November 28, 2022


Just Because – A Complex Maze

Just because I’m a complex maze without a center or exit 

Doesn’t mean I don’t cooperate, 

Doesn’t mean I can’t accept others,

Doesn’t mean I only care for myself.

Just because I’m a Gen-Z

Doesn’t mean my voice matters less than the majority,

Doesn’t mean you can ignore me like a broken seashell by the sea,

Doesn’t mean I will sit and let you run your mouth off.

Just because empathetic

Doesn’t mean you can play me like a game of Sorry,

Doesn’t mean you can run through me like the finish line in a track race,

Doesn’t mean you can hurt me.

Just because I’m a procrastinator 

Doesn’t mean I don’t get work done,

Doesn’t mean I’m a mindless, hopeless imbecile. 

Doesn’t mean I don’t understand urgency. 

Just because I look indifferent about others

Doesn’t mean I am not hurt by your judgment, 

Doesn’t mean I don’t know the pain of longing for warmth,

Doesn’t mean I can’t help someone when they’re down. 

I’m a complex maze without a center or exit… 

So why do people love to judge others and their lives based on one interaction?

Why do we tell people to be themselves when we can’t do it-

and end up judging them because we couldn’t be vulnerable?

Why are we such hypocrites, two-timing, two-faced creatures?

We’re all complex people in distinctive and unique ways

So can you please stop this maddening charade?

The Secret Life of the Items on the White Shelve

I waited and waited but there seems to be no chance of me being used again.  

“She doesn’t need any of you,” exclaimed the Laptop. “She has more uses for me, you know I have everything she needs!” He snickered and laughed. “I am the best, the favorite, the one she chooses! And you? What are you?” he questioned with a look of delight and supremacy.

“I-I…I am her notebook” I slightly hasted before replying. I didn’t want to get mixed in his little games of self-satisfaction. But honestly, I was not sure if I was her notebook anymore. I knew my uses and value but I was so rarely used that am just not so sure anymore.

“Really?! You sure that’s what you are?” he questioned with a smug look. “Because even when she got you she still questioned your purpose,” he continued on. “She has so many writing notebooks that she can use and you? You were just an extra she bought because she wanted to use her teacher’s money from the writing club. Even till today, I assume she’s still unsure if your use.”   

We were in our owner’s room in a white shelve right next to her bed. On the left side, her bed is next to a window and the right is the bookshelf which is between her bed and her sister’s. It is a small room that is shared by our junior owner and her eighth-grade sister. She is overwhelmingly obsessed with webtoons, manhwas, manhua’s, manga, and simping over hot but toxic characters. This may make her sound weird…. And… well, it’s not wrong… she is weird… anyway she is someone who loves to read to experience emotions of betrayal, love, hatred, frustration, trust, warmth, losing, excitement, fear, thrill, and many more.

So that is why I assume she is always with Laptop. She has the world’s library on the internet, anything she can think of she will find be it a genre-related book, a specific trope, or even for a book on one character… And here I am just a medium-small blue velvet notebook that she got from a writing club. Not only me but Sketchbook too. When we first arrived in that Amazon box, we heard how happy and excited she was, sitting on her bed ranting to her sister about all the “cool and awesome” work she’s going to do with us but, who know that was all in the heat of the moment.

It took less than a week before her interest dead in us. We were put on the white shelf, I was on the third shelf while Sketch got the worse of it. He was on the corner of the 4th shelf, the dark corner where she put items she rarely uses. Then laying on her bed she started to use the Laptop who was beginning to feel conceited.

I was so close yet so so far all at once. I seriously started to question my use for her. She was always with Laptop which made him feel superior, and he started degrading us a lot whenever he got the chance.

“Hey, sketchbook!” he called out. 

“Oh no… here he goes again” I mumbled under my breath in a sigh.

“She was so excited, our owner when she got you and made me feel kinda threatened by how much she was waiting for your delivery, but look at you know!” Laptop said to Sketchbook while smirking at him. “Abandoned at a corner in the shelve, oh how quick her interest in you died,” he said while laughing. 

Sketchbook looked so unfazed by his remarks but I could tell he was hurting while trying so hard to ignore him. “Enough!” I finally said out loud. “That’s taking it too far Laptop! We all know you’re the favorite so you don’t have to go rubbing it in at other items,” I say with extreme regret, annoyance, and exhaustion. “We all understand so please pip it down.”

“…HUUUUUHHH…?!?!? What’s this no-used notebook talking about, huh?” He looked annoyed that I was disturbing his blissful time of feeling superior and expected to have fun looking down on me. “Even the tiny 6 by 4 notebook got it better than you and is favored more! Even when his purpose is all over the place at least he is still being used so he can try and complain-not that is going to work-but you, your particularly an empty book with no purpose. So what right do you have to speak to me like your somebody special?”

He was glaring at me with amusement wanting to see what answer I can come up with but, before I could she walked in. It was her our owner but she’s coming in too early its still 6:22 pm she’s usually here by 8 or 7:50 on Fridays. She laid on her bed saying nothing only moving to hug the large white teddy bear as a pillow. Something was different. She was acting off. Yeah, she’s weird and maybe crazy-nevermind psychopathic crazy-but something was still off.

“See she’s here and she will use me. Just you wait and see. I am the best and only one for her to use…!” he whispered as we all waited to see what she will do and who she will choose.

To be continued.

Let Me Bring a Light

In This Kingdom II

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In This Kingdom II

Love is Fire

Love is Fire by Karla

Click on the right to go forward, on the left to go back.

A response to the poetry of Amanda Gorman

A New Beginning

Today we created our first posts. I am so excited to see our students come to Youth Voices and become part of this community. Especially during COVID, when I feel like the world is shutting down, this is a place to grow.


I’m suffocating , I can’t breathe
They on our necks with their knees,
They shooting at us before they tell us to freeze,
We tired of marching, I swear i’m ready to squeeze,
They get behind that badge, then they start feeling bold
They know they’re being recorded, ain’t scared to get exposed
Marching is getting cold my heart is getting old
My people need every step of stepping
But nothin had change
They told us Jesus’s coming
It’s time to fightback, we took enough L’s
Still yelling fuck twelve, hope they could duck shells
We’ll burn this bitch down
You’ll think the sun fell
R.I.P Sandra Bland, some of us tired of prayin’
This shit’s been out of hand, I feel what Pac was sayin’
Protect and serving who? Our sons don’t have that privilege
And if your skin isn’t bright enough then you look suspicious
Hey I wanna forget something’s I did
But my memories are tattooed on the dreams I live
We get arrested just for our chocolate color
I will surrender my hands up I’m not afraid
I fight for answers untill I get my way
I will die knowing I lost to a Impossible Game  

Just Stop

What can you do to promote a positive identity?

What I can do to promote a positive identity is to be kind to others and call them by their names, and not just their race. Labels can hurt people. Hurting people is not promoting a positive identity. Let’s keep the labels away and promote a positive identity by referring people by their actual names. Labels shouldn’t make you think that someone is automatically “this” type of person. 

What can you do to discourage the promotion of stereotypes?

In my opinion, I think that some things you can do to discourage the promotion of stereotypes are to stop stereotyping people. Stop stereotyping people outside in the streets and thinking every person who lives in a bad neighborhood is “bad”. Stop thinking that every rich kid is “spoiled. Stop thinking every Asian knows “kung-fu” and etc. Stop putting these labels on people, especially on people you don’t know.

Dear World, A Letter About Car Shows

Dear World,

Truck shows are amazing. It is a place where people who own trucks go to show off their hard work. People work hard to make their trucks special. For example, people have a truck for 10 to 15 years just working on it.  They add cool parts and paint jobs. They are constantly working on them to make them look really cool.

One of my favorite things to do at a truck show is to look at all the different trucks and talk to the owners. I learn a lot about trucks just by going to these shows and asking questions. One of the most important things I have learned from other truck owners is that it takes time to get your truck the way you want it. When you go to the show it is called a meet up. I really like hanging out with people who like trucks as much as I do. The meet ups are a lot of fun.

 I have a truck of my own. It would be called a project truck. A project truck means you are going to work on it over the years to build it to look nice. I am just at the beginning. I am working on the engine adding parts to make it go faster. Some people race trucks but I don’t.  

The people that host the truck shows are always throwing in prizes and trophies to the best club and best trucks in the show. The rewards honor how a truck looks, like the paint job, the rims, the interior, and the overall look of the truck. People enter lots of contests and are always working on their trucks. I want to earn a trophy one day.

People can show off their trucks

  • They get to win  trophies
  •  You get to ask questions to truck owner 
  • You get to leaner about a lot of trucks 
  • I show people my trucks

How Music Impacts My Life

Music impacts my life in a positive way.

 A quote from the research that says why music is calming.

“The type of music you play generally affects your mood. People have individual tastes for different situations — from the gym, where people who are exercising tend to listen to more upbeat music, to someone who’s working on a project that requires concentration.”

   Music can have very different impacts on people.For the most part music can have a Positive impact. Music can make you a better person and here’s how.According to research It works like emotions so if you are in a good mood you will give.When you are in a bad mood you won’t give and you will be upset.

   Music can make you a better person.Music can make you a better person because it can change your thought and emotion positively.Some Evidence that can show that it can change you for the better is in In the article written by Kyle Scnitzer it talks about how music can help with a positive attitude. The article says He added, “This could indicate that while people with negative affect and thought prefer sad music, they might do better with more positive music like heroic music.”This is the evidence that explains that music can change the way we think not only positive but also negative.Research says “ Music changes perception, research shows. Summary: Music is not only able to affect your mood — listening to particularly happy or sad music can even change the way we perceive the world, according to new research. … However, such mood changes not only affect  how you feel, they also change your perception”

   This paragraph will be about how music can change you healthier.Music can make you healthier in many different ways such as mood,Working out,And motivation.We already talked about how music can change the way you are Physically and mentally.In the article written by Jill Suttie it talks about how getting up and dancing to a song or going to the gym listening to music will motivate you to work out and can help your body.Some evidence in article By Jill Suttie has this quote, “Researchers in the United Kingdom recruited thirty participants to listen to motivational synchronized music, non-motivational synchronized music, or no music while they walked on a treadmill until they reached exhaustion levels. Measurements showed that both music conditions increased the length of time participants worked out”.

