TROY — A group of Troy High School students are making posters for Black History Month. This is in an effort to make classmates feel respected, unified, and supported.
The inspiration for the posters got its start last summer. Haylee Bridge, now a senior at Troy High School, was voted student body president.
“The Black Lives Matter movement was picking up and I definitely felt an outreach from our community that something needed to be done,” Bridge said.
With the success from the banners made over the summer Bridge said it made it easy to put the idea together for Black History Month. Bridge helped organize the group of students to make the posters of some historically significant African Americans.
“When the idea was first brought up a lot of people were super excited,” Bridge said. “I know in some areas of this community people don’t feel as safe and comfortable being themselves and living in their own skin. So I think people appreciate that we’re making a safe haven here and appreciated the effort no matter how big or small it was.”
Bridge reached out to fellow senior Morgan Brown among other students. Both said that the location and placement of the posters was done with a purpose, placing people in a given field near a corresponding classroom.
“I’m a senior this year and I want to get involved before I have to go,” Brown said. “I’m not in student government or anything like that. So it meant a lot to me that she reached out to me so I could be a part of this.”
Brown is the one that complied a list of names for students to pick from to make their posters. Brown made two, one was for Rosa Parks.
“I’ve experienced a couple hardships throughout my lifetime,” Brown said. “But I kid you not since I’ve moved to Troy and been here since the 6th grade I’ve never experienced racism, discrimination nothing like that. I’ve always felt important and wanted here. I feel like there’s a quality in our school and that’s super important because it doesn’t just like the students and the teachers around me but it just comes from the entire community.”
Troy High School principal Dave Dilbone said the initiative has been led entirely by students, who have impressed him with their awareness and empathy.
“It’s just really impressive that our students are the ones who want to be involved in these types of activities and they’re reaching out to me in order to represent all students at Troy High School,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them as their principal.”
Brown said she hopes this project helps others feel as included as she’s felt since moving to Troy.
“We’re showing the students who are minorities here, people of color, that they are recognized, they are important but also they could be somebody some day,” Brown said.
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