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A CALL FOR CHANGE – Student Activists

The students and employees at the High School for Media and Communications, located at the George Washington Educational Campus, have a lot of problems with the elevators at the 191st 1 train station. The majority of the students have first-period class, the main reason that they are late is because of the crowd in front of the train elevators. Even though there are four elevators for straphangers to use, one or two of them are out of service which makes a delay. Fortunately, Juan Rosa from the Catholic Charities brought up the idea to change this circumstance. This idea was proposed to Celine LeeSam, a history teacher, and students in her senior government class. They had to come up with a solution for this problem. From last year, 2017, LeeSam and her senior government class decided to do a project for the 191st train station. According to the interview with LeeSam, she said that she saw many students being late to her class because of the elevators, and she experienced that problem too. In addition, she wanted the students to really participate in this project. Jaylene Then, a senior at the High School for Media and Communications, started the petition on change.org. As of January 18th, 341 people have signed the petition. Since this petition is public, many people also commented by agreeing that this was an issue. Elizabeth Stone Menerstein commented, “I regularly take public transportation. The lines at 191st street are impossible to navigate and take far too long.” Mary Illes, a Washington Heights resident, commented, “I live in the neighborhood and the elevators need to be maintained. Open the rear doors as requested.” On January 19th, 2018, some students walked over to the offices of local politicians. The letter was to be sent to three politicians: Marisol Alcantara who is the senator for the 31st district of the New York Senate, Ydanis Rodriguez who is the council member for the 31st district, and Joseph Lhota who is the American public servant and the chairman of the Metropolitan transportation authority. The students and the employees at the High School for Media and Communications are really hoping to make a progress to change the elevators. They are looking forward to having an easier time on their way to school.

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