WE-Side Unified Talent Show


Graphic created by Alex Ingvoldstad

The Westside High School Unified club hosted a talent show on Monday, Mar. 14, in which students performed a talent of their choice. The talent show was open to anyone in kindergarten through high school. 

Junior and peer model Noah Whitney participated in the event and said he had a lot of fun. 

“I was the emcee of the talent show, so I was introducing the acts,” Whitney said. “I think the best part of the talent show was when my script said ‘improvise’ and I just had to go out there and say whatever was on my mind and try to make everyone laugh.” 

Special Education teacher Alyssa Smith, who was in charge of the event, said this was the first year the club held this event and that it was a great turnout.

“From what I saw and [from what] I heard from others, the show was amazing! All the performers did fantastic,” Smith said. 

Smith said the talent show was originally going to be a small event, but once other staff heard about it they encouraged the club to make it a district-wide event.

“WE-Side Unified is a club that is offered throughout the entire district, elementary through high school, so when administrators heard that the high school was putting on a talent show, they thought it would be awesome if we could have all levels participate,” Smith said.

Smith said that it looked like the students involved in the show had a great time and had a lot of fun. 

“[There was] pure joy and courage in each of the performers,” Smith said. “It is not easy to stand on stage and perform in front of a large audience, but every performer went out there, without hesitation, giving it their all, and they blew the crowd away.”

Smith said that it is awesome to see peers working with the students with disabilities and she was glad the peers were involved in the event.

“It was breathtaking to see the interactions between the peers and the performers,” Smith said. “We encourage inclusion through this club and we could not have asked for a better group of peers to support the entire show. The peers were able to encourage, participate with and help make the show run as smoothly as it did, while at the same time allowing for the performers to be highlighted as the stars of the show. There was true collaboration and joint effort between peers and performers, which is the goal of our club.”