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North Atlanta High School Teens Speak Up

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VOX traveled to North Atlanta High School to share teens’ voices about defining identity. After a discussion about authentic versus invented identity — and how we decide to define ourselves, teens shared writing and art about their own identities and what they would want the world to know about them.

By Mahari Perry, 16

I would [want the] world to know that I was someone. Someone who was a big brother to his little siblings, a man when I needed to be, and a superman to those who needed my help.

By Dalles Ray, 16

I want y’all to know that I will be the same. No matter what happens, I will never change. One day I will never change. One day I will study about the human brain, learning psychology to start something new, helping others in the real world when I’m done with school. And If we meet I’m fun so what’s up with you?

I also want people to know I’m so in love with myself I don’t care about your negative thoughts of me.

Photo by Hannah Martin, North Atlanta High School

By Hannah Martin, 16 

If I were to die tomorrow

My soul would take place

My mind would shine

Hearts I would remake

My silence would make a triumphant stake

My spine wouldn’t cry

I’d look up from the floor my mind wouldn’t space

I wouldn’t wish for this day

My mom would be able to look me in the face

They’d know that I was never happy

And my smile was always fake

By James Spencer IV, 16

If and when I leave this Earth it’s not the aspects people know about me [I’d want them to know], it’s what I did to change their life. As [an] aspiring movie director, and writer I wish to challenge people to use their imagination because the world is full of logical, no creative minds. In order to change the world or people you must empower their minds to speak through their creative mind. When I leave this earth my ideas and dreams will echo for eternity.

By Mya Hylton, 16

If I left the world tomorrow I would want the world to know that  wanted to become a lawyer and a judge so that I can make a serious change in the justice system.

Photo courtesy of Ampith Anderson

By Ampith Anderson, 17 

I would want everyone to know that I had an amazing time while I was on this Earth. That I was a risk-taker and ready to overcome anything that came my way. That for whatever reason I left Earth, I never left with my head down. That my identity was a kind-hearted, open reason and welcoming of all. Overall, I would want people to know that I was great.

By Marina Scluh, 16

With all the news giving the world’s cruelest spotlight I would want to be remembered for being a good person, my writing to live longer than me. My writing would remind everyone that the future of America will be triumphant. I would be looked at for improvement and if given more time the true definition of success.

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