Being the change

Change is something we must take into our own hands. For generations, change has been the result of forcing the hands of those in power. Any positive change worth having has, historically, never just been handed out for nothing.

I am not going to convince myself that I can create huge changes, but we can all definitely make small ones. Volunteering is a way I try to evoke positive change. I am the head camp counselor for 11 year-old boys who are considered at-risk youth. With this age group and especially with them being from a vulnerable population, respect is earned and never just given. When you have their back, they will trust in your leadership. They go from arguing with you on the first day to crying and hugging you as they get on the bus to go home. That is truly the most rewarding feeling, and I get chills down my spine when I think about the bonds created each summer. 11 year-old boys like to see what they can get away with. Slurs, especially homophobic ones, flow out of their mouths like water from a faucet. They grow up hearing hate targeted toward gay people, that’s just the culture. However, that kind of bullying was my one line that I drew with them. There was to be absolutely no coming for each other’s sexuality, not even in a joking way. Gender non-conforming people are the most at-risk of violence. I also secretly hoped that having a positive experience with a non-binary person like myself will create good associations later in life.

Another place I volunteered at (before the pandemic) was a soup kitchen. The non-profit offered multiple resources for their clients who were from the homeless LGBTQ+ population ages 15-24. I helped doing Sunday meal prep. It was extremely gratifying to see clients enjoying the family-style meals we put together from scratch. The interaction with the clients was great, too, I looked forward to helping out every Sunday. Then, COVID hit and only select people were allowed to prepare to-go meals. In isolation, I focused on my schoolwork for almost 2 years straight. I major in psychology and I know that I eventually want to help address the complex psychosocial needs of queer folks. So, I recently found a job working as a residential youth counselor for homeless kids who are displaced due to their gender/sexuality. I hope to create more meaningful connections with the youth, and I want to be someone who “gets” them when so many people refuse to understand. I believe it’s incredibly important to see people like yourself represented in all walks of life.

I want to be the positivity that I’ve needed in the past. As a child, I just wanted someone to listen and be my friend. As a teen, I was on a journey of self-discovery and benefited from mentors. And as an adult, I’m still trying to figure it all out. Regardless of the need, take pride in being a change, even if it doesn’t always feel impactful. You don’t plant a seed and expect a tree to grow the next day. But if you water that plant, you’re nurturing the roots for the foundation of stability. Without that, there is no growth.

Ian Fernandez September Blog

From the moment I was born, I felt something in me that yearned for the arts. It wasn’t until the latter half of high school when I realized that more than anything, I wanted to get a career as a performer. When I was a young kid, I remember listening to the radio in my mom’s car and hearing different songs play. In elementary school, I was attracted to the school choir, which is where I received my first solo. It made me feel proud of myself in that moment as I became the center of attention on the stage. In middle school, I chose choir as my talent, and I was exposed to pieces in many different languages including Spanish, Swahili, Italian, Latin and Hebrew. In 8th grade, I auditioned for Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, and I was admitted as a vocal major. I joined a major ensemble outside of school in 10th grade, which exposed me to Latin Jazz and my interest in my cultural background as a Dominican American. It was in 11th grade where I started to perform at some of the biggest venues across the city, and I finally was able to experience my true passion as a singer. I consider myself an expert in the field of performing as I have a large number of professional performances under my belt, and I am eager to continue my education for the sake of seeing myself on Broadway, on television, in movies and recording albums for the entire world to hear and see. Music has been a part of my life since birth, and I want it to still be tied to my life even in death.

See the source image

What are you an expert in?

I’m not an expert in many things, but I have perfected my craft in one area. I can make a mean Teriyaki Salmon with a side of shrimp fried rice. Fastest way to anyone’s heart is a good piece of salmon, that’s for sure. I decided to be nice and give you a rough idea of how to make it yourself. Maybe one day you too can become a decorated Salmon Master like me.

The stuff for the salmon (don’t skip anything, you can find everything, I believe in you!!):

3-5 cut fillets of salmon (skin on or off, your choice)

3-4 cloves of fresh garlic (minced or grated)

2 tsp of fresh ginger (grated)

3 Tbsp teriyaki sauce

3 Tbsp soy sauce

3 Tbsp Hoisin sauce

1 Tbsp white vinegar

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

Sesame seeds (for garnish)

Chopped green onions (also for garnish)

The prep:

  1. Cover a baking pan with foil and then grease. Set oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine sauce ingredients.
  3. Pour marinate over salmon (easier to use a ziplock bag), and let marinate for 20-45 minutes in the fridge.
  4. Put salmon on baking sheet. Bake at 400 for 14-17 minutes depending on the size of your salmon pieces.
  5. Simmer remaining marinade on pot.
  6. When salmon comes out the oven, pour sauce over fillets.
  7. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.
  8. Serve with side of rice of your choice.

It’s that easy and you get flaky, delicious salmon every time. You’re welcome.

