#AmplifyYourVoice: Student leaders highlight importance of community involvement


Photo credit: Rose Sarner

Student leaders Noor Afshar and Margaret Morris promote “Ecocide” and spread the word on climate activism. Students were able to sign petitions and make posters during the First Fridays event held in the courtyard. Tuesday’s theme for Scholastic Journalism Week 2022 is #AmplifyYourVoice, highlighting the importance of student-involvement within their school communities.

By Rose Sarner, Culture Editor

#AmplifyYourVoice is the theme for the second day of Scholastic Journalism Week 2022. This year’s theme is all about giving a voice to the voiceless and aims to help uplift certain voices in the community that may be unheard. Many journalists in the United States and around the world are censored in their coverage and are not receiving proper protection. The recent grassroots movement, the New Voices movement, is made up of a group of students who discuss the importance of protecting students’ press freedoms through state laws. New Jersey recently joined this movement which showcases how student journalists’ rights are being acknowledged and advocated for. Today’s theme aims to emphasize what is happening at Archer to amplify student voices through affinity spaces, leadership roles and student-activism.

Archer girls lead over 30 interest and affinity groups that run throughout the entire school year. Students have the opportunity to participate in a variety of these programs to expand their knowledge and skills outside of the classroom.

“Ever since I came here in seventh grade, I realized that being a female in today’s world is so important,” The Artemis Center Board Member Noor Afshar (’23) said. “I think that The Artemis Center was born to show students a way that they can amplify minority’s voices because that’s not only one of the pillars we have been taught, but also something that we hold in our hearts.”

Students are encouraged to get involved in extracurricular activities and to take on leadership roles. Most clubs are student-initiated and student-led, like Coco’s Angeles, a non-profit foundation that strives to help the children in the Los Angeles foster system. Junior Delara Tehranchi founded Coco’s Angeles and started an Archer chapter to educate students on the struggles many foster kids face.

“Our club is a way for Archer students to use their education and their strengths in order to help kids that don’t have that opportunity,” Tehranchi said. “It creates a good dynamic because being in high school and connecting with underprivileged kids is not a typical education environment … this creates new opportunities for students to learn.”

From safe spaces where students discuss important questions about identity, to fun clubs that discuss ways to explore new passions, Archer’s clubs allow for students to find their voices. The Artemis Center for Public Service and Social Good is an activism group that “aims to educate others on the importance of service and activism while also empowering students to advocate both in and out of the Archer Community in order to impact the greater good.”

“The Archer Artemis Center is a perfect opportunity for students to find their passions, explore different movements and ways to get involved that is not always promoted. I think some examples that I’ve seen just being on the board this past year is how we’ve had a United Nations member come and talk to students. She gave students a full summary of her life and how her work helps other countries,” Afshar said. “We’ve had also had a city council woman come and speak, and I think that along with having very inspirational figures, we also have petitions and opportunities for students to sign up for.”

Another club on campus that promotes women’s empowerment is the Girls Empowering Girls club. GEG partners with different organizations around the world to help create a larger impact within the local community.

“GEG’s goal is to empower individuals and help get girls on campus involved with helping their community and helping girls worldwide,” GEG Executive Board Member August Kohn (’25) said. “We hold fundraisers for different organizations, and [in the past have] worked with the wonderful organization called Lidé … that helps Haitian women. [We] help amplify voices throughout the world and help them in their communities and through their cultures.”

Afshar said that activism is engrained in Archer’s culture and has taught her many valuable things about her community as well as herself.

“At the end of the day, The Artemis Center has really taught me how to motivate my student body and the peers around me,” Afshar said. “I think that each student is so different at Archer and we really try to find an opportunity for each person.”