  Also,This paragraph will add on to the first paragraph and how music gives you positive thoughts and helps boost your mentality and your the first article goes more into detail.For example some evidence for how music can change you positively. “We’ve all felt strong emotions listening to music. Sad songs may bring us to tears, while joyful music can make us feel euphoric. While melancholy music can move us in fascinating ways, there is power in that second category, too. Indeed, one way music may make us better people is by making us happier and therefore more likely to give of ourselves.” 

This piece of evidence from the article explains that music has feelings for each type of music. One important part of this is how music can change you negatively.In the Article written by Jill Sutti talks about how music changes us in a negative way by explaining how mood can mainly focused on by music. In the article written by Summer allen it talks about how Sad music can be bad for your mood because it changes.

   Finally,This last paragraph will be about my opinions on music and a small playlist i made with some music that can start your day.My opinion on music is it’s the greatest thing of all time I can listen to music for ever.Music helps me throughout the day and helps me focus and get through school.Personally I like artist like Juice WRLD,Travis Scott etc.The playlist made for this paper is classics and happy music that can help you start your day.

   My Spotify Playlist For This Paper:

   My Spotify Account With all My Playlists:

Here are 5 songs on the playlist,Why I chose them.

1.Dancing Queen. I Chose this song because it is just a classic and it’s a very positive filled song and can get you moving.

2.Sugar,Sugar This song is very classic and it’s something that you put on and instantly start grooving to it

3.Walking On Sunshine is another song on this list because it is filled with happiness especially in the title!!

4.I Wanna Dance With Somebody Is another song i chose because It’s one that you can listen to and Instantly want to dance.

5.I Don’t Love You Anymore Was my last one because it’s one of my only Lo-Fi Songs On the playlists that can get you into your feelings.

Sources used for this paper:


Open Letter To People Who Enjoy First Person Shooters

Dear Gamers,

If you like first-person shooters you should definitely check out Tom Clancy’s rainbow six sieges. You should play R6 over other first-person shooters.

You should play Rainbow because it’s the best first-person shooter over any other. It’s the best fps game because its realistic and a very fun game. Rainbow six siege is one of the best fps games because of the realism the game has and the active the community the game still has from when it first came out in  2015.

The game has up to 50 million players as of September 2019. Rainbow six is a game where there are 3 game modes, Bomb, secure area, and hostage. These game modes consist of a 5v5 and if all the enemies are dead you win the round but in the game modes, the objectives can get you the win as well.In the bomb game mode you have to plant the bomb and prevent the defenders from defusing it. Winning is very satisfying especially when you are playing ranked because then you rank up and play against other people that are in the same skill level.

The tactical realism is basically how realistic the game compares to real life. Realism is different because it can vary from graphics to how detailed the game is. Recoil control is an example of tactical realism. For example, using an assault rifle in another fps game the guns recoil control is stopped by an attachment or by just looking the opposite way. In R6 recoil control has a pattern so when you learn the pattern you just do the opposite of the pattern and you shouldn’t have any recoil. Recoil is the spring a gun has and that is what sets the gun to spring up. Another would be headshot damage. For example, in other fps games like Call of Duty, the falloff damage for headshots don’t instantly kill an enemy. In R6 Headshots are 1 shot instant kill.

My last point would be the game engine that the game runs off and why the engine matters. Rainbow six siege runs off the game engine AnvilNext2.0.This is important because its how the game runs off its in-game realism. Rainbow six uses one of the most realistic engines. Rainbow six is a different game every single round. The game can be played outsmart with callouts of where enemies are roaming And were the objective is, or rush into the objective the first 30 seconds of the round. But This doesn’t bring any evidence of why the game is realistic. The rounds are different because every round you can take a new route to get where you want to go. A lot of the walls in the game are called “soft walls” and these walls can be breached with just about any in-game operator. When enemies are defending and you are attacking some bomb sites That are downstairs or upstairs and with this scenario you can bring a breaching operator like one called ash and breach the floors to get a better angle on the enemies and they won’t see where you are coming from.

You can make the switch to Rainbow or you can just stick to whatever type of FPS games you like. I won’t make you choose rainbow over every game. This is just an opinion based letter.

Kids should be able to sleep late

Dear Early Birds,

I know everyone thinks school should start early. You know, the early bird gets the worm and all that stuff.

But you know what?

There is a lot to be said about getting enough sleep so you are ready to learn. I think kids should have the option to go to school later.

I feel like schools should have the option for later start days in the week. I know that knowing if I went to a school that had a late start day I’d want to go. I wouldn’t have to get up that early.

I know that I have a really hard time getting up in the morning. I never want to go to school. I think that if some schools had a late start day or an option to do online school kids would want to go. Even with kids that don’t like school.

I know that school is not my favorite thing in the world. I like how my school has said you have to be there before 12 so if I sleep in or I’m still tired I don’t have to go right at 8.

I think that most schools should have the chance to have a late start day or have an online program. I think in my opinion kids should have these options because I think that it could be better for kids who can’t always get to school on top of every day.

They should have these options to succeed in school even if they can’t get there every single day. If kids are falling behind I think this could be a great program for them to get caught up. In conclusion, I feel like schools should really have these programs for kids or something like that.

I know that the program at my school program is really helping. I know I didn’t want to come at first because I had to wake up at 8 but now that I know it is helping me succeed I want to come.

Having the option to work at a center and set my schedule is helping me finish my classes and be successful.

One of the late birds

Photo by OpenClipart-Vectors (Pixabay)

Harry Potter

I am a student in an independent studies program, and I’m here today to tell you why you should read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s a really good book that has adventure, magic, and mystery. When you read it,  you’re actually there because of the details from the author. The characters have exciting personalities. For example, Harry Potter has an exciting personality throughout the books because he’s always trying to solve a mystery

The Harry Potter books are not boring. Plenty of exciting things happen. At the end of the last book, Harry Potter was able to kill a piece of Voldemort’s soul using a Basilisk’s tooth. Since the end of the last book was exciting, I can’t wait to find out how this book ends. Hogwarts, the witch/wizard world is amazing. It feels like it is real and full of adventure and mystery. The details make you know what’s happening around them and the magic spells and books feel like they are actually learning those things.

Image: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by Gwydion M. Williams on 2017-04-06 11:49:05

1990s Rap vs. Now

Dear Music Fans, 

My name is Cory Escobar, I’m also a 17-year-old who is in love with music from back then as the 1990s because of the vibe they give off to some people. Although I really like this type of music, many people find it very hardcore and just don’t like it in general. You might be wondering what type of music I’m talking about but I think we all have an idea of what it is. Rap. Rap back then in the 1990s was such a controversial thing and it really made people feel a certain way of how and why people would make music like this. Some people would blame things on the rappers making the music because it would make other individuals act and what they caused them to do. Most people have an opinion on how it really made them feel and why it made them feel like that. I think people overreacted to them and the music but everyone does have a different taste than other people on every subject and how it affects people. 

From 1986 to 1991, there was a group called NWA who was a little controversial in society. They used a lot of words that were really at issue which made a lot of people mad and upset with their music. They made people act up towards the police because there was so much police brutality back then and it wasn’t right for so many reasons. They would accuse the rappers (Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren, DJ Yella) of being thugs and would stop them or have certain rules for them at shows. They have a very popular song called F*** the police which is very political and talks bad about the time when the cops came to the group because of how they look and not because of what they do. They did use harsh words but it was really just them expressing their feelings and telling them how it really affected them and made them feel like they were in the wrong and it created a lot of riots against the police and black and Mexican people because of the way they looked and acted. 

I think the rap now and the rap then really changed and how many people listen to ugly stuff now. I really don’t like the music from nowadays because it makes me feel like they’re not really talking about anything that’s currently happening or what’s going on. All they really bring into society are drugs and they fake a person they’re not, some of the teens now who make music talk about them struggling through life when really, they were given everything and they handed them everything as a kid and never struggled. As a person who does struggle, I don’t enjoy listening to music that is out now I like the old stuff because it really explains and shows feelings towards life back then and coming from people who really did struggle made it good for me to listen to. I just simply like listening to something that I can relate to and not fake anything. 

Dear Grandma

It was the summer of 2015 remember? You got the news that two of your grandkids were coming to Mexico. My mom told me that you were happy to finally meet my sister and me. 

The first time I saw you, you had a huge smile across your face ready to love us to death. But as much as I was excited I felt lost. I didn’t know anyone and I had already gotten closer to my dad’s side of the family. When you came I was having so much fun with my cousins I didn’t want to leave. You took us to see one of my many tia’s and I noticed my new cousins. They just stared at me and didn’t say one word to me after we exchanged hellos. None of them were my age. They were either too small or too grown up with kids. Then we went to your house where my mom took her first steps and also where she was literally born. 

I was becoming bored. I had nobody to play with and everyone was just going for the clothes I bought. That’s when I asked you when could we go with my other grandma and you told me in a bit. We didn’t really spend time together because shortly after you had us taken to our other grandma. 

I knew there were days I was supposed to go with you but I would remember how bored I got last time. So I decided not to go. That was the last time I saw you. 

Summer of 2016 we went to visit once again but this time I was ready for all your love. 

But when we got there my uncles told us that you were in the hospital because you weren’t feeling well. All I wanted to do was to see you and hug you and say how sorry I was for being a brat. My uncles said that it was no use taking us to the hospital because they wouldn’t let us in to see you. I told myself it was okay, that you were gonna be okay. That I would just tell you how sorry and how much I love you next time we come. 

It was still summer of 2016, I was coming home from school and saw my mom sobbing. I asked her what was wrong and she didn’t answer me. My dad said, “ Your grandma has passed away.” And at that moment I felt my heart shatter. 

