Flematu Fofana


Flematu Fofana is a senior at Liberty High School in Eldersburg, Maryland. She is the founder and president of the Carroll County NAACP Youth Council, which she has worked to build up. This fall, Carroll County public schools went through a book reconsideration process that limited students' access to diverse books in classrooms and school libraries. These books are necessary for students to learn about different cultures and communities and to instill fundamental values needed to flourish in an increasingly globalized world. This issue affected not just Flematu's high school peers, but also elementary and middle schoolers whose worldview would be limited. It also impacted staff members who felt they could not freely discuss the topic out of fear, creating a future where district students would be living in an echo chamber. To combat this process, Flematu organized students to testify before the school board and appear in local media to express their opinions on the issue. As peers watched the first few students speak up, they became more aware and began using their voices as well. Although the school board has remained firm in its decision, they started acknowledging students’ voices. Through this work, Flematu was also able to increase student testimonies before the board three-fold. The Carroll County NAACP Youth Council will hold elections this spring to keep the organization thriving under new leadership.