This spring, in an effort to acknowledge young people who are making a difference in their communities, KAD sponsored its first-ever “Be the Change” award to recognize one graduating senior from each of our area high schools, Avon Grove, Kennett, and Unionville High Schools. Participants were required to submit a 700-word essay describing what they have done to make a significant impact on their school or community. The winners from each high school received a $1,000 award. The winners were Kristen Reece, Avon Grove; Joey Impagliazzo, Unionville; and Citlalli Ramirez, Kennett High School.
In her essay, Citlalli described the protest march that she organized in Kennett Square following the 2016 election of Donald Trump to the presidency. Feeling despondent about the results, she realized that she needed to act rather than despair. After careful thought and discussion with friends, Citlalli decided that a peaceful protest march would be the best way to turn her anger into action. She and her friends did everything by the book, from mapping the marching route to contacting the Kennett Square Police Department to ask for permission and protection. The planning did not always go smoothly, however. Some students criticized her; others were frightened to participate. But, she persisted. As a result, the march was a rousing success, with over 300 people, from all over Kennett, marching in solidarity.
This fall, Citlalli will begin her studies at Temple University. She credits her parents, siblings, and teachers for being inspiring role models. Along with all of her other accomplishments, Citlalli is an amazing artist, specializing in portraits. She says, ”I feel empowered when creating art.” At Temple, she will major in art education—she wants to be a teacher.
Kristen Reece and Joey Impagliazzo were not available for interviews at press time, but their essays were equally inspiring. Kristen wrote about her role as the Junior Council Person on the Atglen Borough Council. Joey’s essay chronicled his work in starting a local hockey program for students with special needs. There is no doubt that these three young people have been and will continue to be the change that we need in this world.