The Power of Your Voice
Volume 3 Issue 4
May 18, 2023
Image Provided by iStock
During the midst of the presidential election of 2008, Democratic Party nominee, Barack Obama, said these resonating words: “Your voice can change the world.” President Obama’s pursuit and successful position established in the nation’s highest office was achieved solely through the use of his iconic voice. Just as the President inspired millions, your voice can equally have the same effect on others.
To end this school year, the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) hosted a gun violence awareness campaign to educate students about the firearm crisis in this nation and fundraise to make a significant contribution to the appropriate activist organizations. To bring true attention to this issue, student leaders in the SADD Club, including Shinedip Kundlas, Claudia Sanchez, Barnit Kaur, Janine Olivencia, Noa Cordova, Elaine Ching, and myself, led over 300 North students to walkout at noon and protest gun violence on May 22nd. During the event, each of the leaders highlighted a school shooting and memorialized over 126 victims. Students who walked out were also invited to participate in a 126 second moment of silence as well as sign a pledge to fight against gun violence.
After leading this event firsthand, I truly was able to taste the beginnings of my career in social activism. I learned through careful planning and hardwork to make this a successful event that your voice can make a difference. As I grabbed the megaphone and spoke to the crowd of students that gathered, I realized that everyone present sought one common goal: to end gun violence. My voice in that moment spoke to hundreds of people to not only bring attention to the lives lost, but also establish methods for students to help combat this crisis on a personal level. My voice mattered. The voice of the leaders mattered. And the voice of the students that gathered mattered. Each student who protested was given the opportunity to use their voice. This is the epitome of journalism. To push forward and attest to a topic, even in the face of trials that may prove controversial or dangerous.
After seven years, my journey at Valley Stream North High School has come to a close. As my fingers type away at this final article, I can only thank those around me who have guided me to this next chapter of my life. To my family, friends, teachers for molding me into the person I am today. However, one special thank you extends to the entire North Star. To Ms. Swinton, Ms. Hersch, and Mrs. Mansfield for advising the club. To the current and graduated editors for being dedicated to maintaining the magazine’s prestige. And, of course, to the readers, for supporting the North Star through its years of existence. However, the doors to the next chapter of my life have opened wide. The future articles and news reports await to be made, whether about current or historical events. However, before signing off as the News Editor, I must offer this piece of advice to all those reading this article. Be confident, even as you move into new unknowns. Whether in journalism or simply, your day to day life, keep using your voice to make your newsworthy contribution to our world.