Students walk to make a difference


PHOTO Mckenna Harrington

As they conclude the walk at Bush Park, junior Erica Kolanowski smiles alongside teacher Lori Thompson and junior Makayla Bachman.“I felt so happy and proud throughout the whole walk,” Kolanowski said. “ I kept thinking that I had no idea that I could make an impact this big.”

Brendan Triola, Writer

In the wake of the Missouri protests, students across the country are trying to force change in their communities. Anywhere from walking out of school to protest teachers getting pink slipped to marching to the gym and staging a sit-in to protest programs like band and theater being cut, there is a national movement that screams the words students and power.

There are many ways students demonstrate power. Junior Erica Kolanowski led a group of friends in a walk sponsored by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Originally, Kolanowski’s friend from a school near Lansing heard about a walk to raise awareness for suicide prevention. In an effort to get transportation for a handful of students to attend this walk, Kolanowski reached out to Principal Mark Suchowski. Suchowski advised that her to get some help from teacher Lori Thompson, because of her past with “Bullycide.” Eventually it was decided that a walk locally would be more cost efficient and have a bigger impact on the community.

“I think it turned out really well,” Kolanowski said. “We had about 55 people show up and walk and a lot of cars passing by were honking and cheering us on. We were very successful. I feel like we made a huge difference by raising awareness. I really didn’t think I had this much power as a student.”

Many opportunities for students to demonstrate power are available, but not all are clear as day. Protests and walkouts are common, but power is not defined by rebellion. Students are finding ways to prove themselves as contributing members and leaders of our society.