Simone Maggie Gibson Thomas is a senior at the Grier School in Tyrone, Pennsylvania. Simone Maggie serves as senior class treasurer, Grier Int/Advanced Dance Company member and founder of Beyond the Bubble Club. As Grier School continues to craft an excellent foundation of 7-12th grade education for international students, Simone has brought attention to unheard voices of racially charged student experiences. During her first year of high school, she formed the Beyond the Bubble Club to challenge faculty and students to go "beyond their bubble" of race and intersectionality. Simone Maggie has partnered with Penn State graduate student Kayla Fuentes-Packnick during Bubble Talks on the lack of acknowledging intersectionality and additionally had Penn State's associate vice provost Jennifer Hamer speak to 'Bubble Members' on strategies to better address current race issues. While supplying her school body with dances, fundraisers and movie nights, her club’s main function is to host student-led panels in a format similar to TED talks. Audience members can ask or comment on any and all thoughts so that incorrect facts or offensive opinions are put to rest. Simone Maggie has cultivated a safe platform for students to speak with their staff and faculty on topics of race ranging from today's issues of "Black Lives Matter" to the historical family backgrounds of international students. Beyond The Bubble has additionally opened discussions on racially charged situations that are difficult for majority-race Americans to address. Simone Maggie is determined to bring her international community together through mutual respect of cultures and communication. She continues to bring this hope and thinking to all her academic and extracurricular activities.
2022 - PENNSYLVANIA (PITTSBURGH REGION)