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A teen’s vision of equality for all

By KaLa Keaton

Whether she’s a lawyer or a journalist, Tierney Reardon will fight for fair and equal representation.

The 16-year-old Greenville, North Carolina, native is dedicated to her mock trial team at J. H. Rose High School. Originally starting in middle school as a favor to a friend, she grew to love the activity, and it became her favorite extracurricular. She enjoys it so much, she’s considering a career in practicing law.

“Watching our coaches, some of whom are attorneys, and seeing how much care they put towards helping our team and helping us understand the different aspects of the law really sparked my interest,” Reardon said.

Increased involvement in local activism also stemmed from her mock trial experience. Reardon joined Moms Demand Action and the March for Our Lives campaigns to advocate for safety around guns in and out of school settings.

Especially after the 2018 Parkland school shooting, Reardon said she started noticing the daily safety practices and protocols at her own school, including not always locking doors or not having a strong security system at the front entrance.

“As a result of noticing these issues,” Reardon explained, “I ended up making two statements in front of the school board and meeting with the principal in order to try to discuss other ideas for improved student involvement.”

For Reardon, activism and volunteerism go hand in hand. She’s participated in phone banks to advocate for justice in the Wake of George Floyd’s death, attended meetings centered around gun safety and background checks and has written to her congressional representatives.

When she isn’t answering calls to action, she breaks up her academic routine by playing recreational volleyball.

She appreciates the camaraderie among her teammates. “I really enjoy getting to be on a team with the same coach consistently and getting to know my teammates better as well as having teams that really cared about each other and weren’t just so strictly competitive with one another.”

Journalism has also been a huge part of Reardon’s life after starting as a freshman staff writer and working her way up to opinion editor and co-editor-in-chief.

Reardon said, “I’m really looking forward to seeing the new aspect of leadership within the paper and working with peers, which is something that has really caused me to be interested in a career in something possibly journalism-related.”

Coming from a family of Australian, German, Italian, and Irish immigrants, Reardon has a deep interest in hearing the stories of others and learning the differences between lifestyles and cultures. Journalism answers this goal of showing the truth in situations and telling stories that are often dismissed.

In her future, the thoughtful and empathetic teen wants to make sure all people have a platform to voice their concerns.

“I want to work towards more equality for all people, no matter their race or gender, and make sure that everyone’s voices are heard and considered as decisions are made,” Reardon said.