The Young Leader

Young Politician: A Poem

“Young Politician”

As I sit here reading about policy briefs, I hesitate, then pray for our commander in chief.

I may not agree, he didn’t receive my vote, but I am patriotic so I will maintain hope.

As a person someday soon running for office, I maintain integrity as I try to win over my caucus.

Stigmas are there, you will corrupt, your morals will go bare, but I say no, money and power will not move my hand, will not change my views, I don’t care if alone I stand.

Low funding will make difficult obtaining an electorate, but with hard work and perseverance never being separate, I believe, I predict, a change will occur, all people will unite and democracy will endure.

A flood will WASH out, flINGing TONs, remove the poison of buying power, of swearing in sons.

Maybe this is all just a young politicians dream, creating an ideological view of our decision making teams.

Once more I say that this is what I strive for, equality, dignity, and the ability to find more.

This is just my view of what America should provide, my goal is to stand for those I represent.

I promise I will never hide.

Learning by doing is the only way, I meet with my representatives to understand the game they play.

Association leaders and coalitions alike, observing humanities definition creates an adrenaline spike.

Everyone has a stake for this is just the life we live, controlling our outcomes, finding a way to give.

Back to the community and back to the land.

Making sure the environment has a person for which with to stand.

The media may only try to show some of the viscous side, but our leaders do care for people, their jobs just happen to coincide.

A difficulty will be the fact of reelection, without missing the point of why I represent a collection.

A collection of people and of their visions.

For the future, for the culture, there is always some missions.

There are back room discussions about how to make our nation great, some see national politics as hard to relate.

I plan to start small, just a county man for now, that’s all.

But if life were to take me to the big time, I promise to never commit a crime.

Once again the struggle is to truly work for the people, the ones who worship no one and those under the steeple.

Those new to this country and those here for generations.

Creating positive change is possible, but there are always implications.

Tradeoffs and realities are hard to ignore.

For most people this is a continuous bore.

Another goal is to never neglect the process.

This is the only way to truly make progress.

I know there will be dissent and I can handle the heat.

Because I want to be the politician that everyone can meet.

That everyone can trust and rely on to do what’s best.

My approval rating will however not be that test.

It will be the smiles on all the faces of the people’s lives I have changed.

And maybe in the future another hopeful will have a meeting arranged.

My final wish is that the next generation will be even better.

More honest, more caring, and tougher than leather.

That is how this country has continued to grow.

It will never be easy however, so everyone just prepare for a show.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Oliver Bildesheim/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

The Earth Shook In Haiti And He Left As A Boy. Now He Wants To Go Back And Make Change

This story is part of the “My Story” series by The Young Leaders. 

It was a sunny morning in Haiti on January 12, 2010 – the first day of school after winter break.

Lying on my bed, I looked at the trees dancing on the ceiling.

The neighboring rooster crowed as I finally rose, put my knees on the floor and began to pray.

My mother, as always, was cooking eggs.

She spoke to me about education: “Son, you have to do well in school to succeed in life. Life and education are a competition. Please son, do not embarrass me. Avoid the wrong crowd. Promise me that good things will happen. Make your family proud wherever you go.”

The author as a child. Photo Credit: CarlHenry Isidore/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

As she spoke, I wondered why she told me these things.

At the time, I wasn’t mature enough to understand, so I agreed just to make her happy.

A few minutes later, I arrived at school. Already, I had fallen in with the wrong crowd, paid no attention in class, and decided not to do my homework.

After school on that day, I played marbles with friends until one of the elders in the community saw me playing and scolded me to go home and do my homework.

I listened to the elder and went home.

When I got there, my mother asked me, “Where were you?”

I replied, “Outside,” as she shook her head, obviously worried about that I was not following her instructions.

One hour later, the earth started trembling.

I heard a noise like boulders falling from the sky.

Our television and bookshelves fell to the floor.

I was terrified and thought my life would end.

The aftermath of the 2010 Haitian earthquake. Photo Credit: RIBI Image Library (CC BY 2.0)

We tried running away from the house, but the ground was shaking intensely.

I didn’t know what was happening.

Read More: This Miami Icon Doesn’t Want Young Haitians To Lose Their Heritage In The US

I thought about all the advice my mother had given me.

I heard people screaming from outside, running everywhere and trying to save others stuck under demolished houses.

When I got out of the house looking around, I realized my mother and I could have been in the same position.

