South students are Bloomington’s Black Leaders of Tomorrow

Katie Apple, Staff Writer

Bloom Magazine’s newest feature highlights students chosen for “Bloomington’s Black Leaders of Tomorrow.” 10 students were selected based on excellence in academics, leadership, the arts, athletics and other domains. Recommendations from local organizations such as Monroe County Community School Corporation and black civil rights groups also played a part.

Junior Naomi Young was one of the students chosen and interviewed by Bloom.

“It was a surprise,” Young said. “We got an email [and] I thought I was in trouble.”

Young described the moment when her family received the email as “surreal” because she had not been a resident of Bloomington for a long period of time.

In this issue, Young addresses her parents as her “strongest mentors” and discusses the various activities she participates in such as track, football manager and as a member of Community Leadership Building.

“Being in different clubs is something that [has built] me up because you get different points of views,” Young said.

Overcoming racist comments and inappropriate gestures from people was once an obstacle Young had to face. “I [started to learn] to completely disregard people’s comments,” she said, “When I was younger I’d hold them in, [but I] wouldn’t disregard them…I knew they were there.”

Senior Dexter Griffin was also selected to be a young leader. According to Bloom, Griffin has focused on studying a variety of music for years and plans to study music performance after high school.

“It means that I’m doing things right because it takes time to be good enough [for] college. It also means that I get to learn more [about music],” Griffin said. “I really want to learn a lot.”

Griffin advocates for equality and a peaceful world. However, he believes peace is not achievable, “because everybody has their own [idea of] peace,” Griffin said.

Dexter aids in achieving this world with volunteer work. “I volunteer because if I was in a situation [such as homelessness] I would want help,” Griffin said. However, volunteer work can only help the world “to a point,” he said. “I’m not really trying to think about the world, I’m just thinking about how I can help a person.”