NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - A New Hanover County student is publicly advocating for a better public education system in North Carolina.
Paul Matney, a senior at New Hanover High School, organized a ‘Red for Ed' rally Wednesday afternoon. Close to 30 people showed up for the rally in front of City Hall in downtown Wilmington. The rally is part of his senior graduation project focusing on the importance of public education.
Matney said he wanted to host the rally in part because of his family ties to public education.
"Both my parents were teachers," Matney explained. "The voucher laws coming out and with education reform such a hot topic, I figured it was the perfect time to do something like this, and I really wanted to make a difference in something that counts right now."
Watching his parents, Matney said the topic of education has grown in importance to him personally. He hopes that more students grow to appreciate learning.
"Those are your future citizens, your future lawyers, businessman, council people; it's fundamental in society to have educated people, and I think that's why it's so important to me," the student elaborated.
Matney even hosted UNCW education professor Janna Robertson to speak about the importance of supporting teachers.
Matney said that becoming a teacher is not his top career choice considering the state of education in North Carolina.
"I'm hoping this ignites a chain reaction, and we've got people that will be starting even more rallies and encouraging local politicians to vote on laws that will help education instead of cutting it," Matney stated.
The student said he hopes to further his own educational career in college and advocate for a better public education system as a politician.
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