Chats for Change

A new forum hosted by NA for Change kicks off this afternoon.


photo by D. Crickets

“Chats for Change” aims to spark student-led discussions on various issues.

Sally Cho, Staff Writer

Throughout the school year, junior Quinn Volpe has taken notice of the various issues her fellow classmates have struggled with. From school-related stress to social justice issues, it is clear many students are weighed down with no outlet for their concerns. Determined to give students a platform to share their voice, Volpe used her position as a team member of the NA For Change organization to create “Chats For Change.”

“Chats For Change is a monthly discussion series hosted through NA For Change, a student and alumni-run organization that advocates for diversity, equity, and inclusion across the North Allegheny School District,” Volpe said. “They are student-centered discussions that will give participants a way to have difficult but necessary conversations and speak on important issues that affect NA schools.”

The defining characteristic of the events is that they will focus specifically on students and their suggestions, rather than relying on outside sources to speak and take action on behalf of them. 

“Through these events, we hope to create change in our schools directly through the ideas of students,” Volpe said. 

Another goal of the event is to help students’ voices reach those in positions of power, raising awareness to the fact that students should be a part of decision-making on topics that affect them.

“Hopefully, because we’re hitting issues that affect students, the greater community and local leaders will pay attention to and address what students say during the conversations,” Volpe added.

The first event will be held Monday, April 12th at 4 p.m. through Zoom, covering the topic of mental health in schools and beyond. 

“On behalf of NA For Change, I will be moderating the discussions and asking questions when necessary,” Volpe said. “Depending on the turnout, we will either have one big Zoom room or smaller breakout groups for the discussions.”

Many students have already shown their interest in attending, eager to engage in change-bringing conversations.

I feel that a lot of problems in the community go unspoken, and it would be very beneficial to the community to bring them to light,” junior Dillon Ferraro said.

Junior Ella Baker echoed these sentiments.

“I think that increasing widespread awareness about community issues is the only way that real change will happen,” she said.

Some students feel that even just simply listening to their classmates speak will be a valuable experience for them.

“I think that it is important to be educated on matters that are happening within the community,” junior Nicole Baker said.

As NA For Change prepares for the first event of the series, Volpe and the rest of the team hope “Chats for Change” can help students feel they have a say in issues going on around them. 

“All students should have the opportunity to make an impact on their community, and we hope to facilitate that through these conversations,” Volpe said. 

Those who wish to attend can sign up by filling out a Google form for the first event. Information on future events can be found at @naforchange on Instagram, Twitter, and “NA For Change” on Facebook.