Learning About Self Advocacy

Guest Blog entry by Senior Student Ambassador Renee W., Willowick, OH

I have been able to learn a lot about advocating for your rights from my family. My mom is a board member of the Ohio eSchool Coalition and takes business trips to Columbus and DC to speak with legislators about why school choice is important.

My older sister was the president of our school’s student council for years and in that role, she helped other students learn the importance of taking responsibility for their school choice and speak with legislators and other professionals about why her school was so important.

I have been able to travel and listened and learn from them directly and in participating in rallies, parades and testifying I have heard and understand why they feel this is so important.

Last year was the first time I was able to speak with a legislator on my own with the coalition manager supervising and I really enjoyed it. Even though I do not think the representative likes school choice or understands how important it is, he was there for me to voice my opinion and hopefully it was a powerful message that I gave him.

I was also able to attend a training session where I learned a lot about sticking to the message and how to make sure that my point doesn’t get muffled or confused. I have shared my experience with my friends and tried to help them understand how to speak effectively to make your point.

Late last year, I was honored to be awarded a Senior student ambassador certificate because of all the hard work I have done for school choice. I was very happy and proud to be recognized for all the efforts that I have done for school choice. I hope it inspired other students to step forward and put a little effort into taking responsibility for their schooling. It is a great feeling to be self-aware and see what your efforts can produce.

I do not know what I am planning for my future just yet, but I know that with the training, experiences and life lessons that I have learned that they will help me to go where ever I decide to travel in life and for that alone I am grateful!  School choice matters and I trust parents to know what’s best!

Ohio Virtual Academy student from Kindergarten through graduation next year!!!!