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
Massachusetts students recreate election reactions with Mannequin Challenge
A group of students at Somerville High School in Somerville, Massachusetts decided to capture the range of emotions they were experiencing by creating a Mannequin Challenge video. Continue readingElection 2016mannequin challengePoliticsStudent Voice
Aid groups call for access as airstrikes continue in rebel-held Aleppo
Fighting has escalated in Aleppo, Syria as rebel groups try to hold off government forces attempting to take back the eastern section of the city. Continue readingAleppoCivil WarSyrian Civil War
The legacy of Cuba’s Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro, the 90-year old communist leader of Cuba, died on Friday. He had ruled the country with a firm grip for nearly half a century, withstanding a 50-year long U.S. economic embargo and multiple assassination attempts. Continue readingBay of PigsCold WarcommunismcubaCuban Missile CrisisFidel CastroGovernment & CivicshistoryPoliticsRaul CastroSocial Studies
DACA Dreamers fear Trump’s immigration policy
Throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, President-elect Donald Trump promised to crack down on undocumented immigration, including hundreds of thousands of young people who have obtained temporary legal status under the Obama Administration. Continue readingCivicsDACADonald TrumpDreamersElection 2016GovernmentGovernment & Civicsimmigrantsimmigrationimmigration policyPresident ObamaSocial Studiesundocumented immigrants
Did fake news influence the outcome of Election 2016?
The proliferation of fake news sources on social media has raised questions about the duty of sites like Facebook and Twitter to screen content and distinguish fact from fiction. Continue readingElection 2016medianews