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Students discuss their concerns

Alabama State Board of Education member Ella Bell is pictured with Selma City Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw and Selma-Dallas County Youth Ambassadors at their annual high school unity breakfast on Monday.

Alabama State Board of Education member Ella Bell is pictured with Selma City Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw and Selma-Dallas County Youth Ambassadors at their annual high school unity breakfast on Monday.

More than 100 students learned about the importance of education at Selma-Dallas County Youth Ambassadors’ annual high school unity breakfast.

The group is made up of students from different local high schools that consider themselves future leaders of tomorrow.

The students spoke about concerns they have in their schools. School uniforms, college preparation and career options were some of topics brought up.

Ambassadors advisor Bennie Ruth Crenshaw said she feels the importance of education is something that students today should discuss.

“We thought it was time for us to go in-depth about education. To them education means going to school and class, but they need to be intelligent on how to talk about the issues of education today,” Crenshaw said.

She said the event focuses on a different topic each year and has shed light on education before but never included student concerns.

“We have talked on issues of education before, but we wanted to go directly into some major concerns of the children. Things like understanding what it means to be a failing school, charter schools and what testing scores mean for them are all important,” Crenshaw said.

Alabama State Board of Education member Ella Bell is pictured with Selma City Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw and Selma-Dallas County Youth Ambassadors at their annual high school unity breakfast on Monday.

Alabama State Board of Education member Ella Bell is pictured with Selma City Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw and Selma-Dallas County Youth Ambassadors at their annual high school unity breakfast on Monday.

Alabama State Board of Education Representative Ella Bell attended the breakfast and spoke about the importance of education.

“I hoped they understand the reasons for some of the issues that they raised,” Bell said. “I want them to develop the desire to change all of the negative issues into positive opportunities and make Selma the great beacon that it needs to be.”

Students said they were encouraged and took a lot of knowledge from the program.

Selma High School senior Sarah Crum said the program inspired her to look into hosting events like the unity breakfast in the future.

“I learned a lot. I was happy to see that there were young people my age addressing issues that most people do not address,” Crum said. “I feel like we as a people need to unite and find out how we can better ourselves.”

Zyshawn James is a junior at Southside High School. He said he was glad he got some positive feedback and solutions for the issues he and his classmates have.

“I’m grateful that someone in a high place finally listened to us students, our issues and what we go through everyday and giving us their intellect,” James said.