Project Soapbox Gives Teens a Chance to Speak Out

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A competition in District 204 recently gave students the opportunity to have their voices heard.

Project Soapbox had high school students standing on their soapboxes – literally.

Students presented speeches on topics from racism and colorism to gun control and ADHD.

Waubonsie Valley High School senior Raegan Woolwine spoke about change starting with students through kindness.

“[In] high school there’s a lot of things that happen because kids are jerks to each other, and if we eliminated the negativity that kids give to each other – I know this is the cheesy way of saying it – but it would be a better place for everybody to be,” Raegan said.

The project is sponsored by the Mikva Challenge, which encourages civic engagement and political participation among young people.

“This was very empowering,” said Raniyah Naylor, a junior at Metea Valley High School. “I like hearing other people’s opinions, especially students, because grownups kind of think we don’t know anything or that we’re unaware of things that are going on when in reality we’re very aware.”

One student from West Aurora High School was chosen as the student favorite to give his speech at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., with other Project Soapbox winners this summer.

Naperville News 17’s Beth Bria reports.