35 thoughts on “Support Communities, Civic Engagement, Justice

  1. Sarajean Wright

    I believe in people in our community to help those younger or misguided to learn. There are different people in the world but those that will help us grow, are the ones that will shine brighter than the sun. They are the ones willing to stand for those who can’t stand for themselves. Those who do random acts of kindness and ask for nothing in return. Those who will help those less fortunate just because it’s the right thing to do. Those who will look at others on the street and smile just to try and make someone’s day better. Those who believe that it really is the little things that make life great and try to give them to others. They will offer a helping hand to those in need and think nothing of it because their soul just wishes to help others. They are the ones who will influence and change our world.they don’t fear the darkness in the world. They may only fear that they can not reach everyone to make the world a little brighter. I believe these people will make the world better and give me hope for the future they can bring.

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    1. Elli-Ann Oskar

      I love this! So many people are only concerned with themselves nowadays. It is great to see people like this still exist!

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  2. Linda Nguyen

    I believe in humanity. I believe that people are not born with malicious minds, but become evil through terrible situations and unfortunate events.
    One day during middle school years, I was browsing through the internet being bored. I decided to go on Omegle, a public chat room, to meet some people to conversate with. I met this guy named Brennan who made me realize that my actions are actually impactful to other people’s lives, even if I don’t directly know them. Basically, in the beginning of our conversation, he pretended to be a girl using a false name and told me about a false story he had conjured from his mind. His intentions were to mess with me, but I, being oblivious, responded sincerely and listened to the fake story as if it was true. He eventually realized that his actions were unnecessary and felt guilty. So he took it upon himself to tell me the truth. In his exact words, he says to me “I can’t believe I started out messing with you and I felt you should be told the truth and now I am telling you of my heartbreak/ *and*/ Funny how good people can change things around”.
    Despite him having evil intention in the beginning, he was able to change and become a better person. My kindness to him was not a waste. My willingness to listen to his troubles, regardless of him being a stranger I had no connect to before, gave him hope in humanity in his crazy predicament. I believe that caring for others is the key to revealing their true intentions. No one was born for the reason of destruction. Mishaps in people’s lives, like not having the right people and the right environment, can corrupt humanity. I believe, with our compassion, we can change those who have been misguided. I believe in humanity.

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  3. Sheika Belizaire

    Belief in Humanity
    This essay is supposed to describe a belief that I already hold dearly. But I would like to flip the switch and depict something I aspire to believe. I desire to believe in Humanity. Over the past few years my worry free childhood has been corrupted with a constant reminder that this world holds a blatant illusion of equality. A free but not truly free world bearing many problems, but police brutality being a main one.

    I was thirteen when Trayvon Martin died, I remember the hope I had knowing that justice would prevail. The moment the verdict was revealed the hope I had, dwindled. Then came cases like Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, and many more. Just in the year 2015, 385 people were fatally shot by police, the very people that were put in place to protect the very lives they ended. An unbearable fear has crept into the lives of the minority, afraid of living outside the walls of their homes. But the silver lining of this is not only have I witnessed the injustices plaguing our society but I’ve seen nationwide cooperation. Not just all races but age groups also. Teenagers and adults have been able to come together to create change. Protests going from state to state to prove that we can unite and we can make change. All we need is a fearless and righteous leader. We need a 21st century version of Martin Luther King Jr. to lead us into a world that is truly equal.

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  4. Nicholas Perry

    I believe in my city. The city I am talking about is New Bedford. I believe my city is a good place to live but my beliefs are fading. When I was younger I loved where I came from but that all started to change when I was in the 8th grade. I’ll never forget that day when I went to school and over the announcements they said a kid who was in one of my classes was shot and killed. Just yesterday 3 teens were stabbed; one of the victims was a 15 year old who ended up dying. Go to Google and search up worst places to live in Massachusetts, or highest crime rates in Massachusetts, 8 times out of 10 New Bedford will be number 1 or it will be in the top 5. But even though there’s a lot of bad there’s also a lot of good and looking at the good is what’s helping me believe that my city is good place to live. There are church youth groups, family fun days, summer programs, and many other programs that are trying to make the city a better place for the future generations who decide to live here. There’s a couple youth sport leagues that are doing good and going far in tournaments and other competitions. This helps restore my beliefs in the city I grew up in and shows me that in the future this will be a great place to raise a family.

