This essay was written by a student at Mighty Writers, an education nonprofit that offers free writing classes to over 2,500 inner-city Philadelphia students a year.
I am from political speeches, I am from my uncle’s long, dramatic, and persuasive speeches that talk about how the government should be. I am from a country where the people only get political promises and no changes by the government. Here, I am from a diverse culture. In my small world at home, yo hablo Español and in the outside world I speak English. I live in a Cambodian neighborhood, with my Hispanic family in an American city!
I am from turtles, slow movements describe me. Green is not my favorite color but it gives me hope. I love turtles. Turtles are brave because the ocean, which I am afraid of, is their home. By that, they teach me to not be afraid of this cruel but amazing world.
I am from those who fight for everybody's rights and equality. My first name is Margie and my last name is “Fight for justice.” I am against discrimination, discrimination of any type. Discrimination, like when an old man at Rite Aid dropped his thing, and refused my help because of what I look like, because I am Latina, because of my roots. My dark curly hair, my brown skin, and my Latino accent were a problem to him. Those things are a blessing to me! And that is why my last name is “Fight for justice.” We all are humans and we do not deserve any kind of discrimination. Your skin color, your gender, your sexual orientation, your race, your accent, your style, your immigration status won't define who you are! You are the best version of yourself. We are authentic!
I am from part-time loneliness. My mom works everyday and my dad lives 20 hours, almost 24 hours by car from home! I spend most of my time with my imagination and creativity, making them my partners in crime.
I am from curiosity. I like to learn about new things every single day. People say I am the daughter of the word "danger" and "risk" because I love to explore, meet, and try things I never knew before.
I didn't used to like the color blue, but when I turned 7 years old, out of nowhere I saw the inner blue that the some girls don't like. I am from the color blue. Blue reminds me of the beautiful melody of the ocean, but especially of turtles. Like I told you before, I love turtles! The color blue means life, it describes happiness and sadness
I am from memories. I think that we are made out of memories which turn into valuable life lessons.
I am from Mt. Everest! One day you will be watching TV and suddenly, you will find out that I, Margie, will be climbing to the top of the mountain!!!. This is a dream that I will accomplish. Whether or not I make it to the top, just having the mountain in front of me would make me happy.
I am from my thoughts. I love my thoughts, positive ones or negative ones, that is what I think. Even though I do not like the negative ones, they still turn into inspiration. One day like this one, I was just getting ready to talk in front of our Mighty Writers’ community and I was thinking, “What if I get stuck while I am reading? I’ll tell one of my mighty teachers that I won't read anymore,” but Mrs. Bravery came to my thinking box and she told me, “you know what Margie, stand up and read that essay you’ve been writing for a long time. ” When I finished reading my essay everybody was clapping. I was proud of myself!
I am from my school subjects. I just love them, simple as that. Each day my school subjects teach me to try hard and not be afraid of mistakes. Math might not be my favorite, but it teaches me that every problem has a solution we need to find. Social studies teaches me that we can be part of memories and history. Art teaches me the beauty of the world, but also the beauty of life.
I am from competitions. I like to win but I do not always win. I am from my own personality, I love myself, and I like who and how I am! I am from everywhere, except for silliness. I am allergic to strawberries, but I also consider myself allergic to negativity.
Finally, I am special because I am a writer. I am from writing because writing is the place where I can make mistakes without being judged, the place where I feel safe. I belong to all the words: adjectives, nouns, verbs, conjunctions, adverbs, articles, interjections, and prepositions. I am a writer, WAIT, I am more than a writer. I am a Mighty Writer.
By Margie Castejon-Gamez, 9th grade Mighty Writer
Top photo: Tanguy Sauvin / Pexels Creative Commons
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Mighty Writers was founded in 2009 with the mission to teach kids to think clearly and write with clarity. The organization offers free programs for students from elementary through high school at centers in four diverse Philadelphia neighborhoods, including one bilingual location for Spanish-speaking students. Follow Mighty Writers at MightyWriters.org, on Facebook, and on Twitter @MightyWriters.