Student Voices Project

The Eighth Annual Student Voices Project

This year’s honorees are featured in the May 2021 issue!

Our May issue showcases our 8th annual Student Voices Project, which invited Quaker-affiliated youth to reflect on what they learned though a year shaped by a deadly pandemic, significant economic consequences, exacerbated social inequalities, worsening climate change, and ongoing racial injustice. Their stories offer insightful perspective on where we’ve been and where we’re headed, glimpses into a world in which adversity is frequently countered by gratitude for family, friends, and faith community. Read their essays here.

2020-2021 Theme: Learning from 2020

Click to download PDF flyer

It’s been quite a year since the coronavirus pandemic turned the world upside down. In March 2020, everything about daily living seemed to change or shut down, including schools and meetinghouses. From remote learning and virtual worship services to Black Lives Matter protests and racial justice work to the worsening climate crisis and divisive U.S. politics, there’s a lot to process on a daily basis. Meanwhile, we’re staying home more, being more intentional about connecting with others (thank you, technology), recommitting to our faith communities in new ways, and generally missing the relative ease of life before this whole mess started. Let’s write about it.

Prompt: What have you learned about yourself and your community in the past year?

Advices and queries to consider (These are suggestions only. Students are not required to respond to all of these or any of these.):

  • What has it been like for you and your family experiencing this pandemic? Write about something that happened that stands out to you; it could be funny, or sad, or totally weird, or just describe how your daily life has changed.
  • How are you staying connected to your faith community while many meetinghouses and churches remain closed? Have you participated in virtual worship services? Write about what’s different and what has stayed the same.
  • How have recent events and protests influenced your views on and actions for racial justice? Share your observations or involvement in how your school, meeting, or faith community has responded.

Submission guidelines

  • Must be a middle or high school student (grades 6–12) at a Friends school, or a Quaker student in another educational venue (public school, non‐Friends private school, homeschool, online school, etc.) with a Quaker affiliation (monthly or yearly meeting attender or member, including young Friends gatherings and Quaker camps).
  • One submission per student, connected to the theme of “Learning from 2020.”
  • Must have an original title, and it must be typed.
  • Word count: between 300 and 1,500 words.
  • Deadline: February 15, 2021.

Submit here!

Get published in Friends Journal

A selection of the submissions will be featured in the May 2021 issue, reaching thousands of readers living on every continent. Honorees will also receive a free one-year digital subscription and will be recognized by Friends Council on Education for their work.

Check out the honorees from past years:

Email [email protected] with any questions.