BY EMMA HUERTA
Student activism has become a more common occurrence as students find their voices, pursue their passions and make their messages heard.
This is the case for sophomore Kaela Goldstein, who decided to pursue one of these passionate goals and organize a ceremony for all CCHS students to promote “peace, love and unity.”
Goldstein came up with the idea in light of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre, which occurred on February 14, 2018. After witnessing an event that was so geographically close to CCHS, she felt urged to stand up for what is right and ensure her peers followed in these footsteps.
“There was a shooting in my community and although [sometimes] there are shootings constantly, the fact that it was in my community made me feel a certain way and made me want to make a change,” Goldstein said. “I feel [that] by telling people they have the power to make
“I feel [that] by telling people they have the power to make change, they just might.”
Since the assemblies were divided by grade level, the freshman, junior and sophomore ceremonies took place on April 1 and the senior ceremony took place on April 2. The freshmen went during their sixth period class, the sophomores went during eighth, the seniors went during second and the juniors went during fifth period.
The event began with a video about how small actions can still make a huge impact, complete with cameos of CCHS students describing peace and its benefits in a variety of languages. This was followed by performances by students in the Thespians, chorus and Latinos In Action (LIA). Security specialist Mike Segarra even gave a speech about a personal experience with inequality in his hometown.
“I feel as if the message of the song we performed, [“Imagine” by John Lennon], really showed the importance of seeing each other as equal regardless of our religion, race, ethnicity, et cetera,” junior and chorus student Sydney Smith said. “Seeing us all together singing this song, I feel, has some sort of effect on people because it is a group of us from different age groups, genders and ethnicities talking about one single positive message. It could have inspired people to really try to make a change.”
Aside from Goldstein’s two-month planning and immense involvement, junior Mohommed Elhalabi also helped out in the peace ceremonies and co-hosted with Goldstein. After explaining her plans, Elhalabi did not hesitate to become an active contributor to this initiative. Some teachers and administrators also contributed to the event, including social studies teacher Kevin Fair and Principal Wendy Doll.
“Every performer was amazing and did a great job of using their talents to express the need for peace and love in the world, and even inspired me to do the same.”
Not only was the ceremony created to raise awareness of the mission statement “peace, love and unity” and to support actions guided by this ideal, but also to encourage others to take a stand, similarly to Goldstein and Elhalabi.
“The main purpose of this assembly was to give people another perspective; although there are bad [parts in] life, there is also good and we can share the good if we can believe in it,” Goldstein said. “Spreading peace, love and unity is part of that. My goal was to inspire people to better themselves, to realize that violence is not the answer.”
For the most part, the student body enjoyed the performances and some were even encouraged to make a change.
“I think the peace ceremony was a beautiful and amazing way to show the love and support CCHS has for its community,” sophomore Sarah Mumby said. “Every performer was amazing and did a great job of using their talents to express the need for peace and love in the world, and even inspired me to do the same.”
Photo by Carly Cuoco