How Do You Make Change In Your Community

Well, it starts with yourself. In order to make a change in the community, you have to make a change in yourself. Many people say they want to help the homeless, care for the needy, or work in healthcare or be a nurse. But when around strangers or other friends, they talk rudely or say things that were meant to be a joke, but unfortunately, it hurts them. So that makes me think about how you can make a change in your community. However, you offend your friends even if it’s a joke, or you’re too introverted to work with people daily.

As for me, in the future, I do see myself trying to make a change in my community because even though I like helping people, it’s the feeling of doing good for people or saving them and them appreciating you for their life. In our society today, not many people appreciate the small things we do, or people get attacked so badly for no reason. Of course, by myself, change can’t happen because brutality has been going on for years. I am introverted and depend on whether my day will be good or not, and that follows with my attitude toward people. And, soon, I will be going to therapy to fix that because I can’t help people if I’m introverted and giving people shitty days because I’m unhappy.

When I was younger, people were always so mean and rude, making fun of me every day; it lowered my feelings on life as wanting to be there in moments of my life. I just wanted the pain to stop. Since then, it has always continued in my life and finally stopped when I came into college. And life is different. However, do I still feel the way I did five years ago? Yes, but not because of my past, but now because of my problems. So, to answer the answer, anyone can make a change in their community, but it just matters that you are ok with yourself emotionally, mentally, and psychically; you can’t help others if you can’t help yourself.

By: Victory Obianke

The Effort and Ability to make change in a Community

For me, the idea of providing change to my community had significantly changed from when I was a child in elementary school up until my current years in college. The expectations and determinations weren’t significant because I was young and didn’t have much knowledge about community efforts. I didn’t have the ability to make the necessary steps to indicate that we needed a strive for change and equality in my neighborhood and for people as a whole. The main components of my community were being respectful, conversing not inflicting violence, and staying dedicated to education and academics. All of which were components that I learned from elementary school and followed me throughout my time in high school. The components of a defined, stabled, and growing community was gradually shaped differently as we became older, mature, and free in expressing ourselves and our goals in both societal and community change. The components now became more specific, socially conscious, and aware (e.g. focusing on change in the school system, justice system, poverty). The focus of change for me became more apparent in questioning if I’m doing enough for not just my community that I live in but for other communities that mirror mine or are less fortunate.

My neighborhood of residents tends to stay content with their situations and keep to themselves. It’s always been that way for a long time. There’s never been a need for us to become social with each other or even know each other’s names. We respect one another from a distance, however, we take the courtesy and knowledge that we will protect anyone if a situation occurs. The diversity of problems faced in my neighborhood and similar communities isn’t really shed to light. My community is a bit complex since I live on the end of East Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York nearing other neighborhoods such as Brownsville and Canarsie. With where I live I can encounter different neighborhoods and communities within walking distance. Living in Brooklyn, New York my whole life, I’ve tried to understand and practice ways of providing change for the better of my communities and others surrounded by it. 

Conversation, socialization, and trust would be very important to my community because it would allow for me and many people in my neighborhood to understand each other’s background, upbringing, identity, issues and adapt a new source of support and availability in terms of safety and being open with themselves. Many people in my communities vary in ages and generations. Having civil, informative, and productive talks about societal problems, social dilemmas, dogma, social independence, racial and gender stereotypes and generalizations, violence, abuse, authoritative figures, etc. would be so valuable to building a more true, genuine, and connected community. Other things such as alerting people of big opportunities, starting clubs, creating community meetings, becoming educated on topics we may be ignorant to, and using people’s voices and stories to spread messages and uplift each other.

The term in itself “change” is one that spawns different outlooks of its definition in correlation with what it is applied to in this case, being “community” changes. Will our efforts bring change that solves problems temporarily or solve problems permanently? Or better yet until the systems in place change it? Change in a community is revolved around the current situations and issues being faced by the very people who reside there and are a part of the environment and culture.  The ability to drive change in a community, in general, takes a lot in terms of determining efforts, issues, demands, and problems that are historically systemic and generational. Change doesn’t come overnight nor by one person. Creating and developing a community involves empowerment, inclusion, conversation, discussion, and understanding. The will to not only put me to the task but incorporate others in my educational and personal field to the task can ultimately put forward a new shift in thriving efforts revolved around humanitarianism, humanism, and critical/necessary characteristics in building, structuring, and maintaining a balanced community.

How do I create change in my communities?

As a person belonging to several communities, I think the first step towards creating change is emotional support and companionship. Change can often be difficult to bring about if there is no understanding of the needs and struggles of the members in a community.

I also find it helpful to educate myself about the history of each community I belong to. For instance, I’m South Asian and queer. To create change in these communities, I need to know the historical context for the issues we face. Of course, no community is a monolith and there’s sometimes conflict within, but it always helps to understand where we’re coming from historically.

Being introverted, it is quite challenging for me to create change by interacting with people. I am not the kind of person who can advocate and campaign easily. But what I have found to be helpful is to reserve my social energy for people and groups where it is genuinely needed. I try to create change in my immediate social circles and my family. I try to emotionally support and share resources with people who are struggling with issues like mental illness, discrimination, racism, queerphobia, sexual assault etc. Something that helped me get better at supporting others is starting therapy for my own mental health. I was able to learn how to navigate difficult emotions and stay calm under stress.