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  5. Madison Zenni

    I believe in positivity. Every morning I try to wake up with a positive attitude. I remind myself to be a good person, to go out of my way and help others, even if it’s with something small because I know I am capable of putting forth so much good into the world. In high school I was involved in several community service based clubs. When I joined freshmen year, I had no idea it would have such a large influence over my life. The goal of these clubs was to better our local and global communities through service, and while trying to make a difference my own life was changed for the better. Through community service, I became more aware of the world around me, and how lucky I am to live the life that I do. My generation is inheriting a world plagued by injustices such as terrorism, police brutality, racism and gender inequality. It breaks my heart to see the suffering in the world. I feel guilty to have been born into such a privileged and blessed life. But I can watch the news and wonder if there is any good left in the world, but I know I have the ability to be the good. And if we all try and do good, the world would be a better place.

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  6. Megan Lizotte

    I believe in the power of human interaction. When said aloud, it seems to be the most commonplace, basic thing that can be believed in. However I challenge you to, instead of brushing off each interaction, notice the effect that it has on the individuals involved. Take for instance the simple grocery store or doctor’s office encounter where the person entering before you either holds the door open for you or keeps walking. Though a trivial and seemingly unimportant gesture, the appeared politeness of the person that chooses to hold the door open a little longer to accommodate you changes the way they are viewed in your eyes.
    In my own personal experiences, I find that it takes just a little positive communication to change a person’s attitude or comfort level. I only truly understood how correct that statement is on one of my first days interning in a middle classroom last year. I distinctly remember being apprehensive until one student approached me with a smile and complimented me on my attire. After that moment, I felt like I could better participate in the classroom. I have seen this in many other instances as well, all of which resulted in the same conclusion: even the tiniest amounts of human interaction can cause the most profound effects and more importantly, when used in a positive way these small encounters can cause an enormous chain reaction.

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  7. Angelina DeLeo

    I believe that as Americans grow and mature we gain a sense of normality in tragic events due to how often they occur. Although the phrase “tragic events” is extremely vague and broad, when analyzed all the details come alive. Beginning with a more current example, the saying “black lives matter” is everywhere. This has become a powerful yet rather controversial saying used to protect and express value toward the African American lives who exist now and the ones that have been brutally taken from this earth for no valid reason. The fact that so many African American lives are still in danger in our current time period is appalling and humiliating to America as a whole. But the real issue that lies is how often we see the phrase “black lives matter”. Whether it is on twitter, posters or billboards it all has the same underlying meaning; too many African American lives are still being taken for no good reason and we are allowing it to happen. We see a frighteningly similar pattern with lawn signs that say “we love our local law enforcement!” for officers that have been shot and posters that say “pray for Paris” and “pray for Belgium” regarding recent terrorist attacks. These do not validate what have happened until America as a whole starts putting forth more effort to stop the tragedies. I believe that the frequency of tragic events has begun to settle in America and will not stop from a mere hashtag or lawn sign but will stop once we start to take action.

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  8. Ally Watts

    As a lifetime lover of the arts, dance appealed to me a great deal. When I was just eight years old in my third or fourth month of taking hip-hop dance, my instructor pulled me aside and explained to me that I was far too advanced for the beginner level. He proceeded to tell me that I should move up into the intermediate/advanced level with the older, more experienced students; needless to say, I was extremely grateful. Ever since then, for the seven years following , I was dancing with the older students and taking all sorts of styles of dance such as contemporary, jazz, ballet, tap, and of course hip-hop. I would soon put more focus into hip-hop and take advanced and competition level classes the last four years of my attendance to Dance Fusion in Tiverton, Rhode Island.
    At the studio, I was introduced to a new hip-hop instructor, Alex Dacamara, and I completely fell in love with his style, attitude, and enthusiasm. Outside of the intermediate, advanced, and competition level classes I took with him at Dance Fusion, he led a group of young adult dancers he’d known from high school, better known as ILLusion Crew. I’d danced for Alex for about three years, and in the summer of 2013, he told me he was so impressed with my abilities and asked if I would join ILLusion Crew. To say I was grateful is an understatement.
    As I continued to dance for ILLusion as well as Dance Fusion, I asked if Alex would choreograph a hip-hop solo for me to compete and perform with- he gladly accepted the request. We worked for hours and hours on end, late weeknights and early Saturday mornings to perfect my execution of the choreography, and as time went on we became extremely close. I shared with him every struggle I endured between home and social life; as it turns out, he was really, truly listening to every word I said. It wasn’t until I had learned the entire piece that he really sat with me and broke down each song, lyric, and movement that the piece incorporated and its significance to the story, my story, he was intending to tell through the dance.
    Every movement, transition between movements, positive and negative space in each song of my solo coincided with the struggles I had faced and that’s when it became clear how inside myself someone else could become, and how easily they could cause me to expose my innermost self without words at all. Had I never danced for Alex, I would have never found that I could dance for myself.