After the 7.0 shock-wave, my mother, my sister and I walked on the street and saw the catastrophe. Roughly 300,000 people were killed in the event and 1.5 million were displaced.

People had lost their families and everything they owned.

We were too afraid to sleep in the house, scared it would collapse.

We had no choice but to sleep on the street. The streets became beds for everyone when it’s was night-time. Aftershocks shook the ground every five minutes.

A week later, my father came from New York to get my sister and me.

I had never imagined myself leaving Haiti but there was no other choice.

I cried, and hugged my mother tightly.

In tears, I said, “Mother I’m sorry for everything. I will succeed; I will learn English and make you proud.”

My dad smiled.

I realized I would do everything in my power to make my parents proud. That moment would drive me for years to come.

When I came to America, I was ready to excel in school.

The author as a child in Haiti.

I knew no English, and communicating in school was extremely hard.

I started reading and writing to improve my English skills.

I knew I wanted to attend college.

I started working harder in classes, coming to school early every morning to study subjects that I needed to give closed attention, so I would not fall behind students who took their English for granted.

I challenged myself to become better in school by practicing for the SAT on my own and doing extra work in class.

It paid off. By the time high school came, I was in the English Honors class and the National Honor Society.

I started an acting program in high school named DreamYard Art Center. I began acting in plays with the goal of becoming an actor and a director.

I want to continue being successful and I plan on working very hard to accomplish my goals.

These goals have already helped me to achieve things I never imagine I would have achieved, such as acting in front of 300 people.

Read More: Haitian American Communities Have Become The New Focus Of Housing Discrimination Fights

These skills will continue to help me as I pursue my education.

I am currently a junior studying Social Work at CUNY York College.

My goal after achieving my bachelor in social work is to go for my master in education policy.

I want to start my career as a school counselor, however I would like to elevate myself as a principal as time progresses.

After my studies, I want to build a school and an art program like DreamYard Art Center in Haiti for children.

My purpose in pursuing higher education is to succeed in ways victims of the January 2010 Haiti Earthquake only dreamed about, since they never had a chance to make their dreams a reality.

When I succeed, my goal is to start an art program in Haiti for teens that want to pursue their dreams.

This terrible tragedy led me onto the right path and made me focus on my education.

But Haiti is still in my heart. And I’m going back home.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Looking Back At All Those “First Days Of School” And The Anxiety That Came With Them

Everyone has had some sort of “First Day of School” experience in their lifetime.

It doesn’t matter if it’s the middle school, high school, or college years; some form of anxiety kicked in when it was the final hours of the night before and you climb into bed thinking about new beginnings.

For high school kids, that anxiety isn’t focused too much on the amount of effort that you will need to front to get through a new year of school; but instead, energy is channeled into setting up that fresh outfit and brand new pair of sneakers you will rock on the first day.

I can still hear my teenage self, “I’m going to kill ‘em tomorrow with these Jay’s!”

Growing up in Baltimore, high school was a fashion and popularity contest.

Who could pimp out their school uniform the best with the hottest accessories or freshest pair of sneakers.

Who could get all the girls to wave and give hugs when you walked down the hall.

First days are all the same man. Photo Credit: tiffany terry/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Having clout in high school was just as important as it was to get good grades and graduate.

Well, maybe not that serious; but close.

Who am I kidding? For some, the school work didn’t matter at all!

I was one of those cool nerds who could balance a 3.5 GPA as well as a couple of honeys under my arms. If you read that and judged me just now, don’t hate the player, hate the game!

College is…well, college.

It’s high school but a grown-up spinoff of your favorite high school reality show.

Fashion and popularity contests still exist but aren’t the main focuses.

Graduating in a timely fashion and getting a J-O-B is what’s important.

In college, first day jitters are centered around the anxiety of getting a new chance to be a better you.

A better scholar, athlete, test taker, note taker, homework doer, studier or what have you.

A clean slate.

Frankly, it’s an opportunity to look at past mistakes, evaluate, and evolve.

After all, when you’re paying thousands of dollars to get a higher education you tend to take your studies a little bit more seriously.

For me, I am going into the second to last semester of my undergraduate career at The University of Baltimore and I am excited to get back and strive for a better GPA than the previous semester.

Of course, I’m ready to get back to campus and see friends and socialize but above all, I am anxious to get back to lectures, learn something new, and prove to myself that I can achieve the highest.

I am definitely ready to graduate and see where this road called “life” is going to take me.

From today until graduation in December, first days are no longer hurdles.

It’s all about last days.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Andrew Subiela/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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