A Garden for a Better Tomorrow

A Garden for a Better Tomorrow photo

Students, staff and district administrators gathered outside of West Hempstead High School on June 6 to plant a tree in the school’s new “Garden for a Better Tomorrow.” The ceremony inaugurated a student-led tradition of honoring victims of school violence.

Following the tragedy that occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February, student leaders from the school’s National Honor Society, Key Club and student council met with administrators to discuss finding a space at the school where they could honor the many lives that have been lost to senseless violence. Together, they decided on a garden in the front of the building that would symbolize life, growth and hope for a better world.

A student representative from each grade level stood before attendees to share their thoughts on the new garden, and how it represents a collective effort to instill change and leave an impact on the school and community. The ceremony was graced by the high school’s acapella group performing “Pompeii” by Bastille and “Home” by Daughtry. Working together, the students then planted the garden’s first tree, donated by the National Honor Society Class of 2018. A plaque was also placed, inscribed with the garden’s name and a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “you must be the change you wish to see in the world.”

“We have been planning this since the school shooting in Parkland, Florida,” said Sydney Hoffman, senior class president. “We’re very excited that it’s finally happening. It was a long road with a lot of planning and people involved, and it’s truly amazing to see it in action.”