Student VoicesBack to student voices archive May 22, 2013
“Joplin Was Able To Rise From the Ashes”
At least 161 people are killed and hundreds more injured as a three-quarter-mile-wide tornado hits Joplin, Mo. The tornado is among the deadliest in the nation’s history, destroying nearly a third of the city and damaging about 2,000 buildings.
MaKenzie, a junior at Joplin High School, reflects on how her town was able to recover from such a traumatic event with the help of friends and neighbors.
This piece was originally published May 22, 2012
I can still distinctly remember that gnawing anxiety that spread through my chest on that dreadful night.
The week following the tornado was absolute horror. The weather was ominous, and I was terrified another storm was going to destroy the part of the town that was still standing.
But there wasn’t another tornado and life carried on.
I may not have lost my home, but the high school I spent two years growing up in had been destroyed.
I lost an acquaintance from school, but at least my friends and family were alive. I have never felt so genuinely thankful in my entire life until that night.
It’s strange that I still felt grateful even after Joplin had been ripped mercilessly apart. I had lost my town, school, people I knew—but I still had my life. I still had a roof above my head, and the lives of my friends and family tucked into safety. It was hard to stay thankful while everything was going on, of course.
I remember attending a meeting where school-board members discussed the plans for the temporary high school. We were able to secure two locations for the high school, which meant it would be split into two campuses divided by grades. I was upset I wouldn’t be able to be in the same building as my sister who was entering as a freshman, but I was extremely relieved we would have a building to use for school.
My campus was located in an old building inside the mall. The construction workers pooled their resources and heightened their strength and were able to build the temporary school in just 55 days. During those 55 days, Joplin received help from all over the country. Volunteers swarmed into town in waves, buzzing around the city and providing help wherever it was needed.
Our town wouldn’t have been able to recover if it hadn’t have been for those men and women who devoted their time to help a mangled city. Not only has our town been rebuilt, but so has our community. Never before have I witnessed such a strong sense of pride in our town and our school.
Joplin was able to rise from the ashes because of help from everyone. And I am eternally grateful to anyone who made that possible.
Tooltip of related stories
Tooltip of more video block
Submit Your Student Voice
Tooltip of related content
Tooltip of RSS content 3
How fake news about a DNC staffer’s murder buoyed conspiracies
The murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich in July 2016 has led to a conspiracy theory based on unfounded claims linking Rich to WikiLeaks. Continue readingDNCfake newsFox NewsJournalismMedia Literacynews literacySeth RichSocial Studies
Lesson Plan: How to create a balanced budget — it’s a ‘Balancing Act’
How do we know that our government is fulfilling its duties to us, the public? How do we decide what those duties are? As efforts to pass the federal budget get underway, students will have the power to re-prioritize how money is spent using the interactive tool Balancing Act. What changes will they make? Continue readingBalancing ActBudgetbusiness educationEconomicseconomyfederal budgetFederal GovernmentGovernment & CivicshistoryPresidentSocial StudiesState Governmenttaxes
Young conservatives: Climate change is an issue for all of us
There is a growing movement among young conservatives, including evangelical Christians, who support environmental regulations. They say it’s important to act as faithful stewards of the earth. One group, the Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, has grown to 10,000 members in the past five years. Continue readingcarbon taxChristianityclimate changeclimate scienceconservatismconservativeevangelicalfossil fuelsGlobal WarmingGovernment & CivicsideologyPoliticsReligionScienceSocial Studies
Should seat belts be mandatory on school buses?
School districts around the country are debating whether or not to require seat belts on school buses. Requiring seat belts comes at a high cost for school districts already struggling with tight budgets. Continue readingbusDebateenglishEnglish & Language ArtsMaking the Gradeschool busschool busesschool safetyseat beltSocial Studies
Lesson plan: What’s your “Brief but Spectacular” take?
Every Thursday night, the PBS NewsHour profiles people and their passions in the series Brief but Spectacular. Creator Steve Goldbloom and his producing partner Zach Land-Miller wanted to find a new way to share original voices the public might otherwise not see. Now you can join the fun… Continue readingbrief but spectacularELAenglishEnglish & Language ArtsEnglish language learnersfilmIdentitySocial Studiesvideo