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  • Writer's pictureThe Eagle

What is Shades of Red?

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

Jakaylyn Gill, senior, and Talaya Holland, senior, serve as President and Vice President of 'Shades of Red' respectively.

By Ciara Buckland -- Eagle Staff Writer

Shades of Red is a multicultural club at FCHS sponsored by guidance counselor Keisha Thornton. Senior Talaya Holland serves as the president and vice president is senior Jakaylyn Gill. These young ladies take a lot of pride in the space they are creating on campus for all cultures to belong. Holland said, “I just want everyone's voice to be heard and be able to meet new people [that are] not a part of the same culture,” Gill added. “It's about having a place for people of [a particular] culture to come together with others of the same to share struggles with.”

Gill and Holland explained that leadership in the club is really about empowering others. Holland said, “It’s about inspiring others to go out and chase their own aspirations.” Gill went further. “Being vice president of the club gives me the opportunity to learn more about culture through my peers and educate others about Black culture...The chance to inspire others means so much to me."

The club had been part of FCHS before but had fallen by the wayside. Holland decided to bring it back. “I do this because it was my dream to start a club like this and I did.” Gill’s reason for getting

Senior Jakaylyn Gill works on a float for Homecoming. (Photo by Brooklyn Toney)

involved in Shades of Red was the desire to start a club where students of color at FCHS could have a space to share together. “When Shades of Red came back to our school, I just fell in love with the idea of expanding the space as not only a learning environment but a place where everyone could learn about different races and cultures, especially through the many students we have in our club (over 40) that are also people of color."

This club has many perks including field trips to visit colleges and help for first generation college students. They do many activities for the school community, like posters and promotions to raise awareness of different cultures and diversity here at FCHS. They are currently working on a float for the homecoming parade.

What happens at a Shades of Red meeting? Lots. “Meetings look like speakers coming in and speaking to the kids. Other times we play games that may include different culture months. For example this month is National Hispanic Month so we’ll play games based on that,” Holland elaborated.

Other times the meetings are more informative. Last club meeting a representative of Upward Bound came to talk to students in the club about support for first generation college students. This program is offered to students who face adversity and helps them find scholarships, pays for college applications, and encourages them to expand their horizons.

To get involved with the club, students can go to their meetings held in Student Services in the lecture room with a pass from Ms. Thornton.

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