You were supposed to tell me stories about my mom when she was little and how my grandpa was the most loving man. I felt like this was my fault I took you for granted and now I have lost you. 

I still think about you every single day, I think about all the what if’s, but I know it won’t change anything. I know you are with grandpa now and I can’t begin to tell you how much I miss you and wish we were here. You will always be in my mind and heart. Thank you for leaving me a piece of you within my mom because every time I see her I see you. I know you will be keeping safe from up there. Until we meet again. 

With love,  Joceline


Dear Fishermen,

Stop overfishing. Fishermen should stop overfishing because if they overfish too much tuna it can become an endangered animal. Overfishing is when fishermen go out to catch too many fish of the same species and not letting the fish reproduce eggs. Overfishing can destroy the environment and marine ecology and completely disrupt the food chain. 

Some of the sea animals that are being caught and killed a lot are Sharks, rays and turtles are three more species that have been victims of overfishing.  According to“Worldwide about 90% of the stocks of large predatory fish stocks are already gone”. 

All fishermen should respect the rules and only catch their limit. “Annual catch limits aim to end and prevent overfishing. By the end of 2016, only about 8 percent of approximately 90 annual catch limits were exceeded”. When we overfish too much of the same species it can become extinct.

Fishermen could still make a living even by respecting the city rules. 

Because I enjoy fishing and I would like everyone being able to fish without having any problems


Dear People Against Gun Violence

Dear People Against Gun Violence,

To teens, adults, parents, teachers, high school students, and etc. Something needs to be done and it needs to be done before the next generation goes through the same thing our generation is going through. To the people who have seen someone they love get killed right in front of them due to gun violence can eagerly relate to this and even to the ones who did not experience this. Just imagine one bullet leaving you damaged for life. It sucks going to school not feeling safe. This needs to change. We need to be able to go to school feeling safe and getting an education without having to feel frightened. My purpose in writing this is for change to be made before this gets out of control.

I have read this amazing book called, “Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds. This book made me really look into the serious side of gun violence. In this book, he talks about losing his brother to gun violence. A 15-year-old kid is willing to pick up a gun to get revenge for his brother. This is harming the youths’ knowledge about the consequences that come with picking up a gun. When you read this book it emotionally makes you feel what he felt when he lost his brother. There was a part when he says, “Gunshots make everybody deaf and blind especially when they make someone dead”. When you read that line what does it make you feel? Have that thought for a second.

I got the chance to watch the video, “Teens On Guns in America” by NPR.  This video encouraged me to write this open letter. The video got me angry, not just angry but eager to make a change even if this doesn’t reach many people at least people will see this. This started after the shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Fl. You can hear the hurt of these teens all over the world after the incident. 15 teenagers talked about something that happened in their life in relation to a gun. Some talked about the family members they lost and honestly, it was heartbreaking. Even more heartbreaking that these students were in a situation that almost risked their lives and killed their classmates. Sadly this is what this world has come down to.

I read an article called, “Parkland Shooting: Where Gun Control and School Safety Stand Today. Something that stood out to me is when one of the students that survived the attack said this,“In the course of the next year, students would change the way the nation handles mass shootings, spurring new gun legislation and school safety measures, and holding to account the adults they felt had failed them”. This stood out to me because this is from a school shooting survivor. He felt this way and he spoke up about it bravely, hoping for people to understand him. He talks about students making a change for the nation about gun rules.

Overall these are some of the articles, books, and videos that touched me. In my own perspective, I  don’t think I would be able to move on with my life after someone got killed in front of me. These kids are strong and deserve much credit for what they are doing for the world that many adults are not. I hope this open letter gets people to really realize what these kids are doing for the world and elevate them. If a difference would have been made many lives would be saved and the next generation will grow up not feeling the way I feel.

Dear People Who Are Against Gun Violence

To teens, adults, parents, teachers, high school students, and etc. Something needs to be done and it needs to be done before the next generation goes through the same thing our generation is going through. To the people who have seen someone they love get killed right in front of them due to gun violence can eagerly relate to this and even to the ones who did not experience this. Just imagine one bullet leaving you damaged for life. It sucks going to school not feeling safe. This needs to change. We need to be able to go to school feeling safe and getting an education without having to feel frightened. My purpose in writing this is for a change to be made before this gets out of control.

I have read this amazing book called, “Long Way Down” by Jason Reynolds. This book made me really look into the serious side of gun violence. In this book, he talks about losing his brother to gun violence. A 15-year-old kid is willing to pick up a gun to get revenge for his brother. This is harming the youths’ knowledge about the consequences that come with picking up a gun. When you read this book it emotionally makes you feel what he felt when he lost his brother. There was a part when he says, “Gunshots make everybody deaf and blind especially when they make someone dead”. When you read that line what does it make you feel? Have that thought for a second.

I got the chance to watch the video, “Teens On Guns in America” by NPR.  This video encouraged me to write this open letter. The video got me angry, not just angry but eager to make a change even if this doesn’t reach many people at least people will see this. This started after the shooting of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Fl. You can hear the hurt of these teens all over the world after the incident. 15 teenagers talked about something that happened in their life in relation to a gun. Some talked about the family members they lost and honestly it was heartbreaking. Even more heartbreaking that these students were in a situation that almost risked their lives and killed their classmates. Sadly this is what this world has come down to.

I read an article called, “Parkland Shooting: Where Gun Control and School Safety Stand Today. Something that stood out to me is when one of the students that survived the attack said this,“In the course of the next year, students would change the way the nation handles mass shootings, spurring new gun legislation and school safety measures, and holding to account the adults they felt had failed them”. This stood out to me because this is from a school shooting survivor. He felt this way and he spoke up about it bravely, hoping for people to understand him. He talks about students making a change for the nation about the gun rules.

Overall these are some of the articles, books, and videos that touched me. In my own perspective, I  don’t think I would be able to move on with my life after someone got killed in front of me. These kids are strong and deserve much credit for what they are doing for the world that many adults are not. I hope this open letter gets people to really realize what these kids are doing for the world and elevate them. If a difference would have been made many lives would be saved and the next generation will grow up not feeling the way I feel.

Open Letter for Women’s Rights

To Whom it Should Concern:

Why do people have to have so many expectations for women? 

We are told growing up we have to look a certain way act a certain way and can’t do things men do because we are women and not able to or if we do we are too manly. According to society we are meant for cooking and cleaning and listening to the men in our lives and doing things for them. This makes boys think they can treat us bad and that they can tell us what to do when it shouldn’t be like that, we should be able to be independent and we are able to do jobs just as good as men and we aren’t weak just because we are girls. Many girls feel insecure or are too afraid to be the way they want to be because they will be judged.

Another big issue is everyone thinking that because a girl dresses more revealing that she doesn’t respect herself or that she wants guys to look at her or get at her. Women don’t dress for other people it is because we feel confident and pretty and we shouldn’t have to feel scared that dressing the way we want will attract men and will make them think we are asking for it because it is not consent just by a girl being confident in her body. There are many times where I have seen online people saying that girls ask for whatever happens to them just because they dress more revealing, we should not be blamed for what a guy does without consent. I have even seen girls put down other girls saying it is their fault too and a girl to another girl should be more understanding. Many women are fighting for us to get the rights we deserve and not being blamed for another mans actions and us girls need to work together and not put each other down like some girls do because it can happen to any of us and we need to all work together so it can stop. We should not have to worry about what will happen if we walk out the house in the clothes we feel good in. We need to work all work together so this can stop and teach all the kids now how to treat women and that we are not just objects so that in the future this is not an issue. 

Another thing is women being judged and called murderers for getting an abortion. There are a lot of people who protest in front of abortion clinics screaming at the women going in and it is wrong a women should not be attacked because she chooses to not have a baby. Some women don’t have money and can not provide for a baby or they know they are not mentally stable and will not take good care of a baby so they choose to get an abortion and it is a good thing that can help many kids from being in bad homes. Many people argue that it is wrong and murder and that they should just put the baby for adoption but there are already a lot of kids in the system and there are a lot of foster parents who abuse the kids and a lot of them live bad lives going from home to home. Women should not be told they are wrong because of what they choose not everyone is ready for a baby. Another reason a women might want to get an abortion is because they get pregnant from rape and recently there were a lot of protests about women being in the wrong for getting an abortion after rape no matter the age. It is wrong and a women does not want to have a baby that was made from rape because it can remind them about what happened and it can be very tramatizing. In some places it became illegal for it and a lot of the government was on all the rapists sides and not sending them to jail but sending the girl to jail if she tries to get an abortion in another state or if she tries to do it herself. It is very sad that the government would rather send the victim to jail and not the person who was actually in the wrong. Other men should not have the right to tell us what to do with our bodies.

I hope that in the future we get to do what we want with ourselves and our bodies without being judged or told we are horrible people because what we choose to do. We need to teach the kids now what is wrong and how to treat other people so in the future no women or even men have to feel like what they chose to do with themselves is not right. We also need to teach the little boys that it is okay to be nice to women and to show feelings because there are a lot of men with toxic masculinity and it makes them think they can be the way that they are to women.

Dear People Who Think Doing Drugs and Gun Violence Are Okay

Dear People Who Think Doing Drugs and Gun Violence Are Okay,

To kids, adults, parents, students, moms, dads, and etc. Do you realize the effects that this has on your family or even your kid? When it comes to your kids you let the drugs have more meaning to you, the one that grew inside your tummy, the precious one. How can you choose something worth so less over someone who means the world? My purpose in writing this is for these people to understand the lives they are ruining and people they are letting down. Imagine losing your little baby over someone who picked up a gun inattentively. Or being the one taking a poor innocent kids life over your madness. 

This is a serious cause, something that should be screamed in all the microphones in the world. Something needs to be done kids are being taken from their homes, people overdosing, innocent people being killed over nothing, and lastly parents wondering where they went wrong in life because their own kid chooses drugs over them. We need to come together and do something, change the world for the better.

