Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect

Do you think that no woman has yet to become President? Think again. In several parts of the world, women are in positions of high authority; in places like Chile and Rwanda. In Chile, former President Verónica Michelle Bachelet Jeria was in office from 2006 to 2010. In Rwanda, a country in Africa, 50% of the seats in Parliament are held by women. These countries put the United States to shame.

I learned these facts from a video presented today in class. It was a documentary presented on PBS and also followed the lives of girls on a debate team as well as a women running for a Senate position in her state.

During class, we also had Ana, a Brown student, come in and talk about politics. She felt that each of us in the class had the qualities to run for office. I, being interested in politics myself, was very intrigued by this workshop she presented us and it made me think a lot more about holding a public office to contribute to my community.

We also had the first round of presentations of the Amazing Women today. The girls were awesome, and I can see why each of us is in the class. One thing I always kept in mind was to never underestimate my fellow peers. Lydia was of the first people to present and she did an awesome job of the monologue as well as answering the questions afterward.

Some young women came into our class today to talk about their program: Youth in Action. The program outreaches to youth in Rhode Island to provide opportunities they might not have otherwise. Mentoring, SAT prep classes, leadership building are all offered by YA. I realized that it does not matter what age you are, you can make a difference in your community regardless of your background or experience. One of the speakers was 17 and she amazed me by how well she spoke and the confidence she carried. Nothing is impossible if you just try.

The Youth in Action speakers! 
I realized that all the women that were talked about today each faced various obstacles in their lives. Most of the time, it was sexism, but also racism when the women were Latina, Middle Eastern or African-American. However, though their difficulties prevented them from accomplishing their goals sooner, they overcame their difficulties to pursue their passion. 

Perhaps this is a reason why I loved each and every single woman. They each were driven by their passion, their fight, their struggle to create change in the world, whether their impact was right here in the United States or in another country. They inspire to continue to pursue my passions and to never give up. 

In the evening, we were invited to a pizza supper by Dean Rose in which students on a scholarship would gather and have Brown students answer any questions we had about Brown or college in general. 

Following this event, I thought about the small number of students (compared to 1300+) that were in a similar situation as us. I found it both a good and bad thing. 

The good thing was that all these students are very intelligent, very driven people that do the amount of work at a school like Brown. It makes me feel great that although students do not always have the advantages that other do, they still manage to do exceptionally well in school. 

However, the bad thing is that I wished the number attending was bigger. I would love to see more students like us come out and see schools like Brown and experience the richness of this learning environment for themselves. I am glad there are programs like the Ivy League Connections that allow students to experience a college life hands-on. 

This program has truly changed my life. 

Sleep. Time to sleep. But first, I need to practice my monologue on Sonia Sotomayor. I hope it goes well! 

Just thought I'd get a picture in of my roommate and I (Kristi is my roommate and she's the one on the right). Natalie, my friend from Thailand, is the one on the left. 

1 comment:

  1. Lupe,

    First and foremost, thanks for the photo of you and your friends. Now I can go to bed knowing that all is well with the world.

    With a situation like we’re in where we have limited resources and can only send a few people to great programs like this, we rely on each of you to take your newfound knowledge, bring it home with you and become the teachers. We want you to talk to the other people at your school and in your community and teach them what you’ve learned at Brown. Talk to them and help them to appreciate everything you’ve experienced these past couple of weeks.

    And when you’ve passed on your knowledge and skills, maybe they can tell others what you’ve taught them. The message can spread, Lupe, but it takes each of you to keep the message rolling.