In January, Capital High Sophomore Eda Diaz-Coppernoll was selected as a winner of the American Soapbox Challenge, and was awarded an all expenses paid trip to Washington D.C.! The trip and competition was sponsored by Mikva Challenge, a non-profit based out of Chicago, which focuses on youth civic action. The competition began in October, which asked students to compose, and deliver a 2-minute speech on an issue that teens face today. Capital High students performed the speeches in front of their school communities on the East and West sides of the campus.
Eda delivered her winning speech on immigration/deportation and the Latino community. She says, "I decided to write on the topic because of our new president. We need people to open up their minds, and realize that others are suffering; you need to see both sides of the story." She was then selected along with 28 other high school students from around the country to meet in D.C. for a youth summit during Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. During their time in D.C., students enjoyed group sessions, tours of the city and government buildings, and they ended the trip by delivering their powerful speeches outside of the White House.
Eda was accompanied by her 10th grade English teacher, Joel Jarosky, on the trip, and found it very inspiring. "It was all educational," Eda says. "I never realized how serious some of the issues were until I heard other kids' speeches. Other students need to experience what I experienced."
Eda says that she will continue advocating for Latino and other immigrant's rights, and looks forward to sharing her experiences with others.