1. What is your name?
Kyrah Simon

2. Where are you from?
Parkland, Florida

3. What was your experience at the February 14, 2018, Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting?
It was extremely strange and unexpected. As it was Valentine's Day the halls were filled with affectionate couples and girls clutching life-size teddy bears and boxes of chocolates. I was wearing red that day - on purpose because of the holiday - and was truly in my own head and set on the school day ending so I could go home and work on an English project. Fast forward to fourth period that day we had yet another fire alarm and as it was 15 minutes until dismissal we were instructed to take our bags and line up on a field outside the building. It became apparent that this was not a fire drill and was a far more dire situation. We evacuated to a local grocery store and by the helicopters passing overhead, excess police officers carrying rifles, and SWAT tanks that drove through the crowded streets I was made aware that this was not normal. From news stations and social media, I was made aware of how immense the carnage inside of my school how many individuals would have their lives changed forever.


GoFund Me Link
4. Can you tell us about your friend Helena?
I've known Helena since I was in kindergarten and she has remained the kindest person I will ever know. Her heart was so pure and she was truly kind to everyone even if I felt they were undeserving. She was witty and sarcastic, me and her could go back and forth with jokes and her laugh was infectious. I would always catch myself making dumb jokes just to make her laugh. I don't have many friends and she had never lost her position as someone I cared about. She was truly an amazing person that deserved so much more than this country gave her.

5. What is your personal opinion about gun laws and mental illness in our communities?
I feel that it is a topic so commonly brushed under the rug to appease people's political views. Gun laws are deemed political issues rather than human issues and mental health concern is either ridiculed or neglected. 

6. Why is the Black Lives Matter movement important to you?
As a black girl in America, racial equality has always meant the most to me. The outrage for the slaughter of unarmed black men, women, and children is justified and all opposition of the movement furthers the historical illness of racism and violence within our country. Humanity has meant the most to me throughout my life and I am unable to accept a society that ridicules those protesting in justice.

7. How can people reach you online?
Twitter: @kyrahsimon

8. What are your goals after high school?
I'm pursuing a career as a human rights lawyer either in the Mid-Atlantic or up North. I'm starting to focus more on activism and serving my community.

9. What is your message to President Trump?
He is such an ignorant and shrunken mind at 71 years of age. As a leader with such an immense amount of power, it is essential that you play the game of catering to ALL American citizens rather than those with similar political views. I find party patronage to be such an archaic and degenerative tactic of division and wish this country had a leader willing to choose unity over immature expressions of pride.The hate speech he consistently delivers is despicable and is an accurate representative of the current state of our country.