Keys and Ferrera
Keys and Ferrera

Special to The Dallas Examiner

Loud screams and chants coupled with the drumline’s melodic lows overflowed from the auditorium of Skyline High School, the nation’s first magnet school, which is housed on Dallas ISD’s largest campus.

The school was in an uproar when students received the surprise of a lifetime.

Singer/songwriter Alicia Keys, who came on the scene in 2001 with Songs in A Minor; actress America Ferrera, best known for her work in Ugly Betty and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants; and social media sensation Liza Koshy appeared from behind a curtain in the Skyline auditorium.

The team of celebrities had embarked on a nonpartisan “Get out the Vote” effort that made several stops in Dallas/Fort Worth, Oct. 23, which included Skyline.

Massive cheers erupted from the crowd of students as the celebrities emerged. For a moment, the excitement from the 1,200 students, teachers, staff and media drowned out the sound system.

“I’m America Ferrera …,” said the actress turned activist, as the crowd came to a silence. “But, just like you, I am a fellow American, and I am a Brown kid who grew up in this country looking for the best opportunities.”

Various seniors, many of whom will be first-time voters this election, knew of the celebrities’ visit, but were taken off guard when they walked out.

“We are so honored to share today with you and there’s no place in the world I’d rather be than Skyline right now,” Keys said. “This is what America looks like – with all of our diversity, all of our flyness, with all the issues that we care about – and we get to choose who represents us.”

Liza Koshy echoed Ferrera and Keys. As the half-hour rally came to an end, which was in part sponsored by The Student Voter Initiative, a nonpartisan statewide student voter registration program, the visit received plenty of buzz on social media.

But, perhaps the greatest moment for students came when Keys bellowed notes of snippets from her songs Girl on Fire and No One.

Keys led the impromptu performance with a simple question.

“You know, I was thinking … if we have each other, we can do anything, right?” she asked. “So, I was thinking, ‘You and me together through the days and nights, I don’t worry ‘cause, everything’s going to be all right.’”

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