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Maryland Center for School Safety’s Student Focus Group

August 3rd, 2021 by WCBC Radio

Allegany High School student, Peyton McDonald, has earned a spot on the 2021-2022 Maryland Center for School Safety's Student Focus Group. She was selected as one of only 25 Maryland students that applied. These student leaders will now follow in the footsteps of the twelve inaugural members of the group, whose one-year terms ended in June. 

This student focus group was created to ensure that Maryland students have the opportunity to provide feedback and recommendations regarding school safety issues that are relevant to them. Last year's student group discussed student stress/school safety, met with national and state experts in school safety, learned about school safety legislation, and assisted the MCSS in developing new student and school engagement programming. 
Inspired by last year's student focus group's early success, MCSS set out to develop a streamlined and comprehensive application process to recruit an even greater diversity of future student members capable of building on the momentum of members of the group’s founding class. Nearly 100 students, including Peyton McDonald, applied. 
“We were thrilled to receive a huge increase in applications compared to the year before, especially considering the time-commitment required to apply,” said Kate Hession, Executive Director of the Maryland Center for School Safety.
Peyton successfully made it through a rigorous application, review, and selection process that required writing essays, asking a teacher to serve as character references, and taking part in a final interview with members of the SFG selection committee. 

Before her term officially began on July 1, 2021, Peyton, along with the other new SFG members, met for an orientation meeting with Executive Director Hession and learned more about MCSS, Safe Schools Maryland, and the three SFG committees, Content Creation, Engagement & Outreach, and Legislative Affairs, that they can join this year.