Students for Change

Addressing the common tendency to steer clear of controversial conversations

Josie during semester
Participating students
Congresswoman speaking to group
Participants and speaker
Engaging in conversations

Background Information

Students for Change gives students the opportunity to gain a lifelong skill: forming educated opinions and respectfully engaging in conversation about the topic.  Josie designed “Students for Change” to address the common tendency to steer clear of controversial conversation she had frequently seen in her community. In order to create change in any setting, difficult conversations have to be had. The navigation of disagreement and differing perspectives is essential to producing large-scale change.

Implementation of Project

The first step to implementing Josie’s project was utilizing social media to advertise. Many students reached out to her with interest in helping to plan media for the upcoming meeting topics. After gluing down her location for the meetings and a team to give feedback and help plan media, Josie spent the summer finalizing details. She reached out to her congressional district’s representative, Congresswoman Betty McCollum, to speak at my third meeting.

“I was overjoyed when Congresswoman McCollum’s office contacted me to work out some details to speak with our group!” – Josie Thompson

Results of Project

Each of the three meetings Josie held in Fall 2022 were unique and special. Many different groups of students engaged in Students for Change, and she received overwhelmingly positive feedback after meeting.  Students for Change has provided the opportunity for students to listen to and ask a member of Congress thought-out questions, to learn to form educated personal opinions, and to actively listen and participate in discussion with peers.

“My CLP has driven motivation in students to create change where they think is needed, and I am so happy with the impact my project has had on the community.” – Josie Thompson

What’s Next

Josie is going to continue to lead Students for Change until she graduates from Mahtomedi High School in the spring of 2023.  She is excited to partner with other clubs in her school, and further involve Students for Change in community engagement.  Additionally, she is excited to take her leadership skills gained from her CLP to college next fall and get involved in a new community. The Students for Change program will be led by a younger, excited student after Josie graduates.