By: Mia Ray, 6th Grade
To whom this may concern,
For a while now, I’ve constantly been misunderstood. People have assumed things about me and as a result wouldn’t allow me to do certain things.
Back in elementary, a kid told me that I can’t connect to Black rights because I’m not Black and instead I’m Latina. That deeply hurt me and I just shut down.
Two seconds later I actually powered on. I decided I should stand up for myself, saying “I’m not just latina! I am a mix of West Indian and I’m also Black. I’m not just what you assume me to be. I have a large background and you should understand that.” That was a time I felt really confident and I’m proud of myself for that.
Recently, I was just walking and I mentioned my background to those I called my friends. One called out, “How are you Hispanic but you can’t speak Spanish?”
By: Chinasa Nwankwo, 7th Grade
I believe that religion is flexible.
I was born and raised an Catholic so I was surrounded by that. But besides the influences I had at church I also had other influences like at school or the people I met, and that influenced my mindset confusing me which way was the right path. I had to use logic to ground myself in what I believe. Due to that I never generally took it seriously and just chose to do what I wanted when it came to religion.
I went to Sunday School for the first time last year or so and my teacher said something that helped me personally understand religion. She said how Christianity or religion as a whole is personal and how one takes it is different for every person. When I heard that it made me think how I viewed religion and what principles I want to base my life off of.
Depending on what your religion is there is a basis to what you believe. It's like a slab of wood. You can use each slab or belief you have to build on each other and make something, in this case it's what you believe, and how you see religion. I believe in something other Catholics might not but if I take it from a logical sense they have their own certain beliefs and I have mine as long as we have the same basis then we are both still fellow Catholics.
Religion is foundational, you build from on top of it. There are people who could be from the same religion that believe very different things, and that may seem wrong. However, we should still be understanding and acknowledge their view. Religion is not only flexible but personal as well, it grows and changes as you do.
By: Amalya McKelvery, 7th Grade
There are many people who struggle at home. There are many who are dealing with issues there too afraid to express or they feel like there's no one there to speak to. This leads them to think negative things, things they should not be thinking -- and this can then lead to depression. So I believe in the power of being there for someone.
Just simply being there for someone can mean a lot. The person may feel trapped and not know what to do, they may not feel as if they can share their thoughts, they'll feel like they're all alone. This is when people can fall into; depression. When they start thinking they don't matter and no one cares for their situation.
So I remember earlier last year, when going to visit the doctor they gave me this test that was on paper. It asked simple questions like “What do you like to do?” and “Do you enjoy going outside?" I put the truth, “I like staying in the house on my phone” and “I like going out sometimes, but not always...," for example.
Later on, after they looked over my answers, they told me I might have ‘depression.' They mentioned that I should maybe start attending therapy in order to find out why I might have ‘depression.'
I honestly thought I might have it too. I often would cry at night or even in the shower?? And I never really knew why. Crying without a reason didn’t seem right at all to me, I always felt like I didn’t have anyone to communicate my problems and I realized...I just wanted people to listen to me. To check on me even when there wasn’t something really wrong, even if I wasn't showing it. Just to be checked on.
Many people need to be checked on. No matter what -- none of us know for sure what another person may be going through.
Once again, I believe in making sure a person is alright. I believe in checking on someone no matter the circumstance because simply saying “I'm here for you” could make a person smile, it could make them feel better about themselves in every way. Just by letting them know someone has their back.