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Rebekah Bolser Headshot

Be the Change You Wish To See in the World

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"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Ghandi

It's a quote that I've heard repeated throughout my life: To change the world, you have to begin with you. You have the power to change the world as long as you take the initiative to change yourself. Then why is it that, when it comes to education, my voice is left unheard and my opinions go unnoticed?

I will be the first to admit that I have a lot of learning to do. There's still a lot that I don't know. I mean, I barely know things about myself, much less the world around me. But this doesn't mean that my opinion doesn't matter when it comes to learning or my education. The opinions and ideas of students are just as important of those of teachers and administrators. The world around us is constantly changing; the education students need now isn't the education they needed 10, 20 or 30 years ago. So why do we pretend it is?

We're told from a young age that it's important to know how much our opinions matter. But when we try to speak up about our own education, we're constantly shot down because students are there to learn, teachers are there to teach and administrators are there to decide what the teachers are teaching and what the students are learning.

Isn't it time that this changes? Call me crazy, but I feel like students have a pretty clear understanding of how they learn best and how they don't. Right now, the same people who decide what and how a student should learn don't realize they're living in a different world than the one that existed when they were in school.

There should be active discussion going on between students and administrators. Students have a voice -- shouldn't they be encouraged to use it? That's the main focus of the Student Voice Project (student-voice-project.com). With monthly policy questions and directors in each state, SVP hopes to provide students an opportunity to voice their opinions and their outlooks on the education they're receiving.

The Student Voice Project was formed in Washington in 2010 as a student union against a school board who restricted student clubs because a gay-straight alliance club was formed. It provides opportunities for students to represent their state. I joined as an Executive Director in July 2012 so that I could help allow students' voice be heard.

As students, we're taught to question the world around us. And every day, more and more students take the initiative to question their say in our education system. Getting involved with this organization is a great way to make sure your opinion is heard.