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Civil and Human Rights Fellows Tackle Generational Differences

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Imani Wilson-Shabazz, 16, Atlanta Girls School

I often go online and see pages upon pages of people doing things. Teenagers doing great things in the world and with their lives. This often makes me stop and think about what I’m doing with my life. I’m 16 and almost done with my teenage years and yet I have done nothing special. I’ve never been published in a magazine, never won a science fair, never created a popular app. Have I done anything worth anything?

In the grand scheme of the world, it’s hard to see yourself as special when all you read about are the people your age doing better things than you. You know, the ones really changing the world. It’s easy for anyone to feel small and unimportant but I challenge everyone who feels this way to think about this: every great leader had a team of supporters behind them. Take the president, for instance. He could not do his job without his cabinet members helping him out. Think about Google. Google wouldn’t be Google without the thousands of workers it employs. Everything big gets smaller the longer you look at it.

So maybe you aren’t the star quarterback on the undefeated football. But you are definitely part of the reason the team is undefeated. If you don’t believe me, let’s challenge that quarterback to play on his own. We are all a part of something bigger, even if we don’t realize it. You are more useful than you can possibly know.

You don’t have to be in the newspaper to be important. Making a difference to one person is still making a difference.

Our generation is powerful. Infinitely powerful. The world is ours to change. Together, anything and everything is possible. As long as we support each other, we all have a use. A very important use.

Zoe K. Nelson, 16, Benjamin E. Mays High

As teens, our whole world revolves around technology. With the touch of a screen and then press of a button, we can access any information we need and even organize events with ease.

Teens will forever know what’s going on within the community with the help of tech. We don’t just use technology to text or to play, we start movements! We start positivity and end negativity. We use technology to its fullest extent. We come together to be great.

NyQuavious French, 15, Carver Early College

Today’s generation tried too hard to please their peers. Most of the time we get so caught up in drama, we want to be isolated from everybody. Even in the classroom we have to be this “star student” because we’re trying to give off good impressions to teachers and classmates. Truth is, we just want to be recognized and trying to fit in is like our ticket in. I am always trying to make it known that I am well educated. So fitting in honestly doesn’t matter to me. I we cool, then we cool. If not, oh well. Just be yourself and see where that road takes you.

Qwantayvious Stiggers, 17, BEST Academy High

She said it would be fine

She said I can live without him

She said it wasn’t the end of the world

She said he will realize what he lost

She said that he gave me life

She said it was up to me

She said don’t let it stop you

She said she was sorry

She said it would be fine

She said she didn’t know he would miss all this time

She said she would call

She said just to wait

She said she was sorry

She said it would be fine

She said I should forgive him

She said she was always gonna be there for me

She said she forgave my father

Said said she was sorry

She was my mother

Jessica L. Davis, 14, Elite Scholars Academy High

What About Us?

Everybody’s advocating for the boy coming out

Or the girl who’s cutting and starving herself

Yes, their problems are valid and mean something

But what about us?

The boy who hates sports but re-reads “War and Peace”

The one who likes structure and rules

The kids who have Netflix as their hot dates on Fridays

The people who want to know they matter

What about us?

The girl who wants to say she woke up like this

The person who wants to be something but doesn’t know how

What about us?

What about us?

What about us?

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