The student news site of Freehold Township High School

Patriot Press

The student news site of Freehold Township High School

Patriot Press

The student news site of Freehold Township High School

Patriot Press


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October/November Club Students of the Month – Lead for Diversity


Usually, the school recognizes a Club Student of the Month. This month, however, they have selected an entire club for the honor. Lead for Diversity, led by Mr. Villarreal (aka Profe) and Mrs. Kiernan, is a club that celebrates and promotes inclusion within our school with monthly and long-term projects run by its twelve members – Cheyenne Ballister, Sophia Briggs, Sofia Colorado, Taryn Conover, Tyler Douglas, Olatomi Gabriel, Leona Gagalac, Alexis Johnson, Leyhanna Kosovrasti, Phoebe Miceli, Evan Richelson, and Olivia Zettell. Last November, the club attended the 2023 High School Leadership Conference at Kean University and won the Joy Prescott Humanitarian Award, officially making it an “award-winning” organization. Senior Cheyenne Ballister sat down with the Patriot Press to talk about the values and interesting aspects of LFD.

Hey, Cheyenne! Congrats on being a part of the Club of the Month!

– Thank you!

How did you feel when you heard LFD on the loudspeaker?

– It was honestly really nice just because I wasn’t expecting to get recognition, as I feel not a lot of people really know about our club.

Well that brings me to my next question. For those who don’t know, what is LFD?

– Lead for Diversity aims to make Township as a whole a more accepting and kind place for everyone, no matter your race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, etc.

That’s awesome. So, you guys recently attended a leadership conference at Kean University. How would you describe that experience?

– The experience was great! They keynote speaker was Jamar Root, and he was so amazing. Hr talked about finding your purpose and how to find what you want to do in life. This was great for me as I am senior and am currently on the journey of finding what I want to do, so it was nice hearing him and just having another perspective. It was also really amazing because LFD as a whole group was able to collaborate with high schoolers from all over the state, and we can hopefully bring some of the things we learned back to our school community.

Sounds like you guys had a good time. What are some of your personal responsibilities as a member of LFD?

– In the LFD we don’t have separate responsibilities. We all collectively work together on everything we do, whether that be on bulletin boards or presentations we all put our best foot forward.

As a senior what have you learned over these past two years while in LFD? What was your favorite experience?

– Honestly I have learned so much about myself, as well as better leadership qualities. I think that by being in a club such as this one, I was able to not only become educated on various different topics, but become more involved in the school community. I think my favorite memory from LFD so far was when we went to see MLK’s daughter speak at Monmouth University last year!

So cool! Well, what’s next for LFD? Any plans for the future?

– I don’t really know, to be honest. We are always planning and brainstorming the next thing we can do as a team. I would say right now we are working and trying to find ways that we can make a difference not only in our school but within the community and district.

Lastly, would you like to add or say to your fellow students and staff?

– I would honestly like to thank Profe and Mrs. Kiernan for being amazing club advisors and always supporting and believing in LFD. Without them a lot of things we do would not be able to happen so I appreciate everything they do for us!

Here’s what Dr. Villarreal and Mrs. Kiernan, LFD’s advisors, had to say about the group of students:

“The Lead for Diversity just earned the Joy Prescott Humanitarian Award given by Kean University and the Diversity Council on Global Education and Citizenship. The board has also been spearheading an initiative to bring character education to the Freehold Township 3rd Graders, in addition to the initiatives they continue to build on within Freehold Township High School to foster a welcoming and caring learning environment.”

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