JSA State: Midwest (Michigan)
About Brooklyn: Brooklyn is from the great state of Michigan and grew up in the suburbs outside of Detroit. She is an only child and has two dogs: an English Bulldog named Pepper and a toy Yorkshire Terrier named Louie. Brooklyn enjoys listening to music, watching tv, playing board games, and looking at houses on Zillow.
Her favorite type of food is Chinese food, and her favorite restaurant is Benihana, even though it's hibachi and not Chinese food. She aspires to go to Northwestern University and eventually become a doctor. Her main goal in life is to help people, and fortunately, she says she's lived up to that so far. The people she looks up to the most in life are her parents and grandmas because she says they have a solid work ethic, and being around them motivates her a lot.
In 7th grade, she was picked to go to a summit in New York with her history teacher for kids who wanted to make a difference in her school. A year later, she won an award from her district to help students with mental health problems just like her, which started her activism journey. Brooklyn is very passionate about activism and, more specifically, racial injustice, LGBTQ+ rights, and mental health and hopes to be the Midwest director of activism one day.
When was the pivotal moment where you decided to join JSA?
Ever since the 6th grade, I've been very passionate about social issues and politics in general. However, towards the end of 8th grade, as COVID-19 started to spread faster, I started to pay more attention to our government and how they were handling not just covid but other issues I’d been passionate about more deeply. When I began high school this year, I began researching [JSA] and immediately fell in love. Being in JSA has been so wonderful and has already taught me so much and expanded my knowledge of politics. I can’t wait to meet many more new people during the rest of my high school career while being in JSA.
What is an issue you are passionate about, and how has JSA helped you be active in that area?
I'm very passionate about racial injustice. As a black woman from a predominately white town, racial injustice has always been something that I've cared about a lot. During Fall State, I attended almost all of the activism blocks, and a lot of them centered around racial injustice. While I was in one of the blocks, someone told me about JSA's Racial Justice Task Force. After the convention, I applied, and now I'm a member. The Task Force has helped me with expanding my knowledge more than I could've ever imagined. I'm currently learning and researching about different subtopics of racial injustice that I didn't even know was a thing a year ago.
What would you say is an opportunity that JSA provides for you as a High School student?
I think JSA provides a vast amount of opportunities. You get to meet people all over the country, build leadership skills, and learn different skills whether you're planning a career in politics or not. For example, JSA has taught me so much about hearing different opinions and perspectives in settings like thought talks and debates and just talking to people in my everyday life. It has also helped me be more organized. Whether it’s helping plan things with my chapter or with the Racial Justice Task Force, having organizational skills is crucial, and JSA helped me develop that skill. And of course, one of the best parts of JSA is all the new people you get to meet. As a high school student, meeting new people nationwide has been so fun and helps create the great community that JSA has.
How are you a representative of JSA in your local community and beyond?
In my community, I’m always promoting JSA and how amazing it is. I'm always looking for new members at my school to join my chapter and my other friends who don’t go to school to start a chapter at their school! Whenever my chapter is holding Zoom meetings with our local government people, I’m always posting about it and letting people know about it. I also post non-stop on my private story about the conventions I go to because I’m always so excited to share the fantastic things we do, and most of the time, my friends want to know about the activities we do!
Who is a person that inspires you to go beyond the barriers you have?
A person that inspires me is my mom. She's one of the hardest workers I know. She always tells me why she works hard to have a better life than she and my father did. Sometimes she'll wake up at 6 a.m. to start working and end at 7 p.m. It's crazy, but she just always has such a strong work ethic and being around that all the time inspires me to work hard for what I want, just like her. This year she became the head of the diversity committee at her job, and she always comes up with great ideas for them to do, and she helps me further my information on racial injustice.