Kara Smith is a rising senior at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies and a High School Insider 2019 summer intern. (Mel Melcon / L.A. Times)
Carson High School

Kara Smith uses her voice to spread awareness

Kara Smith’s interest in journalism stems from what she sees as a lack of attention to the struggles of black people in American society. Her passion for journalism has led her to be named next year’s editor-in-chief of her school’s newsletter.

Smith is a rising senior at Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies High School, where she is a minority in a majority white and Asian school. She has lived in Windsor Hills for the last 12 years and grew up perceiving the mistreatment of black people.

“Experiencing oppression, racism and colorism opened my eyes to how bad society is,” Smith said. “I saw how I was treated and how black people were treated.If I wrote about it, people read it and people would be like, ‘I didn’t know that,’ and maybe they would change the way they act or talk.”

Homero Rojas, Smith’s friend and co-editor-in-chief at LACES, said she is also an optimistic personality around school.

“It’s helpful to have a boost of sunshine that you don’t always get on campus,” Rojas said. “It’s always fun to see what she’s going to write about, especially when it’s something that she’s passionate about like African American rights.”

She’s also big on zodiac signs.

“I’ll just be talking to Kara or just doing something and she’ll be like, ‘Oh, my God, you are such a Libra,’ ” Rojas said. “Or she’ll send me memes on Instagram or text and she’ll just say, ‘This is literally you,’ and it’s a zodiac page.”

Smith’s mother, Shanda Crawford, said her daughter is proactive in helping people learn about the struggles that challenge the black community.

“She realized on her own that there are gaps and that there were things missing in society that needed to be told or explained,” Crawford said. “I’m very proud of her that she’s willing to be outspoken and so adamant about helping people learn about what’s missing in society and what needs to happen.”

As she becomes a more competent journalist, Smith envisions continuing to spread knowledge on the everyday struggles black people face in society.

“Writing is the way I convey these things,” Smith said. “I’m going to continue writing and I love journalism.”