written by Mary Day, CCE Capstone student
If you were president, what would you change? The children of the Ridgecrest community that have been participating in the “Be You” after-school program stated their response plainly; they would change “everything.” The week’s theme was “Passions.” The children were asked to dive deeper into what issues/problems they care about. From bullying to school hours to block parties, the children were really getting at the heart of many community issues. There are invisible hierarchies in neighborhoods and schools. School becomes a cage rather than a place for excited learning and self-expression. Communities do not collaborate and celebrate who they are as they should. We asked each student to write what he or she cares about on a chalkboard and use photography to capture it in real time. Jamari and Janya, the only two participating this week, captured emotion and relevance in their photographs. They showed concern and interest, and they shared enthusiasm in directing and being the subject of the photos. If time permits, they will use video footage to create a short video of who they are and what they care about. The “Be You” anthem is Katy Perry’s “Roar” song. Each week you can hear it as each session begins. As the children remember how to use their uniqueness and individualism to be the best leaders they can be, they will be the next faces, the next voices of issues plaguing our society today and their future tomorrow.