Changing for the better: Speaking with the youth leaders here at NHS about diversity

Gabe Fryling

The youth of today have been placed into an ever-changing world, faced with problems no generation has ever experienced. Through this, the youth generations  have established many values that they want to represent in their actions, one of these being diversity. They have worked to establish equality no matter one’s race. The ever changing world has formed great leaders, even at the youth level, showing maturity above their own age. 

As members of the growingly diverse community, we found there were no better people to discuss diversity with than some of the leaders of each student union at Noblesville High School. These leaders were Anyah Hizer of the Black Student Union, Ava Pavich of the Asian Student Union and Danielle Tuesca of the Latin Student Union. These leaders are paving the way for making change in the world today and we chose to ask each of them a few questions about their experience with diversity here in Noblesville.

How has your group made a difference here in Noblesville?

“The Latin Student Union has allowed Hispanic/Latino students to find a place to feel the sense of community in school that they could find outside of school. As a fairly new organization, not many students know about us, but in reality, the LSU is one of the largest student clubs at Noblesville, allowing us to truly create that sense of community within our Noblesville community,” Tuesca said. 

“Before we started the ASU, I didn’t know that we had a safe space and I’m sure a lot of people thought the same. By making the Asian Student Union we’ve made a safe space and a sense of community for many Asian students,” Pavich said.

“The Black Student Union was created to provide African Americans a comfort space, while also educating them about their history. It’s easy to feel lost in a school where you feel as if you don’t belong, so our goal is to provide that safe place, and let them know they are welcomed here. Along with providing them support regardless of who they are around. So we’ve made a difference by allowing African Americans to fit in more and not feel like an outsider,” Hizer said.


How would you like to see Noblesville change to become more welcome to a diverse community?

“In terms of the student body, I would love to see more students educate themselves on Hispanic culture, outside of the basic knowledge. With all of the new cultures coming to Indiana, it is extremely important that they feel as welcome as the students that have been here for years,” Tuesca said. 

“Through the Asian Student Union I want to expand people’s knowledge of different cultures, obviously that of Asia, because there are many people in our community with similar backgrounds and being able to share the cultures and heritage of many people in our community can be beneficial. I think our club also shows the importance of diversity through a sense of community,” Pavich said.

“I personally believe it begins with the students at NHS. People are always going to have outlooks and opinions on certain things, but stereotypes and opinions hold Noblesville back from gaining that diverse outlook,” Hizer said. “I’ve heard comments such as black people are loud, and black people cause drama, and even the statement that others might feel intimidated, and this puts a strain on change. Diversity is important, however it doesn’t start with teachers or staff, it begins with the students, and they have to set aside their biased opinions, in order for change to even begin to occur,” 

Would you say that Noblesville is diverse?

“When looking at numbers, it is easy to say that Noblesville is diverse. But walking through the hallways and looking at the classrooms, it never looks diverse. Many of the Latino students outside of the ELL/ESL curriculum find themselves to be the only minority in the classroom,” Tuesca said. “I learned that many Hispanic students that used to go to Noblesville are moving to other schools around the area because they care more about diversity as a characteristic of education and not as a number. I believe that Noblesville has the potential to be a realistically diverse school, but until the  student body learns to coexist with each other, it is never going to truly feel diverse.” 

“Noblesville is diverse to a certain extent. While the community is predominantly white as compared to other communities, it is still made up of people from many different backgrounds and cultures and heritage. While there are many people of different descents and races, it is still a very predominantly white community,” Pavich said.

“No. Noblesville is growing to be a more inclusive and diverse school, but we have not yet reached its full potential. Noblesville has begun to allow various groups and organizations to rise, which allows there to be a sense of inclusion. But we are definitely taking steps in the right direction,” Hizer said.


What does diversity mean to you?

To me, diversity can be described as a community that is both aware and educated on all of the cultures, backgrounds, races, genders, Etc. that makes up that community” The idea that some place can be ‘diverse’ doesn’t always account for the actual feeling that diversity can bring. Diversity gives the feeling of inclusivity, and once a minority group feels that a community is inclusive, then it can be truly described as diverse,” Tuesca said.

“Diversity obviously has a very specific and set definition but it definitely can mean something very different for everyone. I think its more of having an inclusive community with people from many different backgrounds and obviously their own way of life, their own cultures, their own traditions and just being able to embrace that as a community because that is definitely something we strive to have within the ASU,” Pavich said.

“Diversity is more than just acknowledging variety in different social and ethnic backgrounds, different genders, or even sexuality, above everything else it’s inclusion. The sense of belonging is something every student desires, and what every student needs. Once the feeling of belonging settles in, we will see a change in relationships between students and staff, and even student to student,” Hizer said. “Diversity is important because it prepares us for the real world, and if we sit and make the changes necessary for our school to be diverse, we will then be prepared for our lives in the future. Embracing differences and allowing them to become prominent is diversity,”