Sunday, September 20, 2020

Letters

We Have Work to Do

Clintonians showed up for the Class of 2020: parades, celebrations, posters. And it made an impact on students.

As a recent Morgan graduate and REACT leader, I have two insights about Morgan and our community. The first is that situations are not always as they appear. Walking through the Morgan, you will see many students with smiles and chipper “Hellos!” But, if you look closely, behind that smile, you uncover emotion that is buried in the depth of the student: possibly a very different sentiment.

This is expressed in the data that Partners in Community collected in October 2019: “30 percent of senior girls felt sad or depressed all or most of the time.” This clearly demonstrates that there is something more going on with students than what you might see at first glance.

The second insight is that community actions matter and speak volumes. There is a clear correlation between this data about depression rates and data collected about student’s perceived value by the community. PiC data shows that “24 percent of students felt valued by the community.” This is not to say that the community does not value the youth, because I know many community members, and believe many more, do value the youth of Clinton. This statistic simply conveys that the value isn’t communicated and expressed to the youth—and there is a simple solution.

Valuing youth more, or rather expressing it more meaningfully, has the potential to help students feel less sad because they know that they have a community of people who will back them up and lift them up. Clinton, we have work to do and youth to embrace, and I know that we are a strong community that can make an impact on the lives of our students.

Sarah Auletta
Clinton