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Sophomore Kathryn McAuliffe spreads power to peers through accessible knowledge

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Sophomore Kathryn McAuliffe spreads power to peers through accessible knowledge

Using front page news and unbiased sources, sophomore Kathryn McAuliffe researches the topic of her next article for Balance the Ballot. Balance the Ballot is an organization run for kids and by kids to help educate them on current events, and McAuliffe has been writing for them since August. “I think information is so powerful. You want people to be prepared, especially in today's political climate where it's kind of need-to-know information. Having [it] available to students really enables us to better save the world,” McAuliffe said.

Using front page news and unbiased sources, sophomore Kathryn McAuliffe researches the topic of her next article for Balance the Ballot. Balance the Ballot is an organization run for kids and by kids to help educate them on current events, and McAuliffe has been writing for them since August. “I think information is so powerful. You want people to be prepared, especially in today's political climate where it's kind of need-to-know information. Having [it] available to students really enables us to better save the world,” McAuliffe said.

Brinda Ambal

Using front page news and unbiased sources, sophomore Kathryn McAuliffe researches the topic of her next article for Balance the Ballot. Balance the Ballot is an organization run for kids and by kids to help educate them on current events, and McAuliffe has been writing for them since August. “I think information is so powerful. You want people to be prepared, especially in today's political climate where it's kind of need-to-know information. Having [it] available to students really enables us to better save the world,” McAuliffe said.

Brinda Ambal

Brinda Ambal

Using front page news and unbiased sources, sophomore Kathryn McAuliffe researches the topic of her next article for Balance the Ballot. Balance the Ballot is an organization run for kids and by kids to help educate them on current events, and McAuliffe has been writing for them since August. “I think information is so powerful. You want people to be prepared, especially in today's political climate where it's kind of need-to-know information. Having [it] available to students really enables us to better save the world,” McAuliffe said.

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Passion for social justice and current events led sophomore Kathryn McAuliffe to write articles for Balance the Ballot, an Instagram account run by students, for students.

“I really liked their message about how they wanted to educate students, particularly on topics of current events, in 100 words or less,” McAuliffe said. “It was really good because you don’t really have time to sit down and read a really long story, and by having it 100 words or less, it makes it really digestible.”

Balance the Ballot has an administration team that oversees the writers and the media managers, who find pictures to accompany the articles. McAuliffe is one of the top writers and was the first to break 1,000 likes for an article about the Fortnite lawsuit. She recently had another article break the same barrier.

We have an obligation to change our world, and by following news sources like Balance the Ballot, you have better information to change the world.”

— Kathryn McAuliffe

“Knowing that thousands of people are reading my articles makes me feel hopeful and impactful. I get to influence how people observe our world, which is crazy. By writing and informing my own generation I get to impact kids my own age and expose them to information, something I believe is necessary and incredibly powerful. It’s our duty to be informed citizens and these articles help to inform,” McAuliffe said.

Balance the Ballot allows its writers to choose their own topics for articles, as long as all major news events are covered.

“I like to choose articles about humanitarian stuff and particularly about ‘hot button’ issues because I feel like they’re more likely to be read [when] they’re current headlines,” McAuliffe said.

McAuliffe uses sources such as Associated Press (AP News), British Broadcasting Corporation  (BBC) and Reuters to help her research her articles. She also decides the newsworthiness of her potential articles based on two primary factors, importance to students and interest level, aside from other stipulations like timeliness and proximity.

“I’ll look in all these things [and ask myself], ‘Did we write on any of these?’ If the answer is no, I’ll try to pick a topic from there,” McAuliffe said. “I try to pick things that interest people, things that [are about] our current headlines [and] things that people will care about.”

Balance the Ballot has more than 13,000 followers from across the world. On many posts about international affairs, followers from the specified region will chime in with their opinions on the issue as an insider.

“I really like that we’re able to have that global mindset and that global perspective on what we write. [It] really helps our coverage not be so U.S. biased,” McAuliffe said.

With founders in England and writers from India, Sweden, Ireland, the Netherlands and more, Balance the Ballot and McAuliffe take pride in publishing information students otherwise might not have known.

“I think that especially with today’s political climate and the fact that students are being activists now more than ever, students are [even] being activists for other groups,” McAuliffe said. “We have an obligation to change our world, and by following news sources like Balance the Ballot, you have better information to change the world.”

Ignorance is bliss, and by not choosing to follow the news, you’re ignorant. But knowledge is power because when you’re equipped with all that’s going on in the world, you’re in a much better position to save it.”

— Kathryn McAuliffe

While McAuliffe says this duty comes as a responsibility to the world, she also hopes students realize it is also a responsibility to themselves.

“I think it’s really crucial as a United States citizen and as citizens of the world [that] we have the privilege of freedom of press and opinion. That’s not a universal privilege, but it’s one that we take for granted, especially for students in the United States,” McAuliffe said. “We need to recognize that it’s a privilege, and we need to use the privilege to our advantage. We have a duty to inform ourselves, especially when the knowledge is so present.”

Balance the Ballot exercises the right of freedom of the press through their writers and their articles to ensure that students have easier access to knowledge.

“Ignorance is bliss, and by not choosing to follow the news, you’re ignorant. But knowledge is power because when you’re equipped with all that’s going on in the world, you’re in a much better position to save it,” McAuliffe said.

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About the Contributor
Brinda Ambal, Staff Writer

Grade:  9

Years on Staff:  1

If you were a fictional character, who would you be?  Dumbledore

Does the toilet paper go over or under on the...

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Sophomore Kathryn McAuliffe spreads power to peers through accessible knowledge”

  1. Susan on January 19th, 2019 9:24 am

    Even adults would benefit from these articles.
    Balance the Ballot is now on my reading list!

  2. Arden on January 20th, 2019 8:20 am

    Kathryn is always such a light in everyone’s life and such a reliable friend! I’m so glad she is getting recognition for her hard work.

  3. Gayathri G on January 25th, 2019 9:13 am

    Well said..Change is consistent and writing can be a good tool to bring the change that has a positive vibration…Keep it up!👍

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Sophomore Kathryn McAuliffe spreads power to peers through accessible knowledge