I joined the staff of the WG Echo in my sophomore year of high school. I was going through some things. I was struggling to figure out who I was; I was lost in a sea of confusion. I was incredibly soft spoken, I didn’t want to talk up in class, or defend myself, and I let people treat me as if I was trash.
When I joined the Echo’s main staff in junior year, I started to open up more. I learned how to vocalize my opinions in a mature and intelligent manner. I was able to express myself and other students through writing.
While there are many other factors that contributed to the more mature person I am today-like my friends, my sisters, my parents, having to overcome stereotypes, rumors and bullying- being on the Echo definitely helped push me forward.
My articles have been destroyed tumultuously, by friends, adults and the Young Republicans group chat (oops!). Anyways, it is hard for me to write about articles that carry so much weight to me; it is hard to have to work for hours and days on a story, just to have it torn to shreds. However, I have realized that by people getting angry about what I write, my words matter. My voice matters. I have had all the cards stacked against me at points, and there’s many things that happen that go unheard of, but writing for the Echo has taught me that my words do affect people positively too.
I will continue to write journalistically and creatively, with a scope on the idea that no matter their gender, sexuality, race, religion, age, all people deserve equal rights. I will go on to major in politics and journalism; this isn’t the last time my name will be plastered places; just next time, it will be on a congressional name plate.
As Maya Angelou once said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” I will go on to tell every single story I have, no matter what obstacles arise.
Thank you to my fellow staff members, and thank you to advisor Donald Johnson, even though your jokes are terrible, your honesty and kindness have made my four years of high school (from freshman to senior year) be so much more bearable.
Rosa Parks, senior, is a second year ECHO student, and has made contributions to the paper during Journalism and the ECHO newspaper 2017-2018.