A profile I wrote about a 17-year-old activist who organized his high school’s walk-out against gun violence, for Charlotte magazine’s August issue.
AT 2:15 P.M., there’s a loud buzz. A voice begins reading the dismissal announcements—late buses, soccer practice reminders, and last, “Make sure you have patience and understanding this Friday.”
On cue, teenagers pour out of Independence High’s front doors like a pack of wild animals, hunting for the fastest possible exit out of the school parking lot. Book bags bounce as students run to their buses or cars, or to the small walking path that eventually leads to the Food Lion lot on Wilson Grove Road, a detour from the backlog of hand-me-down sedans and bright yellow buses. Horns honk, and there’s a middle finger out a driver’s window.
Sebastian Bowen, a senior, is in no hurry. Bus number 229 will take him to his home in the Shelburne Place neighborhood, and from there, he’ll walk the 26 minutes to his job stocking shelves at Harris Teeter. The bus is leaving any minute, but he ambles slowly, taking in the wild country that is high school.