Holyoke Living Newspaper Students Interview Mayor Text Size

As a part of Enchanted Circle Theater’s Living Newspaper Program, Mayor Alex Morse came to Holyoke High School to be interviewed by a group of eight English Language Learning (ELL) students on Wednesday, July 24th. The goal was to empower the students with the understanding that their voices are significant and worthy of attention by having them interview the mayor in a mock-press conference for roughly an hour. 

The Mayor first gave a brief speech talking about his  his history in office and then answered questions of the students, alternating between English and Spanish depending on the student’s proficiency in English. After the event, the students collaborated to write a news piece on the topic and to talk about their experiences. Here’s what they wrote!

Holyoke Students Hear about the “Power” of Mayor Morse’s Love for Their City

by Ariel Santana, Maggie Villanueva, Kevin Sanchez, Tanisha Rivera, Kristal Rivera, Karina Ofrey, Darlinne Cruz, and Marco Mendoza Garcia

“Born and raised in Holyoke,” Mayor Alex B. Morse said proudly, as he addressed the “Living Newspaper” class in the ELL “Summer of Power” program in Holyoke High School, on Wednesday, July 24.

“For a young 24-year-old guy like Alex Morse, he has done so much for Holyoke,” said student Tanisha Rivera. “I think that by comparing the other mayors to the mayor we have now (Morse), he has succeeded, and done so many things to make Holyoke a better place, which shows the love he has for the city.”

The mayor displayed this sentiment in his interview; when asked what he would do if he won a million dollars, Mr. Morse said “… there’s a lot I could do for the city… we would use it for infrastructure improvement” – not considering for a moment that he could use the money for himself.

But Mr. Morse has many plans for the “improvement” of Holyoke, some of which he has already accomplished (and without an unexpected windfall of cash!). For example, Morse has proven his dedication to the city through projects such as the new skate park, the library, and the up-coming train station on Dwight Street.

Ariel Santana, another student, noted: “The train station will be very helpful to our city; transportation to New York [will become] way easier with the train that is being built. There will be fewer accidents happening on the highway to New York.”

Musing on the mayor’s emphasis on safety, Maggie Villanueva said,“He is dealing with crime in bad neighborhoods by placing ‘mini police stations’ to keep the streets safe.”

Mayor Morse is implementing “community policing,” which Kevin Sanchez describes as more “officers on foot and bicycle, going into apartment buildings, showing friendly concern for the community.”

“He wants to create a good relationship between the citizens and the police officers, so if anything happens, they [the citizens] can look to the police as friends, and not enemies,” explained Tanisha Rivera.

“That was nice of him to take an hour out of his day to come to Holyoke High, and talk to us…. What I found interesting was how he plans on changing Holyoke,” Kristal Rivera said of the interview experience.

“He visited us to share his passion,” said Sanchez. When asked to expand on this “passion,” Sanchez’s classmates called out their answers with excited abandon: “the youth!” “being the mayor!” and, most tellingly, “the city of Holyoke!”

Posted on August 9, 2013 by