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Namah Al Battah named Missouri Be Strong representative

Sophomore+Namah+Al+Battah+and+art+teacher+Ashley+Drissel+look+over+meeting+plans+for+the+club+We+Dine+Together.+The+club+was+created+to+ensure+all+students+feel+included+in+places+like+the+cafeteria+or+classroom.+%E2%80%9CWe%E2%80%99re+trying+to+create+a+network+of+support%2C%E2%80%9D+Drissel+said.+%E2%80%9C%5BWe+want%5D+to+have+a+culture+here+at+West+High+that+is+supportive+and+inclusive+instead+of+exclusive.%E2%80%9D
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Namah Al Battah named Missouri Be Strong representative

Sophomore Namah Al Battah and art teacher Ashley Drissel look over meeting plans for the club We Dine Together. The club was created to ensure all students feel included in places like the cafeteria or classroom. “We’re trying to create a network of support,” Drissel said. “[We want] to have a culture here at West High that is supportive and inclusive instead of exclusive.”

Sophomore Namah Al Battah and art teacher Ashley Drissel look over meeting plans for the club We Dine Together. The club was created to ensure all students feel included in places like the cafeteria or classroom. “We’re trying to create a network of support,” Drissel said. “[We want] to have a culture here at West High that is supportive and inclusive instead of exclusive.”

Maria Newton

Sophomore Namah Al Battah and art teacher Ashley Drissel look over meeting plans for the club We Dine Together. The club was created to ensure all students feel included in places like the cafeteria or classroom. “We’re trying to create a network of support,” Drissel said. “[We want] to have a culture here at West High that is supportive and inclusive instead of exclusive.”

Maria Newton

Maria Newton

Sophomore Namah Al Battah and art teacher Ashley Drissel look over meeting plans for the club We Dine Together. The club was created to ensure all students feel included in places like the cafeteria or classroom. “We’re trying to create a network of support,” Drissel said. “[We want] to have a culture here at West High that is supportive and inclusive instead of exclusive.”

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Sophomore Namah Al Battah leads the way in combating exclusion in Missouri after earning the title of state representative for Be Strong, a global non-profit against bullying as well as being a member of We Dine Together.

We Dine Together is an anti-bullying club that works hand-in-hand with the national organization Be Strong. Be Strong combats all forms of bullying; We Dine Together assists this mission by working to make sure that no one ever has to eat lunch alone or feel left out, and that every graduate can look back fondly on their high school years.

“We’ve all felt excluded. We Dine Together is to help people [who feel excluded] and to make them feel comfortable,” Al Battah said. “We create leaders in this club to help approach them and make them feel comfortable.”

Unbeknownst to Al Battah, because of her demonstration of leadership in We Dine Together, Drissell submitted an application on her behalf to be a state representative for Be Strong. As a state representative, Al Battah is responsible for setting monthly goals for the club, such as inviting students eating lunch in the cafeteria alone to sit with We Dine Together members.

“She is a very responsible person; she’s funny, she has humility,” Drissel said. “I knew she could handle [being a state representative] and would step up to that responsibility.”

I remember when I was in Clay Club, starting back up on the wheel for the first time in years, and I had fired a cute little bowl. I thought I was doing super bad, but [Al Battah] encouraged me…She just always is encouraging others to keep going when they are facing a hardship.

— Senior Sydney Kinzy

Al Battah’s acceptance as state representative did not come as a surprise to her friends.

“I remember when I was in Clay Club, starting back up on the wheel for the first time in years, and I had fired a cute little bowl. I thought I was doing super bad, but she encouraged me,” senior Sydney Kinzy said. “I ended up really liking the bowl once I decorated and glazed it, so I am super glad I did not trash it. She just always is encouraging others to keep going when they are facing a hardship.”

Al Battah, now one of two state representatives for Missouri, is already planning bigger and better things for the We Dine Together club such as making t-shirts that would plainly designate kind faces in the school and host fundraisers to get more people involved.

“I’m gonna try and really up the game; make the school a safer place, especially with what’s going on in the news today,” Al Battah said.

Al Battah’s participation in We Dine Together and passion for inclusivity was sparked by a kind act by a stranger in the bathroom after she had taken her Biology final.

“I was in the bathroom about to cry and this girl heard me sniffling,” Al Battah said. “She was out there in two seconds telling me it was going to be okay.”

This interaction in the bathroom changed Al Battah’s outlook on life. Being on the receiving end of an unexpected kindness inspired Al Battah to do the same for others. She is now always conscientious about how strangers may be feeling, and hopes that students will always be kind to people they do not know.

“I still get chills thinking about [the girl from the bathroom],” Al Battah said. “It made me so happy that someone was that kind. Her words really changed me.”

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Maria Newton, FEATURES EDITOR

Grade:  12

Years on Staff:  2

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