“We’d already been in contact with the administrations, peer leaders and student government kids at the middle schools, and we’d spent most of our second semester this year planning,” said Melka. “When we decided to move it online, we already had connections to get the parents’ emails and post the change on our school system.”
Despite the modification, the trio wasn’t optimistic about the summit’s reception. “Our expectation was probably about 50 to 60 would participate,” said Dennie. “It was exciting to see that about 120 kids got online.”
What the younger students found was the chance to ask questions and get advice from the graduating seniors.
“I got a lot of questions about what activities and clubs are available at Brookwood,” said Dennie, who gave a short talk on the importance of getting involved in different organizations. “The school is so diverse, and there are so many options, but I emphasized that it’s easy to find something, and it’s also easy to start something if it isn’t there.”
Melka spoke about what it means to be a leader and how the position requires sharing knowledge with peers. “We wanted to drive home the idea that in middle school, it’s so scary to feel different or be different,” she said. “But to be leaders, you have to be different, and it’s something you can do strategically and not be afraid of. It was cool to hear what they were already involved in. It was much more personal than I anticipated, especially with the online element.”
Freeman, who led a discussion on the culture, climate and community at Brookwood, said staging a successful event was additionally sweet while so many other activities were canceled .
“We were so excited and glad we could do this,” she said, “and it went really well.”
Information about Brookwood High is online at gcpsk12.org/brookwoodhs.
SEND US YOUR STORIES.
Each week we look at programs, projects and successful endeavors at area schools, from pre-K to grad school. To suggest a story, contact H.M. Cauley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-744-3042.