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  9. My parents always tell me “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet”. I’m sure a lot of people in my generation have been told the same thing even though they spend more time on the internet than their parents, therefore having more experience deciphering what and what not to believe. Television media has a big voice in our society, and I believe that it has been negatively influencing our way of life.
    Obtaining news about what is happening in the world highly important. We need to know what is going on around us to keep ourselves safe. However, this does not mean one has to turn on the television to FOX News or CNN. The problem with television news is that it never shows the other side of an argument. When looking at an internet news article, there is always a ratings and comment section, where anyone can express their thoughts on a subject. This allows the viewer to look at the facts presented and not be indoctrinated into certain opinions.
    There are topics that corporate media refuses to even discuss, such as third party candidates, the trillion dollars of student loan debt, and for-profit prisons. These issues are constructive for the people of America to know about, but not gossipy enough for big television networks to cover. Thankfully, social media offers users multiple sources for information. The more we learn about what is happening through viable internet sources, the more informed and constructive our decisions will be.

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  10. Evolution. It was first heard from Darwin who defined it as a process by which different kinds of living organisms are thought to have developed and diversified from earlier forms during the history of the earth. Every organism evolves to survive in the environment that they live in, it is constantly changing. Humans are a part of evolution, we used to need our appendixes and both our kidneys, now we no longer use our appendixes and can survive with one kidney. Evolution could also be described as “the gradual development of something, especially from a simple to a more complex form.” Synonyms would include: development, innovation, advancement, rise, progress etc. Humans do not just evolve physically but we evolve as a way of living.

    Naturally, we humans are competitive, it’s just who we are, Darwin just didn’t apply survival of the fittest to us physically but mentally as well. We are always competing with one another to better ourselves, it’s a drive that inspires each and every one of us to keep innovating and evolving. It allows us to leave footprints for the next generation so they can carry on our legacies and evolve from what we left behind. That is how the human race improves every generation. It is why now we have electric cars, solar panels, Iphones, Macbooks, 3D printing and so much more. That is why I believe in evolution.

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  11. Brie Harrison

    “Tony, stop that! Stop that right now, they are going to call the police on you, Tony!” said the man on the train, who I assumed was Tony’s caretaker, yet not a trained healthcare provider, because of the way he was yelling, and eventually swearing, in frustration. Tony had a mental disability, and was not responding to the man. The train came to a stop, and Tony was taken to a local hospital because his behavior was getting violent.
    The sad truth is that frustration can quickly turn into abuse between a caretaker and the disabled individual. This has much to do with the fact that most people do not know how to take care of disabled individuals like a professional does. It is easy for a person to get frustrated when they are not trained to cope with the disabled’s unique behaviors. I believe that simple training classes should be provided, through healthcare, to family members that must take care of disabled individuals, especially the mentally disabled. This could help to create more positive outcomes and environments for the disabled, and could aid in whatever outside treatment they could be receiving.
    As a nursing student who hopes to specialize in the psychiatric branch of nursing, it truly does break my heart to hear about the abuse rates of people with mental disabilities. I believe that better teaching of family members and caretakers would help relationships like so to become more understanding an efficient, reducing stress for both people involved.

