Ashanty Reyes strode confidently to the microphone.
A room full of important grown-ups in dark business suits turned toward her. News cameras clicked, anticipating her words.
In a clear, ringing voice, Ashanty said:
“Hello my name is Ashanty Reyes and I’m a third-grade student at Torchlight Academy, a charter school here in Raleigh. I love my school. I love my friends and teachers and principal. Together we’ve learned and done so much.