On My Mind

Budget cuts steal teens’ voices

March 31, 2010 

High school for most teens is a time of coming into your own. The influences of teachers and peers greatly impact your views on the world. As individuals growing into adults, teens find themselves struggling to figure out who they are and where they are going.

Many teens don’t realize the impact that classes have on the development of real world skills until after we graduate. I never thought that journalism class would have had such a big impact on my life.

Journalism became an outlet, giving me a way to voice my opinions. It was finally a way for me to express myself and be heard. No feeling could match seeing my name in black ink for the first time. I had never felt more accomplished. Journalism class became a high for me, and writing was my fix. I had found my niche, a hidden talent I never would’ve found on my own. I wrote for the Loudspeaker, my high school’s newspaper, for three years, working my way through the ranks just like with any job. I stayed after school, put in the hours and applied myself in class.

When I reached my senior year, I finally got my opportunity to shine. After years of mentoring and apprenticing, I finally became Editor-in-Chief, something I never thought I could accomplish. Being the editor taught me indispensable skills: leadership, communication and, most importantly, the power of words.

I am now in a completely unrelated field to journalism. I work for an engineering firm in Fort Mill as a project manager. On a daily basis, I market myself along with the company for which I work. Journalism gave me real world perspectives. Everyday I use skills that my journalism class gave me. I edit press releases, as well as write them, draw up flyers and campaigns. I lead my staff with patience and understanding – skills I learned through journalism.

Recently, I found out that due to budget cuts at Fort Mill High School, journalism is on the chopping block. I urge everyone to stand up for this class! We cannot steal away the voices of our teens. If we take away this class, we take away the foundation of communication along with the chance for so many great writers to discover, as I did, their hidden talent. I persuade readers to do all that you can to keep journalism alive at FMHS. I plan on doing all that I can to take a stand for those who can’t!

Your voice can count, too.

Young adults today are constantly being told that they have no ambition or drive. We are told that “times these days are different.” Well. times these days are different, too. In a struggling economy why deny your children a chance to grow and develop real world skills? This is not the time to take away the voices of our generation. I urge readers to take time out of their day to write to the school board.

Please sign my petition, as well as log onto www.theloudspeaker.webs.com to hear the voices of students past and present who are also taking a stand.

To sign my petition, please send your name along with your address to bri@warpuniversity.com, along with any comments. All comments and signatures will be sent to the school board and the principal of Fort Mill High School. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please address them to the e-mail above.

Let’s take a stand for our teens and their right to be heard!

Bri LaRive is a resident of Tega Cay and a graduate of Fort Mill High School.

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