still change.”

Another prominent activist at Amador is senior Kalyn Epps, who created the video project called “I, too, am Amador.” This video highlighted the underlying (and overt) racism, sexism and discrimination that many Amador students face. Epp’s own experiences inspired her to take action.

She said, “I was tired of hearing and reading ignorant comments people were making and instead of continuing to feel helpless, I decided to direct my energy into something that I hoped would have a positive impact and encourage people to think.”

At the same time, student activists open themselves up to various forms of criticism by putting their ideas out in the open.

As to her peers’ reactions, Kalyn said, “ I expected to get a fair amount of negative feedback. Conversely, an overwhelming number of people have been very supportive and responded in a positive manner. It was really great to know that people are willing to listen to what their peers have to say.”

Whether or not Kalyn defines herself as an activist, she is certainly making a positive impact on Amador, raising awareness

“I don’t walk around thinking, “I’m an activist.” I just chose to speak up about an issue because it is important to me and I thought I could make a difference. If that classifies me as an activist, then so be it. It’s certainly a label I’d carry with honor, although there are many more people more deserving of that title.”