Senior student leader strives to make difference in Wyandotte Community

Many seniors will be able to graduate knowing they have made a difference at RHS, but senior Jake Conz has gone above and beyond the expectations of being successful in making his school a better place.
Since the beginning of middle school, Conz has undertaken different clubs and projects where he is now one of the biggest voices in the Wyandotte Community. Conz joined the student council his freshman year of high school as a representative. Once he was able to progress in student council, he then became president of student council his junior and senior year.
Throughout being in this club, he was able to expand their social media, creating websites and a Facebook page in order to gain more of an audience for student council. Now that he has become president, he uses his power to create project proposal forms, deciding what’s best for the council, and has completely rebranded their club in order to gain more publicity.
“My voice, I feel, is one of the most important ones in the school, being so involved and being student council president. You’re the voice of the student body, you’re elected up to the highest power so that you can be the voice,” Conz said. “Being able to speak out about major issues is important to me so that those kids who can’t speak out don’t feel that their voices aren’t heard. I know my voice will be because it’s quite loud.”
Student Council Advisor, Kristina Powers says that Conz is her main person she can go to in order to make big decisions. Powers explained that Conz has positively changed the student council and puts in all his effort to help with their fundraising along with making a difference in their school since becoming president. He is someone who she can rely on because of his goal-oriented personality and determination.
“His personality definitely comes through when he does anything relating to helping the community and he gives everything his all,” Powers said “And I think because he works so hard he gets frustrated when someone doesn’t give as much as him because he gives so much of himself to every project.”
Since Conz is president of the student council, he is able to use his voice to speak with city council members and other officials to make important changes at RHS. One of his biggest accomplishments was being able to propose ideas to the Board of Education in order to help RHS become a safer place. Due to occurrences that have involved intruders threatening multiple schools these past few months, Conz felt that he needed to use his voice in order to come up with a way that will help students feel more safe while in the classroom.
“I decided that I was going to speak in front of the school board and I needed my voice to be heard,” Conz said. “So, that night I went home and formed a four page packet and laid out everything I see day to day at school like the doors, locks, the bathrooms, visitor passes. Everything I layed out was specific to this place.”
Conz was able to come up with the idea of nightlocks; these would be placed on the floors and latch into the door in order to prevent intruders from entering the classrooms. He was able to speak at one of the board meetings talking about his proposal for the night locks, but unfortunately was unable to use this idea because of the flooring in the classrooms. Conz researched further and saw the nightlocks were able to latch onto the walls, so he was able to get them installed with the help of building and grounds supervisor Bernie Bowers to have an extra safety tool for classrooms.
“I felt like it was my duty to go to that meeting as a student leader and as student council president to go get the information for the students. I wanted to be the voice of students who can’t be heard. And it’s not an easy thing for others to go up there and speak in front of a group of adults because they are a part of the board,” Conz said.
Along with Conz’s success with the nightlocks installment, he has also impacted RHS with many other projects he has been involved with. Conz is one of the leaders for DECA, where his biggest project this year was the Block Out Cancer game. This involved lots of planning, coordination, and preparation in order for this game to be successful.
“This year we broke the record for the number of T-shirts we’ve ever sold with having only half of the amount of time that we normally do,” Conz said. “I just wanted everyone to have a fun experience and want to enjoy their years at highschool. So being able to be a part of the DECA activities like the Block Out Cancer game helps everyone get involved to show community awareness.”
Conz has also dedicated much of his time to the Media Department with being a part of yearbook, newspaper, and broadcasting. He first started both yearbook and broadcasting his sophomore year as a reporter for both classes. He continued his yearbook class for junior year then decided to take on a smaller role in yearbook his senior year in order to focus on broadcasting. For his senior year of broadcasting, he earned the executive producer position for the class. With this title, he produces, makes graphics, and is in charge of the Wy-TV news.
“Because I am the executive producer I basically call all the shots,” Conz said. “I’ve really worked my way up to the top in broadcasting because I wanted to expand my career more in that field.”
Teacher Janet Haddad is the director of the Media Department. She says that because of Conz’s willingness to work hard and the effort he puts into the Wy-Tv news he earned the executive producer job. Haddad says that since Conz’s sophomore year, he has been a natural in front of and behind the camera and has completely revamped the broadcasting program.
“If you talk to the broadcasting students, they will go to him before they’ll go to me because they look to him for the answers,” Haddad said. “I think it’s a good thing they go to him because it says a lot about what type of person he is, because the students trust him and value his opinion and value his feedback.”
Conz has spent a lot of his high school career working in the Media Department, because of this Haddad and Conz have become a great team when working together. Haddad explained that she is fortunate to have Conz as one of her editors because of his honesty when it comes to producing quality content for the Wy-Tv News.
“I think what’s unique about Jake is his ability to interact with adults in a way that a lot of other students don’t have. He is very confident in who he is and what he brings to the table, and it doesn’t matter how old they are because he trusts his own knowledge and his own abilities, which is what is going to allow him to be successful beyond high school,” Haddad said.
During the lockdown due to COVID-19, Conz was unable to work with the cameras and video equipment like he used to when in-school learning. Since media production is something that Conz is passionate about, he decided to buy his own equipment and start taking pictures of his friends to practice. This passion of his soon turned into a successful business for Conz, and he is now able to take photos for multiple people with different occasions as a professional photographer.
“I will give most of my credit to social media engagement and building your audience and knowing who your audience is on social media, [that] is probably one of the most prominent things that you have to focus on when building a business,” Conz said.
With Conz being one the of the most important student voices at RHS as well as a role model, it comes with a lot of stress yet is rewarding to see the impact he has made on the school. He explains that he is confident enough that when he graduates from RHS, he knows he will be proud of what he’s accomplished in his four years. His biggest motivation comes from the support of his friends and family along with seeing the positive results of his hard work..
“I think people sometimes look at me and think wow that kid does a lot he must be stressed all the time. And you know yes, I am but it’s rewarding to see things like the nightlocks and the Block Out Cancer game and all these things I do have a higher purpose and they end up making people feel safer or happy,” Conz said. “And you know I’ve always understood the hustle with the amount of work I do so the hustle is me, I am the hustle.”