Huntington High School students continue to make “A World of Difference” through a club more commonly known around the school district by the acronym AWOD.
The club promotes anti-bias and diversity programs that allow students to better understand the issues of prejudice and bigotry as well as providing a forum for exploring diverse viewpoints.
This year’s club is led by a dynamic group of officers, including Naysa Escobar (president), Yanira Rivera (treasurer) and Grace Allen (secretary).
“AWOD has always been known as the anti-bias training club, but this year as president, I want to expand our roots and hopefully be able to go for more trainings, have field trips that will help us all learn about the issues in our community, brainstorm ways to make them better, have interviews with social advocates and overall just try to make our community a more informed and cooperative place,” Ms. Escobar said.
The club believes that “the power of one can make a difference.” Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the enthusiastic teenagers who have already signed on as members of this year’s AWOD club are determined to make a difference in the world.
Similar to clubs across the country, Huntington High School’s A World of Difference initiative seeks to recognize bias and the harm it inflicts on both individuals and society as a whole.
“The other officers and I are looking forward to another wonderful year together, hopefully fully in person,” Ms. Allen said. “We are extremely thankful for the commitment of our fellow members and, of course, for Ms. Biagi’s diligent efforts in giving us another vibrant year. AWOD has always held a very special place in my heart and I can’t wait to see what this brings.”
The club works to build a better understanding of the value and benefits of diversity while striving to improve intergroup relations. AWOD confronts racism, anti-Semitism and every form of bigotry wherever and whenever these terrible things rear their heads.
“We have so many fun and exciting activities planned for the school year,” Ms. Rivera said. “We will be doing some club collaborations, which is very thrilling, especially after the past year we all went through when we couldn’t really communicate or see many students. We want this year to make up for everything missed. I’m so excited for the new freshman and all of the new members to get involved, so not only can they make this environment feel safer for them, but also for others. I’m also so excited to be back to our somewhat regular meetings because I feel like we are finally getting the chance to build better connections with one another and feel more comfortable with others. And that’s what AWOD’s all about.
The club facilities sensitivity and empathy in race relations. For many years, AWOD has trained intermediate grade level students in techniques to promote an anti-bias and anti-bullying environment.