Nine months ago, I was cleaning out my childhood bedroom as my grandmother was preparing to move, and in a drawer where I kept a handful of special mementos was my Stand for Children 1996 Rally press pass.
Finding that pass was not only timely – a month later I began my new role as Stand’s VP of Communications – but it also brought back a flood of memories. Back in 1996 I had attended that historic rally on the National Mall as a teen reporter for Children’s Express News Service (CE), a youth journalism organization that encouraged me to aim high academically, professionally, and personally. My mission on June 1, 1996, was to capture the voices of the children at that rally. One still stands out in my memory today. A little girl in a striped shirt and braids told me,
“I never knew that anyone cared about what kids had to say. Now I can go home knowing that what I think matters.”
Today, Stand for Children amplifies the voices of students, parents, and families who are still fighting for equal and high quality public education – 22 years later.
For some reason, I kept my press pass from the event in a drawer at home for 22 years. Witnessing the Stand for Children rally was an inspiration for me, as I know it also was for children like that little girl. I plan to keep my pass on my desk, with renewed inspiration of the work Stand does every day.