The objects in my shadow box represent my counter narratives and on the outside there is illustrations that represent my dominant narratives. When people look at me, they see a young women who doesn’t speak up for her rights and keeps her truths in silence. Society doesn’t truly know how courageous I am when it comes to defending my chosen identities because they represent the real me! In addition, I’ve chosen to include inspirational women quotes with a garden of flowers around them because we women are usually looked down on as “dependent” and “weak” when in reality we try our best to prove all those who doubt us wrong. Also, I’ve decided to include one of my assigned identities which is being an older sister. Many people may believe that this is the role where you “have to be perfect, smart, make no mistakes” and act like you’re happy even when you’re not. In my shadow box you can see how I’ve put a picture of both my siblings because they love me no matter how many mistakes I’ve made in life. They know that at the end of the day their Manita (sister) has picked herself up when she has fallen. Finally, in my shadow box you can see that I’ve united Mexico and El Salvador together into a heart with my baby picture in the middle. The reason for this is because I want to proudly show my ethnicity. Being Mexican and Salvadorian means beauty and strength no matter what anyone says because at the end of the day it’s in my DNA and I’ll forever be proud of who I am!

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CC BY-SA 4.0 Who Is She Truly? by Jessica is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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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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