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  12. Marquis Jones

    I believe Life and Liberty should be a tacit entity everyone is entitled to no matter what. The fact that this was included means that some corruption was afoot. The settlers moved to the land of the free for a reason not to mimic the very system they fled from. Moreover we have noticed the morbid way our civilians are treated by law enforcement. The ones that were sworn to serve and protect and not to harass and chastise. It’s understood these men are risking their lives everyday and just want to protect themselves along with everyone else. The numerous accounts of the same story being shared on the news is unacceptable.
    We need to take a step back and realize what is occurring before our eyes. The laws once set forth are being ignored and the public seems to be oblivious to reality. Our founding fathers would not take too kindly that we are allowing this to take place and not using even our right to peacefully protest. Nowadays we don’t juxtapose right and wrong but rather the wrong and unthinkable. This double negative does not come out to be positive as we watch our country slowly falling into turmoil. The devil’s playground is no place to make America but we’ve started the creation with all the hate and pessimism permeating in the air. Especially for the youth to breathe in and accept instead of seeking to reform the future for the better.

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  13. Kevin Brawner

    As stated in the United States Declaration of Independence, “All men are created equal”. I think this is something that has been lost throughout history. I believe everyone is equal and should be treated equally no matter who you are, who you know, or what you have. This has been and likely will always be a problem in our society. Everyone is created equal but not everyone is treated that way. I believe that no matter whether you are the president of the United States or a farm worker, entitlement to certain privileges because of your social standing is unjust. We are all equal and should be treated that way. Reduced punishments are clear examples of this. Recently a local teen was arrested for DUI, intent to sell, and possession of marijuana. His father, however, has a high political profile in the state. Once the police found out who his father was he was released from his cell and all charges were dropped except for possession. I found this unfair and very frustrating. I believe it to be corrupt that someone can break so many laws and potentially go to prison, yet just get off with a fine because of personal and social connections. This is an issue in our modern society and it needs to be fixed before it gets worse. As John Locke once said, “All mankind….Being equal and independent”.

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  14. Ruby Rosario

    The Henderson Inclusion K-12 school began when an elementary school and inclusion middle school combined, additionally high school grades were added. Before becoming a full inclusion high school they incorporated with a program called Best Buddies. This program taught that building a community full of diverse students can be successful in a school as long as everyone is aware and respectful of participating in being in an inclusive school. This program is called Best Buddies where people with intellectual impairment are considered equals.
    Best buddies is a organization that brings together people with intellectual and developmental disabilities with those who do not have those challenges. Their goal is to end the isolation that this group of people sometimes experience. I was encouraged to participate in this program and was assigned a best buddy. Her name is Alexa and she has an intellectual impairment. During our time together in school we play games, we talk and help with creating small events for fundraising. One fundraising event was a gala where Alexa was one of the speakers. I was invited to offer encouragement because she was afraid to give her speech. This event was a big deal for our city and the Henderson Inclusion school because the mayor showed up to support considering it is the first K-12 inclusion school in Massachusetts. Best Buddies was a great experience for me to meet other students who face challenges I haven’t faced and I never would’ve experienced it if I hadn’t decided to make a change and participate in a community that is often overlooked.
    Some of the changes that have taken place in me since I’ve been in this program are that I am more appreciative of people with special needs which makes me less self absorbed and I now have an appreciation for programs that support people with intellectual needs. My friendship with Alexa has been very meaningful because I’ve learned that when you step outside your comfort zone and try to impact someone else’s life your life could be impacted too – for the better.

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  15. Hannah

    I believe in the Black Lives Matter Movement. But, I think it’s important to know that when people say Black Lives Matter they’re not saying only black lives matter. When people say Black Lives Matter they’re talking about all minorities. This movement is just to raise awareness of the unjust treatment of minorities. This movement isn’t to say some lives are more important than other lives. It is just to try to make everyone equal.
    The Trayvon Martin case really brought this movement into center stage. Trayvon Martin was a seventeen year old boy who was shot after an altercation with a neighborhood watch volunteer. This shooting resulted in death. This case became so monumental because the shooter, George Zimmerman, called the Sanford police telling them he is part of the neighborhood watch, believes Trayvon is a suspicious character, and he is following him. The police then told him to stay away because they will take care of it. Zimmerman continued to follow Martin. Shortly after this an altercation occurred once Trayvon Martin realized he was being followed. George Zimmerman then shot him in what he and the United States Government says is self defense. People are mad because Trayvon Martin did not have any weapons therefore people don’t believe he should have had to shoot him. Zimmerman was acquitted and was not charged for murder. To many people this showed them that the government doesn’t care as much about minority lives.
    These are just two examples of of ways minorities feel they were treated unjustly and unequally. There have been unjust killings of black, lgbt, muslim, and many others. There have been unjust killings of white people too of course, but, in the past years the killings and treatment of minorities is becoming extremely worrisome and many of the victims have not been getting the justice they deserve.

