Town Talk Features

Positive Change

As the end of another school year approaches, a new group of St. Louis’ best and brightest prepares to don caps and gowns. The excitement of graduation is worth celebrating, but many of these high school students already are looking to the future. Here’s how some of this year’s graduates plan to take action and make an impact.sophie lodes, st. joseph’s academy
Although influence is typically wielded in public strokes, that is not my style. I prefer orchestrating quietly behind the scenes. My impact is through projects like tutoring immigrants in citizenship classes and building homes in New Orleans. I want to influence the world by offering support to those who are fighting their own battles. The world needs broad, public acts, but it also needs small, personal influences. And that’s what I intend to give.

cara johnson, MICDS
I hope to encourage as many people as I can to consider unfamiliar perspectives and learn the complexity and depth of other cultures. Difficult dialogue often produces the opportunity for resolution and change. Engaging in conversation with someone who shares different beliefs or ideas is the only way to learn about others. It’s how I can do my little part to make one more connection in the world.

haran kumar, parkway west high school
I hope to help dismantle the systems of oppression that uphold the American empire. Through activism and scholarship, I will fight structural violence of all forms, including Western colonialism, cultural hegemony, environmental destruction and abject poverty. More specifically, I hope my work will contribute to the acceleration of neoliberal capitalism’s inevitable demise. I will be a voice for change, both within and outside the political system, and one who speaks out against those who abuse their power to subjugate others.

keegan callahan, de smet jesuit high school
I want to influence the world by being a role model and acting on social justice issues that matter to me through my willingness to search for the truth and listen to all points of view. I hope to be a man for and with others who influences the world to do the same.

nick kime, john burroughs school 
I love preservation and finding beauty in things forgotten. Whether that means hiking through a state park or driving around looking at St. Louis’ abandoned architecture, I can’t stand to see gems disappear. In my adult life, I want to work to foster in others an appreciation for hidden wonders. The world would be a much better place if everyone valued the subtle things that make life great.