As a 14 year old, reading and writing are tasks that may feel more like chores than a choice. So when introducing the idea of a blog to my ninth graders, I was unsure of what their reaction would be. I posed it as a blog that would include their opinions, their ideas and their passions. It would be a blog that would give them an opportunity to voice all the things they have wanted to say but haven’t been given the chance to do so. It would be the space for them to talk about the positive change they want to bring to this world, as fourteen and fifteen year olds specifically.
There is a stigma in our society that young people, especially teenagers, are incapable of creating, sparking and fighting for positive change. I, as a youth worker and one who works most closely with ninth graders, will not allow this mindset. I sit in the JCIT room everyday, amazed and overjoyed by the things being said, wondering if I ever spoke as eloquently and passionately about social justice topics when I was the age of my JCITs. I wanted the things they were saying to not just pass in and out of the room for one two-hour block, but rather I wanted these thoughts to be documented in a way where everyone in our community could read and see them forever. It was than that the B-PROUD Blog was brought to life!
When you enter our blog site, you will be greeted with the title of our blog, B-PROUD. “9th Graders Who Want to Create Positive Change.” Why B-PROUD? Well, I want there to be a sense of pride when the JCITs are writing and posting their blogs. I want them to understand the importance of being able to speak your voice. It really does only take one person to spark positive change and I know my JCITs will be those people who do so. So why not give them that chance now?
Check out our first blog, My Platform, written by JCIT Alicia Troncoso! Or check out our entire blog site at https://ssypjcitblog.wordpress.com. We look forward to comments and questions and appreciate any shares on social media. It starts with us!
By Bella Vidaña, JCIT Coordinator