Praislyn Andrew | Contributor
My name is Praislyn Andrew…my name is derived from my older brothers’ prayers for a baby sister, so in a sense I am the answer to my brothers’ prayers.
I am DAUGHTER I am SISTER
I am SCHOLAR I am ATHLETE
I am ARTIST I am SINGER
I am AMBITION I am INSPIRATION
I am LEADER I am WARRIOR
As an Andrew, I am looked up to.
As a student, I excel.
As a Micronesian, I represent.
What you have to understand is the pressures of being the only U.S. citizen, only girl and the youngest child in the family are heavy.
What you may never get is sometimes the pressures gets a little too heavy to the point where the frustration in trying to keep it together comes out a little more aggressive than anticipated. So, what I do to keep everything together is take it out physically through sports or poetry, yet another balance to maintain.
As the youngest amongst three kids and being the only girl, my whole family has set certain values and strict expectations for me to rise above the example my older brothers have set and prove myself worthy as a female in the family. Which generally means breaking the strong gender roles the micronesian culture holds, where males carry the family or are the head of the family and females are just the moral support and caretakers. (Insert picture of me as a baby with my two brothers smiling with orange peels lol) Not to say they didn’t work hard for their education, but neither of them are pursuing a career they are passionate about or making as much money as they could have with a higher education. As one of the youngest generations, culturally it is expected that we step up and learn to be independent as soon as we start school so that we can be the new “head of the family” and the future idols to future generations to come.
I believe that I can impact the world by setting an example for other kids like me who are determined to climb out of their struggles and find a brighter future.
Kids like me…
us first generation kids.
The youngest ones in the family.
Us kids who have been defined that are still seeking definition.
That have been called “gifted & talented”, but are still trying to find their gifts & talents
The hopeful ones.
Kids who are derived from their brothers’ prayers and wished into reality
Kids like me that come from tiny specks in the ocean, that are trying to get to better known lands and leave their mark.
Us kids who are lost and finding our own way out.
Us kids that don’t come from much money, but are determined to help make it.
The kids acknowledged for their accomplishments & not the struggles behind them.
The “picture perfect” kids that only see their flaws.
My life is driven by empathy…the simple feeling of caring for others has driven me to do the things I do. For example, my project with the Colorado Change Agents surrounding homelessness specifically within the female population all started because of a homeless family I saw in the park down the street from my house. I thought that if there was any chance I can help a single mother and her kids struggling to find a home, I would take it and miraculously the opportunity was given to me.
Now I am working with my peers who are also apart of the Colorado Change Agents program to start an awareness project. Originally I wanted to plan and host a community event at some local park and run drives that might supply those in need and connect some of the homeless women with the resources they would need to get back on their feet. After looking further into it though and comparing it to the school level of teen homelessness, not everyone is going to wear that label that outs them as homeless. So, I am working closer with one of the other members of the COCA program who is focused on teen homelessness to collect data within the school through anonymous surveys that will cover not only the issue of homelessness, but more issues like bullying, mental health, safety, and more so that those that do take the survey don’t feel forced or ashamed to answer something that applies to them and it will also feed into the other’s members projects. This way it is easier for us to take action whether it be through actual interaction or again just supplying those in need with connections and resources and hopefully with enough data on the school level the survey can be pushed to the bigger level throughout the community.
I do this all for my family.
I do this for my fellow students at school.
I do this for the new generations.
I do this for me.
I do this so I won’t have to worry about facing the same struggles in the future.
At Aurora Central the outside sees nothing but troublemakers, the “below average students”, the poor students, and struggling ones as well. We see the true determination of students and supporting adults who want nothing, but success.
“Ghetto” “Ratchet” “Poor” & what have you
If you didn’t know us any better you would think these to be true
Well not all of us are seen true & not all of us are accepted
But it shouldn’t be an excuse to assume negativity & then percept it
Us Central kids are just like the rest of them out there
We have our good days & bad, yes we’ve all had our fair share
Of stress, pressure, and a bit of insanity
We care about cliques, reps, & like all schools do, popularity
We’re just like any other school in the sense that we’re lively
We’ve got pride & We’ve got an image
We’ve got things to say, hopefully binding.
Why hate on a school that’s apart of this community?
Can’t we reach a consensus & work towards unity?
Despite the false images, We Are Aurora Central High School
A building block of education
& finally breaking through.