Kirby Jones, a sophomore at Meredith College, is a student leader active in addressing issues of education equality, diversity inclusion, and faith-based justice. Kirby's pursuit of social justice advancement stems from her desire to eliminate the social factors and stereotypes which prohibit individuals from reaching their full potential. As a Fellow with Young People For, Kirby is launching an educational enrichment initiative at a local high school in Raleigh, NC which highlights the literary works of diverse authors. Through this initiative, Kirby is developing an after-school educational program that increases students' exposure to and appreciation of minority writers. Kirby's next interest is to analyze the intersection of activism and faith to determine how people of different faiths approach activism within various areas of social justice.
As a high school student, I was blessed to encounter a number of teachers whose compassion and wisdom fueled my desire to use my voice to advocate for social change. However, I came to realize that not all students in the United States are not given equal access to the relationships, opportunities, and resources that empower them to achieve their full potential. This inspired me to pursue my current fellowship with Young People For, an organization that is guiding me in my efforts to start a book club at a local high school that facilitates conversations around works that reflect the unique identities and experiences of Raleigh's diverse youth. I also try to infuse my passion for inclusivity and equality into my every day activities, especially as a student adviser for first-year students at Meredith College and undergraduate researcher with projects that explore the intersection of faith, gender, and justice. These experiences have enabled me to become a more confident and reflective leader, and I strongly believe they will shape me into the educator and activist I hope to become.