New Club, New Conversation: Diversity at Saint John’s Prep

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Wednesday mornings bring a handful of Prep students into Room 301, who pull chairs into a circle of sorts and start up their slowly-waking minds. The conversation that is quick to ensue energizes the room in a way that’s startling for an early morning meeting of high schoolers, and the discussion that follows is exciting and new for the Saint John’s Prep student body.

Last March or so, Hallela Hinton-Williams was watching something on TV, and a pop-culture comment tied to the issues of diversity sparked her interest. “I wanted someone to share it with,” she told me, “and I realized that Prep doesn’t have a community where I can do that.” In a matter of days, Hallela recruited fellow senior Corinne Koffi and advisor Mr. Fremo to help her begin and lead a new group: Diverse Youth Ambassadors.

Mr. Fremo says the group offers “a chance to have discussion on things we may not have talked about in classrooms.” When I asked Mr. Fremo what he thought about the club’s casual and student-led conversation, he told me, “There isn’t that judgement or expectancy you have in a classroom, and there’s enough organization and opportunity to speak freely.”

Just a few Wednesdays in, and the conversation has ranged from Colin Kaepernick to our Saint Cloud community to 9/11, Islamic State, and the stereotyped terrorist. Good-natured, albeit occasionally heated, debate keeps members on their toes, and everyone has an opportunity to share opinions and thoughts openly.

With a growing group and enthusiastic members, Diverse Youth Ambassadors is making a presence for itself here at Prep, and anyone interested is more than welcome to stop by on any Wednesday morning! If you have questions, feel free to contact Mr. Fremo, Hallela, or Corinne.

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