“It is important to be involved in your community, because if we don’t, then who will? If you want something to happen, then you should work on your part to make it happen,” says Amari Knighten, a senior at Archbishop Rummel High School. “You can’t ask for change and not be willing to play your part in making that change happen.” 

Knighten is involved with Campus Ministry and the Social Action Lasallian Team (SALT), which is a variant of the Key Club. He is also a Student Ambassador of Rummel. In the community, Knighten is a member of the Youth Peacemaker Leadership Council (YPLC), a tour guide at the Lower Ninth Ward Living Museum and a catapult teacher’s aide.

One of the most rewarding volunteer experiences Knighten has had is working with Rummel’s SALT Club. With the club, Knighten was able to work with Hotel Hope, delivering goods for single mothers and their children. This experience allowed him to help someone struggling through an unimaginable experience.

“An experience like Hotel Hope truly changes your experience and makes you begin to count your blessings,” says Knighten.

Through his activism, Knighten has gained a sense of purpose by giving those who cannot use their voice a way to speak

“I have also gained a new perspective on the world and how things here work,” he says. “I’ve seen the highs and lows of life and have learned to appreciate, regardless of what it brings.”

Leona Tate, Knighten’s boss at the Lower Ninth Ward Museum, gave him a deeper appreciation for the privilege of education. Tate was one of the McDonogh Three who were integrated into the New Orleans School system when they were children. 

“Even after integrating schools, she’s still extremely active in her community and constantly goes to the extremes to help her community,” says Knighten “Being a part of something so magnificent with such a wise person has truly been a blessing in my life.”

Knighten is deciding between Howard University, Clark University and Morehouse College for where he wants to go to school next year. No matter where he attends, he wants to study law and become an advocate for the unheard. He plans to continue working under Tate to develop his character.