Story by Jerell King. Photo from FNN Summer Archive.
OCT. 17, 2016: On September 16th, 2016 students from Friendship Tech Prep interacted with law students from around the country to discuss the problems in our community and how we can step up and make a change. Many speakers including Judge Glenda Hatchett and Valerie Castile, the mother of Philando Castile, came to Friendship Tech Prep. They came to share that we as middle and high school students are the future of this country and we need to empower others in our community to show that black lives, and all lives really do matter. The students who had the amazing opportunity to be involved in this program had the chance to engage into very important conversations about our future and how we can shape it as of today. This event was organized by our very own head of schools, the amazing Peggy Jones.
This meeting was held in the afternoon inside of the cafeteria of the Friendship Tech Prep campus. There were delicious snacks for our students and guests to enjoy including pizza, doughnuts, and a variety of drinks. When everyone got situated, we first heard a few words from our head of schools Peggy Jones to explain how big of an opportunity this is for us. Then all of the visiting law students introduced themselves to all of the students.
Next, we all heard a few important and empowering words from Judge Glenda Hatchett to show us how we all need to cherish our future and be aware and mindful of the issues of our race and our community. Judge Hatchett also told us how proud she was to represent Valerie Castile in her quest for justice for her son Philando. We then heard a very important speech from Valerie Castile, explaining that her son Philando was killed for no good reason and that incident could be the case for any of us.
After all of our speakers shared their beliefs, all of our students broke off into groups to discuss important topics about our community and our future. This led to very in-depth group discussions between our students, our guest law students, and the speakers.
Everyone in the program got the chance to express their ideas freely about a very important topic. Everyone had strong opinions to share on the importance of our futures and our lives. I am so lucky that I got the chance to be a part of this amazing opportunity.
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Jerell King is an 8th grade scholar at Friendship Tech Prep Academy.