Sometimes, the communities I find myself in don’t face problems but instead are the perpetrators. A good example of this is the caste discrimination and anti-Black racism that is so common in Indian families like mine. In these situations, it is usually difficult to challenge my elders especially if they aren’t willing to broaden their worldview. But calmly presenting them with facts and engaging in healthy debate has been helpful.

Another really important method for me to engage with my communities is to participate in protests and sign petitions. It gives me an opportunity to create change beyond my immediate circles and be a part of something bigger. Most social movements I am involved in are based in India but a protest I went to in the U.S. was last year in support of Palestine’s liberation. It’s not possible to single-handedly create any significant change but taking an initiative and even making a small contribution within your communities goes a long way.

How Do I Make Changes in My Community? It’s vital for me to share financial independence with my peers.

*Disclaimer* First I want to start by saying I’m not legally certified to give financial advice. I am only passing along information that can potentially help build wealth.

As an English major, I have been fascinated with British literature such as Taming the Shrew and Beowulf. My concentration is in creative writing so preparing for a New York #1 best-seller novel is something most people would think I want to do. But I always had the mentality that you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. While scrolling through Instagram for hours I came across a video with a guy asking millionaires what advice would they give young people. The two responses that stuck with me were getting life insurance and having your parents get a trust instead of a will especially if they own a house that way when it’s given to you property taxes and other fees can be avoided. That video sparked an interest in finance that I never knew I would be passionate about. It didn’t take long before I found myself down a rabbit hole of videos, articles, and a plethora of free classes about financial independence. When coming in contact with many of my peers in college they complained about not having money and living paycheck to paycheck. I always made sure to share what I learned with them so they could start to be financially stable.

  1. If your credit is “bad” or you don’t have enough credit in your name you can get a parent/guardian or any family member to add your name to one of their credit cards. Also, it’s a website called that helps to build your credit by giving you 12 dollars virtually and you pay 1 dollar from the money they “give you” within a year so it can help raise your score. 
  2. Once you have a credit of 650 or better you can apply for student-friendly no annual fee credit cards that will give you points back that you can use for everyday purchases. Apple card, Discover, and Amazon are some great cards but it’s smart to get a card where you shop a lot. For example, I love Amazon and I shop at whole foods so I got an Amazon credit card. Many of these cards will give you a fair limit as a college student working a minimum wage job. For the average student, the limit will range from 500-1500$ 
  3. Next look into an account where you can gain interest just for having your money in an account. High Yield Savings accounts, whole life insurance, or even a 401k account are great for earning interest. Based on how much money and how the economy is you can earn a good amount of money every month. 
  4. The last thing is getting a travel credit card so you can get miles when booking a flight, hotel, car, etc. Delta Amex’s lowest level credit card gives you a certain amount of miles just for getting approved for the card. Last time I checked if you spend 500$ within your first 6 months of getting the 0 annual fees blue Delta AMEX card you can get 15,000 miles and keep in mind that every 10,000 miles are roughly 121$ you can use to get off on your next flight. 

I share my knowledge with my peers to help promote financial freedom. Since I took it upon myself to learn about this I make sure to express how helpful it is to have a great relationship with money.

The thing I made change in your community

Last summer, the covid-19 was still very wide-spread in the United States. With the daily updated news and the increase in the number of confirmed cases, everything pointed to the difficulties of the current period. Low-income people were the most difficult group. They needed government relief funds and community food supplies. However, during that difficult time, few people were willing to go out to do food distribution work. I think, as a young person in the new era, I have a responsibility to do something. I wanted to do something meaningful to help those who are in difficult times. I registered online as a volunteer of Kehilat Sephardim of Ahavat Achim. What I did was package food and nutrition and distributed it to marginalized communities around Queens. And I worked with other volunteers to select and assess food packages and calculate distribution yields. Even though the weather was very hot, and it was tiring to keep standing to pack food, I still liked the process very much and enjoyed the happy expressions of seeing people getting food. And, when I heard every “thank you”, I felt that what I was doing was so rewarding. I think everything was worth it. I not only felt good about helping others, but also got to spend time doing what I love to do.

From the experience I have learned many things that I never learned in class. I learned how to work well on a team, and how to improve organizational skills. I know that all of this is critical for my professional growth. In a word, I’d like to help people who need help any time.

The change that I can create in my community.

The definition of change is to, “make (someone or something) different; alter or modify.” I think as a society we have indeed started and created a new change. For starters when looking simply at technology the advancements that have been made have only skyrocketed the past twenty years. It truly is funny to see how my mom who is only like 43 was still in the time of age where she needed a paper written she would have used a typewriter. While I only 19 was brought into the world right around the time technology was being enhanced throughout society as a whole. The change I want to create is to frankly get rid of outdated systems that have been known to systemically put minorities and marginalized communities in poverty. Although this change can not be done overnight I think it is important that we get rid of these insane problems. For instance that fire that killed I believe 17 people and 8 of them being children all because landlords do not adequately fix certain issues in public housing buildings. That right there has to stop. The news had reported that there was over 283 complaints on the property majority stemming from property issues. There was two individuals who said the fire alarms go off 3 to 4 times per day. That is outrageous. No wonder all those people died due to lack of adequate assistance.