I am going to get further into this and give examples and points. Point number one is drug abuse. Drug abuse is when you are addicted to drugs or take it illegally. For example, people do it thinking they can stop as soon as they snap their fingers. The answer is no, they can not stop. They will let the drugs take over their lives and even their families. Drugs can harm someone in many ways but mainly it has an effect on the brain. 

The second point is gun violence. Gun violence is violence taking place with a gun involved. Many kids die from gun homicide every year. It happens mainly in homes that are connected to family violence or domestic. Surprising fact, this is the second leading death for teens and children in America. This also takes innocent kids lives and leaves families broken. The last point is drug overdose. Drug overdose is when somebody’s body has a way to many drugs and their body reacts to it maybe by not being able to not allow any oxygen in. For example, drug overdose is the main death in the U.S for people under 50. 

Overall these are things that need to be taken seriously and dealt with. Enough work is not being done to help make a change. I hope this letter gets people to connect and build an organization or do community work to help solve these problems, not just that but anything else. I also hope my open letter gets people to relate to how I feel about these problems in the world, not just these but many more and get touched. 

Education is very important

Dear Education,

I remembered walking into you knowing I’m going to have to make new friends and have to be with them for 8 hours everyday but saturday and sunday my heart was raising walking into class knowing if i want to achieve my dream and get there i have to work hard and have no one stop me from what i’m doing.

If you don’t do it young, then you’ll never do it, in my opinion

My role in educating as a student is not just to do what I want, but to make mistakes. Education has helped me turn weakness into strength.

Education has given me empowerment to make mobile and gives me access to social networks. Helped me stand up for passing violence.

The human race has made important progress in the past 7 million years.
It helps me stand up against wrong and for the right, it helps me progress, gives me a healthier lifestyle and helps me be more productive. Thank you, for making my life way easier I learned more about my society when I ain’t know.

I am from

Please listen to my poem and let me know what you think.


Please listen and let me know what you think.

If You Really Know Me

If you really know me, you would know that I’m afraid of 
Spiders because they look scary
If you really know me, you would know that I’m proud of
My dad because he’s a very grateful man 
 If you really know me, you would now that my biggest dream 
Is to be a doctor to help my family when they’re sick
If you really know me,you would know that the person I feel closest to 
Is my brother because we don’t always agree but we always have each others back.
If you really know me, you would know that If I had three wishes 
I would wish for to be a doctor when I’m older or join the military, get a bigger house when I’m older, and get a car
If you really know me, you would know that I believe 
In what my dad tells me, do your work finish your homework and that education is important and leads to a better life.
If you really know me, you would know that my 
Family is a very big part of my life and I will help them to the best of my ability if they need me.
If you really know me, you would know that I really
Love my dad and my oldest sister because my sister gives me a home to come back to and food to eat and my dad who is a hard working man inspires me to  work hard.
If you really know me, you would know that I feel safe 
When I’m with my family 
If you really know me, you would know that 
I’m nice to people. 

I Am From

I am from poetry books 
From the sweet smell of pumpkin pie, lifting throughout the house.
I am from pink rose
Soft and lovely 
I’m from celebrating Christmas and New years with my family
From my sister Yareli and my brother Jonathan
I’m from dads little girl 
From “take care of the kids” 
I’m from Catholic songs and dancing nortenas 
I’m from Jamul and Chula Vista
From eating adobada tacos and chicken pasta 

Just Peace

You can find peace anywhere at any time. 
Just close your eyes and think of a place 
You want to go to. Then open your eyes
And feel that feeling that you have 
inside of You, listen to your heart.   
You are strong, 
Stronger than the dark powers you fear. 
Don’t worry about those bad feelings.
Peace doesn’t have to make sense,
It just has to make you happy.

Noemi Garcia Gonzalez


Can we make HSHMC the best school in the universe?

Hi! I am Dr. Ilko and I am so excited to be working with you this year. I was born on December 8th in a small city called Downey California. But I am a San Diego kid at heart, making my home here when I was three years old.  I grew up in Clairemont, spending most of my life in the same neighborhood. A turning point in my life came pretty early. I was an only child, and my parents split when I was 13. I had to grow up pretty quickly and learn how to do things on my own.  My friends became my family when it was just my dad and me in high school, I was blessed to have friends then that are still with me today. When it was time to go to college I decided to attend San Diego State. I spent my entire college career there from my undergrad in teaching,  then my masters, and after a really long break (about 25 years,) I just finished my doctorate in educational leadership in 2018. I think I am the perfect example of the never too late to learn pillar. 

Some important things to know about me are that I run on coffee and adventure. I love to try new things and I am willing to take risks. I am not very athletic, but I love to workout and get outside. The beach is my happy place and if life gets rough you will find me there. I am married to my college sweetheart Rob, and I have two kids Alicia and Steven. Both my kids have ties to HSHMC, Alicia taught here for a semester a few years ago while working on her teaching career. She just got married this past summer and is now teaching first and second grade in Santee.  My son Steven was in the first class of HSHMC and will be graduating medical school this spring from Carver Medical School at the University of Iowa. So I guess you can say HSHMC is in my blood.

Teaching has been in my blood. I am entering my thirty-first year and I have taught second grade through adults in my career. This is going to my fourth year here at HSHMC and I love all the opportunities we have to learn and grow here. The Independent Surgeons Program is a special place at Health Sciences High School. This program is designed to help you reach your goals and aspirations using both digital and face to face instruction that meets your needs. I am working hard to create a program that is a space that not only gives you the academic courses you need but also allows you to explore your own interests. That means that we will be doing a lot of collaboration together, tailoring your classes to your interests and skills. I am here for you and I can’t wait to see what this year brings as we work together to continue to make HSHMC the best school in the universe!

Happy Place

Walking in with so much joy, set my backpack down in the colorful room that is appealing to your eyes. They taught me how to sit criss cross but never taught kids how to treat all kids the same. Different kids, me the definition of different i did not ask to be this color, wear something over my head and to believe what i believe in. Unhappy with the 8 year old i was, i was lost but over the years i learned. As I walk through the garden with the sewage smell that I seemed to find relaxing, the blending color of flowers, hearing the butterflies wings flapping, the sweet apples growing from the apple tree, the touch of the moist and warm soil brought me more happiness then the playgrounds. 8 year old me confused, happy, sad, angry, worried, and lost. The garden, the magical garden that cured sadness and brought happiness. My happy place.

The Beach

Skin showing suns out.
Bodies full of water.
Waiting in lines.
Rides are exciting.
People laughing.
Making jokes.
Running around to
Be first.
Ice cream melting
Food smells really
Good and looks tasty
A little bit of sand not
Too much. Stores full
Of cute things. 

My Mind Map

  • Pollution
  • Plastic
  • Animals
  • Danger
  • Etninct
  • We need to help

Hope After the Chaos

I am from the West Coast
I am from the sandy warm beaches in California
From the beautiful sunsets
I am from the sweet taste of vanilla bean frappuccino from Starbucks
I am from loud Mexican music blasting every Saturday morning
I am from a broken home
From a place that hasn’t felt like home in a while
I am from heartbreak
From feeling like I had everything
To feeling like I had nothing left
I am from healing
From working towards becoming a better person
From changing my ways
I am from feeling like the world might be ending
From feeling like there is nothing left to keep fighting for
I am from not losing hope even after all the chaos
From starting over the next day
I am from anger
From not letting things go
From keeping grudges
I am from an independent woman
From a woman who wanted to save herself
From a woman who wanted her kids to have a better life
From a woman who sacrificed it all to start over
From a woman who wanted to better herself
I am from 


The street I grew on
The street I call home
The street I learned to ride my first bike on
The street I got my first scar on
The street where I learned how to throw a ball
The street where I chalked on
The street where I almost died on
The street where I had my first fight on
The street I came home to every day

Berry Street Park

The Found Poem

Boba is gross,

Almost done with my class,

It’s too quiet and calm,

It’s funny how now that there’s like a week

left of school everyone wants to do work,

Its funny when Dr ilko gets mad,

She forgets stuff all the time.

Second Chance

One of the places I love is my classroom. In this class, I have met so many great people. People who have taught me the meaning of friendship. I was in a bad state when I came into this program. My grades were the worst they could be but this place handed me a second chance and making me realize a lot.


be wrong , realize it and LEARN


you smell the sea breeze.
The food is really good.
It’s always busy every day.
There are mostly crazy people.
I wonder if they care of
How they act in public.
Smiles and laughter.

Pork Skin

My backyard.
The place where I spend almost my entire day,
Playing with my dogs and cleaning up their mess,
Picking up their toys and putting them all together,
The smell of dog fills the air as long with their pork
skin smelling bones we get them from Walmart,
The sound of birds chirping all around the fence,
Waiting for the dogs to get away from their food bowl
to steal their kibble and then fly away.

Poetry of Place submission Information

I submitted my poetry of place to The Caterpillars Magazine. Its a magazine that accepts poems and writing from teens over 16 years old.

Skin Color

Are colored people given a fair chance in our world? Or does their colored skin speak out for them? No one gives them a fair shot to show people who they truly are. Your skin color is everything. Your skin color is either important or not important. Your skin color is YOU.

Sea World

walk in & be greeted by ducks,
adult ducks alone or with their family,

you walk out the gate all you see is guest,
smiles everywhere followed by confusion 

trying to find the next place they want to visit,
the smell of cooked turkey legs fill the air,

along with the cold ocean breeze,
welcome to sea world

My American Creed

What does it mean to be American? Is it freedom? Equality? Being American means not being criticized or put down because of your skin color. Being American means having a word in anything and everything. It means to have our own point of view without judgment! Our promised rights should not be taken away from us. No slavery. No discrimination. We are promised by the First Amendment, Freedom of religion, Freedom of speech.  We have the right to remain silent. You have the right to refuse! You have the right to calmly leave. We have the right to live, the right to pursue happiness! Why should we let the freedom that we are promised as an American to be taken away from us? Stand up and stand out! That’s the point of being an American. You have that right as an American.  

