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Knight Writers

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The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

The student news site of Robinson High School

Knight Writers

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Unity in Diversity

Millay Kral (’24) paints a mural with her friends in the science building at Robinson.
Photo Vikram Sambasivan
Millay Kral (’24) works on her mural located in the science building.

She wears a grey baggy shirt, brown shorts and yellowing Air Force 1s. She and her friends have been here for hours; she just wants to go home and take a nap. As she picks up a paintbrush and dips it in black paint, she decides she is determined to finish this project.

At Robinson, one vibrant wall may stand out against the white walls of the school this year. Since August, senior Millay Kral has been working on a mural for Robinson’s brand-new campus.

The process had begun long before the start of the school year. Kral first wanted to take on the project over two years ago, before construction even started. After many conversations with Principal David Brown, the project became a reality.

“It [the project] has definitely been a learning experience. When I first proposed the idea to Principal Brown, he wasn’t hesitant to say yes. The only thing he was worried about was the construction of the new building,” Kral said. “The planning was somewhat difficult because of this. Mr. Brown didn’t know when I would be able to get into the school to paint, but he was very helpful and without him, I don’t think this project would have been possible.”

The idea first came across Kral as she wanted to earn her Girl Scout Gold Award. Although she is not on a troop, she was up for the challenge as she wanted to give back to the community through expressing her creativity.

“I painted the mural to earn my Girl Scout Gold Award. It’s the same thing as an Eagle Scout but for Girl Scouts instead. I’m not technically in a troop, but I was still able to do it. I knew that I wanted to do something that included art and I came up with the idea of painting a mural. I always see really cool ones when I go to St. Pete or whenever I travel,” Kral said.

Kral communicate with her peers who helped her with the mural. (Photo Vikram Sambasivan)

The purpose of the mural is to spread positivity throughout Robinson and its surrounding community. Through her four years at Robinson, Kral expresses how the diversity of the school has allowed her to find her second family. She wishes that the mural would do the same for students in the future.

“I wanted to create something that everyone could relate to and be part of and something that everyone could see themselves in. We should be celebrating all of our differences and achievements. Robinson is full of so many talented people,” Kral added.

The project couldn’t have been done alone. When Kral got the “okay” to start the project, she called in her friends as reinforcements. Isabel Alonso (’24) was one of many who helped Kral complete her project.

“I really enjoyed working with Millay on the mural. I remember her telling me a while ago about the gold award, and what she planned to accomplish in order to receive it,” Alonso said. “When she started, she brought a few of us to work together and it was a lot of fun. It has been very enjoyable to see what Millay has been able to accomplish.”

While collaborating with others on the mural was Kral’s favorite part of the project, the most memorable experience to her would still be seeing people’s genuine reactions when they spot the mural. She voices how she loves seeing students’ faces light up from something she and her friends has created.

“It’s almost like watching someone open a gift you got them that they previously said they wanted and you remembered,” Kral said. “I don’t really know how to describe it. It just brings me joy knowing that people are able to feel seen and that the mural is able to put a smile on someone’s face.”

Kral emphasized that there will be future projects as the for the Robinson Mural Project is now a club at the school. If you are interested in joining, there is a QR code next to the mural in the science building.

“I think people should join the RHS Mural Club because you become a part of something that makes the school a better place and allows you to make a long lasting impact on the school. You will always be able to come back and see the art you helped make which is really cool,” said Amelia Kempton (’24), another friend who helped Kral complete the project.

