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On January 25th, Karla Soto, a 16 year old junior at Silver Creek High School, performed at the Abash the Past Poetry Slam that took place in the school’s library. Karla had never presented her writing in public before but her powerful message inspired the crowd of educators, administrators, and students. She loves writing, reading, and playing the violin. Here is the essay she shared:


I am afraid. I am scared, for I no longer feel secure about my future. I am the daughter of an immigrant family. I was raised as Hispanic American; grew up with two cultures, two languages and by a single mother. Nothing was ever kept from me, and my mother made sure of that. My mother was one of the strongest women I have ever met. She worked so hard to get me where I am today. With her strong will and her great advice I have become someone I am proud of.  She along with many other mothers in America and all across the world have become both a mother and a father. She made sure that I had everything I wanted, she made sure to always put me first and love me unconditionally.  She took care of me even when she got the shingles, she would carry me every morning to my aunt’s house so she could go to work and give me the best. She would make sure I got into the best schools and had the best teachers.

But all that effort, all those hard working hours she spent working for my future, may have been in vain. For it seems our country is headed toward more hate and less equality than I ever experienced. My home has been invaded by uncertainty, not only do I see hatred on social media, but on the streets. We are less united as human beings than we were 10 years ago.

We fight against each other more than ever for a war that should not have sides. We are in a fight that should be resolved by words and should be worked on by everyone. Instead we have bombs killing people, rocks breaking windows and most of all we have people against people, human against human. We have so many conflicts with each other that it’s hard to keep up. We are fighting for the right of woman, black people, and the LGBQT community. Three different groups, but yet they all share the same goal. We have immigrant families fighting for the right to be happy, and we have people fighting for the right to choose if they want to be a mother. While we are all blinded by our own problems we miss the tragedies  that are happening around us: Kindergarten students dying by bullets, innocent people killed by bombs, and our fellow humans in Syria fighting for the right to just be alive.

Why are so divided? Why can’t we work together if we seem to have the same goal? The right to be accepted, the right to keep our lives from being taken by bullets and bombs, the right to be equal to all, the right to be human.