Classroom Talks: Teen Activism
What is activism? How can youth get involved? Who or what inspires you to become a teen activist in real life? What makes you continue to want to be an activist ? Do you ever face any challenges when putting effort into volunteering or activism?
All of these questions and more were asked on Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 when STAR Co-Founder and senior at Exeter, Karleigh P., spoke with over 170 sixth graders from Governor Mifflin Intermediate School in Berks County, PA.
Prior to Karleigh's presentation and open forum with the students, each and every one of them had begun learning about what it means to be a teen activist through a unit in their English class that focused on topics of civil rights, girls in education, animal rights, electronic waste, and more. Upon gaining all the knowledge that they could within these categories, they were assigned to write a mini chapter book about the one topic of their choosing. The collection of each of these books would later be published via a Google Site, just like Stand Together Against Racism.
In addition to speaking about various aspects of building and designing a website, the meaning behind the STAR Logo, and what she and her fellow youth activists have accomplished through STAR, Karleigh also answered any and all questions the students had about her personal involvement in the community, her experiences throughout her school career, and what keeps motivating her to become a better leader and role model.
In just two hours of her time speaking with this group of sixth graders, she was not only able to share her passion for volunteering, but also inspire them to get involved in it as well. When asked later about her experience during the time she spent on the Google Meet with all of the classes, Karleigh says, "This was something I never imagined I'd have the opportunity to do. I've been those students, listening to guest speakers at leadership forums or in the classroom, but never did I think that I would one day be on the other side of it all. It's absolutely amazing! Even if I made a positive impact on only a handful of the near two hundred students that I met, I am more than happy. Though I was there to help inspire them, they were the ones who truly inspire me to keep doing what I am doing."
Leading discussions. Sharing stories. Changing lives. This is what the youth leaders of STAR are out to accomplish, even if it is just one student at a time. We plan to keep in touch with the sixth grade teachers and their students at Governor Mifflin Intermediate School and can't wait to see what comes next for all their youth leaders just as ours continue to grow as well.
In addition, students at Wilson High School in Berks County, PA will be developing a collaborative program to unite their middle school students in discussions regarding social justice and how they can get involved as the next group of young voices through the STAR program!