Whether it’s working to end out-of-school suspension or studying in college to be able to increase access to healthy plant-based foods in low-income areas, activism is a prominent theme of senior Aysha Gray’s life.
“You have to believe in yourself; you have to really know you can do it; you don’t have to do it alone. That’s okay…I think that is what it means to be a good leader: to recognize that you might not always have all the answers,” Gray said.
Gray has worked to end out-of-school suspension and implement trauma-informed care for students with superintendent John Simpson and Metropolitan Congregations United.
Also Gray has facilitated conversations about bias and stereotypes with students for Speak Up!, founded and became president of the Black Student Union, organized a movie showing of “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution” and performed slam poetry in All-Write.
Evident by this list, Gray didn’t pass any chance to speak up and try to make an impact.
Gray said, “One person can actually make an impact… It might not have been the impact you exactly expected. There is a lot of value in perseverance.”
Black Student Union sponsor Nicholas Kirschman,“She is very passionate about what she does and that passion can rub off on other people.”
Gray is a vegetarian and co-founded Vegetarian and Vegan Club with club president senior Zoe Rios.
Gray will study agriculture business at Tuskegee University, where she hopes to learn more about urban farming and urban renewal. Gray combines her passion for activism and healthy eating. She wants to implement these practices in impoverished areas of American and to increase low-income families access to healthy plant-based food.
Gray also participated in Webster Challenge, volleyball, track, swim, two musicals and step team.
This is Cole Schnell’s third year on ECHO staff. Last year, he was the junior editor, advertising/business manager his sophomore year, and he made several contributions while taking journalism class his freshman year.