I-SEEED Guest Youth Blogger: Prevailing by Pelesani Sua

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October 6, 2012
By Pelesani Sua, youth representative of the Institute for Sustainable Economic, Educational and Environmental Design (I-SEEED)

It only took one person to stop me from believing that I could go to college.

When your teacher passes you up for a school funded college tour because she says she knows you're not going to make it to college, let alone graduate high school it falls right into the category of oppression. Although this would be a great learning opportunity you won’t even have the chance to experience it because your teacher has already decided your future. Or when your teacher doesn’t believe that you could’ve gotten everything correct on a test and accuses you of cheating, because of your race.   I’ve been in situations like this one many times.

I now know that some people don’t believe in encouraging others that don’t belong in the same racial background as them. So from that day on I told myself that I wasn’t going to diminish someone else’s education just because I wasn’t good enough myself. I would just pick myself up and keep trying to prove that I could be the best. It didn’t matter to me whether or not that teacher believed in me because the years afterwards I met better teachers who believed in and encouraged me to become the intelligent young lady I am today.  In a way I would like to thank that one teacher, because the racism and institutionalized oppression she showed to me in middle school actually gave a me an extra push to do better as I got older.  But not every student responds the way that I did, and they shouldn’t have to.

It’s a dream of mine to see a world of equality not only in education but in government and the communities around me. People need to not just know how to unite with their own, but with all people. I would love to wake up to a world where people know their neighbors, school officials, and people in office. When a person knows when the next election is, not the next football game. Where people don’t settle for satisfactory, but they push the limit.  When people get together not only to support themselves, but also the elderly and disabled. It would be wonderful to be able to walk around my neighborhood and know I’m safe and think “which park will I go to?” and not “which fast food restaurant is the closest?”. These are the issues close to my heart and I hope I will be one of the many people to unite to fight against these detrimental issues at hand.

I would like to end by saying that it starts here with me. I will someday lead an army of people who believe in the same issues as me and want to unite against it all to protect our future generations from falling to the hands that the government has given us.

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