March 23, 2015
We are the Captains of Our Souls
By Evan Hays
My cohorts and I are very proud. When we began we were small, I myself only recently joined this movement. But in my short time I have learned. I have learned the power of my friends, and their friends, brothers, sisters, classmates, comrades, teachers, and tumen. I have learned democracy, and now, standing here before all of these hopeful faces, I can feel confident that we have earned it.
You see, this bill is a symbol. As it enters the doors of our Capitol, it is a torch. It brings the light, fresh flames of democracy, kindled by hundreds of signatures on petitions, fueled by thousands of tweets and retweets, and spreading through newspaper and conversation. As this flame reaches its cleansing tendrils, warming the cooled marble of a nocturnal legislature, it brings with it new life. This is the beginning of such culmination.
Now we must recognize the chance for defeat. However, as the poem invictus writes, “my head is bloody but unbowed”. It must be known by the senators and legislators today, that we here take this to heart. No matter the setback, no matter the defeat, no matter the scale or frequency of wound and want, we will continue. From the poem, Invictus:
“It matters not how strait the gate. How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.”
We are the captains of our souls, and so much more, together we shall prevail.
Thank you for listening to why I, Evan Hays, want to see the passage of House Bill 236 and Stand With Students.
These remarks were deliverd at the Stand With Students Rally organized by the Student Voice Team on the steps of the capitol in Frankfort on March 23, 2015. The Rally called for the passage of House Bill 236, which would add student voting members to superintendent screening committees.
Evan is a former member of KSVT. He graduated from Lafayette High School in 2017 and the George Washington University in 2021.