Dressed in his E.L. Haynes HS soccer team t-shirt, 12th-grader Kevin deftly framed one of his biggest concerns for his attentive classmates. Why are European soccer players kings while their American counterparts are merely peasants? Kevin supported his argument with a long list of the highest-paid soccer players from around the world. He had one question, he said. “Where are the Americans?” There were none on the list.

Kevin’s presentation was one of many amazing pieces of work at E.L. Haynes HS, in the northwest tip of Washington, DC. How did BreZi frame her work on human trafficking? Simply.  “Am I worthless?” she asked. She then used government data to show that the number of reported trafficking cases in the United States has skyrocketed from 2015 to 2022 without there being any obvious increase in public concern.

Across town at Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School in northeast DC, 150 of their fellow students gathered one evening to see their adult peers present. The topics that mattered to them were just as varied and thought-provoking as the ones at E.L. Haynes.

Worknesh presented on the tragedy unfolding in her homeland, a genocide the world seemed ready to ignore. A mother followed that presentation with a talk about the violent video games she saw on her children’s screens, while Jessica asked a question that concerns us all, “Are we controlling technology or is technology controlling us?”

Stay tuned for more reports on schools’ celebrations during the Spring!