When people look at me they might think that I’m dangerous or that I’m an immigrant which is my dominant narrative.But, I’m not dangerous nor an immigrant I am a strong independent Mexican female who enjoys competitive swimming and embraces her culture this is my counter narrative. I have chosen to include pictures of my childhood to show how I have grown up but also all the traditions that have been celebrated in my culture. For example my baptism, a few months after I was born my parents chose to baptize me because it’s part of my culture and religion most of my family is baptized and I want to continue this tradition as I grow older and have my own kids. Also, I choose to Include a white ribbon that has my name on it and symbolizes the date in which I had my first communion. I felt like this was important to include in my box because having my first communion is a tradition but it’s also a part of my culture that I wanted to include. I am Catholic and I love having faith in God because it makes me feel like I have someone that supports me even though I can’t see them. I chose to include my Virgen de Guadalupe because I have a lot of faith in my Virgencita and I was also named after her so that also shows that she is a big part of my identity and culture. I am Mexican American which means that I’m half Mexican and half American but I chose to embrace the fact that I’m Mexican the most. I included the Mexican flag because it’s where my parents were born and it’s a place that symbolizes my culture and where my ancestors are from. I am very athletic meaning that because I’m female people see me different but regardless of my biological sex. I choose to try my hardest and never give up. Many people might think a lot of negative things about me because of my race. I am a Latina who has a lot of power and I will not let anyone tell me otherwise or dehumanize me for being a strong Independent female.  


CC BY-SA 4.0 My Shadow box by Kenya is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

  1. Calvin 3 months ago

    Dear Kenya,
    I really like the way you decorated your shadowbox. I really liked how you gave examples of your dominant and counter narratives. What did the rest of your artist statement say by the way? Good job staying strong fighting against these dominant narratives ! Have you gotten any awards from competitive swimming? I would love to hear more about it.
    Thank you!

  2. Matthew 5 months ago

    dear Kenya,
    i really like the way your shadow box looks and the baby pictures are very cool

  3. Marleni 5 months ago

    Dear Kenya,

    Your shadow box is really beautiful. I like how you incorporated many pictures and objects to express your counter narratives. One sentence that you wrote that stood out to me was, “I choose to try my hardest and never give up.” That sentence stood out to me because it is good to have that in mind. Also, its better to have a growth mindset then a fixed one. Another sentence that stood out to me was, “When people look at me they might think that I’m dangerous or that I’m an immigrant which is my dominant narrative.” You as a young latina female it is very important to break down those sterotypes. You did really good work!


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Youth Voices is organized by teachers at local sites of the National Writing Project and in partnership with Educator Innovator.

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