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  16. Emma Boc

    I believe that we should not be lied to in media.
    When we were kids, we were afraid of the Boogeyman. The thought of him would loom over our heads in bed and we would hide under our blankets to protect ourselves, like any rational child. Blankets would protect anyone. But we came to realize that the Boogeyman was more than a myth, only used by parents to make us behave, go to bed earlier, etcetera. The Boogeyman was falsely created to make us afraid.
    The Boogeyman still follows us as we grow older. The Boogeyman follows us in bloated news articles and false statistics, in the media. As adults it’s not fair for us to be lied to by our media in hopes of scaring us. We do not progress with false facts, we progress with the truth and how to overcome it.
    While preparing for my time at UMD, I took the “Not Anymore” survey. One of the very first statistics I was shown was “1 in every 5 females will be raped or sexually assaulted in college.” I found the statistic to be a bit, jarring. One in five seemed to be a bit steep for me. After doing some research of my own I found out that the ‘1 in 5’ statistic was very misleading and overly simplistic. Due to unresponsive participants, and vague questions a misleading ‘1 in 5’ was created over a possibly more truthful ‘1 in 53’. I feel like colleges use the ‘1 in 5’ statistic to scare incoming and current students.

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  17. John Schiavo

    There are many things I believe in, but one thing I can say I strongly believe in is equality. When I was born, I grew up in Everett Massachusetts. The city was very diverse and I had friends from all walks of life. l, myself am part Irish, African, and Polish. My biological father was African, and my mother was Irish and polish. My dad is Italian and Irish. My direct family whom I live with is white. When I was in middle school, we moved to Billerica Massachusetts which is a predominantly white. Throughout middle school I struggled with racist and hateful comments and actions directed towards me and the few other black kids in my school. My younger sister struggled in middle school as well when her time came due to the fact that she is bisexual. My parents are the most accepting people I’ve ever met. I could have had a friend with purple skin who was homosexual, with any religious background, and as long as they were a genuinely good person my parents would accept them. In high school there was a bit more diversity but I still seemed to have problem here and there. I wrote a newspaper article about how I didn’t believe in the shooting of unarmed African men and women. However, I also said I didn’t agree with the rioting and looting. Coming to college I was nervous that I would face the same problems I did in my other schools. I had to come to school a month early for camp and I was surprised. It was like I was home. No one saw color, sexuality, or religion. We are a team and I’m so proud to be apart of that. Everyone has respect for each other. Here, people are judged by their character, not looks or beliefs. There isn’t a school I would have rather have come to. This I believe in, is equality.

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  18. Nylia Humphries

    I believe in Gun Control. I believe the issue is far beyond the matter of obtaining a gun but who obtains the gun. A “white man” shooting up schools and churches may be viewed as mentally ill but a black man with a gun is a “hoodlum”. How do we find it that a majority of guns are lying around in “poor” areas; yet also in the richest parts of town. Does that mean poor people were meant to have guns and make it a way of life but for the richer they’re using it to defend themselves from people like “us”? You can shoot someone and the quickest claim may be is that they were “protecting themselves”. So, a boy with a hood on and some snacks in his hand was dangerous? He was shot and killed. What about the couple simply driving with their toddler? Killed. Was DJ Henry dangerous when he was pulling out of a no parking zone? Killed. Was my brother Alan dangerous? He was brutally murdered; his body Left laying in someone’s front yard when he was shot to death on his 10 minute walk home from work. I guess these black men were all hazards to someone. I believe in Gun Control and equality in the races. No child should ever attend a funeral of another brother, sister, or friend like I have. I believe in gun control and equality in the races because my people are the biggest target. Everyone is a target because there is so much hate in our world. We live in a society where people only see color and it’s a constant war; a battle of the races. I believe in gun control because where I am from, there is no telling that there will be another day. Tomorrow is never promised. I believe in gun control because my elderly grandmother should not have a bullet hole in her front door. I believe in gun control because whenever I leave someone I have to say “be safe” like this is some type of violent video game that has no ending. I believe in gun control and equality in the races because I am young and black and every breath I take while walking down the street is a blessing.

