Graphic by Martín A. López / Courtesy of Silva Magnet High School.
With the support of their teacher, Denise Galvez, Silva Magnet High school students came up with a campaign to promote positivity while being at home during the holiday season .
“We wanted to find a way to keep everyone safe and happy,” said Isabella Chavez-Miranda a senior at Silva Magnet High School.
#StayPositive to #TestNegative is a campaign solely based on social media where students of Silva Magnet have to post a 15 second-video tagging @silvamagnet or @jshsclub365 on Instagram.
The main idea is to promote positive habits. On the videos, students showcase activities they have done to stay active and positive while helping the stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“We wanted to see change, being part of this solution, because we are the solution,” said Igmar Monroy, a senior at Silva Magnet High School.
In a recent interview at Sway, a New York Times Opinion podcast, Jane Goodall anthropologist who has studied chimpanzees for nearly sixty years, said younger generations are setting up a new battleground.
“I see young people with shining eyes, wanting to tell Dr. Jane what they are doing to make the world a better place.”
Goodall is not wrong; in recent years youth or Generation Z has shown increasing maturity and consciousness around global issues.
This generation, like these young students, has witnessed a national security crisis, two recessions, gun violence in schools, climate change strikes around the world, the birth of the Black Lives Matter movement, and a pandemic that has lasted over nine months.
Surveys have shown Generation Zers are more self conscious and consider societal change as “a good thing,” when compared to older generations.
One thing that has been left out of the equation for years has been mental health, how are these young individuals are dealing with these events that affect them directly or indirectly.
Mental health was a crucial factor for these students when creating this campaign, “we just try to encourage everyone to show us how they are trying to stay positive during difficult times or how they are trying to protect their family,” said Alyssa Cisneros, a junior at Silva Magnet High School.
“Not take everything for granted,” a statement all the students agreed on. For these high school students not seeing their friends, not walking through their school hallways is something that makes them feel homesick.
“That’s the lesson I am going to learn…appreciating the little things, because we never know when is the last time we are going to be able to experience them,” said Chávez-Miranda.
Chavez-Miranda and Monroy are rising seniors and they both recognized they possibly wouldn’t come back to their High School before they graduate because of the pandemic. Yet, these factors do not interfere with their inner motivation, as they keep fighting to create a safe space for their peers through these types of campaigns.
Many have struggled with the pandemic, as well as the stay at home ups and downs, or what’s known now as “COVID fatigue.”
For Igmar, this pandemic has hit close to home, as his parents work at a hospital. With that in mind, he invites everyone to be the solution in this health crisis.
These young El Pasoans also acknowledged they had to learn how to “accept things that they can’t control,” referring to people who follow the basic CDC guidelines such as wearing face masks and social distancing, and for those who travel and organize large gatherings.
“You get frustrated because…you are doing everything necessary… and then you see other people who don’t really think the same way as you do,” said Cisneros.
Despite the students’ frustration they had to cope with this sentiment and recognize not everyone would share their beliefs. Instead, they decided to create a platform for those who share their vision and have opted to stay at home during the holidays.
At last, this campaign should be just the beginning for these motivated students. “This is the first thing that we want to start…this is going to be one of many that are going to come in the future,” Cisneros added.
It surely won’t be the last time El Paso see the surge and interest from younger generations eager to “change” the world.
And as Chavez-Miranda concluded, “we just hope that everyone can stay positive and test negative.”