The ATG is proud to announce the 2017 Heritage and Culture Camp Scholarship Contest Winners.
Check out the winners.
Kaitlyn Fisher, 11, Parker, Colorado
Against The Grain means to me, people asking questions regarding me being adopted, about my birth mom, and being Micronesian. My life is not the same as my friends and I often times have to explain how it’s normal having an adoptive mom and a birth mom, and explain how despite I am Micronesian by ethic background, I was born in the United States. So many people think I am “from” somewhere else.
I am explain and teach people about my ethnic background and how I am really American because I was born in the United States, and how it’s okay to have both an adoptive mom and a birth mom. I can love them both. Attending Heritage Camp has taught me that I am not the only person adopted and have white parents. I really am not different because there are many others just like me.
Madison Fisher, 11, Parker, Colorado
Going Against The Grain means to me, doing things that other don’t expect me to do.
As a Micronesian American, I do a lot of sports and things that I don’t see other kids of my background participating in. I have been swimming on a swim team since I was six years old and surprise people how well and how fast I swim. Also, this year at school I tried out for Wendy in Peter Pan. Despite I didn’t get the role, I didn’t let it stop me from trying.
Christian Nguyen Ebel, 11, Sulphur Bluff, Texas
“Against The Grain” means to me, pushing it to the limit and going to the top of the mountain where there is a pot of gold, or falling to the bottom, where there is lava. It means trying your best and not giving up. It is also how you try. You have to put in a lot of effort, otherwise, it doesn’t work. If you fall in the lava, you FAIL, but in failing you learn succeeding. You learn to rethink it, to try again and to do it right. It’s like when you are progressing in life, you are becoming rich, not only in money, but rich in love and connecting with people. When you are not progressing, you are feeling depressed and sad. But you have to try, to keep going, keep moving forward. It’s like try, fail, try, fail, SUCCEED! Don’t be like everyone else, being you is right.
I went “Against The Grain” by taking an educational trip to India last year. I wanted to help the kids in the slums by raising money for them. It took a lot of trying – 3 whole months to make the campaign video. I fixed my mind on it and raised $6,000 for the trip and donated money to Manav Sadhna at the Gandhi Ashram. They serve underprivileged kids in Ahmedabad. I changed India by a small portion. I just wrote a book about my experience in India and will donate proceeds from my book to my friends’ film http://stoppingtrafficfilm.com/ to stop human trafficking.
Maeve Doubleday-Bush, 11, Glenwood Springs, Colorado
Going Against The Grain means to me, that you don’t always have to fit in. You can be different from the others and you don’t have to listen to the mean things that other people are saying about you or your friends. This is not easy, but you need to trust and follow your instincts even if it is tough. You can work it out. Find a way to have fun even if others don’t want to hang out with you. You know you are doing the right thing. It really is their issue not yours.
Do the right thing and follow my instincts even when it is truly difficult. I don’t break the rules. I like to follow the rules. If the rules make no sense or seem overly strict, then rather than break the rules I will figure out a way to get them changed or make them work. Sometimes my friends and the other kids will break the rules, it doesn’t mean that I will, even if my friends are upset with me. I won’t bend to peer pressure. I don’t let my friends talk me into doing something I know is not right. Sometimes it means I have to be alone or go play with different people but I know I am doing the right thing.
Ian Gahagan, 10, Wales, Wisconsin
What does ‘Against The Grain’ mean to me? To me, against the grain means people should not care what heritage other people are from. It’s what’s inside that counts. If you see someone being racist, ignore them. They don’t know who you really are like the famous saying you can’t judge a book by its cover. That means you don’t know someone ’til you know them as a person, in person.
How do I go ‘Against The Grain’? How I go against the grain, is if I see someone being racist, I would say “How would you feel if someone did that to you and are you really making the right choice?” If it gets physical, use the self-defense we learned at Culture Camp. In all, go against the grain, don’t go with the crowd, but stand up for what is right.
Aran Balzer, 11, Aurora, Colorado
What does ‘Against The Grain’ mean to me? It means being different than other people.
How do I go ‘Against The Grain’? I can live my life according to what I think and know is right instead of worrying about what others think of me.
Maekhala Balzer, 9, Aurora, Colorado
What does ‘Against The Grain’ mean to me? To make a difference in the world.
How do I go ‘Against The Grain’? I can be myself.
Tassanee Balzer, 9, Aurora, Colorado
What does ‘Against The Grain’ mean to me? To be different in a good way
How do I go ‘Against The Grain’? I can make a difference in the world by helping people.
Keira Gahagan, 7, Wales, Wisconsin
What does ‘Against The Grain’ mean to me? If people are doing something that’s not right, don’t do it and tell them they are making the wrong choice and why. If they don’t listen, I would get the adult that’s in charge and tell them that those kids are making the wrong choice.
If kids are doing something unsafe, I would tell them they should stop doing that because they could hurt themselves or trip and fall. If they don’t stop after I ask them twice, I would report it to a teacher because it was the wrong choice and it was unsafe.
How do I go ‘Against The Grain’? If someone is making fun of someone I would say “Hey, I think you’re hurting that person’s feelings. I think you should stop.” One day at school, my friend L. was having trouble pronouncing the words thirty-five. Six people were making fun of her pronouncing those words. I said “I think you are hurting her feelings. I think you should stop. I don’t think she likes it”. They didn’t stop. They kept making fun of how she was pronouncing it. My friend acted like she didn’t care and kept working. I told the teacher a few minutes later that I told them to stop, but they did not. Whenever I was around my friend L., and other kids were around her, I never heard or saw kids make fun of her for the rest of the year.