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Student Spotlight: Sumaiyah Ryan

Writer / Matt Keating
Photography Provided

Sumaiyah Ryan, a senior at Westfield High School, goes out of her way to help other people. It’s something she loves to do, and it makes her a better leader.

“I lead the Westfield High School Equity Club,” Ryan says. “We started this club during the last school year. The club is about creating a safe space for any marginalized students to be accepted in.”

The Westfield High School Equity Club is also a collection of diverse individuals striving to make the school, and the greater Westfield community, a place where everyone is safe, included, accepted and inspired to succeed.

Ryan and her friends have made the club as inclusive as they can. They want to make other students comfortable and help them feel inspired.

“We also do activities and discussions, have events, and work with other clubs,” she says. “It’s something I’m really passionate about, so I’m grateful I have had the opportunity.”

Ryan says The Westfield High School Equity Club is also a place where people share what they want to share without judgment. She adds that there are conversations and lessons at the club to help guide, enlighten and build upon students’ compassion and understanding for others.

Ryan attended a social justice leadership program last summer with the Peace Learning Center in Indianapolis. It was a program she truly treasured.

“It was a great experience,” Ryan says. “We learned about different areas of social justice, and the history of how certain policies came to be and [how they] affect today, shared personal experiences, and how to be a leader in social justice. We also held a small event at the end to share what we learned.”

Social justice is something Ryan is very passionate and excited about. She wants to do more to help other people.

“I believe it’s something extremely important and something everyone should learn about,” she says. “Racism, homophobia, ableism and other discrimination hurts so many people, and I believe it’s a responsibility to do what we can to help change that.”

Ryan has high hopes for the future, and is looking forward to her college years.

“I want to go to Butler and major in political science,” she says.

When she is not busy with her schoolwork and the Equity Club, Ryan can be found participating in other extracurricular school activities.

“I am the vice president of the Democrats Club, president for the Equity Club, and I recently joined a club called Supporting Her,” Ryan says.

Ryan is continually inspired by Westfield residents, and she enjoys everything the city has to offer.

“What I like about Westfield is that I’ve had many opportunities to get involved and pursue what I’m passionate in,” Ryan says.

Student Spotlight is sponsored by Wittler Orthodontics.

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