Unionville High School’s Aria Zutshi was one of 30 students across the country selected to participate in the Young People Address the Nation event, a national day of action in direct response to President Biden’s 2022 State of the Union Address. Zutshi was invited to speak based on her work last year as an Ambassador for PeaceFirst, an organization that helps young people create and lead projects that address injustice in their community through compassion, courage and collaborative leadership.
The Youth Response to the State of the Union was live-streamed directly after the State of the Union and featured 30 young people from 26 states who responded to a number of the topics covered in the address. Zutshi was tasked with responding to President Biden’s remarks on Education.
In her response, she stated, “I think unfortunately the way our government has functioned for many many years, is that education has never been prioritized over our defense spending budget in regards to how much money we put towards it. I was glad that he did mention the need to prioritize those with less resources, which has been something necessary with racial inequality. I am glad that he is starting to allocate those funds even if it is not his top priority. He didn’t focus on education all that much…It was a bit disappointing. I was excited because of the amount of time and effort he is putting toward students' mental health issues. I do think this is coming a bit late, especially how rapidly mental health issues are becoming more apparent in the U.S. I am glad he is recognizing that and starting to put in some effort to get that done.”
When asked about the feedback school boards are receiving from parents nationwide regarding what children should be learning in school, she added, “When we don’t learn our history it's bound to repeat itself. Knowing the basic history and being able to understand what the U.S. and society have done wrong in the past is crucial in order to form another generation of kids that can act upon these issues better.”
You may view Zutshi’s full response here. (14:44 -19:17)
Zutshi is a junior at Unionville High School where she has taken on many leadership roles at school. She is President of UHS’ Interact Club, Director of Operations for TedEx UHS, VP of SHOC, and Captain of Public Forum for the Speech and Debate Team. Her experience in public speaking was certainly evident in her poise and delivery while participating in this national forum. Unionville-Chadds Ford commends Zutshi for using her voice to provide perspective on education and encourage younger students to make a difference in any way they feel is important. Her participation in this event is an outstanding example of the District’s mission of empowering students to succeed in life and contribute to society.
“Young people are consistently on the frontlines of transformative change, and this is our pivotal moment to shift America’s attention to the future that we need,” said Dillon Bernard, the Executive Producer of Young People Address the Nation.
Additional details on Young People Address the Nation: State of the Union 2022 Edition are available at www.youngpeopleaddress.org.