Welcome to the April issue of Giving Voice!

Our team is working on exciting new collaborations—and while I cannot reveal everything that is happening, I can tell you that we are in need of more student writers, illustrators, and photographers. By joining the Giving Voice team, young people have the opportunity to gain professional publication experience, be reimbursed financially for their work, and join a team that values finding positive solutions to problems and celebrating the great things in our community.

It also gives students an opportunity to explore topics that interest them and ignite their passions. In this issue, Alayna Steward dives into the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the problems that still remain 31 years after it was enacted. Steward offers action items to our readers, connecting them with the resources they need to address the gaps still remaining in the ADA.

Another contribution to this issue is from Adeline Ferolo, who reached out to both of the Peoria Mayoral candidates and had the opportunity to interview one of them. In it, she offers young first-time voters the opportunity to hear more about issues that matter to them—from providing education to low-income students, to jobs and transportation. What a wonderful opportunity to be able to dive into the journalistic field as a high school senior!

Cailyn Talamonti created the artwork that accompanies Kratika Tandon’s article, “The Climate Refugee Crisis.” The image is emotional and moving—bringing to life Tandon’s cry: “We need to act rapidly in order to alleviate the issue of global migration due to climate change.” There is so much talent in these pages—and we cannot wait to see the team grow!

We are very grateful to the Gilmore Foundation for providing us with the funds needed to give professional and uplifting experiences to so many students. If you are interested in becoming a writer or connecting a student with us, visit bigpicturepeoria.org.

Mae Gilliland Wright, PhD

Giving Voice Editor-in-Chief

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