“The time is always right to do what is right.”
—Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Oberlin College commencement speech, 1965
It was a great privilege to recognize Hannah Blitchok, a junior from Willow Glen High School and Luther Burbank School students Daniela Ortiz and Michael Walton for their impact in their communities by being true upstanders for everyone.
They were nominated by their teachers because of their commitment to social justice and a deep commitment of caring for their peers, neighbors and communities through acts of kindness and service.
Hannah and a classmate started Students Demand Action, a club on campus working to alleviate problems in the world, her U.S. History teacher wrote.
Daniela, a seventh grader, is looked up to by her peers. Her teacher added that Daniela supports her peers and will speak up for what's right. She aspires to become a criminal lawyer.
Michael, a fourth grader, is a kind and compassionate person. His teacher describes him as mindful, caring and patient. Michael will often asks students if they are feeling OK or need help with something.
It is with these characteristics that Hannah, Daniela and Michael embody the spirit and legacy of the great advocate and Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.
It is the young people in our communities who are speaking truth to power and being strategic and effective in their work toward a greater common good. They are part of an emerging generation of activists who are making their voices heard.
Young people are not the generation of tomorrow - they are doing this work today, right now, changing our world for the better.