Our Take: United we stand

Ahilyn Aguilar, News Editor

Political marches, fights against cancer, a vigil for a fallen student…this year, has challenged who we are as people and as a community. As the school year comes to an end, students, especially seniors, get to reflect on lessons and events that took place and realize that we are stronger  than we were before.

When the Pulse shooting occurred in downtown Orlando, support given was worldwide, but the unity we showed as a community, spotlighted our strength and support. Even if were not directly affected by the shooting, we mourned for those who were and participated by attending vigils, wearing shirts and buying stickers to raise awareness.

This event was not the first where our community stood together, but it was one of the the first that revealed how one issue can unite us all.

From August to May, politics have had a big role in molding this year. After Donald Trump won the presidency, we witnessed a national and local divide few realized existed. But from the chaos, events like the Women’s March, a worldwide event advocating for women, arose. Marchers, including many from our school and community, got together and with signs, hats and shirts showed their anger and support.

Whichever side we are on, we have been forced to recognize the opinions of those who think differently, a skill necessary to survive in our modern world.

This year, not only did we protest as a community, but we celebrated too. Spanish teacher Yvette Rhode battled life-threatening diseases and a seven-day coma. After Rhode’s survival on November, we praised her recovery, and our circle got stronger.

In December, we supported senior Marwan Farah, who like Rhode, fought cancer. Students from all grades joined the “Marwan Movement,” wearing shirts and bracelets supporting Farah to support his family.

Today, we still mourn the passing of sophomore Chris Johnson, a member of our circle. We honored him by wearing red, we went to Johnson’s vigil and memorial and showed support. This tough time was managed by the encouragement and comfort of a unified community.
One of the questions students ask themselves at the end of a school year is ‘What did I learn?’ This question might not be easy to answer, but when you ask yourself what this school year taught you, it is important to reflect on the challenges we all, as a community, experienced. Tough times might seem endless, but, they reveal our strength and that despite our difference, we are united.