Local & State
|Top Senior of the Year is scholar, leader and advocate in the making|
|Kiersten Hash’s goal: Become a civil rights attorney|
|Published Thursday, April 29, 2021|
|PHOTO | PATRICE JOHNSON|
|Kiersten Hash of Mallard Creek High School, The Charlotte Post’s 2021 Top Senior of the Year, intends to pursue a career as a civil rights attorney. Her college choices are Howard, Harvard and Princeton universities as well as UNC Chapel Hill.|
Kiersten Hash fights for marginalized voices.
The Charlotte Post Foundation’s 2021 Top Senior is a painter, piano player, Marvel Cinematic Universe fan with a passion for musical theater, but above all an advocate.
A senior at Mallard Creek High School, she has narrowed down her choices to Harvard, Howard and Princeton universities as well as UNC Chapel Hill. Hash plans to study political science, while also pursuing her interests in African American studies and Spanish. She intends to attend law school to become a civil rights attorney, and pursuit of public office may be in the future.
“I have been fortunate to be immersed in a community that values identity and values embracing diversity,” Hash said. “Just being in Charlotte and growing up in a pretty diverse city, pretty forward-thinking city, but also realizing that there are so many socio-economic and racial issues that have gone on in our city for essentially decades that just reflect some of the inequalities throughout the country and really globally.”
Hash founded Queens for Change in 2019, an organization that focuses on empowering Black girls. She hosted the first event, the Queens Empowerment forum, and has since facilitated panel discussions with local leaders, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Earnest Winston. Queens for Change has also hosted service events and a purpose walk to highlight issues facing Black youth.
“We have created a network of probably 100 or more young Black girls in the city just hosting events and really uplifting their voices,” Hash said.
Queens for Change’s focus has shifted to getting students involved in advocating for the passage of the Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair, also referred to as the CROWN Act, in North Carolina.
“The act would protect against hair discrimination throughout the state,” Hash said. “I have also been using Queens for Change as a platform to implement a similar policy in CMS. That has been a really inspiring journey, and interacting with local and state leaders has been awesome. I am so grateful that Queens for Change has allowed me for that platform.”
While Hash dedicates a great deal of time to serving others, she also participated in varsity cheer at Mallard Creek, which won the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state championship in 2018. She has been the president of the Mallard Creek National Honor Society since 2019, vice president of the school’s Spanish National Honor Society chapter, founded the Mallard Creek Speech and Debate Team and has been president since 2017.
Hash, a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Youth Council since 2020, was nominated by Mallard Creek leaders due to her community involvement and to provide a student perspective at biweekly council meetings. It gives her an opportunity to speak to equity, remote learning, access to quality education and other issues impacting students. Her time on the council afforded her the opportunity to speak with Winston, members of Charlotte City Council, as well as members from councils across the state at a larger virtual event.
“Seeing some of the issues with affordable housing and residential segregation in particular and how that impacts education and how that impacts healthcare and how that impacts access to amenities, it really catalyzed my desire to fight for marginalized groups,” Has said. “Essentially that is what I would be doing in my work: making sure that people feel protected by the civil rights granted by the government.”
|This is awesome,continue to reach for the stars because you are a shining light.Congratulations on all your accomplishments|
|Posted on April 29, 2021|
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