My 17 years of living I learned a lot. I have seen a lot. Read a lot. I take classes to be educated about my rights. I honestly see no point of it. Don’t let this nation trick you. They say as an American we have freedom and much more. Do we really though? Our nation values freedom, equality, etc so much but we don’t have freedom of speech. Our voices are not heard. Well they are heard but not acted on. We are not equal. Racism exits still in our nation. I see racism in my own city, in my own grocery stores. I seen racism all over the internet. Colored people are being killed. I see discrimination everywhere too, Just cause we are black, that means we are bad.  I seen slavery around me also. Being a slave just doesn’t mean being treated inhumanely, it also means not having the privilege to have the knowledge that we should. 

Being black is stamped on my forehead. Being Muslim is also stamped on my forehead. As a young teen I walk around being mean mugged. Or treated unfairly. Just because I have that scarf around my hair and im black, i’m a bad person. I was at the grocery store just over the weekend. This white man decided to look at me awkwardly. Then he decided to push my cart on purpose. He seen that cart right in front of his eyes, he decided to push it, then start laughing after he seen me get angry. I witnessed myself and my family experience racism. 

If this is a nation where we care about each other´s rights, we should start fixing a few things. Like the way we treat each other. We should not discriminate someone because of their skin color. We need to open our eyes and realize our nation is really messed up. And it’s been messed up for a while now. It’s sickening seeing the way we treat each other. We need to be build that nation we been dying to have.

My American Creed

My American Creed

My American Creed

My American Creed would be a strong Chicana, who will get through anything the world throws at her. Growing up my mother taught me to never depend on anyone, get your education and how you should always have your own job, backup money,bank account and your own car because you never know when that person will leave and if they’re the only person with an income and have everything under their name then you’ll be stuck and not know what to do. No matter what my situation is or how good I’m doing I always have to have a secret stash hidden in case of an emergency.

My mom and grandma helped me understand that if someone isn’t helping you better yourself then they don’t have a purpose to be in your life. I cut off anyone who doesn’t help me become a better person. For example me and my father are too much alike and would always bump heads and were always fighting about something. Regardless if they’re family or not if they don’t help you and only bring negativity into your life then you have to cut them off. Not everyone in your life is permanent. Growing up we didn’t have much but my mom and her mom always made sure we had what we needed to get through life. I always have to make sure that my decisions don’t end with me being on a shirt or without my freedom. I am the strong woman I am today because of them. They showed me how to always know my worth and never let anyone belittle me.I’ve learned from them to always keep my guard up because people don’t always have good intentions. You can’t get hurt if you never let a person into your life. Regardless of where I get to be in life I’ll never forget where I came from or what I went through in order to be where I am, I’m super proud of myself.

Once I moved back in with my mom I was still new to ISP and she gave me the support I was lacking and I started doing way better in school then I was doing in any of the other two schools I went to. I went from probably not going to graduate on time to only having two short classes left and plans of going to the community college and getting my Associates. ISP helped me because it’s a smaller amount of students, the teachers actually care about you and want you to succeed. Teachers actually hearing me out and understanding that I can sometimes be a slow learner. I’m sure if I didn’t change my behavior from last year I’d be  a super senior with a really bad GPA and no plans to continue going to school after graduation high school. I still don’t know what I’m going to major in but I’m sure I’ll figure it out soon.

Designer Clothes

People say you should never judge a book by its cover. But we all know that people make decisions about others just by looking at them. When I hear people talk about dark skin people I kinda get upset because I am dark skin myself, but deep down I know that I am just as good as them because I worked hard for what I have today. Many people tell me why I never talk much, I sometimes tell them because I feel weird when I talk out loud. I’m not really used to talking out loud, the people I talk to a lot is my girlfriend or my family or just basically people I’m comfortable with in general. I believe People should not be judged by their skin color, but I also believe people create their own images based on what they wear and how they act. Me, myself I personally do not care what people think of me. The only thing I care about is my apparel and how I dress myself.

I have an obsession with designer clothes. A lot of people ask me, why do you only wear designer clothes? I always tell them that I don’t like it because it’s expensive and I care what other people think of me no that’s wrong, I wear it because I like all my clothes to be nicely tailored. I really don’t know if you’ve heard of “Hugo Boss”, it is a really expensive brand, but if you ever have the chance to go there and try something on you will definitely feel the difference between regular clothes and designer tailored clothes. But back to the point, in my opinion, I’d prefer to pay a little extra and feel better about myself and feel way more comfy in a more layered outfit.

Now just because I like to wear tailored clothes, I want you to understand that to me it doesn’t matter if you are wearing a 4,000 dollar outfit, to me, it only matters how you wear it. I can wear a 40 dollar outfit and still look better than the person with the 4,000 dollar outfit. Because me, myself, and I am more into style than price. Back when I was a freshman in high school I use to always wear nice outfits with dressing shoes, and I also won best dressed that year. But now I lowered my style because I use to always get there late because every morning I use to take like an hour just to get ready for school. I mean it was fun dressing like that because I use to get a lot of compliments but it wasn’t worth the hassle of being late.

I came up with this way of carrying myself because I had to learn it on my own.  It is important for me to look good and to take care of myself because I want to prove to people I can do it on my own. My dad was almost never with me so he never taught me how to dress nice and also how to make my own money.  So I started working with my brother so now I have money to treat myself, That’s why when I say I buy designer all the time is because I work for it and I like to wear it.

My family has taught me that many people will suffer and many people will succeed, but you get what you put into it. Like my mom and dad, they work hard to buy what they want and the same goes for me I work with my friends to make money so we can spend on what we want. I think you should not take advantage of your parents just because they have money, you know that they also work hard for that as well to support you with food, shelter, and expenses. Trust me if you work for your own money you will feel like you accomplished something big in your life, like as if you could buy anything you want as long as you work for it. So what I’m trying to say is that appreciate for what you have now don’t waste it, because one day that will go away.

Remember you get what you work for not what you wish for.

Photo by Bludgeoner86

You Have To Own Who You Are

          I believe you have to own who you are. What made me come to this belief was when I started growing up I realized I had to own who I am and not try and be what other people expected or wanted me to be. This was both an easy and a hard thing to learn.

            People are just there to judge but they don´t judge themselves. Your life is what you make it so you should make the best of it, because you can’t go by what other people think and want you to be. For example, my parents want me to go to college and get a career level job but I want to join the Navy. I want to join the Navy  because I have seen some people join the military and it has completely taken over their minds and they became this new version of themselves in a positive way. I have seen my cousin come out and be an amazing example of leadership and honor. I would like to join the Navy and become a nurse. I think I will get great real life training there and I will be able to help people while serving in the Navy and after I retire.

          As I get older, I have the opportunity to choose my own life and actions. If someone tells you that you can’t make it then you should strive harder so you can prove them wrong by showing them that you can and will be better than what they ever thought or imagined. For example, last year I was behind and this year my goal is to do my work and graduate early next year. I switched programs and started to come to school everyday,  staying after school to do my work I want you to remember this, you can choose your lifestyle and you will become whatever you set your mind to it is all about setting high expectations.

Life and Loss

Be ready for what life is going to put you up against.

Because in life there will be deaths and you have to learn to overcome them because you can’t let that pull you down. The one day that my belief was challenged was when my Grandma died. It was after her death when I put my belief into action. I lost my grandma to cancer it had spread from her ovaries to her stomach so when they tried to treat it it was already too late. It impacted me very harshly because Life isn’t fair because you will always lose someone special you just have to learn how to deal with it.

My Grandma helped me in many ways. I had a very strong connection with my grandma there were some days where I would help with everything Garden, Cooking, Watering plants, feeding the animals. She helped me learn Spanish, She taught me how to cook little things like eggs and beans when I was 7, She taught me to have manners if she hadn’t taught me to have manners I would be a rude little boy. She would take care of me as if i was her son, She would always make sure that I was always well rested and fed well. She was a positive influence because she taught me to always be at my very best. It was because of her that I actually felt like finishing school. She told me “Don’t you want to help your mom”?? I then realized that the only way I can help her right now is by going to school, Suddenly I was motivated to start doing better in school.  

One day my life suddenly changed. She died because of cancer, it was from her ovaries to her stomach. It had a huge impact on me because of those things we got close and when I lost my grandma I felt that a part of me left with her.  I had known my grandma was sick but I never had imagined that she would be taken from us so quickly. I was playing video games in my room, and I heard my mom pick up a call (it was my aunt). They were having a normal conversation until I  heard a change in the tone of voice in my mom, moments after I Heard herself throw herself to the ground I dropped what I was doing and rushed to see what had happened. She only said 4 words when I asked what’s wrong.? “She didn’t make it”. At first, I didn’t know what she was talking about it took me a while to realize what had happened. After I figured out what had happened, we immediately started packing some clothes to go to Tijuana, where she died. when we arrived(2 Hours Later)  there were at least 3 parts of the family there. We spent time together just trying to be there for each other. It isn’t something I can easily get over.

Some days are easy and some days are hard but talking to friends makes my day much better and also much easier to handle the loss. But there isn’t just friends it is also family that are keeping in touch with me asking if I’m okay. When I had told my friends about this they started, talking to me a lot more than what they used to, They would make sure I was ok every day, Remind me that if I ever needed to rant or talk they were there. All the little things like that make me happy.

I am going to honor my grandma by Finishing school, getting a job, and helping others. To “Celebrate” her I am helping my grandpa with his shop. Remembering is the easiest part because I spent 11 years with her. But I would say that the memories are why I remember her so much.

It’s Not Always Forgive and Forget

Honesty is the key to my trust. I don’t trust a lot of people but if I do trust you, you’re lucky. So to lose my trust it must suck. I believe that being honest really matters. Mostly because everyone that I know lies to me. Most of my family members have lost my trust, and respect. They do things that family should never do to each other. It’s called family for a reason right? So then what’s the problem with keeping your mouth closed? I don’t know. Every single day I see them and act like everything is okay when No it really isn’t. I really should’ve just kept my secrets in but I couldn’t help myself, I actually thought I could trust them.

