Hi my name is Oscar, I am a 9th grader at life academy. For the last 3 weeks we worked on an upstander project where we choose a topic and had to figure out ways to be an upstander for that topic. My teams topic was Immigration, I choose this topic because it is something that affects me and my family which makes me really care about it. In this project we learned a lot about being an upstander and after this project being an upstander to me means someone who stands for people who are oppressed or less privilege. The actions that we did to become upstanders is we made a letter to ICE to talk about how immigrants are oppressed in this country and then posted that letter to youth voices, then we made flyers that we hanged around the school, we designed t-shirts to represent immigrants that are oppressed in this country, we made an instagram account (@Immigrants_R_People_Too) in which we posted facts and posted picture of us doing our actions, finally we responded to youth voices comments. In this project I learned how I can be an upstander in many ways to people, even just posting a fact about an issue or participating in a strike I can be an upstander to other people and it is a great feeling. Immigration is something that affects my family and I am really passionate about this topic and it showed how if I am passionate about something that i can create change. As a student I learned a lot about my peers and how they too were passionate about their topics. I learned how to be a helping hand to other groups and overall developed teamwork skills. I also developed a lot of leadership skills through this project to guide my team to the right path.

I learned that being an upstander can be hard in the beginning because you basically start from scratch and it can be hard to work your way up and become an upstander that is known. It is hard to be an upstander in a world where there aren’t that much of upstanders and it makes it difficult to make change about something that I care about when I don’t have that many others fighting for it too. I also learned about how being an upstander you can encounter bystanders than may push you back but you need to learn how to make that bystander an upstander and that can be very difficult. My next steps is to continue being an upstander for immigrants and continue to post on our instagram to make sure people are aware of the oppression that immigrants receive in the U.S. I want to finish my t-shirt and wear it to event so people look and think about immigrants and the oppression that they receive. Some advice that I give to upcoming upstander is that even if it seems difficult to create change for the thing that you are fighting for. Being an upstander is something that we need in this world and something that people urge and you can be an upstander and free people from the bubble of oppression that they are in. Upstanders are amazing people and something that this world lacks thank you for being upstanders.

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May 13, 2019 3:33 pm

Dear Oscar, I find it really amazing all the work you are putting into this project of yours at school. Immigration is defiantly a topic that needs to be discussed more, and changes need to be made especially during times like this. Being an up-stander is something that I think is important for people to know about, so that they can use this information later on if they ever happen to be in a situation like that. Being a 9th grader and trying to get your voice heard when there are so many adults who are over-looking all of us students because they feel we don’t know enough can be really frustrating. I think that working in groups and having the support of other students at your school can be helpful though when it comes to spreading the word about your topic and it defiantly helps improve social skills and experience working in groups. At my school we are also doing group projects about topics we are passionate about. Me and my group also happened to chose immigration because we all found that it affected our lives in one way or another, and we don’t want other people to have to ever worry about losing family members, or even worrying about our own safety in the United States. We have a blog all about how to help keep New York a Sanctuary City so that immigrants can come here to seek safety and shelter without having to worry about being deported. Please go visit our blog and check out our post (https://wordpress.com/view/nycasafehaven.home.blog)! Thank you! I loved your post and being able to learn about what you were able to learn.

Youth Voices is an open publishing and social networking platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.  See more About Youth VoicesTerms of ServicePrivacy Policy.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


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