JSA was honored to have Stacey Abrams as our 2021 Winter Congress key-note. Student participants were asked to describe what they learned from Ms. Abrams during her keynote session in 2-3 sentences.
The winners and their entries are as follows:
Jack H., Northern California
"It’s impossible to summarize Ms. Abrams’ message in 2-3 sentences, but my two biggest takeaways were that service is giving to, not giving back, and voting is medicine. Her description of her childhood really resonated with me, especially about how her family volunteered every week even though they were extremely poor (“there is always someone who needs more help than you”). Next, I thought her wisdom that “voting is medicine” was inspirational for me as a young adult who will start voting in a couple of years, because it seems as if voting doesn’t cause any change, but her analogy of voting to medicine—that over time things will improve as we vote—was invigorating."
Elleen K., Texas
"Something that really resonated with me is how Ms. Abrams told us to give TO the community instead of simply giving back. I interpreted this as how we all have the obligation to contribute to our communities, regardless of whether or not we take from the community as well (and thus give back afterward). This subtle difference in wording really changed my perspective of community service along with her beautiful personal anecdotes about her many years of community volunteering."
Arianna C., Southern California
"Ms. Abrams taught me that it is imperative to make decisions for the sake of everyone, never to leave someone behind. The message she gave to us was one of selflessness and unity for all regardless of the differences we may encounter. With the information of her past relatives, she used it to allow her audience to know that rough beginnings result in advancements and only WE as a democracy must let such a thing happen so that we may continue a successful society."