The way I think of Honesty is important to me. It is something I strongly believe in, I know that I, myself have broken some peoples trust as well and, I know how it feels so that’s why I believe it’s so important. Honesty can make a relationship healthy with a loved one, or even a friend. But it’s because all that lying does is create problems that leads to trust issues, nobody wants that. I never thought that I was going to go through the stuff that I’ve been through but stuff happens. Stuff always happens, even when you don’t want it to.

I was in 7th grade when my mom had told me I broke her trust with tears in her eyes. It was because of something I did in school. I didn’t really understand what she meant until I felt those exact words towards my cousin. I realize now that trust is SO important. It’s important because you can tell when someone trust you because they tell you things like it’s nothing, like it’s something they’re okay with you knowing.

This is why I believe that honesty and trust are important. And they’re important for many other reasons but those are the reasons it’s important to me. As for other people you need to know you can trust someone for almost everything. Being honest is something you either do everyday or when you desire to. That’s the reason for trust, you can never know when someone is lying unless you have proof, or they might really be telling you the truth.

So I believe that Trust and Honesty is something we should use in our everyday life. Especially because lying might just get you into trouble. Being honest might also get you in trouble as well but it will always be better to just tell the truth. Most people don’t really care until the worse happens, that’s when they realize just how important honesty is. The more trustworthy you are the better people will know you can handle things. So this is why I strongly believe in Honesty and Trust.

Family Comes First

I believe that my family is what shaped me into who I am. I’ve come to believe this because we’ve gone through a lot to get to where we are today. My brother, my dad and I have went through dark times together. This belief was tested when my dad was at his lowest and we had to live in his friend’s living room. The living room was small, and there was two medium sized couches but my dad had to buy a fold up mattress so him and my brother could sleep on it while I slept in the other room with 3 other kids. We had to share one bathroom, didn’t really have our own privacy as much and we didn’t really like the food they made, so we mostly ate microwave food. A couple months later we moved into our first apartment. He did all of this on his own as the only financial contributor of the family. He handled everything:  providing clothes, a roof, and food for us, as well as taking my brother and I out for “Sunday Fundays.” He cooks every night even when he’s tired and drained from work, and he gives us everything we ask for; even when he doesn’t have it, he does what he can to make it possible.

I put this belief in action when, as the older sibling, I took care of a lot of the responsibilities my dad couldn’t handle while being at work. I had to clean the house, do dishes and sometimes cooking for my brother if he was hungry. I had to mature faster than a lot of people my age because of these responsibilities. I realized I had to stop asking for things I wanted and only ask for things I need. Also, because of my belief, I was motivated to find a job in order to be more self-sufficient.

My beliefs are true because it was and will always be us. We’ll always stick together, argue with each other, and make choices with each other. My dad has taught me a lot about responsibility which further reinforces my belief. This belief has taught me a lot and motivated me to do good things and this will impact me in the future because it helped me grow up earlier at a young age and provided me with an advantage over many of my peers.

Be Comfortable In Your Own Body

I believe that everyone isn’t comfortable in their own body. One person might think that their body isn’t the perfect shape. Another person might say to themselves: “I’m too fat” when they are just not “model skinny.” Someone else might think “I’m not tall enough” or “I’m too short.” The truth is: they shouldn’t really care about that. It makes them unique. For however uncomfortable they maybe be, someone else could think “I wish I had that body” instead of their own. At the end of the day, they should be comfortable in their own body because it’s the only one they have.

Even though I believe we should all be comfortable, sometimes I struggle with my own body image. When I was young, I was super skinny. It got to the point where I got bullied for looking like a stick, so I wanted to put a stop to it. I decided to gain weight. When I did, it was all okay for a couple months until everyone started tease me for being too fat. That when on for about 3 years until I developed  eating disorders (bulimia & binge eating disorder). To this day, I still have it and it’s not something I can control.

What triggers my binge eating is when I’m bored or having free time in my hands so I continue to eat and eat even if I’m full. I have tried to fight the urge to overeat, but it’s like a switch that turns on and off. Once I start, I can’t stop, even if I’m full. The more free time I have, the more often it happens. I think if I stayed active or kept myself busy, I wouldn’t have so many opportunities for this kind of behavior, but the fact is, I just get bored.

It’s hard for me to feel “okay” with my body but when I do, I just don’t feel okay I feel great. Amazing I feel over the top and that’s when i know i didn’t go over eating and i had a good work out session. A message I can tell someone who is going through the same thing I am is to talk someone get help because you are not going through this alone you have people to help out

Family Comes first

I believe family comes first because family will always be the first people to be there for you. Yeah, everyone can have friends but friends can be there for you for a while but not always for the long run.

Your family is there for you through your bad, sad,and happy moments. For example, I had met this girl in the beginning of my sophomore year and we really did not like each other but then we had got to know each other pretty well after a few months. We became best friends and did everything together everyday, but when we started our junior year she started acting weird. She wouldn’t really talk to me, and it really bothered me. She started hanging out by herself she seemed like she did not want nothing to do with anyone. No matter what I tried, it just didn’t get better.

From there we just stopped being best friends. I honestly I didn’t tell her anything because that was her choice to remove herself from being my best friend.

My mom always gave me advice on everything she was my number one person to go to when I had problems I really had more trust with her then friends. I told her what happened with my “Best friend” and she told me that she probably need time to herself she probably had things going on so i just left her alone.

Not everyone will stay in your life forever we will meet new people throughout our lives.

Another example is that me and my cousin from my dads side, I remembered that she and I would always fight and stop talking to each other over little things.  We would try to stay mad for at least an hour. but we couldn’t stay mad forever. We were family we would always be there for each other no matter what we needed to talk to each other because we would also make each other laugh and smile.We make jokes we talk about everything we always apologize to each other after arguing or having our fights. I have learned not to stay mad, it isn’t worth it.

What I’m trying to say is that family will always be there for you no matter what the situation is because they truly care for you. Friends can tell you they care, but they don’t show it like my family does.

I Am From

I am from dark brown eyes, from long brown curly hair and from bad tan lines
I am from the smell of apple cinnamon
I am from the giant palm tree from outside my house, from her strong roots
I am from the laughing Buddha, from the need to rub his belly
From Achoy and Mendoza,
I am from the sunsets and from the bad acting of novelas
From the “I love yous” and “echale ganas” (put in effort)
I am from the tomatoes and goats
I am from sacrifices and risk takers
From the car my dad’s humbleness and from my mom’s unconditional love


You Attract What You Think

The law of attraction can shift your entire life, only if you grasp how it works and absolutely believe in it. The law of attraction can essentially be interpreted as, “you attract what you think.” You target things you desire the most, rather than the stuff or baggage that you don’t care for. For instance, if things aren’t going great financially, you should focus on the positive, and be grateful for having a roof over your head, and food in the fridge. The Universe will reward you and make things better. Though instead, most people stress over never having enough money. Those thoughts manifest, and the Universe will offer you more monetary complications.

I came across a book called “The Secret” written by Rhonda Byrne around 4 years ago, outside my school. The cover was very old-timey, I picked it up thinking it was going to be a book about pirates or something, only to find out that my biggest icons practiced the law of attraction. Big Sean, Jim Carrey, everywhere from comedians, to rappers, to even Nobel Prize-winning Albert Einstein. It was hard for me not to be curious, so I went home that day and decided to do more research on it.

Although a lot of people believe in the Law of Attraction, there is really no scientific evidence to support it, and it has earned the title of being a pseudoscience, which can translate to a series of theories, beliefs, or practices that are considered scientific, but have been disproved because it can’t be tested. How could I be fooled into believing in a law that is under the same category as Bigfoot or El Chupacabra?

I decided that changing my lifestyle and trying to even just have more positive thoughts never hurt anybody. I would wake up and give thanks for everything I have, health, a loving family, free education, etc. I started noticing small changes in my life, which at the time I mistook for bits of luck. Finding money on the floor, having someone pay for my drink at Starbucks, it was all happening because I was manifesting my positive thoughts. After reading that the Law of Attraction was a pseudoscience, it bummed me out. It had just as much proof of being real as the Flat Earth Theory does. I stopped reading books on the LOA, stopped giving thanks, and even got to the point, where I started letting my temper and head flood with negative thoughts. I realized that my life was obviously better before. I decided that even if it wasn’t scientifically proven, and not accepted by most, did it really hurt me to dedicate 15 minutes to practicing positive thoughts and affirmations? No, of course not.

You cannot see the Law of Gravity, but it affects the whole world every day, and the LOA is a law, just like the Law of Gravity. Understanding the concept of the Law of Attraction is something that will take effort and patience in your part. I practice the LOA and will continue to practice it by keeping up with my vision board, avoiding the word “no,” being kind to everyone that I come by, so that in the future, I will only have positive situations happen to me, and to manifest everything that I aspire to have and be.


I Believe … Creativity is one of the most important things in life because if we didn’t have it then life would be even more difficult. It would also be a lot less fun, for example if people didn’t have creativity then things like trains, bikes, phones or even games wouldn’t have been made, that would also mean that creativity wouldn’t be able to grow even more than what it is now, it wouldn’t be able to spread to others for everyone to enjoy. I believe one day someone will have so much creativity inside them that they will try to make something never before seen or things people just think that are made up or impossible to do.

But everyone always says that and yet there always proven wrong another thing I believe is that everyone  in the world will have creativity and make something special for themselves or for the people they love or even random people you just meet. I hope I’m still alive the day they make it so I can live my dream before I die I also have two other dreams ones about creating my own game with my friends. I believe it would be amazing because in the game you would be aloud to create whatever you want but you have to collect all the materials by yourself or with friends and fight monsters that drop them or some that are guarding them. Some of the monsters would be too strong for one or many people which will force people to get creative on how they would  take down monsters.

