Hispanic Heritage is something you don’t really hear about that often. Until now.
The masterminds behind this celebration at North Atlanta are juniors Gabriela Oliveros, Maria Niño and Emily D’Achiardi. This trio of Latinas are the leaders of the newly formed Hispanic Heritage Committee.
During September, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated around the world in various ways. At North Atlanta, this month-long event was marked by a Mariachi band and the flags of Spanish speaking countries decorating the hallways. Committee members say the school-wide celebration of Hispanic culture didn’t just come out of nowhere. All month long there was a clear goal in mind. “We wanted to let Hispanic students know that they matter too,” said Oliveros.
To many Hispanic students, Hispanic Heritage month is a time where they get to feel seen and really connect to their culture.
“To me, Hispanic Heritage Month is a time where we can explore and share our culture with others,” said Maria Niño. “We get to demonstrate how much of an impact we have, not only in the school but around the world.”
Hispanic Heritage Committee members say that, too often, Hispanic students are overlooked when it comes to academics. Only a handful of students with Hispanic heritage are in IB and, for Gabriela Oliveros, this lack of students in the school’s most rigorous academic program can be disheartening. She felt that it was time people see just how capable Hispanic students are. “I just wanted to show that we can be more than just ‘nontraditional students’ or a statistic,” Oliveros said. “We can do more and I want to show how past Hispanic people took advantage of the opportunities given to them.”
In order to empower and inspire the Hispanic population of our school, the Hispanic Heritage Committee has not only set up lunch room entertainment, but they even hosted a Hispanic Heritage Festival for people of all backgrounds to come and experience a diverse array of Hispanic culture.
The Hispanic Heritage celebration was the beginning of a new tradition at North Atlanta and it continues the school’s mission to uplift and celebrate diversity.