It’s often been said that being a kid is tough because kids don’t have control over their lives. They’re told what to do and when to do it and where and how – and people around them constantly make major life decisions that affect them, but without their input. The lack of autonomy can be demoralizing.
Led by Social Studies teacher Roy Zamora, a dedicated group of students will be exercising their autonomy starting this semester as Zamora launches a Student Council (StuCo), the first one FWAFA has had in many years.
FWAFA’s StuCo is the result of a grassroots effort by students who have expressed an interest in being more involved in the decision making process on campus. After listening to their positions, Zamora and school administrators decided to start a student government to give students representation. Presently open only to high schoolers, next year StuCo will grow into a school-wide organization with a Junior Counsel to represent the younger grades.
Far from just another campus club, StuCo is serious business for serious students. The entire organization will exist within the guidelines of the Texas Association of Student Councils and will be eligible for participation in statewide project showcases. Those interested in gaining a spot on the council must submit applications and teacher recommendations, pass an interview, run a campaign, and be elected by school-wide vote. Then begins the work of governing.
Zamora, a former air-force Staff Sergeant is excited to teach the students the basics of government and elections through this hands-on experience and is ready to train a new generation of leaders and citizens. He would like to see a council that takes initiative on issues that matter to it, whether it be making the school more “green” or increasing the options for academic extracurricular activities.
Beyond the academics, though, he hopes that students will be inspired to take ownership and responsibility for their school, thereby increasing campus pride and helping them learn the life lesson Irish philosopher and author Charles Handy once taught: Citizenship is the chance to make a difference to the place where you belong.