Hammond High Magnet student Amaiyah Griffin was inducted as vice president for Louisiana last month at the 2023 Louisiana Senior Beta convention.
One of Beta’s competitions, the candidate run, lets 10th and 11th graders participate in an election at their state convention.
Voters are all attending members from around the state. Because of that, candidates are encouraged to campaign and network virtually, sharing their ideas and goals with others.
Elected officers will represent their state through the pillars of Beta: achievement, character, leadership and service. At the National Beta convention, they are allowed to compete against candidates from other states for their respective positions.
In Louisiana, there are three officers: president, vice president and secretary. Griffin decided to run for VP during her trip for the National Beta convention over the summer. There were four others running against Griffin.
The state convention began Feb. 17 and lasted three days. However, prior to the event, Griffin had to plan and write a skit and speech to present in front of everyone the second day.
The last component of her time onstage before voting officially opened was the Q&A. An official asked her what the best advice she had ever been given was.
In Griffin’s response, she credited Mr. Guillermo Tiffer, her Spanish teacher at Hammond High, who recently told his class of the quote “Bloom where you’re planted.”
“My day had been very stressful,” Griffin recalled, “and at the beginning of it, I wrote that quote on my hand to get myself through all of the different decisions and choices I had to make.”
Mr. Tiffer said he was “truly surprised” by her answer.
“It made me stop and think about the impact that I can have on my students,” he said.
The phrase has personal meaning with the new vice president, even outside of her campaign.
“My life has been full of unfortunate events. In times when I haven’t been given soil, I’ve had no choice but to bloom where I was planted,” Griffin said.
Now that Griffin has won the election, she will maintain her position until the next state convention. In the meantime, she will travel to other states’ conventions and events alongside the new state president and secretary.
She aims to spread Beta’s influence as much as possible.
“With both my parents being educators, I know the importance of education firsthand,” Griffin said. “In order to make that happen, I’d like to implement a statewide tutoring initiative.”
Griffin has high hopes for the future.
“Amaiyah is a very responsible, respectful and hard-working student,” says Tiffer. “And I believe she has the capacity that is needed to achieve all her academic goals.”
Now Griffin’s focus is on dividing her time between turning her goals into reality and preparing for the national officer election this summer.
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