Larissa Sloan, ACE Member and REEP Alum
I grew up in Boston and just graduated high school. Now I’m majoring in communications in my first year at college.
I got involved with ACE because my high school had a graduation requirement of 100 hours of community service. I had to pick a problem and find a solution. I picked the MBTA because I’m a student who always rides the T. As a student, it’s not easy because the conductors and people in charge stereotype us as rowdy teens who leave school all riled up. I was tired of bus drivers driving by me. I also wondered what I would do without a student pass.
When I researched internship possibilities, I called the MBTA, but they never got back to me. I asked my teacher about internships, and I picked ACE from a list he gave me. My friend Megan and I started helping around the office and got involved with TRU and REEP.
In REEP, we worked to get youth passes and more rights for youth on the T. We surveyed youth and did outreach in schools. We secured a meeting with MBTA and MassDOT officials—it was a big accomplishment for me. But when we went to the meeting we met with their assistant’s assistant who didn’t even know about REEP. I was so frustrated. We grilled the assistant and we asked about the student pass, like why can't GED students get one? She didn’t have any replies.
This summer I organized the Youth Way on the MBTA campaign. I held workshops with UNLR and at REEP’s Youth Summit. I got the ideas out there and we built up supporters and members. I’m hopeful that we can win this campaign. We have so much support that if the T denies us a youth pass, we will bring everyone to rally and protest!