SpeakUp! finds its voice

The SpeakUp! team at the 2018-19 event – courtesy of SpeakUp!

SpeakUp! is a program centered around developing conversation surrounding the topics most pressing in our daily lives. Headquartered in Wayne, the company strives to bring “youth, educators and parents together for open, honest conversations about tough topics.” 

     These topics can vary greatly as SpeakUp! works closely with each school and a student leadership team to develop topics surrounding whatever is deemed to be most critical to the student body.

     This year AIS and Haverford have partnered to host a SpeakUp! event. Held at AIS, students will separate into breakout sessions and participate in student-led discussion on one of the six main topics. For example, last year two of the central topics were “sex and relationships” and “drugs and alcohol.” Ideally, having the student-leaders direct the conversation topics will be allowed to flow into more nuance personal discussion within the room. This aligns with the central goal of SpeakUp! 

“[SpeakUp!] manages to bring all grades of the school together.”

Conor Wood ’20

     A veteran of the program, Sixth Former Conor Wood said, “[SpeakUp!] manages to bring all grades of the school together while providing an open forum to talk about touchy subjects you wouldn’t be able to comfortably be able to talk about normally.” Ideally SpeakUp! will provide a platform for all grades to participate in honest, unfiltered conversation with one another, then go on to strengthen this often overlooked aspect of our school. By pushing forward the idea and making students more comfortable with open conversations, SpeakUp! can  improve our community and student relationships. Ms. Kenna, the faculty leader of the program added “I would love to see us get to the point where [SpeakUp] is an extension of what we are already doing within Wilson Hall, as opposed to being special programming.”

    On October 23, SpeakUp! is poised to bring students together and make an honest difference across our community. Interested students can register online at speakup.org or reach out to Ms. Kenna for details.

Author: Sebastian Bilash '20

Photography editor Sebastian Bilash is in his first year on The Index staff.