The National Youth Leadership Forum

895 WordsNov 29, 20154 Pages
Growing up in a predominately African American school district, I would go several days without ever being reminded of my racial identity. I was considered part of the majority throughout all of grade school. However, this all changed as I began to stray from my normal crowd and participate in academic enrichment and pre-medical programs. The very first time that I was reminded that I was the minority, and therefore inferior to many was when I attended a program called NYLF. The National Youth Leadership Forum allowed me to spend ten days at a medical forum with high school students from all over the world. When I arrived, I looked around and realized that out of about two hundred kids, only about fifteen looked like me. I also noticed that they had all congregated to the same area and had essentially secluded themselves. Determined not to stay in my comfort zone and expose myself to new things, I decided to sit at a different table. A few days into the program, several disappointing things became clear. I began to observe ignorant remarks, disapproving glares, and belittling attitudes from many of my surrounding peers. Admittedly, it did make me somewhat upset to know that so many felt that because I was a black girl, I did not deserve to be at this program. It became evident that many of my opinions, thoughts, and responses to activities were quickly discounted on most occasions. I wondered if I had made the wrong decision by branching off from my African American peers.
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