They could also get creativity on how they themself look, they could even make there on skills by adding their achievements together to make it, they could even chose what they are and last but not least they could even create monsters, people or things from other races if they wanted to. This game is made for people who have creativity it also decides how strong you are in the game and my last dream is to create my very own manga for everyone to enjoy I also  hope it gives other people some creativity to make their own manga and so they also would wish to make it into a anime and spread joy to others so they would make something with their own creativity.

Also creativity isn’t just one thing and it doesn’t always have to be important to others or to yourself for example when someone creates a doll they don’t usually care about what others think about it and sometimes they don’t either it just the fact that you can create something. Also the other things that people can be creative about is making friends or being kind to others which I do all the time but there’s some people who use their creativity to make clothes, watches, art even doing other peoples makeup. some people might like to be creative about pranking others some are funny but some aren’t but that is still them being creative.    

One last thing before I’m done creativity can be used to make people happy and spread joy but it could also be used for many other things that could hurt others. But I believe you shouldn’t use your creativity to hurt anyone so make sure you only use your creativity to spread joy then I  believe everyone could be happy with their life and if there was someone down in the dumps and they didn’t want to do anything and they just wanted to give up I hope others would think of creative was to pick him back up and to keep him up.

Image: “Creativity is the Blue Heron within us waiting to fly; through her imagination, all things become possible.” by Cate Storymoon on 2014-10-06 10:33:52

You are worth so much

Self worth is something I believe that everyone has struggled with at least once in their entire life. It can be especially hard when you are a teenager and still developing self confidence. We often find ourselves around negativity and sometimes we can not quite escape that environment.

Often times we find ourselves caring about what other people think of us and we find ourselves comparing one another which leads to low self esteem and low self worth. My very first experience in which I felt less than was on my first day of kindergarten. We had been practicing math and when I did not know the answer to the question my teacher looked at me with what perceived as a child as rage. She grabbed me by the arm and sat me in the corner of the class as she called my mother to tell her I wasn’t ready for school. I felt tears prick my eyes as she shouted into the phone, I bit my lip harshly as I felt the stares of the other kids. I had felt so… stupid. It was a terrible experience and I felt so small compared to everyone else.

From that point on my self confidence had deteriorated and because I had such little self worth it made me an easy target for bullies. It began around the middle of the first semester in 2nd grade, I was a bit heavier than most kids in my grade and I was made fun of for it. I was very quiet and never talked to anyone so my bullies knew i wouldn’t tell anyone. People hurt me emotionally and physically until 6th grade. I had felt so worthless and I felt like I deserved the abuse like some type of stockholm syndrome.

By the time I had reached 7th grade I had begun not letting people pick on me anymore but I still bottled everything up. Eventually I was diagnosed with anxiety and Major Depression and struggled with severe suicidal tendencies. Once I entered high school my self worth has at an all time low. I became addicted to cigarettes, developed an eating disorder and let myself stay in an abusive relationship. I felt worthless and undeserving of any kind of positive feeling. I eventually found my way out of that relationship with the help of my friends but my suicidal tendencies were still very much alive. I found it hard to keep myself focused in school but still did the best  could but the stress kept adding up that eventually i was beginning to have suicidal thoughts at school and had to leave school early and go to an emergency therapy appointment. I ended up being deemed not stable enough to stay home and was hospitalized. During my time there I learned all kinds of mental exercises and learned that change starts with me. I was the only one truly keeping myself from feeling worth something. I wouldn’t be happy unless I let myself admit that i was deserving of it. I am worthy of so much. I am worthy of happiness. I am worthy of love. I am worthy of respect. After I was discharged from the hospital I had decided to go to group therapy. Being there really helped me out especially with being able to relate to the other teenagers my age and even made a couple of friends out of it.

I have learned so much in the span of a couple of months. Of course I still struggle with self worth but now it’s easier. I know I am worth much more than I think at times. I am in a positive relationship with a guy that cares about me and I am his first priority. For one of the first times in my life I feel truly important and accepted. I will have days that are harder than most and yes sometimes the past will come back to bite me, but I will not let it get to me. I will move forward and not turn back because I am worth more than I will ever know.

Where We’re From

Here is some of the highlights from our poetry. We hope you enjoy it.


The HSHMC Independent Surgeon Writers


Positive Mind

I believe that a negative mind will never give you a positive life. If you keep thinking negative stuff then you will not achieve your goals or try to do what is right for you. I came up with this belief because sometimes in life it is hard to do what you want. It’s not always easy as It looks.

I know this because I’ve been through some tough stuff In my life. Some people could think different about you like “ you are really lucky to have what you want. I wish I had your life” but only you know that Isn’t true. I put my belief In action when I got tired of some of my friends that were not good people and I got In trouble too and I knew that I didn’t want to end up as a person that doesn’t want to try what is good for them.

I mean It was hard to stop talking to them but I knew that those who I use to call friends were not really my friends and If I think negative then I’m not gonna be happy In my life, or achieve what I want. My dad always tells me that I got to try my best If I want to have a good life.

I think that this Is going to help me in the future when I want to stop trying or when I feel that I can’t do better. In real life you gotta chase your dreams your dreams aren’t gonna chase you.

Photo by Alexas_Fotos (Pixabay)


Respecting me is not something I obligate people with, but if you’re not going to respect me then I don’t see the purpose of having communication with you. As a teen I think that’s when you grow and realize things the most, it’s a stage in your life where you release toxic people and be around people that care for you.  Respect, respect is one of the most important things you must show me. Respect to me includes loyalty and faith because someone that respects you won’t fail you or doubt you. As a teen, I think you start to grow and realize and separate the toxic people and the important people that care for you. In my life I’ve stopped being friends with people that didn’t respect me, by that I mean talking behind my back, doubting me,  and not having faith in what I want to do because if you don’t support the things i do I don’t see the purpose of a friendship with you.

Talking behind someone’s back is for me one of the worse things one can do because why put up an act for someone just to bring them down? It doesn’t bring you anything beneficial, it doesn’t make your life better. Summer 2016 was a bad time for me because I lost a lot of friendships During that time I made a new friend she was sweet and listened to me when I had to talk to her and we would make each other laugh, I thought we had a good strong friendship but then I found out she was talking behind my back so I just cut her off. This experience opened my eyes a lot it made me just stop making friends and stop putting so much time and trust into people.  

Respect is something that changes depending on the person to me respect includes loyalty and faith. Having faith in me shows me a lot whether it’s family or friends if you tell me you’re proud of me if you show me you’re happy for me i’ll pay so much attention to that, but if I see that you don’t pay any mind to me and my future or would rather drag me into problems and something that can affect me it’s better for me to not be around you because where you lead me and what you show me will show the levels of respect you have for me. As of things that have happened in my past my life has really tested to see who is really my friend and who is not which is why I have cut people off and only stuck with the people I see genuinely care about me. It’s become something easy to do for me and i’m not sure if that is good or bad from other peoples visuals but personally I believe it’s a good thing that I can let go of toxic people.

I grew up in a household with respectful parents, they showed (demonstrated, modeled? Lived?  the saying of  “ treat people how you want to be treated “ so that’s what I personally base off of. As a young teen I think my mind and visuals grew faster than others which is why I am the way I am, but also everyone wants respect no matter how old you are. In conclusion, I believe that if I’m not getting respect from you-you won’t get respect from me and that’s the way I will always be, all humans are different but we all want one thing and that is respect.


I am a strong believer in, “what goes around comes around.”, I learned it through my experience with my ex-boyfriend.The consequences of one’s actions will have to be dealt with eventually. The way my ex-boyfriend treated me fits perfectly for this example because he treated me so poorly and I dealt with it for 3 years. After realizing that it wasn’t healthy for me I finally let go of him, forgave him and continued to live my life.

By doing that I’m showing him that I don’t care what he does with his life and focusing on myself. Now he sees I’m doing better and he’s trying to come back into my life, but I already know the ending so I ignore him. Don’t pay attention to him, don’t hear him out because when I talked he never listened, never cared for the way I felt or what I had to say. I’m pretty sure he got the point.

Treat people how you want to be treated because it will come back sooner or later.  Which is why I changed my ways, by trying to spread more love and not second guess if i should help someone or not. I know that if I ever need help and I ask someone, I would want them to do the same. And if any of my loved ones ever find themselves in some kind of pickle I wouldn’t want anyone to deny them.

But that is not the only reason why I have changed my ways, being genuinely nice to other people brings happiness to my heart. Helping someone doesn’t necessarily mean actually doing something for them, being someone’s shoulder to cry on, listening to them, helping them out with homework, simple things like that can mean a lot to that person. Regardless of the thank you I get, the positive feedback comes right away and makes my heart very happy and as long as I know that I tried that’s more than enough.

Be Who You Are

I believe everyone should create themselves the way they want to, block out everyone’s nagging opinions, and do what you feel is comfortable. It’s you living your life, not everyone else. My personal belief with this experience has been a struggle, I used to wear a mask for protection, if people didn’t know the true me, they couldn’t possibly know or hurt me as much, right? It can be tough being “who you are” when there are people judging but you realize ‘being content with yourself is more important than others being content with you.’

I know I think about things the way I do because, things that seem really scary could actually be something familiar, just with a different look. Likewise things that seem amazing could be completely different once the mask is torn off. Believe me, I know. Life is a confusing mess sometimes. People are not what they seem, and every now and then even a best friend might surprise you.

I believe what I do, because once a while ago I realized I wasn’t happy with a couple old friends, so I changed them (they weren’t really healthy for me), when I did that I realized I dressed like everyone else just to fit in, I stopped and reinvented my own look without any stereotype intact or in mind, when I wanted to stop going places because I got in trouble a lot for what my friends did, I learned to go to the library more like I used to and stay at home on Friday/Saturday nights (who cares what my ‘friends’ thought, I was enjoying myself and getting smarter). I learned that I couldn’t be everyone’s friend no matter how nice or charming I was. I also learned that I couldn’t make everyone happy; someone is bound to talk about me at one point or another, because no matter how good or how far you are in life someone always has something to say. The day that I came up with this realization was the day I came with many.

