Empowerment in Advisory: 8th Graders Call Lawmakers

By 8th grader Emi

Usually around this time of year, the Division 2 advisory would be preparing for Portfolio Day, an annual event where parents are guided through the work done by their students, who set academic goals for the rest of the year. However, this year it’s been a bit different.

Feeling frustrated and helpless at the results of this most recent election, we decided we needed to take action. With the help of our advisor, Sonja, we chose a few specific problems that we wanted to advocate for: LGBTQ+ Rights and Women’s Rights. We decided that in addition to our usual Portfolio Day preparations, we would also call our senators, Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey, once or twice a month, about these issues.

Our first calls were last Wednesday. We read from scripts, asking the senators to oppose the appointment of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. The assistants who picked up the phones were polite and assured us that the call would be recorded and passed on to the senators.

It was a new experience for all of us, and it was a clear step outside of our comfort zones. But it gave us a sense of empowerment - like we were creating and controlling our own futures. It’s definitely something I look forward to doing again in the future.