Lessons from Parkland for Our Students

Posted on

February 25, 2018

by

Greg Kaplan

Extracurricular Actvities

The news from Parkland, Florida, this past week is heartbreaking.  The loss of life is tragic, unnecessary, and painful for another community afflicted by the scourge of gun violence.

However, it is worth highlighting that the response to this shooting is different. Instead of relying on elected leaders to send their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and their families, the survivors, high school students, are taking the lead to ensure that this massacre does not happen again: marching on the State Capitol in Tallahassee, staging walk outs across the country, confronting politicians, and circulating petitions to encourage companies to drop their ties to the gun lobby. 

Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are doing what no adult in Washington DC has been able to do: demand meaningful legislation to curb gun violence.

Their courage is inspiration for us all, and especially for other high school students. From their example, our kids can learn that they can advocate for themselves and be the change they wish to see in the world. Whatever it is that they feel most strongly about, our students can bring about real change.

Part of the college admissions process calls on applicants to find their voices.  They need to write about themselves, what inspires them, and how they can add value to a college. Colleges are looking for the next generation of leaders that propel their campuses and communities forward. Students who can show that they can make a difference are the ones that earn admission.

Whatever it is your child is passionate about—whether it is gun safety, the environment, or any other cause—encourage your child to take a stand for what she believes in.  Let it guide how she spends her time engaged in the community.  Encourage your child to become an advocate—for herself and for the future.  This will benefit her application by providing her with relevant experiences that demonstrate an ability to make a difference in your community. However, far more important than the college applications, this will give your child the opportunity to find her voice and discover how to apply it to make the world a better place.

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