I find it very interesting how many people copy each other when in the end no one knows who they are to begin with. In middle school and some of high school I felt like a lot of people for the most part were clones because they all wanted to act with attitude wear ‘designer’ things to fit in and I didn’t want to be part of it anymore. Be who you are because you have to live with yourself. You can always walk away from everyone else but not yourself. So be who you are, that’s my belief.

I don’t mind being considered weird or quiet, I’m comfortably confident with myself, don’t do anything stupid, I have ambitions and I try my best to do what I got to do. I didn’t know any of that was a bad thing! So people can call me what they want, because that’s how they interpret me, not how I interpret myself.

Integrity is key

I believe in the word integrity, which means being honest when someone is around and when they are not. In my perspective integrity is a keyword, and this keyword is a major thing in life. Everyone needs to have integrity and understand the meaning the word holds. For example, if you don’t curse in front of your parents when you’re with your friends, then you shouldn’t curse when your parents are not there. However you’re still probably going to still curse, but that’s what I’m trying to get at, integrity can be performed in many situations. For example, if your supposed to run laps in football practice, don’t start walking when coach looks away, keep running, you have a responsibility to uphold and you shouldn’t act differently just because your superior isn’t around.

Many people tend to follow integrity like when they don’t talk back to their parents they also don’t talk under breathing when the parent is or isn’t present. That’s an act of integrity, or when you are in a relationship, if you are not supposed to do something that your partner has told you not to do, therefore you shouldn’t do it. Integrity makes people mature and helps them take responsibility, they do right by anyone and they don’t do the wrong things behind someone’s back, Integrity builds loyalty, love, and trust. Those three words are incorporated in every relationship, in dating, friendships, or family. If you have integrity they won’t have to worry about you doing something wrong.

As I said before loyalty is incorporated with integrity. As an example, I’m going to use a relationship as a representation. Being loyal will have a positive effect on the other partner, it will encourage them to be loyal and that’s when integrity comes in, if can they actually stay true to what they said, can they have enough self-control to stop themselves from looking at the opposite sex, or to not hang out with the group their not supposed to be with. The thing about integrity you might never know if their doing right about you, so that’s when you learn how to trust that person. Plus, why wouldn’t you trust the person your dating.

But the truth is, trust is key. How are you supposed to be at ease when your loved one goes out somewhere and all you do is think they going to do something bad. That’s a bad mentality, you have to trust them, it will put your heart at ease, it isn’t worth the stress to keep thinking that they are doing something bad when they could being the exact opposite and actually following and obeying your feelings. I know this because I have been in a relationship where integrity and loyalty and trust were big things. I needed someone who could trust me when I go out and I wanted be able to trust her when she does. I didn’t like having trust issues because it messes up my mind.

But too many people have left my life, my mom, my dad, my brother, my friends. These people were the people I depended on and I needed them so when it comes to relationships I always think the person will leave me, In addition I felt like I had to prove everyone that I could do right by them even when they aren’t looking in order for them to stay, I tried so hard and always failed. Failing hurts, especially when the mission is trying to keep someone who has a great value to you. So because of my fear of losing someone integrity built up and that lead to people trusting me and next I know they start doing right by me.  But that’s not how your suppose to go about it. Fear doesn’t spark the integrity, or should I say it shouldn’t spark it because sooner or later people will stop caring and stop being afraid and that’s what I ended up learning.

Therefore it has to begin another way, the idea of that specific person not having the desire to be hurt is mature enough way to realize hurting someone even when they aren’t looking is still wrong. People started doing right by me because of the effect I had on them, I told them how much they meant to me and made them a priority, I made them family and in result they devoted their love to me. Integrity has many definitions and it can give many feelings and comfort. I felt like the only way to get loyalty is to lead by example, so I showed I was loyal to them, but I chose wisely because some of those people don’t deserve it because some people just don’t care about you. I was hurt many times, so I take loyalty serious because I don’t want to be with the someone who will hurt me, so I give them a reason not to. I’ve had people who I have dated who knew my past and what I have gone through, they knew I still cry about mother everyday and they just didn’t see that the fact that they are there with me it stops me from crying, they were the one that gives me that comfort. I’ve never had that mother figure in my life so when I’m in a relationship I kind of get that love that a mother gives to her child. My mother died when I was young and I never got to meet her. This is why relationships mean alot to me because the most important relationship I’ve ever needed I don’t have. And dating relationships holds good meaning and so do friendships, the people who I call family. My biggest lost was something I’ve never had, my mother. I’m telling you all this because everyday I want to do right by her. She is the reason why my integrity was built. She isn’t here with me but that doesn’t mean it’s okay to do bad stuff because if momma was still around I know she wouldn’t play that. She is also the reason why my main core value is Love. I always wanted mother love.

Even though I have a step mom she always treated my side of the family different. Plus my stepmom always hated momma. The hate she had for momma transferred to me and my side of the family because all my step mom could see was the kids she had to take care of that aren’t even hers. Love and integrity mean everything to me, and so does trust. I miss momma and I know she would give me everything I would need. Unlike my step mom who would say she loved me but talk bad behind my back. See loyalty takes a big roll in my life because if I am showed love by a female who I have romantic feelings for, I want them to stay true to me, don’t be like my step mom and say one thing and do the exact opposite.

After most of that happened in my life then I started to know when someone truly loves me. When you truly love someone you aren’t supposed to believe that they are doing something wrong, or if you hear something about them you don’t believe the rumor but instead you defend that person. That’s true love, so you have to learn loyalty, trust and integrity, because you can truly love someone if you can’t rely on them to not hurt you, or should I say you shouldn’t love someone who can hurt you and would do so just because they know they can. If both people follow the sequence then true love will form and there will be trust and loyalty. These aren’t the elements of true love but the few steps that must took to truly understand the elements of true love.


This I believe…… Respect is a meaningful word for us. Most people go through life and always hear about the word respect, but they don’t know what it means. Respect is the esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person. Somethings in life we need to hold in respect are. Respect yourself, respect for others, and respect for property. Also respect is the act of showing someone that you value his or her feelings and thoughts. Respect is a universal value that each person desires not only to represent, but also to receive and also is not just what you say but also  the way you act. Showing people that you take their feelings and thoughts into consideration are how to earn respect. If you demonstrate respect toward others, then others will respect you and listen to your opinions.

Respect begins with self-respect and then extends to the respect of others. Self-respect occurs only when you listen to yourself and place your opinions and feelings are before others. Can you imagine a world without respect? For example, walking by someone who has their hands full and not offering to open the door for them, or giving a nice comment to someone who is having a bad day. Doing these things will bring a smile to someone’s face and influence them to be respectful to others. I believe that when you respect others you will be respected back and be remembered as a respectful person.

I didn’t take respect seriously until the end of my junior. It took a lot of bad behavior to finally figure it out. I can’t figure out what made me want to change, it could be numerous reasons. Maybe it was all the teasing I did to other people, and later I was teased. It could also be talking behind people back and then finding out it’s been done to me. Having all these things happen to me made me realize that being disrespectful wasn’t getting me anywhere and that’s when I realized I needed to change and start being respectful. I needed to prove to my family and friends that I had changed. Although I am respectful to others I still don’t always get respected back, but I can’t let that discourage me; it makes me want to give more to influence people to be respectful.

I also think respect and karma go hand and hand. Some people don’t believe in karma, but if you really think about the things you’ve done and the things that have happened after you did it the outcome wasn’t good. I believe respect is another way of being nice and helpful. If someone asked for help, do so with a smile. Because that could be you asking for help and you’re going to want respect. I’ve learned that if you do things for others out of respect they will be there when you need it. I value a lot of things in my life, but the one I value most is respect because respect is the key to a good life.

Photo by geralt (Pixabay)

Chicano Pride

I believe people shouldn’t be judged or treated differently because of their skin color. You shouldn’t feel embarrassed because of where you come from. Your culture shouldn’t be hidden. You should embrace it. The Hispanic culture is very fascinating. Hispanics are defined as Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, South or Central Americans or any other Spanish speaking cultures. The Hispanic culture has many beliefs, values, and traditions. Dignidad y respeto (dignity and respect) are major values in the Hispanic culture. The reason I chose Hispanic culture as my main topic is because personally, I feel that a lot of us aren’t properly informed on the traditions and beliefs.

You never know, you might even employ some of the things you learn in your day to day life. For example, one of the most useful things you can learn about is my culture’s healing tactics. We use different plants and herbs to make various teas and medicines to cure many illnesses. To me, my culture is very important because it places a very strong value on family and unity. Being Hispanic has both its ups and downs.

Sadly by being Hispanic a lot of folks aren’t too nice to us about it. We get treated badly and are told to go back to where we came from as if I didn’t live in Southeast, San Diego. However many good things also come with being Hispanic, we get a whole bunch of extra holidays like in January we have El Día de Los Reyes Magos where we Honor the Three Wise Men who gave gifts to Jesus Christ, in February we have El Día de la Constitución where we celebrate how the Mexican Constitution was drafted in Santiago de (ke-re-taro) Querétaro by a constitutional convention during the Mexican revolution. In April we have La Semana Santa is a well known Catholic tradition.

In May we have of course Cinco De Mayo. In November we have my all-time favorite El Día de Muertos where we celebrate our loved ones who have passed by setting up a table with a picture of them filled with candles, water, their favorite food dish, their favorite candies, and accompanied with (cem-paa-su-chil) cempasúchil flowers. In December we have our Posadas, where we mimic Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem as they searched for a place to stay. The way we do that is friends and family inviting one another to their homes which is essentially a sort of Christmas party, or for people to walk through their neighborhood and pedir posada. It is a lot of holidays that we have but they are our tradition and we honor them every year when the time comes.

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