Students bring diversity, inclusion through BLAST


“It creates a better community within the student body and that is really important for not only friendships but building trust within your peers and administration,” Iliana Balok, senior Student Council President, explained.  BLAST is during Valentine’s Day week to show the love of diversity in the school and bring all cultures in the student body together. 

For the past 29 years, Stillwater Area High School has held the traditional BLAST week for the student body. Throughout the week, different activities are held to showcase different cultures and open up the schools eyes to the diversity in our community. By the end of the week, the goal is to make everyone feel as if they belong somewhere within the building by focusing on inclusion with everyone in the student body. Some events included rapper Nur-D, serenades from the choir, a student talent show and many more.

“It is a celebration of our students,” Dusty Dennis,  Student Council Advisor explained. “Groups all across the board to celebrate their passions and cultures.”


During all four lunches, the Culture Fair took place on Monday in the gymnasium. Different groups from around the school including, BSU, NASA, ASU, ASL, and many more created a stand with different artifacts of their cultures and provided information to inform students about the background of their heritage. The Fair served the purpose to educate students on how many different cultures are within our school and showing the diversity of our student body. 

“I want people to recognize that there are other cultures in the school and people from all around the world,” Aliyat Adedayo, senior Student Council member explained.

After a long 29 years, the students finally brought home the trophy. On Tuesday after school, the teachers took on the students in a co-ed basketball game. The game was a nail-biter with points going back and forth. However, the teachers could not keep the momentum and the students secured the win with just a few seconds left, beating the teachers by three points. To enter the game, spectators were required to bring $3 or a non-perishable food item. All the proceeds raised go to the Stillwater food shelf to help those in need. 

Rafferty Shaw, a junior student member, explained how the game was more than just a competitive match between teachers and students. “As a community, we need to continue to help and supply the food shelf so that people in need can continue to get the food and nutrition that is needed to survive.”

On Friday, the Heritage Fashion Show was attended by students of every grade. Students strutted the runway in the auditorium for their peers to observe. They were clothed in different pieces from where their ancestors originated and what represented their culture. Students wore unique pieces from all over the world including Mexico, Ecuador, Nigeria, Scotland and more. The show was a student favorite due to the fact that they got to watch their fellow students showcase the intricate and extraordinary clothing items of the past.

“Watching everyone represent their cultures by walking down the runway is so inspiring and you start to immerse yourself in educating yourself in the different cultures,” Dennis explained.

A student favorite finished off the bustling week. Battle of the Bands is an annual competition between student bands who each get to perform to showcase their talent. 

Balok loves that “you can finally see your classmates showcase their talents and you can see how passionate about music,” they are. 

This year, the bands that performed included Bagel Hole, 1969 Homecfroft, RBD, RAt-CaN, Draffage and Skuzz. Each band got to perform between three to four songs including either cover songs or a band original. They performed in front of a panel including local artists and musician teachers. After Skuzz performed an original the judges were blown away and Skuzz left the competition in first place and a cash prize of $400.

BLAST week is a time for the student body to unite and show their differences. 

“I want people to recognize that there are other cultures in the school and people from all over the world and this week allows them the opportunity and space to represent their culture,” Adedayo said.