Grace Dunson


Grace Dunson, a senior at the Seven Hills School in Cincinnati, Ohio, serves as the vice president of the student government and the creator/president of the school's LatinX club. Throughout her high school years, Grace has actively advocated for broadening the school's diversity viewpoint, which manifested in her summer reading book project. In her English classes, Grace, who comes from a Latin background, had never experienced the "mirror moment" that her English teachers described as the sense of seeing oneself reflected in literature. This spurred her to work with the English department to create a summer reading program to highlight different voices and diverse viewpoints. After months of careful planning, documenting, countless emails and approval by the school board, Grace's program launched, with each grade reading a different novel relating to the LatinX community. The program's capstone was a day dedicated to LatinX voices in the Cincinnati community. Grace brought together a panel of Hispanic and LatinX-identifying community partners to demonstrate their impact within Cincinnati, such as a paralegal who described the harsh realities of immigration. The panel was followed by workshops (Law and Literature, Serving Cincinnati's Hispanic Communities, etc.) showing how students can apply their learning beyond the classroom. Grace felt the most fruitful result of the event was knowing that she could affect at least one person. A group of students impacted by her program have taken the project on for the next year to highlight their perspectives and mirror moments, focusing on mixed ethnic narratives.