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  19. Jacqueline Audet

    As someone who is a supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, I strongly believe that public restrooms should be used according to the gender preference of an individual. Gender identity has always been a controversial topic, confusing those who do not understand transgender individuals. Several months ago, Target released a statement standing by their belief that anyone can use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity, rather than their biological sex. They were not creating a new policy, but expressing their support for the transgender community.
    The reasoning for this is simple: Transgendered individuals deserve the same rights as everyone else. By separating them from the rest of the public (such as suggesting that they use “family” of gender-neutral restrooms), we are causing harm to them. Instead of making them feel like outcasts, businesses need to normalize those who question their gender identity.
    Transgendered people face discrimination on a regular basis from those who don’t understand them. They are often rejected by their own family and friends when they reveal that they do not agree with the gender that was assigned in their early life. Youth, especially, face challenges, since they cannot begin their transition until they are eighteen years of age. If they aren’t given the emotional support that is required from their families, life becomes much more difficult. Everyone wants to be loved and accepted the way they are, and being stuck in the wrong body can have a negative impact on a young person’s self esteem and confidence. They can feel that they are imperfect or not good enough the way they are. Nobody should have to live feeling like they are a mistake.
    In conclusion, transgender restroom rights are important because they validate the identities of people who don’t feel comfortable with the gender they have been told to live with. The sooner we normalize transgender rights, the easier it will be for everyone to accept personal gender preferences. We as a society need to view gender identity for what is: A part of everyday life that deserves to be treated as such.

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  20. Grant Mooney

    The person who has had one of the biggest impacts on my life was probably my father. Concurrently, one of the people who I fear and despise the most is also my father. My earliest memories are of his severe personality flaws such as his obsession with violence and undying need for personal validation. When I was eight, he finally achieved a lifelong dream of his. That job, ironically, was as a police officer. Independent of my father’s activities, I developed a thirst for reading starting with works of history. It became obvious that history was filled with men like my father, people who wished to enforce their will on others, regardless of the law. From Ancient Rome to the modern era, history was filled with unfair lawmen and lawgivers. However, history was also filled with people who stood up to these systems and people. I wanted to be part of such a group. At this point, I realized what I believe in; Justice. Justice for all people, regardless of whether or not they “serve the law”. And that all people, regardless of privilege, are truly equal before the law. Although I doubt I will ever be able to make a change as big as the earlier mentioned leaders, I hope to be able to find a way to help those who need it the most. I hope to one day be in a position where I can effect change for those victims. I believe in justice for all people, and I hope to one day make my belief into a reality.

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  21. Jordon DaSilva-Martins

    Jordon DaSilva-Martins

    I don’t know much, but I do know this; life shouldn’t be lived by simply working day in day out, paying bills, and waiting for the weekend. Life should be lived with loved ones. Most importantly I believe that life should be lived where you define your own meaning of happiness.
    To get through this crazy world we must find something that makes us happy and define it for ourselves.. For me I need to be able to do what makes me happy, even when I might be judged or reprimanded for it. I wrote an essay on how I spend my time serving communities all over. In response, my teacher written “what does ‘serving’ your community mean when you go to college? I ask because people are going to try to tell you how to spend your time.” I told him that no matter where I am in life, I will never stop serving the community because it’s what I live for and find happiness in doing. You are able to bond over when doing, creating memories that only you and that person shares. All in all, this is what I believe in; do something that you love because if you don’t you are just another machine in their crazy system of life.

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  22. Derek Sarnie

    I believe in empathy. I believe that this core value of our psyche is a major factor in what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom. The desire to help build, not destroy, is something that always been held very dearly to me. I came to this belief because I started to become politically aware when the state of the world seemed to be almost dystopian. I cannot express how much seeing nonprofit groups helping innocent bystanders molded my view of the average person’s innate temperament. The news is always filled with headlines of atrocities it hurts to think about. However, once in a while we’ll see an in depth report on the heroes of that disturbing event. The policemen, firemen, Red Cross, etc. risk their very lives to see that an innocent child make it out alive. I won’t sugarcoat the state of the world; it’s chaotic. What people fail to realize is that 9 times out of 10 this is a result of nurture, not nature. If you dig deeper however, there’s in good in nearly almost every bad situation. The innate empathy that we feel towards fellow man is the focal point of what’s “human” in each of us.

