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Take A Break: Festival of the Arts

Updated: Friday, August 2 2013, 10:18 PM EDT

Violent, dangerous and underachieving.

Those are just some of the words people often use to
describe an area high school.

Here's a couple more.

Fed up and disappointed.

In his latest Take a Break report, Jerry Gretzinger meets a
group of students that is sick and tired of the bad rap their school has
gotten, and has made it its mission to change your mind.


Musicians.  Performers.  Athletes. 
All of them students at Schenectady high school, and fed up with what
they call the all too common misconceptions about it.

“Well right now the perception is that all Schenectady
students are in gangs,” says Lua Arcos.

If you consider the theater group a gang, then Arcos fits
the bill.  She says what people on the
outside think about Schenectady high school is very different than what
students experience inside.

Classmate Daisy Lansing agrees.

“We almost feel like we’re being cheated for how we are
perceived.  There’s so much good in this
school people don’t see.”

Lua and Daisy are among the students involved in the Fighting
Ignorance Project.  Teacher Colleen Wygal
says combatting misconceptions about the school was the students’ idea.

“I thinks it’s a powerful message,” Wygal says, “to be
seniors at end of their careers and a school they are leaving, and still care
this much and put this much effort in.”

The effort includes inviting the community to a festival of
the arts on Saturday, June 8th.  But Lua
and Daisy have also taken their efforts off campus.

“We participated in the key to the city to get realtors in
to help people realize Schenectady is a great place,” says Daisy.

Lua says, “they should be promoting that, when selling houses
to families who are interested in Schenectady, not the negative stuff and get the
positive things out there.”

They're hoping their efforts will help people on the outside
have a more positive take on what happens inside.

Take A Break: Festival of the Arts

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