Students Attend the Connections Conference
Several Mass Academy students attended the Connections Conference, hosted by Sutton High School, which brought together over 700 students and educators from all over New England who want to make a difference.
The day started in the auditorium, with a hype team leading everyone in Just Dance to the song Rasputin. José Vilson, an educator and activist, was the keynote speaker for the conference. He spoke about his inclusive practices both inside and outside the classroom, as well his many students who grew up to become teachers.
After the keynote speaker, students were able to select two from a wide variety of seminars to attend. Some Mass Academy students even ran a seminar of their own. Seniors Poorvi Mohanakrishnan and Diksha Sriram led a workshop about “Empowering Youth Through STEM” while seniors Alexis Chong and Saaya Daga led one titled “Arts and Crafts Activism: Using Zines to Share Your Message.”
“We [Alexis, Poorvi, Diksha, and I] were lucky enough to attend the Connection Conference last year and we left with so many ideas of the workshops we’d like to run if we were given the chance,” said senior Saaya Daga. “I’m so glad we got to come back, this time as presenters. I think our workshop went really well and we had a good time.”
“It was a wonderful opportunity to meet students from other schools and learn more about important issues,” said junior Shivani Parmar.
Sutton High School provided lunch for everyone, which gave people an opportunity to continue socializing with students from other schools.
After lunch, everyone was brought back into the auditorium for closing activities. At the start of the conference, all the attendees filled out a survey, which the conference organizers used to run a Family Feud-style game.
Five groups of students were selected from the audience to come up to the stage and guess the most common answer to questions like “If your life was a movie, what would its genre be?” (Comedy) or “What social justice issue do you want to learn about the most?” (LGBTQ+ issues).
The closing speaker was the famous hip-hop artist Akrobatik, or Jared Bridgeman, who shared some of his life experiences, particularly his unique educational background.
All students left the conference having made new connections and inspired to enact some change in the world.
Junior Staff Writer