VOX presents our editors’ top picks of responses that emerged from the Creekside High School writing workshop, spring 2015:
Marco DeSantos, 15
One big problem I have in my community is the way people judge another person by what they have on or what they look like. I don’t think that just because someone may not have the newest Jordans or $400 jeans means they don’t have feelings. I see kids every day getting talked about for not being like the “cool” kids and wearing the latest shoes or clothes. It irritates me when I see this around school. It’s not the kid’s fault that he is very under-fortunate and can’t afford the clothing that a very wealthy person has. I really think people need to grow the f*ck up and be mature about this situation. I have plenty of friends that go through this, and I help them with whatever they need. People should help instead of making fun of these people. Because at the end of the day we’re all human. Society is f*cked up.
Jordan Walton, 14
Height-ism is an issue I have had to deal with for a long time in my life. When I first noticed people were showing height-ism towards me I was 9 years old in the 4th grade. I was trying out for the 9 and 10-year-old team, the “Union City Eagles.” A 9-year-old that was only 4’3”. That 4’3” 9-year-old was me about five years ago. As I walked on the field for the first team gathering I could hear the players laughing and the coaches asking each other if I was lost. This didn’t bother me because I knew I was fast, strong, and had the most heart out of everybody out there. Once I showed everyone I was better than every player out there it felt like all the height-ism stopped. My mom always tells me I’m very humble because I never get mad when people doubt me because I’m short. To this day I’m still short, but I’m still proving that it’s just an advantage.
Jascelyn Merriweather, 14
We live in a world where you are judged by what you wear, how you speak, and/or how you look.
Recent events have showed me that our African American men can’t even walk the streets minding their business without getting stopped by the police for no reason. I feel that every time someone sees a black person dressed a certain way they get a sense of fear that they might steal something or shoot someone.
Just because you’ve seen or heard stories about African Americans doing bad things doesn’t mean we are all the same. When you’re at a predominantly African American school people expect you to speak “ghetto” and wear certain things. I believe that we shouldn’t be judged at all, about anything.
Vanessa Cornejo, 14
Is it funny? To push someone’s best friend to a limit to which they want to die? That they are so hurt they can’t even speak to anybody about it. They close themselves up in their room looking at their insecurities that you showed them! They fake smile each day and say, “I’m okay” with a smile that can fool anyone. Then one day their parents find them hanging off the fan without any breath. Pale and white without any life. Is that funny?
You can make it, you can be it
Don’t let others distract you, don’t abdicate leadership, be the achievement
Hard work and ambition, let God be the guide to you
Hope and faith, let the world see the leader and success in you
Strive for something different in life than money and fame
Be smart about your decision, have a goal, use your brain
Remember that you’re amazing
Chase your dream, no time wasting
You got your squad, you got your own crew,
Its yourself and just you
This poem is here to let me show you
What no one has ever thought and ever told you
Stressful time, just let the thought of success hold you
Down pack, be there for you.
Click “Atlanta Teen Voices” to hear from teens throughout the metro Atlanta community!