School life has been very different for children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At school levels, when it is difficult to keep children engaged in school and even participate in extracurricular activities, a virtual environment has pushed the limits of this even further.
Hanna Macias was facing an all-virtual eighth grade year. With everything the school had to juggle, Macias went out of her way to try to maintain everything, even from home.
The school was supposed to have no student council, but after Macias spoke with the principal and a few teachers, she kicked it off.
Ditto for school announcements, which Macias had anchored the previous year.
“I’ve enjoyed spreading the word and broadcasting on campus what’s happening about the school to get more involvement,” she said.
Macias heard that these announcements weren’t going to happen at first, but explained to her teachers how she could just make them from home. And in a virtual environment, it would be pretty easy to release them from there.
These are just a few examples of how Macias, now a 14-year-old freshman back in class, chose to take action and not let this pandemic affect her experience as much as others were willing to. let it happen.
“I didn’t like how COVID was embarrassing everyone and worrying people,” she said. “Their mindset and everything was just off. I really just wanted to bring everyone together and stuff.
“The way I really tried to do that was to get more involvement through the things that we were already doing that I knew were possible.”
Macias credits her teachers for empowering her to be a leader, which should come as no surprise to learn that she has participated in several leadership clubs and is part of Future Business Leaders of America.
“It really helped me get out into the open and meet new people,” Macias said.
This type of mindset is what has made Macias someone his classmates can turn to if they need someone to talk to. She helped a few friends through different mental health issues.
“I’ve had friends who have had a bad home life or really dealt with mental issues and I’ve had a lot of people who have come to me over the years… I’ve had a lot of experience with it just from my friends, so just when I see it on campus, I reach out,” she said.
Macias has kept all these responsibilities while devoting time to dance, cross-country and soccer, activities that she intends to resume fully in high school.
Macias wants to attend Arizona State University and continue to plod along in business toward a degree, specifically focused on helping small businesses or starting his own.