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Kids Speaking Up

September 12th, 2009 (03:57 pm)

current mood: optimistic

Some smart, committed high school students spoke today at the NFPW conference's student journalism awards luncheon. One boy, now a college freshman, wrote an award-winning column about a classmate, a student athlete with testicular cancer who refused to give up -- and agreed to go public in order to help others. A girl who is now a junior wrote an international piece about people who are willing to sacrifice everything for the cause of free speech.

The featured speaker, though, was the most amazing. Sophie D'Arcy is a 15-year-old Californian who at the age of 10 founded, with her 12-year-old sister, an organization they called Kids Speaking Up. The student group is dedicated to fighting ignorance and apathy among kids, helping them to understand the issues that affect their world and to find their voices so they can work to solve the problems they care about. They have chapters at elementary, junior high, and high schools, and they publish their own magazine.

Portrayals of teenagers in the media so often portray them as self-absorbed, hormone-crazed, and shallow. It's nice to see another side of the story.