The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

The Online Edition of the Annandale High School Newspaper.

The A-Blast

Youth Activism

Students and clubs give a voice to causes


    From protesting nuclear arms and the Vietnam War in the 1970s, to marching with Black Lives Matter and calling attention to genocide in Gaza, the youth has always been known for sparking social change.

    AHS is a community of over 66 countries, with more than 90 languages spoken. As a result, students are affected by a vast number of global issues, often directly. These connections create a uniquely strong desire to fight for change. 

    Activism in the age of the internet, is often found online. Social media is an easy way to quickly spread information and amplify marginalized voices.

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    “I mainly use social media to speak up about what’s happening in my home country, Lebanon, along with our neighbor Palestine. I use it as a voice to show others what’s going on in hope for them to

    join as well and get more information out there hoping for a ceasefire,” said senior Nour Dib. “Recently I’ve been passionate about this topic because I’m seeing the war part go into Lebanon, destroying my home country, my family’s lives and my friends. It hurts to see my people leaving home for safety and not being able to live normal lives while we’re having fun in a different continent. People back home are worrying about if they get to go to school, eat, sleep, and simply live.”

    In October 2023, Dib and senior Susan Aburish organized a walkout in support of Palestine. Over one hundred students participated.

    “Activism can take many forms in people’s lives. Including mine. It involves actively working to bring about social, political, or environmental change by raising awareness, advocating for specific causes, participating in protests or demonstrations, supporting organizations, and engaging in community organizing efforts,” Dib said. “It’s about using one’s voice, time, and resources to address issues and promote positive change in society.”

    Activism can also be found in the school. Student organizations like Just World allow students to contribute to creating change in their community through student activism.

    “I’m currently co-president of Just World, which is a club that encourages students to understand that they are not only part of their local community, but a global one, and to raise awareness of global issues and diverse cultures,” senior Stephanie Chu said. “Our mission is to co-create a more sustainable and just world through unity and concern.”

    Just World achieves this by providing opportunities for students to help a cause and celebrate inclusivity.

    “Just World breeds student activism through our service activities, one of which being our annual ‘Write 4 Rights’, where we write letters to help convince government officials to free prisoners of conscience,” Chu said. “Alongside that, we also host our annual Just World Festival on March 8th, where we bring together organizations within our community to showcase diverse cultures and various efforts to promote social change.”

    Another club at AHS, the Annandale Equity Team, has different committees, such as the Access to IB/Honors for All committee and the English Language Learners committee. The club meets with principal Shawn DeRose and other members of admin.

    Protests and marches, on the other hand, offer a louder possible way of advocating. Students have walked for climate change, women’s rights, and Black Lives Matter, among other causes.

    “Living near DC is great for someone who likes to protest for rights a lot. It’s easier when you’re right next to the president’s house to be heard,” said Dib. “It’s easier when they see you in the country’s capital. It makes the voices heard.”

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    About the Contributors
    Emily Hawkins
    Emily Hawkins, Co-Editor in Chief
    Senior Emily Hawkins is thrilled to be this year's Co-Editor in Chief of The A-Blast. This is her third year in the program and was previous In-Depth Editor and Arts Editor. When she’s not at school she enjoys listening to music, reading, crocheting or hanging out with friends. She hopes to pursue further education in university and to study communications and journalism. She is looking forward to a great last year on staff!
    Shane Gomez
    Shane Gomez, Co-Editor in Chief

    Senior Shane Gomez is the Co-Editor in Chief of the A-Blast. He was Editorials Editor as a sophomore and junior and a Staff Writer as a freshman. He is pursuing the IB Diploma and he can be found frequenting clubs and organizations such as AWC, AYSO, ABC, AA, CFAC, HSC, SHF, MUN, NHS, NEHS, NSSHS, SNHS, VWA, and YMG. He likes to thrift, hangout, and watch movies. He looks forward to graduating.

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