Although it’s going to sound crazy I don’t believe credit should be used when purchasing an apartment complex or even a house. Only reason I say these things is because these measures are literally keeping people in inadequate living conditions. Although credit will most likely stay the system credit is used needs to change. I can apply for any credit card I want but because I don’t have enough credit I can’t receive one? Then all of those credit card denials guess what lower your score a point each. Yet I can pay a loan off for a year and my score will only raise one point? Credit is literally the enemy for poverty stricken individuals. You can’t get a car without credit, you can’t get an apartment without credit, you can’t get a house without credit. I know people who are homeless right now because they don’t have enough credit to get an apartment. The system would rather you accumulate all this debt in order to show your a “responsible” person that can pay it back. Who wins in this system? The people who have money. I simply wanna open some peoples eyes to show how the system is corrupt and only caters to white collar individuals and corporations. We see that clearly when the cdc changed their isolation period from 10 days to 5. They don’t care about working people they care about money.

We are the people. We supply these corporations with money. We work for low wages for these corporations. Plus we are getting poisoned with our food supply. Why is it that so much of our food is literally banned in other countries? Why is it that our obesity crisis is ongoing? Why is it so unrealistically expensive to even purchase ‘supposedly’ organic food. Why do we consistently agree to these horrid practices and standards? Why do we have to justify leaving a crappy job that doesn’t adequately support you to a less crappy job that still doesn’t adequately supports you? These are the questions that I have for literally everyone. You can give me all the excuses in the book of how it wouldn’t work but why hasn’t anyone just tried? Why is it that once we get out of college we can surpass 100k in debt. Why is this normal? This is not normal. College students can arise in all this debt and still have to work for corporations that don’t even give them livable wages. People would rather take an uber to the hospital rather than call an ambulance. Our life is more important than these unjust ways of living. Once people realize that this is not how we should be living change can and will occur. This is not normal. Yet corporations and the system creates it to be normalized with all of us. Change needs to be done and I will always promote the fight to live without unjust systems that just keeps making us poorer and stay in our class range.

How I Make Change in My Community

“Making change” is something that has been so important to me since I was little, but with my imposter syndrome, I don’t really feel like I am making change sometimes. I remind myself that making a change can be something so little. I have these grand dreams of me being a Supreme Court Justice and end all systemic problems, but I make change in my community every day. I have focused my life around public service work, which is a more obvious way I make a change in my community. I am currently doing an outreach internship with the League of Women Voters NYC where I am trying to get more Hunter students registered and more knowledgeable about voting and more likely to vote. I love this because so many people don’t see how important voting is to them, but if we increase turnout numbers, it could change history in the same way Georgia changed history in the runoff elections. I also have a social media campaign where I create easily-digestible infographics with voting information to try to inundate my followers. I also volunteer at an immigration law firm and help with pro bono cases. But depending on what you mean by your community, how you make “change” could mean anything. For example, I make a change in my work community by being positive. That has an effect on the staff, and thus is a change in my community. Being a good friend, being a good person in general reflects being someone who makes a change. Even little things, like when I got 7 new Hunter students registered to vote all by myself, are how change gets made. Change needs to happen on every level, on the small and large scales. Spouting my ideas and what I learn in my classes to everyone I know makes a change in my community; it makes the people around me more educated on issues relating to human rights. Having an open mind could be said to make a change, but it all depends on what you consider a change. For me, I think the little things matter just as much!!

New Earth will be born in our generation! We are so lucky!

We should know earth is just one planet in the universe. Now our Earth Monther is in ascension to the fifth Dimension. After our human’s collective consciousness is raised to a sufficient degree, we will go into the “New Earth” or “New World.”

All human beings will have the power and responsibility to rebuild your world together, and you will come together in communities based on equality. Everyone has the responsibility to say what he thinks about something. No one is above another. Only sentient beings communicate in a new consciousness, for when man has gone through the Cleansing he will have another consciousness, and he will begin to acquire a non-dualistic consciousness that unites him with all his brothers to live in harmony for the highest good of all.

Each man will give according to what he is, according to what he knows, and there will be a group of beings who are more advanced in intelligence, evolution, and understanding of the laws of the universe to guard the order of the new world.

The word “war” would cease to exist. There will be very important and very positive communication between the communities.

True education will return, and children will gain complete respect for all beings and beings through understanding nature and kingdoms, and gradually learn to communicate with the environment to better protect and respect the environment.

In the new world, no one will feed on the flesh and blood of other beings, and the plant kingdoms will give themselves to the animal and human kingdoms that voluntarily make such sacrifices out of love.

