Heritage High students making a difference beyond school hallways

Three seniors create video to overcome adversity with diversity

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Heritage High School Seniors Muhammad Tahir, Manan Shah and Shahzada Usman-Gil have a vision of “Overcoming Adversity with Diversity."

"Our main mission of the club is to eliminate those stereotypes associated with religion, culture, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientations, while spreading cultural awareness and unifying our community,” Shah said.

Manan was born in the U.S and is Indian. Muhammad and Shahzada are both from Pakistan and migrated to the states. All of them say they've been stereotyped and bullied because of where they're from.

“People bullied me like 'You don't know English. Why are you staying here?" So at one point, I was like, 'I just wanna go back to Pakistan. Why am I here?'” Usman-Gil asked himself.  

The boys created a video to let people know stereotypes mentioned in their video are not true. In light of the fatal shooting in at a Florida high school this week, the boys believe their video will fulfill its purpose.

"The purpose of our video is to eliminate hate. If there's no hate out in the community, I think it will impact the crime rates about these things,” Tahir said. 

The students have hopes to bring back the old pioneer tradition and decorate the school's ceiling with the flags of different countries. And while this 4-month-old vision has picked up wind in their hallways, they hope overcoming adversity with diversity will spread beyond the Hill City mountains.

To watch the students' video on Facebook click here. https://www.facebook.com/overcomingadversitywithdiversity/

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