Two of our high school Student Success Liaisons, Ty Laury (Renton High School) and Lorenza Scott (Lindbergh High School), and have recently formed a student led empowerment group to engage students in advocating for themselves and others as well as develop their leadership skills.
Both Ty and Lorenza chose students that not only have strong leadership characteristics, but those that may feel that they do not have control over their education and future. Students chosen have history of concerns that impacted them in multiple environments, but have shown persistence, perseverance, and desire to learn.
Ty chose to start this group with Lorenza for personal reasons. “I have been targeted or written off for being the “bad” kid in school. I remember noticing injustices but not feeling heard or validated due to being this “trouble making kid”. I was in a lot of honors classes where I was the only person of color but hung out with only PoCs outside of those classes. This has caused me to learn how to manage a world where I have to act a certain way so I am not perceived as a threat or combative. I want to help youth learn how to advocate this world in ways they can be proud of who they are without feeling they have to change themselves for the perception of others.”
Lorenza is also starting this group for personal reasons. “I grew up in a poor area of Denver and I was always told my neighborhood was the worst area in all of Denver. Predominately Black, my father (indigenous Mexican) was one of about 10 Latines in the area and we attended schools with predominantly white teachers, we were the last graduating class to have integrated bussing as well. I did not have a Latine teacher until I was a sophomore in high school and he was the only one in the school. Due to this, I always felt that I wasn’t represented and if I tried to speak up, I wasn’t heard. This is not what I want for other students. It is important for them to feel they can be both successful and proud of their culture and race.”
We are proud of Ty and Lorenza’s work and excited to amplify student voices to make lasting change.