People of the new civilization will also learn to use more energy to nourish themselves. You will learn more about energy bodies and capture and release energy in the universe for energy loops.

As you increase in vibration, humans will move into a multidimensional state and learn not to rely solely on food to sustain and replenish their energy. In the beginning, you will eat a lot of fruit, some huge flowers can also be eaten. Slowly, people become more and more, learn to use energy or planar to nourish yourself, you will be through direct absorption external energy to nourish yourself, that is to say, your subtle experience normal operation of the energy needed to bring you a flesh, many aspects of your body will no longer as it is now in a separate from each other and fracture, the closer they will link more harmonious.

With the help of this new energy, the physical form of the people will not be as different as it is now, no one will be too thin or need to show strength beyond others through strong muscles, your mind will adjust your physical form.

In your long dark programming, you have a sense that the shadow has great power, that its influence extends from the top to the bottom of the ladder, and that getting rid of the shadow will be very difficult. We want to show you that this is not the case, shadows are fragile! It does not know love, nor do the followers of the shadow upon earth, so they are also vulnerable.

You need to realize that love is a great life force, and when you have love, you have power. First do not be afraid of the shadow, because if you are afraid of it, you will give it more power, but if you are not afraid of it, it will retreat.

Your destiny is in your hands! We can say for sure that your future world will be far beyond your imagination.

You will have a very comfortable environment in the future; You will be able to use new technology to build skyways without destroying the natural environment. You will do it for happiness and not for power. 

The world you are going to create is a world of stability, a world of purity, a world where everyone can express themselves, where everyone is equally important. There will be no intellectual or cultural discrimination; All beings will be equal.

There will be differences between you. The younger soul will need the guidance and companionship of the older soul, but the differences will be fully respected, cultural and otherwise; And that’s what your society lacks right now: respect, respect for life, respect for yourself, respect for those around you.

You will have a life of freedom and joy, a life that allows you to evolve, not through pain, but through creation and love!

How do I make a change in my community ?

For those with a savior complex like myself this questions could be so thought provoking almost to the point of causing a panic attack . I mean , who are we if we don’t care about our community or simply care about the people around us . I feel as if it is my personal responsibility to give back to my community . Once you commit to caring , then the next obstacle is to actually do something that will cause change . I grew up in the Bronx in Monroe Projects . Don’t let the word projects fool you trust me it wasn’t scary it was just not lavish . The Bronx raised me and it makes me so sad how it gets a bad wrap. I always promised myself to always give back to the Bronx community. Not sure how but I know I wanted to give back in some kind of way . In my mind I always thought the words “make a change” meant money . Meant giving money or getting money to give money , ok but the way my checking and savings is set up … I don’t got it like that ..Yet. Nonetheless, something inside me knew I had to make a change some how . My love for entertainment lead me to creating a open mic called Bronx Poetry . From my radio show i would often meet artists who wanted to perform but didn’t really have a positive outlet in the Bronx. In the back of my mind i would always say i cant wait until I get some more money do I cant give back to my community praying I win the Lottery or something . It wasn’t until 3 years in when I received an award from LDM Network I realized wait I’ve been making a change all along . You mean to tell me this whole time I’ve been feeling like crap from not doing more I was actually giving back but in my own way . Then i was able to truly see how I created this safe space that people didn’t have before . All this to say …use what you have to make a small change . Don’t focus only on the big things, a change can start anywhere . Something as small as a zoom meet up or a dance lesson . Any information or service you have access to that could be shared can positively impact a persons life . You never know who’s life you may change , and maybe that person can go one and change more lives . Each opportunity we have to impact at least one life , that can make a change .

How do I help change my community?

This is a great question. It depends on which community we are referring to. As an educator, I hope I encourage some amount of change in my students by enacting lesson plans which do more for their mental and moral growth than teaching them to pass standardized tests might. Although I do want them to succeed academically and part of what their age group needs is practice in standardized writing and effective reading in order to move on to the next grade, I believe not infusing more emotional and personal ways of growing and thinking into their classwork, will only harm them in the long run, even if they understand standardized test formats and formulas perfectly. I am not in the business of short term learning. I have done it. It’s not been beneficial to myself or those around me who have been willing to be honest about their educational experiences. I believe I learned much more about being a person, a human among humans, in school, than I did at home. I learned about who I wanted to be, who I wanted to surround myself with and what beliefs suited me. I also believe I was born with some of those things and k-12 only formed the next level of my foundation for those eternally growing thought processes as they existed in society, rather than just within myself. But that’s what I think is the most important part of school; Interpersonal interactions, learning who one is and who one might want to become, and engaging in verbal or written expression that will help one form communication tools for many dynamics throughout one’s life, those are the things I think effect change in students’ lives. Sometimes that can be done by approaching literature in a specific way, sometimes by having challenging and controversial discussions, and sometimes just by exercising certain tools that they can hold on to for the future. In a similar vain, but completely different setting…

