Student Spotlight: Annie Niednagel

Compiled by Stefani Woll, Editor in Chief

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Student Spotlight highlights students around Hart who have done outstanding work for the school and for the community. Annie Niednagel was nominated and chosen by The Smoke Signal staff and administrative staff for her 9/11 tribute.

Q: What inspired you to put 3,000 flags outside of school on 9/11? Where did the idea come from?
A: The idea of the flags was started in 2003 by YAF. This event takes place at high schools and colleges all across America. 2,977 flags, one for each life lost on 9/11. Hart has always been a patriotic school, so it was easy to not just get the club on board but the whole school.

Q: How many students volunteered to help set up the flags on 9/11?
A: With the full support of the administration, teachers, elected officials, and students, we successfully had about 100 people contribute to the success of the event!

Q: How did it make you feel to get such support for your idea with all the flags?
A: It was great to get so much support from everyone for this event! This title of this event was the “Never Forget Project.” Too often we read the number 2,977 in textbooks or a personal story from our teachers, but the students have no firsthand memory to forget. The flags really put that number into perspective for us kids that have no firsthand memory.

Q: What other volunteer services are you a part of?
A: I interned over the summer at congressmen Steve Knight’s office, and I recently began interning for his campaign as well. I was the Girls State Delegate chosen from last year.

Q: What other extra curricular activities preoccupy your time?
A: I work at In-N-Out, work for my congressman, lead worship with my guitar at my youth group, and enjoy hammocking in my free time.

Q: What made you decide to start the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) club at school?
A: I was first introduced to YAF when I attended a conference last March. The club is through the organization Young America’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to educating students on conservative values such as a free market and constitutionalism. I started the club because I wanted to create a place for conservative students to learn and be surrounded by like-minded students. We hope to represent a group of well educated, informed, and respectful individuals on campus.

Q: How much time per week do you dedicate to organizing the events of YAF?
A: We meet every other Tuesday in M5, but we spend a lot of time preparing for meetings. We have practice debates and educate ourselves, so we are prepared to promote conservatism within our classes.

Q: Do you enjoy your club, and if so, why?
A: I absolutely love YAF! I enjoyed being a member of the organization as a whole, and I was thrilled to bring the club to Hart. It’s wonderful seeing these students advocate for these principles on campus and in their classrooms!

Q: What exciting events are there to look forward to in YAF this year?
A: We will have events such as Freedom Friday (dress up patriotically) and Freedom Week. We will constantly promote free speech and the second amendment.

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Student Spotlight: Annie Niednagel