Melanie, High School Student, CA

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A good life would include a steady job, connections with my family and a place to stay.

Melanie is a high school student in California.  She was interviewed by a fellow student, Maria, as part of a #schoolpartnership #studentvoice project with REENVISIONED, in which students interview each other and adults in their lives, and reflect together on school and what makes a good life.  She picked her own profile picture to represent her, instead of a photo.

Tell me about yourself.

My name is Melanie, I’m five feet tall. I love anime, and I never really go out.

How would your friends and family describe you?

My friends would describe me as short, funny, outgoing, and sometimes mean.  My family would describe me as Satan’s spawn or a demon.


Now imagine you're all grown up let's say you're thirty, what are three central things you think would make it a good life?

A steady job, connections with my family and a place to stay.

How do you imagine your parents’ answer about what would make a good life is similar or different from yours?

Most likely similar because they just want the best for me. They want me to not be homeless and they want me to have a job and still be able to talk to them.


What would you like school to do, ideally, to help you get to that good life?

Just keep doing what they're doing because they already have staff who seem to care about their students, unlike other schools.

How do you imagine what your parents would answer is similar or different?

Somewhat different because they would probably be like, "I want the school to make sure my daughter graduates. I want the school to keep her out of trouble."  Basically things that aren’t necessarily under their control.


Alright well do you think this school will do that for you? Why or why not?

For me I do believe so because I am determined to graduate, so I don't see why not.


Will your school play that role for all students in the school? If not, why not?

I don't think it will for all students because, some students just have that, “fuck school” mentality. Once these students don't like school they're going to stick to that, and not want to keep doing their work. Then they don't really care about graduating or not, they don't really care about where they're going to be at in a few years.


Why do you think we have schools as a society?

To have a place for kids to go - not have them running around acting a fool. And so that they can have some background knowledge.

10,000 Stories. One Shared Vision.

REENVISIONED is a national movement to redefine the purpose of school.  We believe schools should foster flourishing individuals and a thriving democratic society.  But what does it mean to thrive or flourish? 

To answer this, we're building the world's largest collection of stories about what it means to live good lives and the role schools should play in helping create them: 10,000 stories from people across the country.  We'll use the stories to learn about our shared values and dreams and to create a new vision for why we send our children to school. 

We work with people like YOU across the country: Catalysts - individuals, classrooms, schools, and community organizations - who interview people in their communities and foster empathy nationwide by sharing the stories on our website and social media:  Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook (@reenvisioned). 

Learn more and join the movement.