The finished product of the mural, called ‘Unity In Diversity.’ (Photo Charlotte Stone)
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About the Contributors
Cecilia Cheng
Cecilia Cheng, Print Managing Editor
Cecilia Cheng is a senior at Robinson and the Print Managing Editor of Knight Writers. This is her third year on staff and her third year as an editor. A self-proclaimed "Swiftie," Cheng is constantly listening to some form of pop music, but her current favorites include Taylor Swift, Clairo and Pheobe Bridgers. When she's not listening to music, Cheng can be found taking photos, hanging out with friends, thrifting or catching up on her favorite TV shows. As of right now, her absolute favorite show is "Heartstopper," but it fluctuates frequently. This love of TV and movies is reflected in her large discography of reviews on the Knight Writers website and former position as the A&E editor for two years. Cheng makes it clear that A&E is her favorite section. Although she is a big fan of A&E, Cheng enjoys writing articles regardless of their section. "My favorite thing about journalism is the storytelling aspect of it," Cheng said. "I love how I’m able to express my opinion and give people that are underrepresented a voice as well." Outside of journalism, Cheng is involved in many other aspects of the Robinson community, holding positions as the Secretary of Women in STEM and the Social Media Manager of Mu Alpha Theta. Despite her connections to the school, Cheng is excited to graduate and see what awaits her. She hopes to head to her top college, Northeastern, where she plans to major in Biology. However, she isn't prepared to forget her time as a Knight Writer and plans to pursue her journalistic interests as well. "Right now, I’m looking to go to college and major in Biology, to go the pre-med track. I haven’t decided where I want to go yet, but I really hope I get into Northeastern. Also, if it’s possible, I want to double major in Journalism or I would join my college’s newspaper." (Profile by Charlotte Stone)
Vikram Sambasivan
Vikram Sambasivan, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Vikram Sambasivan is a senior at Robinson and the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Knight Writers. This is his third year on staff and his third year as an editor. A passionate storyteller, Sambasivan's writing varies across a variety of sections, but he finds his comfort most in news stories, where he delves mostly into current events. "My favorite is perhaps news writing. Some may say it’s plain, and a bit boring, but I find the simplicity to be elegant and a reprieve from the frilly writing that is sometimes preferred in a typical high school English class," Sambasivan said. Outside of the journalism room, you can see Sambasivan serving as the president of Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Honor Society, rowing down the Hillsborough River for Team Tampa or even conducting research at the Clean Energy Research Center at the University of South Florida. Despite his demanding schedule, Sambasivan likes to wind down and relax by indulging in a number of movies or TV shows. "Rowing is probably tied with tennis as my favorite activity (although it’s not as fun to watch).  The feeling of the cool morning breeze on your face while rowing in the calm, quiet waters isn’t something I’ll soon forget," Sambasivan said. "Watching TV and movies are some of the other things I enjoy. My favorite show changes every day depending on how I’m feeling. Most movies that I watch speak to a different part of me, so I don’t think I could choose a favorite." Sambasivan has set multiple goals for this year's staff. He is looking forward to being in charge and being able to recreate the fun experience of journalism for new staff members. His biggest goal, though, is to be able to help everyone reach their greatest potential by making them stronger writers. "I would like to make them better than me. That’s the hallmark of a good teacher: having your students exceed you. If I can create an environment where people are excited to come in and produce content every day, where they are excited to learn, then I will be happy," Sambasivan added. Although his future is unclear at the moment, Sambasivan hopes to be able to combine his love for STEM and journalism in his future career. "I’m a little sad to be leaving high school. I’ll miss the friends and connections which I have made once I go to college, but this year, for me, is mainly about the future," Sambasivan said. (Profile by Cecilia Cheng)
Charlotte Stone
Charlotte Stone, Co-Editor-in-Chief
Charlotte Stone is a senior at Robinson and the Co-Editor-in-Chief of Knight Writers. This is her third year on staff and her third year as an editor. A nod to her original editorial position as Features Editor, Stone enjoys writing in-depth stories about her peers. “My favorite part of journalism is writing features stories,” Stone said. “I love learning about and sharing the unique stories of Robinson students.” An involved member of the Robinson community, Stone co-founded the RHS Film Club and serves as Captain of the girl’s tennis team. As a lover of the classical period, Stone additionally serves as the co-president of the Latin Club. To balance out her academic responsibilities, Stone pursues an eclectic mix of hobbies. “One of my hobbies is collecting sea glass. I started when I was younger and my collection has continued to grow so much since then,” Stone said. “I also love to play guitar. It’s a great creative outlet and helps me relax and take a break from academic responsibilities.” While Stone is fond of the features section, her well-rounded portfolio reflects her wide range of interests. From writing an A&E review to a Q&A, Stone showcases her unique perspective to create insightful, in-depth and engaging stories. As Co-Editor-in-Chief, Stone hopes to build a capable staff to secure the legacy of Robinson’s storied publication. Going into her final year on staff, Stone begins to look to the future. “Honestly I don’t really know what the future looks like for me,” Stone said. I’m not sure what I want to do, but I hope that I’ll be doing something that I love and doesn’t have anything to do with STEM.” (Profile by Vikram Sambasivan)
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