Pitch Opinion: United, WJ has achieved great things


Photo courtesy of Anna Jhon

WJ Students gather in the Commons to celebrate the first day of International Week, food day. International Week managed to unite the whole school community in celebrating our different, unique cultures.

The month of February was a successful month for WJ for community building, with events such as International week, the Black History Month assembly and Pennies for Patients fundraising. From talent shows to assemblies, the events of last month show that when WJ unites, we can achieve great things.

International week
To immerse the student body in a variety of cultures, the Student Advisory Board hosted an impeccable showcase of WJ throughout the week of Feb. 27 to March 3. Students were able to participate by attending each event in which they ate food, previewed art, spoke the language and enjoyed the dances of other countries. As the first International Week in WJ history, it was a beautiful showcase that brought the entire school community together. On Friday, during the cultural showcase and fashion show, there were a couple of technical errors, during which the crowd started singing together until the show resumed. It was a wonderful moment that showed how inclusive and ‘together’ the WJ community is. International Week was made by students, for students, celebrating students, and it was real life proof that if and when we come together as a community, we shine.

Pennies 4 Patients
This year, money raised in P4P events and donations totaled over $9,000 donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Some events carry over from year to year like the traditional Burrito Mile or Flocking and some events were new this year (or brought back) like the Talent Show and 3v3 Basketball Tournament. While there are prizes for most P4P events, they’re generally negligible and the real incentive that the community unites around year after year is donating to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and providing aid to those in need.

Black History Month
As a way to celebrate Black History Month with the entire WJ community, the Black Student Union (BSU) held an assembly on Feb. 24. The assembly included a performance from the WJ Step team and a presentation of the black national anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. It also included poetry and performances to highlight important but often ignored figures in black history such as the Black Panther Party and Claudet Colven. The presentation was held during a triple third period in order to accommodate the limited space available in the auditorium. This presentation was much needed during Black History Month as the only schoolwide event to take place during this month of education and appreciation for black history. Events such as this are important as the representation of minority groups is vital, especially in a school with a diverse student body such as ours.

Raising 10k for earthquake victims
After the devastation that the Kahramanmaraş earthquake on Feb. 6 in Turkey and Syria caused, students — along with committed staff — united together to contribute to the cause. Juniors Can Torumtay, Olin Kimball, Felix Ozpaker and Victor Goerlitz mobilized the donation drive on Instagram which people quickly used to spread the word. In social studies classes, students were also informed of the fundraiser and encouraged to donate any amount they could spare into an envelope. All donations were given to the Red Crescent relief organization to provide food, shelter, medical care and psychological health resources. With only a few days of fundraising in classes and online, the fundraiser exceeded expectations with a total of $10,669. When WJ students see opportunities for change, they take action and persist to work towards making a difference. These students represent our school and the good that can come from unity and commitment.