Reynolds High School students, Uma, Fatemah , Zeinab, Collin, Merna, Karima, Farrah, Milen, and Ophelia from Vietnam, Egypt, Somalia, Mexico, Burma, Iran, and Eritrea were chosen for their strong leadership qualities and desire to serve their community to attend the Tend the World Youth: Global Link Between the Environment and Social Justice on January 17th. They engaged in small group discussions with students from Skyview and Grant high schools about ecological crisis and social justice issues such as having to drink and bathe using bottled water instead of contaminated tap water in Flint, Michigan; fear that undocumented residents have of reporting to FEMA in Houston because of the threat of deportation; and large computer companies that employ child labor and expose them to toxic metals and chemicals overseas, just to name a few issues!
Reynolds High School students met real students advocating for 100% renewable energy in the city of Portland by 2020 through organizing in a youth climate council. These presenters inspired students to begin to act for change in the school to educate their peers about recycling and rethinking how they consume goods like buying the latest cell phone upgrade. Reynolds students debriefed and decided on the next steps to making changes in their ways of living; communicating effectively with their peers; and informing people in their community.
Debra Tavares, Language Arts Teacher, Reynolds High School