‘Powerful Performances’

By Makayla Manning

‘Powerful Performances’

By Makayla Manning
Makayla Manning, a Marjory Stoneman Douglas alumna and University of Miami freshman, helped organize the March for Our Lives protest on Miami Beach.

Jumping out of the car in the predawn hours on Saturday, March 24th, I had no idea what to expect. I knew the rest of the youth leaders and I were going to have a big day ahead of us. All of us had been planning and setting all of our time aside to focus on the march for over the last month.

Immediately after walking over to Miami Beach High School, we were surrounded by eager volunteers from all ages simply ready to help us with whatever they could. Right after that, we all got to work. We handled the press, rehearsed the program, and handed out shirts and posters.

A lot of our nerves were put at ease when we saw that huge groups of marchers were arriving with high spirits and clever, powerful signs. At that moment looking at the crowd that had gathered, I just wanted to cry. I had tears in my eyes because the fact that we reached out and created a Facebook event lead to a huge event that helps thousands have their voices heard.

March for Our LivesMaya Lubarsky, a senior neuroscience major at the University of Miami and a 2014 alumna of Marjory Stoneman Douglas, hopes the March 24 protests lead to change. Read her story.

Nothing made me want to cry more than to see the two huge buses filled with University of Miami students and faculty pull into the parking lot. It was as if both of my worlds had collided. To see my close friends from my new home take time out of their day to support me and fight for a cause that hit so close to my hometown was moving.

Then it came time to deliver my speech. I was extremely nervous to do this, as I am very scared of public speaking and had never addressed a crowd that big before. However, when I started my speech, all my nerves went away. I was so emotional and angry about what happened that it was such a relief to finally express how I truly felt and empowered to demand the changes I wanted from politicians.

Soon after my fellow youth leaders finished the opening speeches, we started the march and held the banner with the crowd following. It was a moment that I will truly never forget. We are all just a bunch of students, but we knew that we had to start the movement here in Miami and to see the amount of support that we received was heartwarming.

What followed was a rally filled with powerful performances and speeches from various local politicians to students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. I was so happy that we were able to put on an event that left an impact on a diverse group of people the message that change is on the horizon. March 24th gave me hope.

Makayla Manning is a freshman studying public relations and political science at the University of Miami. She graduated from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in 2017. Manning is a Parkland resident.