The project I took action for was “No Drunk Driving”. The project was about how to transpose the fact that lots of people are dying and are getting into accidents and nobody is thinking about a way to find a solution. We tried to create change by taking action by addressing the situation to our community through presentations, flyers, posting on youth voices our proposal for a wider audience, making an instagram, and by speaking about this issue.

    Before being an upstander to me didn’t mean anything until I got to the 9th grade where we actually talked and experience some serious issues. For example, the teacher strike and talking about drunk driving are some examples to where I was woken up and realized that to be heard we need to come together and want to create a change for a better cause. Besides this is not only about supporting or saying “I agree” is about actually showing up and trying to find ways for a solution the the issue because if you don’t nothing will change. I realized after being affected by the teacher strike for example I wasn’t getting my education and that isn’t fine because I realized they aren’t giving us the resources we need to succeed. After that having my own experience from my topic about drunk driving I thought that we need to make a change because other people are going through the same as me and it isn’t fine. Being an upstander to me is to want to create change for the better that way future generations aren’t having to deal with the same we did.

    During this project I learned that as a student I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do to start creating change if I put my mind to something I care about then I will succeed in trying to make a change. As a person because of this project I realized that I am a hard worker and dedicated which can take me far in life. I need to keep a positive mindset and always think what to do next not just stop because I think I did enough to earn a A in the class. This project pushed us to think on how we can create change on the outside world on important topics and how not always will change be easy to obtain.

    As an upstander I learned that whatever you do will never be enough until you see the actual change was made. You should keep pushing and working on next moves not just quitting because if you quit that shows others that the topic was never important. We need to teach people and change their mindset not by force but by educating people. Also if we teach people from a young age it will have a bigger impact because they are the future and what happens when we are older depends on them and the actions they chose to take.

    Next steps from this project I will take is helping out my uncle with alcoholism because he is the reason why I chose this topic and what moved me forward when I felt like not doing hw. Dedication to this topic was the fact that I seen this happen to my uncle and I think getting him help or at least to not drink everyday would be a big step. For another issue probably I will work on it until follow up year because I know we will do a 10th grade defense about AIDS so that would probably be my next focus.

    For those looking to create change and become upstander I would advice to never give up and always think about what you should do next. Besides this also chose something you know you will be dedicated to work on that way you take it seriously and don’t feel bored while doing the project. “Believe in something Even if it means sacrificing everything”-Kaepernick

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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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