This I Believe

Molly - Oak Park, California
Entered on October 29, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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This I Believe

Student Voices

“Any new business?” the president would ask during student government meetings. It seemed like such a simple question, yet it was a query that gave us, as students, the ability to change or improve school policies. I believe that students should have a strong voice and student representatives to stand up for their causes.

I have been involved in school student government for six years beginning in third grade. I would always be the one excited to run for class representative in elementary school. As a council member I would run charitable collection drives and announce monthly honors at assemblies. As the fifth grade vice president, my responsibilities grew, as did my passion for helping out at school. The teachers overseeing the group allowed us the opportunity to make decisions.

Moving onto middle school we were informed, as fifth graders, that to be involved in ASB (Associated Student Body) we needed to try out for the class. This entailed writing an essay, getting teacher recommendations and coming up with ideas to improve the new school. I was humbled to be chosen as one of the five students from my school. Now the politics became more serious. This was a daily class, like every other subject, but the council led the class while the teacher observed, assisting only when necessary. Activities were run and goods were collected for those less fortunate. The class attended off-site leadership seminars with other middle schools and brainstormed ways for other students to express ideas and concerns. I continued my involvement, in seventh and eighth grade again through an application and interview process.

In eighth grade I ran for an officer position, secretary for the freshman high school class. I campaigned and always kept a smile on my face throughout the entire election. Currently, in the ninth grade, I am the secretary for our freshman class. I still love helping to make changes, and now, as a fourteen year old, I take the task very seriously. The Homecoming dance, school rallies, and selling tickets at school sporting events are part of the requirements, but I never think of this as work. This is fun and helps make the school a better and more organized place.

I believe students can make a difference. As a community, students have both the rights and responsibilities to brighten tomorrow. If the student body is unhappy with an idea, it must be made clear so it can be changed. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that has,” is a quote by Margaret Mead. The quote demonstrates that a difference can be made when a dedicated group works together. Voices should be heard, and fortunately because of the times we live in, this is a reality. I am proud and honored to have the opportunity to help make the students’ voices heard loud and clear.