Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Feeling like a Leader

“Wow” is all I have to say. There were so many people at our exhibit! I thought there were just going to be a few people, but I was wrong – it was packed! So many people from so many places came. When I was told that the amount of people was in the hundreds, I said, “Yeah, right, there must have been thousands!” But seriously, it was packed, so that must show that our group is not as small as it was in the beginning when I first joined Peace in Focus two years ago.

I remember the first day, there were a few people, but now Peace in Focus is huge! This exhibit confirmed that for me. The first day, I felt awkward and shy, but Peace in Focus helped me overcome the fear of introducing myself to new people. Now, I have high self-esteem and self-confidence.

During the exhibit, we all wore t-shirts that said, “This is what a leader looks like.” Even State Representative Byron Rushing spoke to me and read my t-shirt. But my favorite part was seeing everybody in the group at the exhibit, because I missed everybody.

 I also thought the pictures from Burundi and Liberia were awesome! I liked that teens my age, even if they have few resources, learned to use the camera to show their point of view. People tell you that you don’t have a voice, but when you get the chance to find it, you should take that chance, because sometimes you’ll have a voice louder than others. I want my peers in Burundi and Liberia to know that people in a different country can hear your voice, too.

In the future, I see myself helping Peace in Focus get more participants. My teacher is helping me recruit people, and I want to get more people involved. I am also helping my friends overcome bullying. Since second grade, I was bullied. Now I tell my friends that when bullies say something, let it go. Those people won’t always be there.

I never knew that I was such a good leader until I came to Peace in Focus. This shows my true potential as a leader. 

 - Dounia, age 14
Photos by Jeff Langevin and Saul Blumenthal.

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