Why I Am Here

 

 

I am here because I am tired of being angry at injustice and doing nothing about it.  I’m tired of writing middle school petitions and joining clubs with a mission statement that doesn’t match their reality.  High school is full of teachers who tell us that we “have a voice,” but don’t teach us how to use it.

When I worked at the state house as a page, I saw that change is possible.  In the aftermath of the Florida shooting, students filled the halls with signs and chants of “not one more.”  They spoke to legislators and held press conferences and they had a voice. As I watched S.55 (the gun bill) move through the legislature, student activists were there every step of the way. Pages were required to remain unbiased, but the experience had a large impact on me, and it’s definitely part of why I’m here today.

Adelle MacDowell

5 Responses to “Why I Am Here

  • Dear Adelle,

    I’ve read your comment many times – feeling that you are speaking directly to me and all teachers.

    “I am here because I am tired of being angry at injustice and doing nothing about it. I’m tired of writing middle school petitions and joining clubs with a mission statement that doesn’t match their reality. High school is full of teachers who tell us that we “have a voice,” but don’t teach us how to use it.”

    You have inspired me and made me hopeful about young people having a voice – and using it.

    I hope to meet you this year and learn about WTS matching the reality of its mission and goals.

    Thank you,

    Dixie Goswami

  • Hi Adelle,
    We are always told that we have a voice and your right, we are never told how to use it to make an impact. Your experience State House as a page must have been really interesting, and I wonder if it was hard for you to remain unbiased of a situation that affects people everyday, and especially as a student having to see the devastation that people our ages have gone through already because of guns. I would love to hear about your experience as a Page!
    I’m wondering about the other topics you find intriguing?
    -Sasha

  • Dear Adelle,

    I love the passion around taking action and making a difference that I can sense in your writing. You’ve signed up for the right course; this year you’ll be able to take your passion and energy and channel it into a project that you find worthwhile, valuable, and important.

    Your experience as a page sounds fascinating and you certainly had an interesting legislative session to observe. Beside seeing the power of young people, I wonder if the experience gave you insights into other aspects of making change. In the everyday interactions between legislators, lobbyists, reporters, citizens and others, did you witness negotiations, cooperation, effective communication and other skills that allowed people to spread their messages and influence others? Were there individuals and/ or groups that you observed that were really good at getting their message across and could you use their techniques in this course?

    I’d love to hear more about your experience as a page at some point this year.

    Erik

  • Adelle,

    Thank you for this post!! My name is Greta, and I’m going to be reading your blogs this fall. I was a What’s the Story? student-learner in the 2016-17 cohort, and I’m pumped to be back as a blog reader. I can quite honestly say that What’s the Story? redirected my life for the better; I wouldn’t be the activist or the learner I am today without it. I’m so excited that you now have the chance to be influenced by WtS, too! If you have absolutely any questions about the WtS process going forward, feel free to ask me as someone who was in your shoes two years ago 🙂

    Your words are incredibly powerful; I can see that you already have spearheaded social action and that you’re excited to continue that with WtS, and to make it more effective. Here are some questions to consider going forward: What have you hoped to accomplish with those middle school petitions and clubs with a misleading mission? How could you channel those past attempts at making change into WtS, which is a much more effective platform than, let’s face it, anything in middle school? In other words, what issues have you fought for in the past, and do you want to keep working with those issues, or try something new? It sounds like you’re passionate about gun reform and student involvement in government; are those topics of interest for WtS?

    I encourage you to think back on issues you’ve been passionate about, but also to be open to new ones–it was through this combination that WtS was so meaningful for me!

    Best,
    Greta

  • Adelle,

    I can’t wait to see how you develop your focus this year. Having watched you write and grow over these last few years, I am looking forward to how you tackle WtS.

    As always, let me know how I can help.

    gg

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