I’ve grown up in a privileged neighborhood for forever. I originally came from a more I want to say “ghetto” but I’ll say less privileged area. When I was adopted, I began to think differently about myself. Because I was surrounded by kids of a different color, they began to treat me like that. I was the only Black person in my class for years. All my teachers told the kids to say “African American” and I personally hate that terminology. It makes me feel less than, to be honest. It took me a very long time to develop just a liking for my skin color. My mom would press my hair to make me fit in more like them. It wasn’t until the 7th grade that I barely started to realize that my skin great to be in. It was uniquely mine, and nobody else had it but me. In 7th grade I was bullied because of my skin color, so my progress was very limited. I began to see myself differently. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t like what I saw. I saw someone who I thought didn’t matter. I let what others say define me, and my thoughts about myself. Those bad thoughts became worse. I thought terrible things about myself. That eventually turned to suicidal thoughts. I began making plans to take my own life. I stopped eating, and had much less energy. I was wearing bigger clothes to hide the fact that I was loosing weight. I didn’t want anyone to know. My parents didn’t find out until someone found a note I had written saying that I was going to kill myself, and It had a date, and the entire plan. They reported me to the school’s principal, and she called my parents. They had this long talk to me about what those words really meant. They took away every possible threat to me. They didn’t start me in therapy until they found out I wasn’t eating. In 8th grade, nothing got better. I was moved to my zoned public school because of a teacher’s comments about my physical appearance(which obviously helped none). At the zoned public school, I struggled to fit in. I began to really stop and think. I knew that I didn’t want to live like that. I wanted to have a life, a husband, a family. I really decided what I wanted for life. Normally people say “I found ____” but I’m saying that dance found me. I turned to dance to relive everything, and I joined clubs I found interests in. I started writing, and look at me now. Theater was also an outlet for me last year. I was able to combine the talents I already had with the things I didn’t know I had. When high school hit, I didn’t think I was prepared. Turns out, I was way more prepared than I thought. If you told me last year that I would be the Vice president of Student Council, or that I would have an amazing best friend: I wouldn’t believe you. Here I am though. And nobody’s stopping me from getting anywhere; not even myself.