Today’s students continue to evolve and seek changes to how we view and interpret the ebb and flow of issues in today’s society. Recently, BKW students Henry Gumpper (eighth grade) and Ava Murray (ninth grade) have participated in a leadership program through Capital Region BOCES that provides them with a platform to learn and share information back with their school community. The program, named Elevating Student Voices (ESV), provides an in-person forum for regional high school students to discuss and share conversations surrounding important topics related to race, bullying, and derogatory commentary.
The program, piloted in 2022, aims to bring regional students together to discuss important and sensitive topics in our school communities. Its purpose is twofold, to bring students from different backgrounds and districts to increase opportunities to learn from one another and enable them to have positive forward-thinking conversations on topics important to them and their school peers.
“I was approached by BKW Student Intervention Counselor Ms. Scialdo and was also nominated by BKW Secondary Principal Kane to participate in this opportunity,” said Mr. Gumpper. “Bringing kids to share experiences and create a blueprint on how to improve our school communities is important. Also, sharing how we can learn from one another is a key part of the program. Another key initiative is encouraging our fellow peers to participate in future ESV programming and build something positive moving forward within our district.”
BKW ninth grader Ava Murray echoed her classmates’ thoughts, “It was a cool opportunity to bring new perspectives and ideas on how things are and that not all things are a joke,” she said. “It was interesting to see how other people speak with one another and how they share their thoughts on addressing issues in today’s schools. A lot of important conversations were had, and connections were made between regional students.”
This year, the ESV program has held discussions and workshops with students ranging from Shenendehowa and South Colonie CSD to Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk CSD and BKW in October and December. The next forum will take place in March. To learn more about this community-based program, click here.
Also, stay tuned for additional updates from Henry and Ava as they continue their pathway in sharing important information, conversations and updates with our school community.