2019 – MISSOURI
Amela Sijecic is a senior at Lindbergh High School in St. Louis. Amela serves as the founder and president for a program called S.I.D.E. With Us (Students Improving Diversity & Equity), which includes student-led and educational components. As St. Louis city and county remain segregated in resources, Amela sought to focus on uniting the two, beginning with her school district. Through the student-led club, she has engaged students in discussions surrounding societal topics, decorated the school for "special months" such as Black History Month, and led Diversity Readings at elementary schools. In addition, she has created curriculums for grades 6-12, educating students on the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, through activity-based learning at the middle school level and through statistics and graphical-analysis based learning at the high school level. These curriculums have been implemented in the Lindbergh and neighboring districts. In addition to these curriculums, Amela has also been working towards developing cultural days at middle schools in her district, allowing all students to learn about the diverse world we live in. Through this program, Amela feels her community has taken a small step towards realizing the disparities that exist within the city. Amela plans to continue to explore the ways in which social justice affects the community.