Student Leadership Trip - Inspiring our Students to Think Big

Students visit the Illinois Holocaust Museum and hear from David Hogg, Stoneman Douglas HS shooting survivor and author of #NeverAgain.

On Thursday February 21, 2019, Mrs. Turk took eight of our McPherson student leaders on a field trip that they may never forget. Below is a Q&A with one of the students, Kayla M. Check out the video Kayla created.

How did you feel as you toured the Illinois Holocaust Museum? Was there anything unexpected in what you saw/felt?
             During the tour of the holocaust museum I felt sad and disappointed on how there was a point where humanity had that level of hatred.  There was a part of the museum where it just had a wall full of letters to the newspaper of people looking for their family and friends - that was really heartbreaking.  I read a lot of stories on how poorly people were treated and younger children who had to go through these horrific events, especially when they didn’t understand what was going on.  
What was the most moving part of David Hogg's presentation?
I think the most moving part about David’s presentation was how his school was just having a positive day, it being Valentine’s day, and then the least expected thing happened.  How that day and that person’s actions changed his whole life and so many others.  How one day you can be happy with your friends and family and the next you can just lose someone without knowing it’s coming.  What also was moving was how David and other survivors have been continuing to reach out to different audiences and fighting for the safety of our generation.
What were your feelings about the Stoneman Douglas HS shooting before hearing David Hogg? Any changes after?
         Before I heard David’s presentation, of course I felt as it was a horrible situation and it made me really sad to hear about how people’s lives changed forever.  I think after hearing David’s presentation it hit me even more - when he was talking about how his day was going and how everyone had great plans for Valentine’s day.  Then that day took a big turn and became a horrific day, and many lives were hurt and lost.  I also thought more deeply about how he said to not wait for something like this to happen to make a stand / change. That is something that really inspired and motivated me, because I’ve always wanted to make a difference but always thought “oh, what can I do? I’m just a teenager and no one would listen to me.”  But after hearing David speak and see how far he’s made it, it really inspires and motivates me to make a change. 
Is there a cause you are passionate about and if so, what is it?
            Something I’m really passionate to make a change about are things like mental health & youth suicide.  They have a really close connection, and I feel that, especially in this generation, this is an important topic.  I even did my research paper based on youth suicide and I learned a lot more about it, I feel like this topic should be talked about more to understand how others feel and what they may be going through behind closed doors.  There’s a lot more on this topic that I’d like to talk about.
Something else is homelessness and that’s something that we will be working on in our community, to help make a difference.  Especially in Chicago, homelessness is something really big and we feel that everyone deserves to have some sort of shelter and deserves to be safe. 

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