🗣 Finding Our Student Voice 🗣 The UnifiEd Student Voice Team Blog Surrounding Student Life
After two years of working with UnifiEd I’ve gained so much insight into a community I once thought I knew thoroughly. Before I get into the details of my tenure, I must go back to where it all started...
I was hired two years ago when I was barely a junior at Red Bank High School. It was a nerve-wracking process that was completed with a student-led interview and resume submission that included a picture of me (courtesy of my mom). I had connected with the main student interviewer (Carson) over our love of learning the Spanish language, and I left the interview feeling confident. Within a week, I heard back and was ecstatic to be a part of an organization that did meaningful work and was genuinely motivated to support students.
I’ve lived in the same house my whole life, so as a Red Bank native, I assumed I knew everything I needed to know about my city, but that couldn’t be further from my actual reality. Before I was hired on, I didn’t know anything about a school board, county commission, or how local government worked in general. Throughout my time at this job, I’ve been able to not only understand the inner workings of our community and local education, but I’ve been able to create a positive change in an area that has impacted my childhood and now adulthood.
As I move on to college, I can’t help but look back on the eventful time I’ve had here, from meeting with my first elected official to local news interviews highlighting the student-led work we do. Some highlights from my experience include my interview with Magdalena Slapik and writing a written account of protesting for Chalkbeat Tennessee. I think one of my most proud moments was passing the Student Suicide Prevention Policy unanimously through the school board. The Student Voice Team worked tirelessly poured hours of research and community feedback into refining that policy. It was a defining moment for me at this job because that was the first time I saw authentic student voice affect the policies that govern students.
Working at this job has only reassured me in the future career path, I’m blazing. I plan on majoring in business and having a minor in journalism at Howard University. By writing up on the things I care about and leaving to work with/manage students, I’ve been able to gain hands-on experience for the fields I want to study. Although this may feel like one long and drawn-out goodbye, this is more of a welcoming of new journeys in my life. I can’t wait to follow up with the organization and see where the new students take the UnifiEd Student Voice Team.