Carrboro High School junior Jonah Perrin is one of 20 national winners of the Yale University Bassett Award for Community Engagement, an award to honor emerging leaders in public service and problem-solving societal issues.
Staff writer Molly Horak spoke with Perrin about the award and his plans going forward.
The Daily Tar Heel: What first got you interested in social justice work?
JP: The first issue that I really cared about was on a state level, and it was that public school teachers weren’t getting paid enough. I actually went from private school to public school from 5th to 6th (grade) and I realized that my middle school teachers were being paid very little and had to dip into their own funds to pay for school supplies and stuff like that, and that really frustrated me. I started an organization that made red bands that we sold to the community to raise money for teachers and awareness for that. Then I spoke at a forum for teacher pay, and that’s where it really took off.
DTH: What did you base your application on?