Last month I had the opportunity to speak to a group of international students studying at Princeton University over the summer. The topic was community activism in the United States. Sixty of the brightest high school students from around the country and the globe were seated before me in the lecture hall, listening to my experiences as a member of STAND. As I started to explain the history of STAND and how it is making a difference in the world today, I realized how proud I was of this organization; for what it does, and how it motivates teens like me to stand up and get involved. It was empowering to represent an organization that has so much going for it. At the end of the session, the response was all positive. I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to speak about this organization to do so, and spread the word.
As the former New Jersey State Outreach Coordinator, I am so excited to be back on the STAND team this year as the Mid-Atlantic High School Outreach Coordinator, working with such an inspiring group of student activists. Our Mid-Atlantic region, which now includes more than 100 high schools from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and the District of Columbia, has a number of exciting events and programs planned. One chapter leader in New Jersey is focusing his group’s efforts on divesting their county from Sudan. A chapter in Pennsylvania is exploring the possibility of selling STAND merchandise at various functions in their community. And yet another New Jersey chapter is planning to host a Day for Darfur, raising awareness through promoting the use of the 1-800-Genocide Hotline number. Several chapter leaders are interested in participating in a power tools conference call in the fall to learn how to run a successful lobby meeting.
I cannot wait to hear what other high school chapters have planned for their year in the Mid-Atlantic Region, so be sure to keep me informed! In the meantime, it is essential that chapters continue their efforts in advocacy, awareness and fundraising.
-Meaghan Collins, Mid-Atlantic High School Regional Outreach Coordinator