We interviewed Kid Reporter Quade Kelley as part of a series celebrating Women’s History Month. Quade, who was named the first Who Was? History Bee Champion in 2020, spoke to us about his experience as a reporter, why he thinks Women’s History Month is important, what it was like to interview Rose Schindler, who survived Auschwitz and went on to share her story of tragedy and resilience, and how he hopes her legacy lives on following her death in February. You can read Quade’s interview with Rose on our Kids Press website, and watch some of Rose’s past speaking engagements on her YouTube channel.
What is it like to be a Kid Reporter?
It’s an exciting honor to be a Scholastic Kid Reporter. People smile and are encouraging everywhere I go in my red Kids Press shirt. They remember reading Scholastic magazines in their classrooms. Not just kids my age but adults too. Because of all the hard work you all do, this opportunity has opened some special doors. Thank you!
What’s your favorite part about reporting?
My nickname is Q – because I ask so many questions. My favorite part of reporting is learning about people and their stories by asking questions. It’s exciting to me when I expect an interview to go a certain way after researching and preparing, but then it takes a crazy direction, and my mind explodes. The best questions are ALWAYS at the end. They are the ones I haven’t written down and just come from my heart. That’s my favorite part.
What was it like to interview Rose?
It was sad to hear about the Holocaust, but it felt important to hear Rose Schindler’s story and to share her message of hope.
Rose was 14 when she was taken to Auschwitz during World War II. She lied about her age after a worker on the train told her that in order to survive, she had to be 16. She told me that if you were a child and too young or old to work, you were sent to the gas chamber.
That means that Rose was one of the youngest people to survive Auschwitz, one of the worst death camps. Not many people are left to tell the first-hand story. Rose died last month on February 17. She was 93 years old.
I first heard Rose talk at a big event when I was 10. My mom took me to see her speak in San Diego, because I had read a book about Anne Frank and didn’t understand why she was so important to history. I had to stand on a chair in the back of a packed room to see her. I waited in line until everyone was gone to ask her questions. She laughed and called me “History Boy.” It’s funny because I won a history bee that year, so she kind of told the future.
I was so lucky to get to interview her in her home in November 2021 for Scholastic Kids Press when I was 12. She was fighting cancer and was tired, but she still took her time to talk to me. Rose was happy and laughed when she spoke about her father, Solomon.
She was so enthusiastic and extremely joyful. She just gave out so much energy, and it catches on. It’s like a wave that hits you, and you change. Your energy changes, even the questions you ask, and she gave better answers than I ever could have imaged.
What did you learn from meeting her?
Rose gave the world the gift of her story. It was a burden because each time she told the story, she had to relive it. But her father called her to that purpose. Countless children and adults became better people because of the message she lived.
I think Rose is a GREAT name for her. Her roots were deep in tradition. She grew up in a hostile environment but bloomed into a flower that made her piece of the world beautiful. She overcame the worst of humanity and was marked by that, but chose to leave a message of love and hope.
She told me that when things get hard to remember, there will be tomorrow. She taught me to honor my parents and my family. She also said to me that sometimes, when things feel wrong or there is a bully, that you need to be brave and act fast to do the thing you know is right.
Rose was brave, persistent, and funny. The theme of her life was persistence and hope. She reminded me that bringing people joy is so important, and we should all focus on finding the small things and helping.
You told us that Rose’s family reached out to you to let you know she passed away. Can you tell us how you think people will remember her.
I hope people remember her as a light of hope because that’s really what she was. She kept telling everybody the importance of remembering, but she did it in such a beautiful way, and in a way that everyone who hears it comes out as a better person. She was hopeful that there would be change and nothing like that would ever happen again.
Are there any other women you look up to?
My mom. I love my mom. Women are protectors of family, tradition, and history. I am intimidated by girls. They have so many things going on!
Mother Theresa is my favorite woman in history. I know someone who met her in person, and said that she just “glowed with love and made everyone feel important.” I hope to meet people like her.
I also am inspired by Jane Goodall and Greta Thunberg. Their work with nature and the environment is amazing.
It was amazing to interview former NASA astronaut Cady Coleman. She spent over an hour talking to me and was passionate about science and the universe. She inspired me to learn more about science and to prepare for the future.
I also got to interview Olympic skateboarders Bryce Wettstein and Poppy Olson. Women athletes are awesome. They bring something different to sport. They are creative and fun to watch. Even in water polo, at my age, the girls know the game so much better!
And our editor, Suzanne McCabe, is awesome!
What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
It means being thankful for the women who make a difference. My mom and all my teachers. That means at school and in life. It means thinking about how important women are not just for a month but all the time.
I want to say thank you to all the important women in my life. Sometimes it takes something like Women’s History Month to remember it, but it’s important to focus every day on the people who are changing the way you see everything.
Is there anything else you want to share?
Just thanks again because what you all do at Scholastic to help kids learn is important.
Also, thank you to the Scholastic Kids Press team and Editor McCabe for her talented editing and for helping me publish over 30 articles in the past three seasons. Thank you all for being a part of my story.
I also want to thank all of the Scholastic workers. When I go into interviews, and I see Scholastic workers there, they are always energetic and so excited to see me. I want to thank them for doing that because I have had so many times where I’ve gone into an interview and their energy catches on, helping me do a good job.