Five of the 15 HS Insider Student Advisory Board members.

Student leaders: Strong and proud, together

Sometimes, the one thing we most feared, the one thing we never thought would happen, could happen…does happen. To the surprise of both campaigns and virtually every political poll, 47.6 percent of the American public voted in Donald J. Trump as the president of the United States. In moments like this, it is easy for one to fall into an abyss of hopelessness and distress, and rightly so.

A country marked for its diverse and multicultural population will now be led for the next four years by an individual whose election was celebrated by the likes of Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke and various other alt-right individuals and groups.

The results of this election brought to light a fact that many of us have ignored until now: this country is more divided than we thought. There is no prevailing voice of progress, but rather a clash of contrasting perspectives, which formed deep divisions within our country.

Trump’s message of change and his appearance as a Washington outsider resonated with a large part of the electorate that the mainstream media ignored, those tired of the status quo. The outcome of this election reveals the political polarization and divisions within our country that were largely invisible until now.

However easy it is to lose hope when facing our new reality, the only way for us to preserve our future is to remain in solidarity and believe that we can still make a change in the world.

Within our HS Insider Student Advisory Board, students of different ethnicities, sexualities, religions, regions, genders and socioeconomic groups are represented. As members of minority groups, many of us are terrified to express opinions that oppose the majority, but our High School Insider community is one that empowers students to voice their views, no matter how unpopular.

As a team, we created “Message to my next president,” an initiative that enabled and empowered the students in our community of young storytellers to speak openly about the issues that affect them on a personal level. Over 145 students participated in our project, addressing issues from immigration to education.

We are confident in the passion and participation of our student community and believe that if we continue to share our stories and truths, positive social change is possible, regardless of who is in power.

As journalists, we will continue to tell the stories that matter. It is through stories that we come to understand the perspectives of others. We will continue to bring to light the struggles of the underrepresented and the marginalized. Our resolve to hold those in power accountable and be the voice for the youth in this country remains unshaken.

Regardless of which individual sits in the White House, we as a generation must keep fighting for the progress of the human condition and the protection of our civil liberties. The future is clouded with uncertainty, and no one is sure what will transpire over the next four years. But we will not be idle. We will stand strong and proud, together.

Sincerely,

The High School Insider Student Advisory Board

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