Six OHS seniors discuss climate change with representative for Mississippi Representative Trent Kelly


Courtesy of Patricia Hughes

Seniors Cooper Crawley, Amya Franklin, Lily Hemmins, Patricia Hughes, Donald Rogers, and Sophie Quinn and four young girls stand and smile at the courthouse. They participated in a meeting with a representative for Mississippi Representative Trent Kelly concerning climate change.

Grace Logan, Sports Editor

All around the world, thousands of people and young adults protested climate change as the United Nations Climate Action Summit took place in New York City. As the world protested, six OHS students took action and participated in a meeting with a representative for Mississippi Representative Trent Kelly. 

Seniors Cooper Crawley, Amya Franklin, Lily Hemmins, Patricia Hughes, Donald Rogers and Sophie Quinn attended a meeting at City Hall on Sept. 24 to discuss the issue of climate change in contribution to the International Climate Strike Week. 

“We did not want people to think that Mississippi didn’t care,” Franklin said. “There have only been three strikes in our state. We didn’t actually strike, but we had a conversation.” 

According to Hemmins, the students decided to go to address the issue because of the lack of legislation by the government on the issue. 

“ I believe America can and, more importantly, should be doing so much more to slow climate change and protect the health of our planet because we rely so deeply on it,” Hemmins said. 

The students divided the conversation into three main points: what was happening in the world, what would happen if nothing was done to help and what the country can do. 

“It wasn’t necessarily that the conversation was happening but that we are going to change the world regardless, but we wanted to give Mr. Kelly an opportunity to be the first politician in Mississippi to back us,” Franklin said. “We weren’t asking him to care because we are going to care. Period. We were asking him to be a part of the conversation and take that somewhere.”

According to Franklin, the conversation made the students, especially Franklin, feel empowered and that they were “becoming their own generation.” 

“I feel like you protest when you can’t have a meeting but we talked because we could. We didn’t have to scream,” Franklin said. 

Along with the six seniors, there were four younger girls, making the Trent Kelly representative the only adult present. 

“I thought to myself about how no adult took part in or helped us to organize or prepare for the presentation. I realized how truly powerful the voices of young people can be,” Hemmins said. “People listen to the youth because they don’t really expect us to be paying much attention. I realized how open and available the world is, and how much change one can create, regardless of their age, if they’re willing to be bold and try.”

According to both Franklin and Hemmins, the students want to continue the conversation past the Climate Strike Week because “the truth is in the science.” 

“Our world is going to exponentially change very, very soon, if society doesn’t start to take serious measures to slow climate change,” Hemmins said. “If we don’t start to take this issue seriously, our generation will be forced to try and save our planet when it’s already too late.”