Rochester City School District
Media Advisory
April 12, 2021
Editor Contact:
Marisol Ramos-Lopez
585.455.2844 (m)
RCSD Students Get On Their "Soapboxes" for Youth-Driven Civic Engagement Event
Students in grades 7 – 12 in the Rochester City School District will be participating in a citywide “Project Soapbox” speech showcase that will encourage student voice all across the District. 

On Wednesday, April 14, five students will participate in a live Zoom event where they will deliver a two-minute call-to-action speech on issues that have impacted their lives and the lives of their families such as mental health, racism, or the environment. 

The five students are:

  • Nie Asia Evans, School of the Arts
  • Jaylen Green, School of the Arts
  • Martha Kelly, School of the Arts
  • Tasha Moore, Enrico Fermi School No. 17
  • Grayce Peltz, School of the Arts

This winter, more than 300 students got on their “soapbox” in classrooms (both in-person and virtual) to prepare for this citywide speech showcase. Teachers worked with students who learned about the structure of a speech, how to make it more interesting, and how best to deliver it. Teachers uploaded student speeches to a Vimeo page, and then five students were chosen to participate in a live Zoom event on April 14 where they will deliver a two-minute call-to-action speech. 

As students deliver their speeches, members of the District’s Teaching and Learning Department will provide feedback along with prominent community members, such as Dr. Marilynn Patterson Grant from the William and Sheila Konar Foundation. 

This citywide showcase is a unique opportunity for students to have their voices heard beyond the classroom and also to hear the voices of fellow students dealing with similar issues. Three students from the citywide speech showcase will have the opportunity to share their speech again in a New York Statewide Soapbox Showcase in partnership with Facebook.

This Project Soapbox event is done in collaboration with the Mikva Challenge, which is a nonpartisan organization that develops youth to be empowered, informed, and active citizens who promote a just and equitable society.  

131 W. Broad Street, Rochester, NY 14614 | 585-262-8100