The world she’s building for us
Have you ever met someone who can just instantly brighten up your whole mood? Someone who can make you smile even when they aren’t trying to? That’s what it’s like meeting Alex Connors.
Connors is a 17 year old Charlotte Country Day High School student who is heavily involved with her school and is also a part-time art teacher to elementary and middle school students from underserved communities. She loves tapping into her creative side through doing many forms of art or teaching it to younger kids through a diverse lens.
“I curate my own art lessons,” Connors said. “We base it off of artists and I change it up each month. I wanna make sure they are either women, they’re Black, or Hispanic, because that’s who I’m teaching to.”
She has taught her students about artists such as Romare Bearden and Georgia O’Keeffe, people who don’t really come up in an art classroom in lower grade schools. Usually in elementary school and middle school, students are taught Van Gogh or Pablo Picasso.
“I like volunteering and I love outreach,” she said. “I love working with kids. And I also love art. It’s worthwhile for me.”
Her grandfather inspired her volunteerism and her art, Connors said. Her grandfather is big on the arts, especially photography. “Pursue what you love,” he told her.
Connors also plays soccer. She gained the love for the sport through her older brother and sister.
“Soccer is my favorite sport, and playing it is so freeing: the movement of the ball, the harmony between players, and the rush of excitement when you score a goal,” Connors said. “Not many things in life tend to click or make sense, but soccer is like that for me.”
At school, Connors is the president of her Black Student Union. Next year she hopes to create a council with other culture clubs (Asian Student Association, Muslim Association, etc) to have a way to hold people accountable.
“For me, my vision as BSU president is to be able to leave a mark at the school where kids feel safe,” she said. “Kids who come from different backgrounds can be able to have a way to hold someone accountable for attacks on their identity.”
During our interview, Connors discussed what it’s like growing up Black. She described her skin as a superpower.
“What my skin has meant to me, it’s definitely nuanced,” she said. “A couple years in middle school, I thought my skin was a burden. (Now) what it means to me is being able to go into a room of people and have a perspective that maybe other people don’t.”
Connors utilizes the tools that are available to her – whether it’s volunteer art teacher or the BSU President – and applies it to trying to help others. People look up to her because of it. She recently wrote an essay for English class called “The World I’ll Build for You,” and in it she discusses what she hopes her future daughter will someday have. A life that she aspires to have now.
In the essay she writes: “In the end, love counteracts the disease of self-hatred; love is a concept seemingly simple but undeniably necessary.”