Feature Profile: Janya Randle

Maria Fournaris



Hundreds of students of Manhasset Secondary School pass a large bulletin board with the title “The Syrian Refugee Crisis” printed on it in large letters, however, most don’t realize that the creator of this impressive project is none other than Janya Randle, who is a student herself at the Middle School.

The birth of this project can be traced all the way back to October, when Ms. Doulton´s class read an article in Scholastic´s Action Magazine titled ¨Escape From War¨. This story spoke of a young girl named Dania who was forced to flee her country in order to live a better life and avoid the terrorism that was slowly taking over her homeland. Immediately when Janya read this article, she was intrigued. ¨When I first heard about it, I was really shocked¨ she said animatedly. ¨I didn’t even know what a refugee was until I heard this.¨ Hearing that there are 65 million refugees seeking security in our world today astounded Janya, but the fact that half of them are children truly connected her to the conflict. The knowledge that Janya gained from this article allowed her to discover a passion for learning about refugees and the many problems that they face.

Months later, Ms. Doulton introduced a project to her class called Genius Hour. The goal of this assignment was to allow students to learn about topics that appealed to them, and that they wanted to learn more about. Janya knew that the refugee crisis was an meaningful topic, not only to her, but to the world around her as well. She said, “This is important to me because we get to learn about what’s going on around the world.” Janya and her fellow students are fed up with the ‘light’ topics that adults assume they will enjoy. They want to educate themselves on politics, terrorist groups, and refugees because these topics are extremely relevant in society, and they wish to be more involved.

Ultimately, this project took Janya six weeks to complete. She had to research statistics about refugees, discover first hand experiences, and find relevant pictures and graphics. In the end, this impressive project successfully educated Janya, her classmates, and students throughout the entire high school. This project even caught the attention of the Scholastic magazine editors who inspired her project in the first place. Janya received a letter of recognition for her excellence in the classroom, as well as some fun gifts from the editors of Action themselves.

Though she’s only in middle school, Janya Randles has already demonstrated her outstanding ability to apply skills learned in the classroom to real world topics. She enjoys English and Social Studies, because she appreciates both “current and history”, and any way she can put the two together. Janya undoubtedly has a bright future ahead of her, in which she says she wants “to be a basketball player, but at the same time help children”. In the more near future, though, she is interested in going on a mission trip with Save the Children, an organization whose goal is to protect and teach children in need. This may be the first time you’re hearing about Janya Randles, but with such tremendous ambition and passion at such a young age, it is likely that you’ll be seeing a lot more from her from here on out.