As a sober adult, working with younger kids who want to get sober is where I believe I change my community the most. Yes, we also help them learn tools for life that will help them survive on a day to day basis for as long as they want to be alive, but thats the difference; It’s more of a life or death scenario. It’s contingent upon whether or not they want to live, not whether or not they want to succeed academically. It has allowed me to move through life with a healthy amount of detachment and acceptance, because all I can do is offer what was so freely given to me. It’s an individual’s choice to use or ignore the suggestions and tools for living that I and others can offer them. The willingness to live and change one’s own life has nothing to do with me, but being present for others who allow themselves to be enveloped by that willingness is the greatest gift in the world. I will always be a part of this program because when I am unconditionally available and loving for those struggling through life, I know at some point someone will benefit and that will create a domino effect where they become able to do the same for someone else. I know this because I’ve seen it in action. It’s the most fulfilling thing in my life. And I pray every day that someone somewhere is getting the help they need from someone who like myself and many others around me, have their hand out to those who wake up one day and decide life is in fact worth living and they are ready to put in the work to live it.

I feel like that sound like I think I do a lot, and to be clear, I think there is so much more that I could do. The parts of society I am a part of changing are big, but my actual effectiveness is minor. There is only one of me and I can only do what I can do. But what I can do has to be enough. I am not God. I cannot change the world. But some days I make one person’s day better. Some days I teach one student something that changes their academic experience. Some days I make one person smile which has the potential to change the trajectory of their day. And thats enough for me today.

How do we make change in our community?

“Every day the clock resets. Your wins don’t matter. Your failures don’t matter. Don’t stress on what was, fight for what could be.“ -Sean Higgins

Change comes about in all shapes and all sizes. We can either choose to change or to be comfortable with ourselves and the world that we live in. In order to create change, we must look within ourselves first, and decide what do we need to do within ourselves before we are ready to make change in the outside world. To make change is to fight for something that you are truly passionate about. Like the quote above stated, it’s a new day everyday, you get a new opportunity with another day. Don’t dwell on the past, but focus on how we could create new opportunities in the present and in the future. Although some things may seem out of reach, it’s what you do that makes a difference, whether it be small or big. The outcome is about the energy you put out there, and the people you can help. Just remember, there is always somebody listening.

Change in our community is the best place to start. You want to be able to crawl before you walk and run. Starting on projects and initiatives locally make the transitions a lot easier. Making change in our community consists of knowing what the issue is that you are trying to change, researching and gathering information about the issue you are trying to change, having a passion for making that change, and getting the community involved in that change. There are many more factors that exist, but those should be the few big points. The biggest questions are though, what is change to you? Why is this change necessary? How can this change make myself better, my peers better, and my community better? Speaking out for what you believe in is your strongest ally in this search for change. Your voice, and because you made the decision to take that action, speaks wonders about your character and activism, that will garner the attention of those with the same visions for a better community. You need to be able to get the ground work running, which means getting the community involved by hearing their opinions and visions, volunteer work, letting the community be a part of the change, make everyone feel as if you all are working towards the same goal, and you must stick to your word and your vision. Don’t let miss opportunities and let downs deter you from the end goal. Persistence, motivation, and hard work will help you stay on track for the long haul.

No matter what the change is you are trying to make, whether it be helping underprivileged kids, the elderly, fighting for voting rights, equality, housing, education, etc, change begins in your heart. We fight for what we believe in because we have endured certain experiences or because we know that there are better ways to make our communities better. Be yourself, be genuine, be passionate. Make your presence known and your visions reality. You hold the power to help future generations, and the work starts here, now! Be proud of what and who you are! Make change and set an example for future activists!

Changing My Community

Change is something that is seen as “controversial”, something that is “taboo”. But I see change as something that sparks conversations/discussions, as something that inspires others to take action. When I refer back to the question, I become a little bit anxious because sometimes to inspire change it takes courage. As someone with anxiety, it can sometimes be hard to be brave and to take action. At first, I believed to inspire change you had to rock the boat, and be loud and present… but then I realized there are different ways to inspire change.

I am an after-school teacher at JHS 185, I teach different subjects such as Creative Writing, Webtoon 101, and Dungeons & Dragons. A lot of the classes I teach have an element where my students are able to express themselves through a creative outlet. But, as expected from middle schoolers, sometimes it is difficult to draw creativity from them. One of the main reasons why some of my students didn’t want to write or draw was because they continued to compare themselves to others, or because they didn’t think it was good enough. I taught my students to do art for themselves, and that everyone is feeling/thinking the same way they are. I told my students how I used to be like them and even read them one of my old drawings from Middle School, to show them that in order to get better at something you have to try it first. Even if their first try might not be subjectively good, as long as you have the courage to continue, you never know where you’ll end up.

I am teaching my students how to change their mindsets about themselves and their capabilities. In Middle School kids are going through a lot of changes both physically and mentally, and it’s hard and often belittled because they’re “just kids”. I want to offer them a safe place where they can express themselves without the worry of being judged. Change often comes with each new generation, who are inspired by the generation before them. I believe the job of an educator is to inspire the next generation to help to make the world a better place.

