Student brings speaker series to Old Fort

PHOTO SUBMITTED Pictured is Old Fort junior Nicole Fry.

OLD FORT – An Old Fort High School junior is working to bring cultural diversity awareness to the campus and community through a speaker series project, the first taking place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Nicole Fry attended a youth leadership conference over the summer where she learned to tap into her passions as a leader. There she discovered to center on diversity at Old Fort.

“Being a small community, many don’t have different ideas or have different perspectives on topics,” Fry said. “I want to help students and the community understand the world is mixed with different cultures and understand more and hopefully end the ongoing cycle of hate.”

The Diversity Awareness series focuses on a different topic each month, with the first focusing on the LGBTQ community with the co-founders of Harvey House of Northwest Ohio, Angela Boday and Kristen Angelo. Harvey House is an organization for LGBTQ youth and supporters in the Toledo area.

“I hope people just get a little bit of tolerance and to think before saying anything,” Fry said. “We are all human beings no matter what our race, sexual orientation/preference and religion.”

Fry said she was fueled to focus on diversity after continually hearing racist jokes and comments.

“I was riled up and wanted to make a difference,” she said.

Fry worked on researching diversity and how to approach the different areas.

“Diversity is a huge thing,” she said.

Fry knows there are many opinions and political beliefs, and she hopes to incorporate movement and action to help people put aside those beliefs for the hour-long program.

Fry said she hopes to continue the program into her senior year and beyond to wherever she ends up for college and after.

“I want the community to especially know this is a safe place to learn about other cultures,” she said. “No opinion is wrong, but I hope people put their personal views aside and be kinder and more tolerant of those other cultures.”

She said the school’s teachers and administration have helped make the series a possibility.

“The teachers and staff have been an amazing resource and have made it all easier,” she said. “I owe them a big thank you.”

Upcoming events:

• Socioeconomic status with Sharon George of Firelands Counseling & Recovery Services, Nov. 14.

• Digital empowerment and safety with Scott Frank, Dec. 13.

• Human trafficking with Sister Mary from Sisters in Shelter, Jan. 24.

• Domestic violence with Tim Wise from Firelands, Feb. 21.

• Women’s rights, March 21.

• Drug awareness, April 19.

• Mental health, May 10.