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  23. David Rachide Barthelemy

    We are told to believe in a society where all men are created equal under the eyes of God. That under the Constitution, a piece of paper that holds the same weight as in Bible in this country, we all hold the same rights, no matter race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or place of birth. For a while, I believed in this. As a child, we see the world so innocently. As a child, we are not born with bad intentions. No suspicious thoughts. Yet this society that we live is corrupt. At first we are taught that the if people act on these thoughts or intentions, the government would punish them. We call this “justice”. On February 26, 2012, the government failed us by not doing what they said they would do. Letting a man go, who used someone of another color’s physic, and wrongfully blamed him of malicious intentions, only to hide his own. A man who also blatantly disobeyed orders from the people who are supposed to protect us. Instead of serving justice, they swept it under the rug. But we didn’t learn from that. People of different colors and socials groups started acting out. As if they were immune to all this. As if they could treat anyone who is not like them as less of a person. In the past few years an extremely high number of people have been shot by the police and it’s not just people who classified as the minority. How do the people who are sworn to “protect and serve” us as American citizen deal more damage than any “thug”, “hooligan” or anything in that category would do. Where is the justice in the people who are sworn on protecting the law from lawbreakers but break the very thing they were sworn to protect? There used to be a time I envied my niece and nephew, black children who, despite being young in age, have dreams and aspirations that surpass many of the children in their age group. Now a days, I fear for them. I fear that they will in fear. The fear of not living up to the dreams they believe in. The fear that they will “have to” live up to the stereotypes of our people. There used to be a time where I believed that there was no hate in our magnificent country; that would be the “city on a hill”. There used to be a time where nothing could shake my belief. There used to time where justice used to mean something to this people. I no longer believe this.

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  24. Maivolnique Flumo

    What is empathy? Empathy is understanding the feelings of another person by seeing things through their perspective. In other words it is placing yourself in someone else’s shoes in order to feel what they are feeling. I believe that in order for us to thrive in society we must be able to as a whole posses the trait of empathy. Empathizing is a key component to solving major problems that occur in our present day society because it allows us to put our own ideas and belief aside and just listen. It won’t solve all the issues that occur in society but it will allows us to take a moment, pause,think and understand why people on the contrary side believe in certain things. The lack of empathy that some people posses leads to stubbornness and an unwillingness to listen to the ideas of others which can lead to division. The unwillingness to empathize are the reasons to the many arguments surrounding the debates of many social issues such as welfare, immigration, Black Lives Matter movement, the stigma surrounding mental illness, and so many others. If we are able to understand each other’s feeling we can reach a point of equilibrium and understanding. This equilibrium will allow for compromise which will in return lead to change.

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  25. De'Andra Clarke

    I believe in justice. What is justice exactly? I describe justice as giving fair treatment. Our justice system makes exceptions to this occasionally. Police brutality has been the main one recently. Police brutality cases have been increasing dramatically over the past couple of years. Last year there were 1307 cases of Americans killed by police. Surprisingly, barely any of the victims received justice for their innocent deaths. Most of the police officers were not convicted for the murder. They were given unjustifiable punishments like suspension. I believe the reason for policemen to walk free is for the government to cover their own indecent actions. Even with substantial evidence like recordings it still deems as not enough to convict officers. Over the summer this has sparked a lot of attention in the media simply because, as a country we are tired of the law abusing their power. If someone dies because of excessive force then the police officer deserves to go to prison. Everyone should be given a just trial. The law is supposed to protect us. The most troubling cases for me overall have been Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, and Eric Garner. Watching innocent people being taken from us because of racial profiling was saddening. Not everyone fits the prejudice misconceptions society has created. I believe justice can be achieved if police are treated and tried like normal citizens. If we all try to aim for justice it can be achieved.

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  26. Jonathan Villalobos

    I believe in humanity. I believe that humans Are not born to be malignant, but rather are taught or raised that way. I believe that as a community we bring out the best in each other.Humans help each other naturally,if we see someone in need, the general majority of people will try to help in anyway we can.We put ourselves in their shoes and try to make the best of an unfortunate situation.When it really comes down to it,we are all humans,regardless of race, culture or gender.
    People often point out the worst in humanity by talking about our countless atrocities,but there is plenty of points where people came together to help for a cause.People donate to help fight against disease or to help rebuild after a terrible storm or a hurricane.If people care about something,they will group together and do the best they can to help.In my High school one of our science teachers Ms. Flavel was diagnosed with breast cancer,we were all devastated by this news.In order to help her our school raised money for her by selling t-shirts with breast cancer awareness on the front and team Flavel on the back.Every Friday for that month,the majority of our school would wear the t-shirts to show our support.In the end, we all signed a get well card and the next year she came back and was thankful for our support.

