By: Kennedy Tavares
Senior Emely Nicole-Dominguez said she’s been going to the AIDS Quilt for the past four years and feels it’s important to see.
“[After] hearing many different stories about people’s experience with [AIDS], it really has impacted me,” said Dominguez. “Now I’ll be more aware and cautious when it comes to sex.”
On the week of December 21st, the school held its 23rd annual AIDS’ Quilt presentation.
In honor of the victims of HIV/AIDS’, beautiful handmade quilts were hung around Gym 1C. In addition to the quilts, speakers shared stories about their personal experiences with HIV/AIDS.
Additionally, the music department performed a number of songs for the occasion throughout the week.
Ms. Caitlyn McGrath, a social studies teacher and co-adviser with Ms. Lisa Willner of the HEART Club, which organized the event, said the quilts are a memorial to those who died because of the virus.
“It’s mostly panels made by family, friends, loved ones of the person who died after their passing,” she said.
She also added: “I think it’s really important for students to see that because it brings a human side to HIV/AIDS virus.”
Throughout the week many different classes visited the quilt to learn about what the disease is and how it can really affect a person.
This event gave students a time to mourn some of the lives lost to AIDS, and speakers – some inflicted with the virus – gave steps to prevent it during the nearly hour-long presentation.
Some students, like sophomore Mala Fereday, said they were influenced by some of the speeches and musical performances.
“I never really realized how easy it was to get HIV.” Fereday said. “I definitely feel like I took a lot away from the AIDS Quilt about protecting myself and regularly getting tested.”
Ms. McGrath said that she wanted the students to take something away from the presentation.
“It’s not just statistics on a paper. This is someone who had loved ones and who had families who cared for them, who felt the loss when they passed away,” she said. “And I think it really encourages students to really think about the decisions they make, when they think about how it might affect the people they love.”