Lee's Summit R-7 School District
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In My Words – Sylvia Jeffress (Our Schools Magazine: March 2021)

In My Words: Sylvia Jeffress, a senior at Lee’s Summit West High School, is a student on the team developing LSR7’s new strategic plan, the Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP). Sylvia also performs in the LSW theater program.

I wanted to join the strategic plan team because it was an opportunity for my voice to be heard because I felt there had been many things that had gone unnoticed by the school district.

 

This showed up in my email for students to join CSIP and I was like, “This is a great opportunity for me to have my voice be heard and my friends’ voices to be heard.”

 

Since this pandemic started, I saw even the most quiet people raise their voice. Remaining silent only aids your enemy. In the words of Audre Lorde, “Your silence will not protect
you.” If you want to lead, you must be willing to speak.

 

I think the kind of leadership my generation will demonstrate is action-taking. For some generations, their words were enough to change the world.

 

If we never take a stand against injustice, nothing will change. We will remain stagnant in a world many will not find happiness in.

 

Leadership is leading the crowd like a shepherd does for his flock, guiding them in the right direction to where to graze or rest.

 

I plan to be a film actress. I’m going to go to Metropolitan Community College-Longview for two years to use my A+ scholarship then hopefully go to University of Missouri-Kansas City. During that, I’ll be doing my best to get acting gigs and build up my resume.

 

When I was little I would do fake commercials. As I got older, I really liked being on stage, getting to make people smile or making them feel emotion. That’s the best thing — making someone feel something, and it’s all your own doing.

 

With the theater classes provided by Mr. Brad Rackers, that’s been the best thing for my acting growth.

 

Now ever since COVID-19 started, I’ve really calmed down. I’m like, “There’s a plan here. I just need to calm down and look through it all and just trust everything will go the way it does. And if it doesn’t, just work with it, adapt and overcome.”