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  27. Maria Ssozi

    As children we are surrounded by good and bad influences, we see hate, love, kindness, charity, selfishness, and the consequences of all the actions that come from these emotions. We grow up with clean slates, having a potential for good or bad. But no matter which path we take there is always a bit of the opposite in our hearts, because we can never good through the world without witnessing good or bad. I once heard someone say that we are not born hating we are taught to hate, and that may be true but if one doesn’t want to remember a less can’t the chose to forget? I believe that we decide, though our decisions are based on the influences around us. My decisions is based on whether those influences that I grew up with, are good or bad but not only that my decisions are based on what we choose to want to hear and believe. Lets say I raised in a loving, caring and wonderful home, my influences were nothing but good. In my twenties I venture out into the world and learn of all the thing my parents sheltered me from, I am not immune to any of these evils because of how I was raised but I decide if I let those evils become a part of who I am.

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  28. Ronnie Severino

    I was always a hard headed young man in High School. Motivating me was well beyond anyone’s power. I had the mentality that all adults wanted to see you do well, so when they gave me pep talks, and tried to get me to do my work and pass, I paid it little to no mind because in my eyes, that was their job so it didn’t seem genuine. The only thing that kept me motivated was my older friend Frank. Frank had dropped out his Sophomore year, and after me and him became close, he became a part of my academics making sure to keep me focused. To me that seemed a lot more genuine, for a young man who doesn’t care about his own studies to care about mine meant a lot to me. He always told me to remain positive, and that anything can be done with the right amount of effort. It was difficult for me to hear the news that Frank was shot and killed during some gang related activity. After that point, everything seemed downhill. Frank was one of the only people whose support really mattered to me so trying to stay motivated after his passing was incredibly hard. But I decided to use his death as even more inspiration to make him proud, so I kept my head in the books, and that’s what birthed my belief that If you never quit, you never fail which has now successfully led me to college.

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  29. Trang T Nguyen

    This I believe
    I believe that freedom of speech and expression should be available for all women, this freedom is an unconditional for all Americans however in my daily life, more so in media. I see oppression in different parts fo the world and I feel deeply sorry and angry for those who are at the mercy of others. In the pop culture we see middle east countries isolated in their geographical positions being treated cruelly. The woman for example must be covered from head to toe and must always be in the presence of a man. Showing little to nothing because the ownership from the opposite gender, to be owned is not a choice because of gender roles. The world has witnessed several examples of women being mistreated in India there is no safe haven for women from predatory men. In some chinese traditions women are possessions that must be pawned off for dowry reasons, being betrothed against their will. I believe that it is our duty to help women in particular in traditional countries in order for us as a species to advance. In media it is an exhausted topic where woman are seen as weak and need to be protected. Although that works in their favor for support and donations, it is vital to spread the word to keep the change consistent, however, consistency is not what we need it is exponential change. Unless this happens, the freedom these women seek and those who help these women will have no fruit from their labor.

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    1. Grant Mooney

      I completely agree with your idea of helping oppressed people. I feel that the idea of freedom is one of the most important.

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  30. O'Brian mchayle

    I believe in free will.
    Weather right or wrong we as human dictate our future. I’ve always looked at life, the meaning behind human purpose differently. To me free will is the innate power you hold to walk your own path and set your own boundaries. In January 2013, I was training at (NTC) national training center for the Army before deployment. There my team leader sergeant Urzi said to me “we do this because it makes a difference, not for shits and giggles. Win hearts and minds, thats how you change the world”. To this day I think that was one of the most powerful things ever said to me. With free will I put myself in the position to stand for justice, to wear that american flag on my right shoulder. We all make our own choices and no matter what path is walked it is all by free will. Freely engaging in the community I believe can positively impact the environment. You don’t need to be a soldier to be able to give back or think positively about your role. People in the medical field heal, teachers educate, police protect, business organizes goods and finances we need. We all come together through free will and bring along our beliefs to shape a positive community. I will always believe in free will, to carry out our own justice in the world.

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