Short & Sweet

A year ago yesterday (April 9th), I took a school trip to listen to a speech given by Mary Beth Tinker and Cathy Kuhlmeier. I know that to most those aren’t household names, but both of these women helped shape student journalism culture with their cases that made it to the Supreme Court.

Sticking with the theme of this post’s title, I’m not going to go into detail about what these women have done in the past. Just trust me that it was monumentally important. (There’s also Google if you’re insanely curious 😉 )

After these two women spoke to the crowd, my friends and I approached them to take a picture. What was supposed to be a quick moment coagulated into a half-hour conversation about the importance of young people’s voices in society. Mary Beth gave me so much hope and belief that what I have to say matters, and that it can make a difference. She made me believe that I can change the world with what I have to say. And I can. I’m going to. Maybe not today, maybe not in the next four years, but someday.

Tonight, a year after Mary Beth lit that fire in my heart, one of my teammates told me that she loves reading anything I write, even if it’s just an Instagram caption. It’s moments like these that remind me that even if I don’t have anything else in this world, I still have a voice. No one will ever be able to take that away from me.

It’s comforting for me to know that, and I hope you have something in your life that brings you as much comfort and stability as writing brings me.

By laurenstockam

Lauren is a graduate student at Missouri State University in Springfield, MO.

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