All students have a voice and can celebrate diversity in their schools and communities – that’s the message seniors Jenna Cabral and Katelin O’Reilly are conveying to younger peers at Bound Brook High School.
O’Reilly is part of a group of students who helped form the Student Action Equity Committee (SAEC) in the fall of 2021. Members like Cabral have continued to grow the committee this school year and are helping make BBHS a place where students and staff work together to amplify minority identities and further the district’s mission of being a supportive, multicultural community.
“We want to leave BBHS better than we found it,” O’Reilly said. “We want students to feel included and safe sharing their identities, and to know they can enact change.”
In only a short period of time, the committee has hosted a Black History Month door decorating contest, visited HBCUs, designed an Equity Mural in the cafeteria, placed safe space stickers on classroom doors, and hosted a guest speaker (Joetta Clark Diggs) for Black History Month.
Cabral said the group also looks forward to holding a culture night this spring for students to “experience different cultures and learn more about other people and their lives.”
O’Reilly agreed that these events and activities are changing the school environment. “It’s really important that school doesn’t feel like a place where students can’t express themselves the way they want,” O’Reilly said. “I want my peers to know they can enact change.”
BBHS Principal Edward Smith thanked the committee members for their work. “We are so proud of how much the committee has accomplished since its inception last year,” he said. “The committee is making BBHS an inclusive and equitable school for everyone.”