So far, 2020 has been full of curveballs. It has exposed some of America's biggest problems and continues to demand action. It has opened the eyes of Americans everywhere; inspiring people to educate themselves and stand with their community. This week I graduated high school, and although I did not have a traditional graduation, I am grateful for graduating when I did. The class of 2020 has graduated during a call for revolution. As the pandemic continues to expose America's flaws and protestors crowd the streets demanding justice, Every day I learn how to be a better individual and better part of my community. I interviewed some students from the class of 2020 asking them if their priorities for this summer have changed in light of these recent events. Here are their new and improved summer bucket lists.
1. “Educate my brother and siblings who are next in line.”
"A goal of mine is to continually make money to afford college. Also to inform my younger family generation to ask for help to be successful in college. Growing up with no help from people who actually went to college, we (my older siblings and cousins,) had to figure out ourselves. I will educate my brother and siblings who are next in line for college, to get scholarships, SATs, etc, in order to leave a lower class home and finally make it to a comfortable home and better future."
- Denise Mezquite- Gonzalez
2. "Educating myself on BLM and the Reproductive Rights Movement"
"School literally taught me nothing on the Black Lives Matter Movement and I want to educate myself more on the movement. I want to be more involved then I already am. I also want to fight for reproductive rights!! I'm tired of politics being tied to the reproductive system! I want to educate myself and participate in protests that support women having a choice!"
- Rebecca Bandy
3. “Help with the mental health crisis.”
"I want to help with the mental health crisis because there's a lot of strangers and people I love who have been hit hard from the virus and isolation; someone needs to give them a hand so that they may stand with the rest of us."
4. “Spend my money locally."
"Having personally seen how small businesses have been affected by COVID-19, I've been encouraged to spend my money locally through small businesses. I've also been tipping a lot more."
- Tj Guerrero
5. “Spread awareness.”
"My goal for the summer is to spread awareness and education to as many people as I can with my platform and in person as well. The first step to being educated is being aware."
- Mae Johnson
6. "Be more educated on local elections."
"I would like to be more educated on local elections. If you don't try to educate yourself and vote then you're letting a bad president get elected!"
- Rini Galbraith
America is changing, and it is challenging us to reevaluate our priorities. We must use these new perspectives to shape our routines and figure out how we will leave our impact on the world. Striving to be a better person should not end post-pandemic, and it should not end after the media moves on to other things. This summer, do not let your voice go silent.