Stepping Off the Curb: Transformative Justice and Community Change in the little things

What moves us to engagement is often less a reasoned evaluation of all possible options that bring us to a rational decsion and more a felt response: It just seems the right thing to do given what we see, hear, and experince…We need to do activsm in a way that acknowledges the power of the sensual and the emotional…the goal of actvism is action to generate an effect.

Duncombe, Stephen. Art of Activism. OR Books, 2021.

Until recently I hadn’t known how many ways I have made changes for my community so here are all the ways I learned to support mine.

Thanks to the book “Draw the Line”, “The Art of Activism”, and “We wear kicks to work” which helped me discover myself in this process. Learn more here: & &

Signing Petitions

Signing petitions might not feel like much but it has always been a crucial way to show representatives that your voice matters and can spark movement, action, and much more when you can see how many people stand by you.


Becoming a living billboard lets your personal become not only political but loud enough for others to feel safe enough to see, and know there is allyship to be found! Fight the power that is by becoming visual, political, creative, and spread your message to everyone!!

Shopping local

Being Kind to Others

How Change Comes

I think that making change in any community is tough because each community has it’s own soul. With every soul is unique quirks and features. They also have trauma as well. Personally I think that I can make change in this community by giving back. Change isn’t made without something to give in my opinion. What I mean by this is that if I wanted to decrease homelessness in my community, more shelters would need to be funded and opened. I think that to make change  I would have to give back to the community to keep paying it forward. I think that the sense of community is gone on my block particularly because of gentrification and different faces coming in and out. I’ve been in the same community for the last ten years and know almost everyone. In the last five years, I’ve seen different faces and don’t really talk to many people. I think to restore the feeling of community would bring real change to my community. It always has been on my mind to give back when I’m successful like donating school supplies or food to those in my community. I want to give those who are in this community who are less fortunate than I was growing up to have opportunities and help everyone along their way like I plan to.

My Digital Friday Recap: Asserting your Identity in Higher Education

What does it truly mean to advocate as a peer and assert your identity in higher education landscape that feels so restrictive?

On Friday November 5, 2021, more than 30 attendees came together to explore “Asserting your Identity in Higher Education: Reimaging Peer Advocacy.” In this special Digital Friday session, I discuss how to truly reimagine Peer Advocacy to create long-standing positive change. In this Squid Game themed presentation fellow attendees and I explore what it feels like to be a student in higher education. Time after time, we see educators who refuse to include the thought processes and experiences of their students within their curriculum or programming. And that can feel like a never-ending game of debt and stress. One that requires us to come up with “creative solutions” under extreme time constraints. Which usually that forces us into these fixed boxes. Eventually locking us into an endless cycle of I wish I did, I wish I was, and regret.

I examine Gestalt psychologist, Karl Duncker concept of functional fixedness or the tendency to overlook four types of features possessed by a problem object (parts, material, shape, and size) because of the functions closely associated with the objects. So that leaves us with the question of overcoming function fixedness and how we can use these experiences to become advocates. And if you were to ask me the best possible way to overcome personal fixedness, I’ll remind you that not embracing innovation will always serve as imprisonment of excellence! I also include aspects of abolitionism, a transformative justice which conceptualizes what it means to bridge social movements against racial, sexual, and gender violence at the individual and institution levels. When we let our fellow peers have creative freedom, we often find we’ll create counter spaces for protection, out of love, care, and resilience. If we were to take this further, we find that peers with guidance, mentorship, and resources can create the positive movements that are essential to foundation of abolition.

In 2014, I was told that I was considered the bottom rank this extremely elite academic high school. The verdict was clear that based on these ridged standards I had no future, no impact, no identity.  But I went on, applied and was accepted to college. I struggled hard and in 2015 due to extreme circumstances, I gave up on the school system. I decided being trans in college was hard, impossible and I could never do it. I dropped out–determined to never come back. As you can see, I am a liar and I am proud of that! It was peers around me who encouraged me to look beyond a degree and look for what was calling me and what I wanted.  I’m blessed to have randomly told myself that I should apply for everything that comes my way and had the opportunity to be a part of the CUNY Peer Leaders because it was there, I was able to reimagine my own experiences in education as something beyond the classroom. I used a basic portfolio program and resume tool to springboard into a movement. That’s the story of Q’onnections. That’s me, the founder and director of an amazing program that now pays students to educate each other on queer issues, and the college experience and a program that has a history of foster peers to advocate. To date, all peers who’ve taken part of this LGBTQ+ Center at John Jay College are now student leaders or pursuing PhDs. One graduating mentee made his goal to finish his career at John Jay as a queer mentor. More recently, I had the pleasure of seeing two peers speak about student leadership in their first conference at CCNY. 

Presentation Slide: Detractors of Dopeness
A presentation slide from my Digital Friday: Don’t be a detractor of dopeness. The early days of an idea matter because this is the time when they either grow or wilt. Students are silenced on campuses all across the board because they look different, have out of the box thinking and create colorful remixes to the archaic structures of our academic world. We are culture culminating curators or the lived experiences of the now and it will always be the peers who elevate advocate in a way that’s never been seen before.

