Tag: learning

W.A.V.E (Women. Action. Voice. Empowerment) with Councilwoman Linda Pereira

On February 1,  the W.A.V.E girls of Diman Vocational Regional High School were fortunate enough to meet with Fall River Councilwoman Linda Pereira. Councilwoman Pereira discussed her early life growing up in Fall River as well as her decision to run for City Council. Pereira also discussed her full-time position as an investigator for child abuse cases for the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office.

The girls were able to get in some questions that they had for Councilwoman Pereira. We hope to have Pereira re-join our group to further discuss some of the issues that youth in Fall River are currently facing.  This could help continue building the bridge to connect the City Council and youth.

 

Confronting Discrimination

One of the many hats that I wear as an AmeriCorps is to run the Confronting Discrimination sub-committee of the Fall River Youth Violence Prevention task force. The mission of the group is to develop a conversation that fosters peace, connection, and respect. This group is a mix of youth, community leaders, city councilors, and school committee members. The education format that I use is storytelling.  Monthly, I bring in a speaker that can speak on their personal experience pertaining to discrimination. Our past speakers include:

  • Ramon Torres (Senior at Durfee High)- LGBTQ+ issues
  • Sumaiyea Uddin (Freshman at Durfee High) – Islamophobia
  • Paul Coogan (Former Vice Principal of Durfee High/School Committee member) – Growing up in South Carolina during the Civil Rights Movement and attending the first desegregated school in S.C
  • Sophia Hunt (Community activist and V.P of Cambodian American Rescue Organization, Inc.) – Escaping the Khmer Rouge
  • Trott Lee (Community Activist) – Acting “black” and acting “white”

The meetings have been very successful in having your voice heard, advancing public speaking skills, debating, hearing different perspectives, bringing diverse people to the table, educating group members on various cultures/history, and overall connecting as  one.

Twenty Four

 

My 24th birthday passed recently and it was dope. Here’s a few things that I learned throughout the passed couple of years —

1. Be kind, always 

Whether we choose to show it or not, everyone is going through something right now. Everyone has a story. Choose to be the person that makes their day a little better.

2. Check yourself before you check them 

Get those duckies in line and get those facts straight before you dare jump to conclusions about another individual. Truth be told, you probably got some skeletons in your closet too. Judge no one.

3. Emotion Regulation 

Too often, we act on emotion before we can calm down and think logically. Take a step back and THINK before acting.

4. Travel, travel, travel 

Enough said.

5. Love thyself 

Flaws and all. Love yourself. Your mental health and stability is crucial. Know yourself. Know your limits. Take care of yourself. Take a day for yourself — Don’t feel selfish for loving yourself.

6. Appreciate your mistakes 

Mistakes and failures do not stunt your growth. Refusing to learn and grow from those mistakes and failures stunt your growth. Do not keep yourself down. Use it as a fuel to keep climbing to the top.

7. Resiliency 

Life will ALWAYS kick you down. Learn and know how to bounce back from it. You’ve got 10 seconds to be upset about it. After that, shake it off and keep moving forward. Focus on your goals and your priorities.

8. Mental health and physical health

I went through something horrifying this year and it all came down to the decisions that you make that effect your mental development and physical being. Make good choices and take care of your body. That is your sacred ground.

9. You are always in control 

You may not always have control over a situation but you do have control over yourself. You can take yourself out of any situation. You have the power to control your thoughts and your actions. Hold yourself accountable for EVERYTHING you do. Call bullshit on anyone that says otherwise.

10. Listen more, talk less

Listen to learn more. You don’t always need to respond to everything being said to you. But do absorb everything that you are told.

11. Never speak ill of anyone and don’t mind the people that speak ill of you

Let’s face it, we’re going to encounter A LOT of crazy people throughout our lives. Not everyone is going to like you and you are not going to like everyone. AND THAT IS OK. People can say that they are entitled to their opinions and sure, by all means exercise that first amendment. BUT, you do not have to react to that. Anyone that has something negative to say about you is none of your damn business because it doesn’t matter what they think. Do you.

12. Master your career 

Your career is something that you will be doing for the rest of your life. It should be something that you’re passionate about and something you love. You should try to learn everything you can related to your field. Be the expert. Teach others what you know and what you’ve learned.

13. Question everything 

Need I say more? Never listen to only one side of a story. Some people have ulterior motives. Some things are too good to be true. You don’t want to make a fool of yourself without having all of the facts.

14. Love ALWAYS wins

I don’t know about you guys, but I feel pretty crappy if I let my negative emotions get the best of me during an altercation with someone. Mutual understandings, compassion, genuine conversation, and love are the way to go.

15. Never get too comfortable

I have to give credit to one of my best friends on this lesson. She’s been saying this since high school and I never really understood it until a few years ago. But I live by it religiously. Too often, I think a lot of people get comfort and happiness mixed up. Just because you’re comfortable doesn’t mean you’re happy. Comfort is a way to prevent self-growth. Whether it’s a place or a person, never get TOO comfortable. Don’t get stuck.

16. Optimism 

Bad stuff will happen and it’ll feel like end of the world. Best thing to do is to condition your mind to see the bright side and find the silver lining. More than often, things always end up being okay. Take a step back, take a deep breath, write down some positive things in your life.

17. Appreciate the effort

Sometimes the “best” you can do is not the same as someone else’s “best”. It goes back to the whole “expectations lead to disappointments” so appreciate when someone is putting in their effort. Appreciate the little things.

18. Financial responsibility

If there’s anything that’s more comforting as an adult, it’s being financially stable. To stay organized with your bills to budgeting appropriately to not spending money irresponsibly.

19. Spend time and money on experiences/memories, not material items

I’m not sure if this even needs an explanation..

20. Maintaining professionalism

As you begin to grow in your career, you will encounter conflicts/incidents in your line of work. In the moment, it will be difficult to get through. But you must see this as a learning opportunity. Especially, when it’s your career that you put your heart and soul into. It will hurt emotionally but it’s crucial to put emotions aside, mediate the situation, maintain your professional status, and find a resolution.

21. It’s ok to outgrow people 

Losing friends isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It means that people change and eventually grow apart.. Some of us are not meant to be friends forever and that’s perfectly fine. The ‘right’ friends will be the ones to stay.

22. Acceptance and moving forward

When you have no control over a particular situation, the best thing to do is accept it and move on. You can’t change the past and wishing the situation was different is counterproductive. Keep your inner peace and move forward.

23. Keep a clean rep

Your reputation is everything. Do not damage your name by making poor decisions that will make people distrust you and do nothing for your future in a positive light. You need to keep progressing by doing the right thing.

24. Integrity 

“Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.”