August 21, 2012
I grew up in the extremely diverse city of Chicago, where I was lucky enough to meet and be friends with people from all kinds of unique backgrounds. Upon moving to the Tampa Bay Area, I realized I had taken diversity for granted. My fellow high school students hadn't even heard of my ethnicity. Thankfully, I learned about Community Tampa Bay's ANYTOWN program and decided to attend. Here, I found other teens and adults who were passionate about not only diversity, but about the overarching concept of social justice. I used to think I knew a lot about the social issues facing my community, but I had a lot to learn. ANYTOWN gave me the confidence to not only come out of my shell, but also to start advocating for change in my own school. I was able to witness so much change in other program participants as well; one of my co-participants even went on found a nonprofit for the benefit of differently-abled youth! I am fortunate enough to come back every year as a counselor for this program, and I get to watch 60 teens undergo a huge change in their attitude and lifestyle every time. Becoming involved with Community Tampa Bay taught me what passion for social change really looks like.
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