At the start of the 2013–2014 school year, we announced the first annual Friends Journal Student Voices Project, a new initiative calling all middle school (grades 6–8) and high school (grades 9–12) students to add their voices to the Friends Journal community of readers (more info at fdsj.nl/StudentVoices2014). The prompt for this year encouraged students to think about the testimony of integrity in their own lives: “Integrity is the state of being complete or undivided. Friends use the term to talk about our commitment to honesty and fairness. How does this value challenge or inspire you?” We invite you to take a moment now to consider the prompt for yourself before reading ahead.
The submissions for this year include an honest account of the development of understanding from a self-aware ninth grader and four engaging stories from thoughtful sixth graders. From this unique collection of voices, we’re able to discover some of the many ways integrity slips into our everyday lives: it can surprise us by sprouting out of an unlikely candidate; it can creep in undercover, through the kind wishes of a stranger or the desire to care for animals; and its absence in moments that test a friendship can disappoint us. As one Friends school teacher said, “Integrity doesn’t always look like you expect it to look.”
Without further ado, here are the honorees of the first annual Student Voices Project.
- Integrity, a Noun by Emma LeFebvre
- Waiting for Something by Grace Jickling
- Simba by Levi Veleanu
- That Day by True Lyons
- THIS CAN’T BE HAPPENING! by Zivia Brown
Find out more about the honorees from one school in Greene Street Friends School Explores Integrity by Gail Whiffen.