Student Activists at Woodgrove

Written by Maeve Bauer

Woodgrove High School is filled with a plethora of young leaders who are passionate about social justice.


Sophomore at Woodgrove, Gracelynn Hollar, is an active supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement that rose last summer after the murder of George Floyd. She advocates for reform and to defund the police. “A lot of money goes towards the police, a lot more than it should. Some of the money should be taken away- not all, just some. We should just take a chunk of that and give it to other public areas.” To help spread awareness on BLM, Hollar shares information and petitions on Instagram. Since advocating, Hollar has seen positive changes, like more safe spaces in Loudoun for minorities to talk. For example, Woodgrove started a Minority Student Union club.


Another Woodgrove sophomore, Payton Arnett, advocates for the Black Lives Movement and  the empowerment of youth leadership. She advocates for the BLM movement because, “I am a young African American woman, so I’m obviously going to speak against social inequality and racism in general.” For people wanting to advocate for something they believe in, Arnett suggests talking about it and to repost messages. It brings awareness. “Starting with the people closest to you is how real change happens. You can’t go global if you don’t have neighborhood support.”


Yet another Woodgrove sophomore, Sami Miles, became aware of the injustice in our political and judicial system through social media. She’s been helping her cause by spreading awareness through social media, sharing and signing petitions, and going to protests. Though some of her personal relationships have been affected since speaking out, Miles says it’s okay. “This is something that is very important to me and something that needs to happen.”


If you’re interested in activism, follow the lead of these Woodgrove activists. 

Photo of Black Lives Matter protest in Purcellville, taken by Woodgrove student Sami Miles.


Woodgrove Student activist, Gracelynn Hollar.


Sophomore activist Sami Miles. to Payton Arnett’s speech at the Purcellville BLM rally in June 2020.