By: Karxyriah Ashley

Duncanville High School

Oak Cliff Delegation

Tonight was a special night for the delegates who attended the Friday Night Social. All over the lobby students got to hang out, sing, dance, and play board games. They even got to do themed photoshoots. One theme was the 70s-era themed in honor of the 70th anniversary of Youth and Government. But in addition to all the fun and entertainment, there was a note of poignant seriousness in the evening.

An open mic night was held in the Grand Ballroom where students got the opportunity to showcase their talent and passion with everyone. Delegates went up to sing their favorite songs, do stand-up comedy, or go up with their delegation and perform. Some people even got to go up and wish their friends “happy birthday.”

One act caught the hearts of everyone in the room. Niara Pelton, a sophomore delegate, went up and voiced her thoughts on what’s going on in America in a poem titled “My America” that she had just written on the spot.

This poem was inspired by recent political events happening in America and how they affect her life. Considering she has a little brother, she was shocked by pictures on the police brutality of black males.

In Pelton’s poem she states, “every time my brother leaves the house, I’m slightly confronted with worry”.

When Pelton learned that it wasn’t only black males being killed, and it was African-American females too, she strongly felt the need to help resolve this issue.

Although she loves reading and writing poetry, she also uses Youth and Government as a way to learn more about the legislative process, so she could go into the political field as a career. The Youth and Government program has given her a lot of experience and knowledge on how to write bills, so she can be able to write a bill on police brutality if she wanted to one day. When she grows up she “wants to be one of the people leading the change”.

When she grows up she “wants to be one of the people leading the change.”

One thing everyone can take from this young leader, is “never [complain] about problems without posing a solution,” said Pelton.