8th grader maintained school activities through virtual COVID-19 setting

Jan 18, 2022, 5:55 AM

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Life in school has been wildly different for children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At grade levels when it’s challenging to have kids stay engaged with school and even take on some extra-curricular activities, a virtual setting stretched the limits of this even further.

Hanna Macias was facing an eighth-grade year that was fully virtual. With everything the school had to juggle, Macias did some of her own to try and maintain everything, even from home.

The school was set to have no student council, but after Macias spoke with the principal and some teachers, she got it rolling.

Ditto for school announcements, which Macias had anchored the previous year.

“I liked getting the word out and spreading around campus the events going on about school to get more involvement,” she said.

Macias heard those announcements weren’t going to be happening at first but spoke with her teachers about how she could simply do them from home. And in a virtual environment, it would be pretty easy to release them from there.

It’s just a few examples of how Macias, now a 14-year-old freshman back in the classroom, chose to take action and not let that pandemic affect her experience as much as others were ready to let happen.

“I didn’t like how COVID was getting in everyone’s way and making people worry,” she said. “Their mindset and everything was just off. I really just wanted to bring everyone back together and stuff.

“The way I really tried to do that was to get more involvement through the stuff we were already doing that I knew could be possible.”

Macias credits her teachers for empowering her to be a leader, which should make it no surprise to hear she’s taken part in several leadership clubs and is a part of Future Business Leaders of America.

“It’s been really helping me get out in the open and meeting new people,” Macias said.

That type of mindset is what has made Macias someone her fellow classmates can turn to if they need someone to talk to. She’s helped a few friends through different mental health issues.

“I’ve had friends who have had bad home lives or really dealt with problems mentally and I have got a lot of people coming to me over the years … I’ve had a lot of experience with that just from my friends, so just when I see it around campus, I just reach out,” she said.

Macias has maintained all these responsibilities while spending time with dance, cross country and soccer, activities she plans to fully resume in high school.

Macias wants to attend Arizona State University and keep trudging forward with business to get a degree, focused specifically on either helping small businesses or starting her own.

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8th grader maintained school activities through virtual COVID-19 setting