The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

The voice of Lyons Township students for more than 100 years

LION Newspaper

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Students attend ‘Amplify: Student Voice’

Attendees learned the importance of sharing their voice

Students from LT as well as three other high schools had the opportunity to attend “Amplify: Student Voice,” a conference at the College of DuPage on Friday, Dec. 1. Amplify aims to help students, particularly minority students, make their voices heard and represented at their school and in their community. This is the third consecutive year of this event.

Jennifer Rowe, Director of Student Equity and Belonging, had a pivotal role in planning and organizing this event. When coming up with ideas for how to make this conference the most beneficial for attendees, the goal was to focus on mental health and self-confidence by introducing new skills, especially for marginalized voices, she said.

“The impact afterward lasts because you have new leaders, ideas, friendships, and information, and you’ve gained inspiration,” Rowe said. “That is what this conference is about: that kids are finding their voice, connecting with other kids, [and] learning about college.”

This event consisted of breakout sessions where students could dive deeper into selected topics and a keynote presentation given by Clayton Muhammad, Chief Community Communications and Equality Officer at the Aurora mayor’s office. LT seniors Madison Ferrell and Cam Hutchens gave a welcome speech as well.

“One of the biggest takeaways was the sense of community, student involvement, and student leadership,” Ferrell said. “I still use the things they taught me [last year] with things I’m involved into this day.”

This year, 80 LT students were invited to attend–a dramatic increase from the 50 last year. Students on the Student Equity and Belonging Committee, as well as other inclusion-based clubs, are encouraged to attend, Rowe said.

“Kids who are on the Student Equity and Belonging Committee [attend the conference],” Rowe said. “Then I usually push it out [to other groups] and invite them; for example, PRISM, Disabled-Abled Connections, Black Student Union, Latinos Juntos, guidance counselors, and teachers are all sent invitations to try and get it out to as many people as possible.”

The conference emphasized the importance of minority students using their voices to promote a more equitable environment, Ferrell said.

“It’s just nice to know that there are people from school districts around you that agree with what you’re saying and would be willing to support your social justice endeavors,” Aleck Fagan ‘24 said. “I use my voice in classes by pointing out hypocrisies and including other people in conversations because having a one-sided story is only slightly better than not knowing anything at all.”

This conference was beneficial for clarifying that students aren’t alone and have the power to share their voice for good in the world, Fagan said. 

“It is important because when you are a minority, you don’t have the loudest voice, and it is easy for your voice to go unheard,” Ferrell said. “I think it’s important to have events like Amplify, where your voice does matter and they are involved and included in their community.”

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Zoe Knott, Reporter
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