Nia Reid-Vicars

2019 – NEW YORK (NEW YORK CITY REGION)

Nia Reid-Vicars is a senior at Queens High School for the Sciences at York College in New York City. During her junior year, Nia created her school's Black Student Union as a way for the small number of black students to share their stories of racial discrimination. Due to black students being under-represented at Queens High School for the Sciences, many of them have been subjected to racial slurs or having their achievements denounced. As the Black Student Union progressed in her senior year, Nia has worked alongside administration to help address the overall environment of the school. This includes creating presentations to showcase racial sensitivity, working with the principal to create workshops for parents, speaking to teachers and advising them how they should address the racial stigma in the school, and creating a documentary with her school's No Place for Hate student club. Nia also works along with other students and the Department of Education's Office of Equity and Access to create advisory boards for specialized high schools. As she hears fewer and fewer stories about students being racially harassed, and as she sees other students being reprimanded for their misbehavior, Nia realizes that her work helps the overall school environment. She hopes that there'll soon be a time where everyone is seen as equal.