Let’s use the tools we have to take a leap into the messy world of education and learning and create grassroots advocacy right from our laptops, phones and tablets. The most difficult and urgent challenge today is that of creatively exploring new terrains of justice where our old ideals no longer serves as our major anchor but that shouldn’t stop us from trying. It’s important to remember despite the role or position peers and students alike will always recognize authenticity.

Be the Change You Want to See in the World

The theme this month is how do you make a change in your community? I mentioned in a prior post of mine about the value of being a good listener. If you want to see a change in your community, don’t wait around for someone else to do it. This is the time for you to step up and show what can be done. It can be hard to be the one to stick your neck out, and sometimes those who make themselves visible will get the most criticism. The criticism can be something to learn from but it also can be something you can allow to bring you down or shut you down. There is a certain finesse in figuring out what to take and what to throw away when it comes to people’s opinions and critiques.

If you are honestly stuck on what could be done to help improve the life of your community, start small. Simply listen to your neighbors on their concerns and issues, whether they be children, young adults, the elderly, about what they think should be done in the community. After a while, you will see what commonalities in complaints or issues start to rise, then decide on the pros and cons and whether this is something you can step up to help make a change for the better.

When a friend of mine was fed up with the lack of services in his community, he put in a bid to run for the local council seat. I joined on as his campaign manager. Neither of us had any political experience but we wanted to make a change and felt this was the way to go. I went and knocked on so many doors, passing out flyers and speaking to the people on the street, on their doorsteps, at their front doors. Although we didn’t get to win the election, some of our concerns were addressed by the newly elected councilperson! I learned a lot about the process of getting on the ticket, meeting the public, and hearing what they had to say. During the 2016 Presidential elections, I decided to become a part of the American democratic process and signed up to be a poll worker. When the elections were being challenged as legitimate for the 2020 Presidential elections, I came back to help once again and also just participated in the local mayoral elections. It is easier to sit home and complain about things being the way they are. What did I see while working at the poll site? I saw a lot of older people, over 30 and over 60 who came to vote. I didn’t really see a lot of young people coming to vote. If young people want their voices heard and truly want a major change, they need to show up and vote. And if their “favorite” is no longer in the running, then don’t give up and go home. Do the research. Look to the next best candidate for you that is still in the running. Deciding not to vote means you decided not to speak up — which means, whatever happens, whoever or whatever wins, you have zero right to complain or critique.

I get why young people don’t vote — they may feel that the system is rigged, what they say doesn’t matter, and that no one is listening to them. However. It is not enough to just “say something.” This is where you have to really think and define what you are taking a stance on and be able to relay it to other people in a thoughtful, intelligent, and clear way. Sometimes we know what we want, but just don’t know how to convey that. Sometimes we have no idea how to get started or how to get there — but that’s when simple honest communication and listening skills come in handy.

Start small. Listen. Figure out what you want to say. Communicate. Listen some more. Ask for clarification. Then research and start developing a game plan with people in your community and get out there, be visible — because this is going to be something that you will all benefit from. Whether that is an actively enforced speed or noise ordinance, organizing to have a “good neighbor” policy within the community to check in on the elderly or housebound to make sure they are OK or getting a green market with fresh produce at inexpensive prices to open at an agreed-upon open space a couple of times a month or on weekends, or demand for better working street lights, supermarkets, banks, hospitals, attract and support local businesses, better sanitation with regular pickups, more free parking spots, or rebuild local children’s playgrounds, showing up to question and speak with the local councilperson (and not just around election or re-election time) — these things help revitalize a community by providing jobs and keeping money spent within the community.

Making Change in My Community

Changing a community can seem a lot more difficult than it actually is. First and foremost, it is important to expand one’s definition of change. Sure, it can be tempting to believe that the most effective changes happen in a 5-minute montage, but in reality, change happens when things shift bit by bit over time. Thinking of change as water eroding a rock rather than using a bundle of dynamite to blast it to pieces can be helpful when trying to shift a community to a specific vision. Remember that those in your community also have voices of their own; it is important to get a consensus before pushing for a change that will affect more than just you. Changing your community can look like many different things. Getting an idea of what sort of changes your community feels are important is crucial to affecting a positive change in your community. If there is something specific that you feel needs to be taken seriously, but isn’t being heard, it may be beneficial to educate those around you. My neighborhood has a community-build center where we host free Sunday night dinners, movie nights, food pantries, and educational evenings where people can spread awareness about issues they feel are important. By facilitating and supporting spaces like the one I am a part of, you can create a space where others feel welcome not only to learn about your ideas but feel safe enough to share theirs. Once you have a crowd that is comfortable sharing ideas with one another, taking action is only natural. Keep a line of communication between everyone, speak to local businesses to gain support, and get the ball rolling! Community action takes a community; building your community and empowering them to speak up is the first step toward effecting actual change.