Following the departure of the Class of ‘21, junior Amaya Peralta has taken over many roles for S.A.F.E., or Students Advocating For Equality.
The group was formed in 2020 during the Black Lives Matter Movement that influenced Sandy High School’s Class of 2021 to create S.A.F.E.
“It started just in the high school and then it broadened, so we started focusing on youth and high school students but it also reaches out to the community,” Peralta said. Peralta went on to speak about the numerous projects S.A.F.E. has done, such as the Newberg Schools Event, the June Pride Event last summer, the Trash Clean-Up, and the event that gave S.A.F.E. it’s momentum when first coming out: the “Not All Students Thrive Here” speech given in 2020.
“The ‘Not All Students Thrive Here’ speech surrounded students of color and broadened to also involving LGBTQ+ students and under represented demographics,” Peralta said. It expanded and gave light to the things that students of color face at Sandy High School, challenging the school statement “Students Thrive Here.”
“After Molly Izer, Josiah Rothwell, and Jake Billard all left, I took over as well as Makayla Bogle, Des Walker, and Brinna Reynoldson who are all four managers. I do the majority of the communication, the infographics, and am also communicating with a few equity coalitions for S.A.F.E.,” Peralta said.
She emphasizes giving youth opportunities to voice themselves, and creating a community where self expression and equity is present.
The group also expands from youth and students of color to the LGBTQ+ community.
“We don’t specifically work with one group of people, our main goal is to create a more equitable school and community environment,” Peralta said.
While students might take a look at the S.A.F.E. Instagram account and wonder whether or not they are active, there is much more that goes on behind the scenes that Peralta does.
“Since a lot of our communication is on social media, if we don’t have a post out every single week people forget about it and think it’s gone, which I understand,” Peralta said.
Peralta does much more than create Instagram posts with research studies, she communicates and works with many groups.
“We’re meeting with Clackamas County Communities of Color, and we’re starting a two year research study. I’m starting to work with the city and we’re doing a lot of things that aren’t publicly posted. We’re doing a lot behind the scenes and we’re always here for anyone to reach out,” Peralta said.
Over the past year, Peralta has put in many hours with S.A.F.E. to help create a more equitable and safe community for youth.