Adrianna Lawson: First Place 2015 Anne MacKay Scholarship Winner
By Adrianna Lawson Mattituck High School
Going to Mattituck Jr. / Sr. High School provides its students with many advantages. However some students are faced with extreme disadvantages including myself. I feel within the walls of Mattituck High School, people are extremely concerned with race and the income of certain people that can’t afford all the materialistic things that some may be able to afford.
Because I see this I try to include everyone in everything. Everyone is different and that’s what makes the world so beautiful, but at times it makes it a difficult place to live as well. As a low middle class biracial child in Mattituck people have their preconceived notion of what they think of me. Just because I am half black does not mean I am uneducated, and am around bad influences. I use these things to drive me and try to bring diversity to other people’s lives. I don’t think you should act a certain way because you are a certain color. Just because my mother is a single parent working two jobs to provide for her three children doesn’t mean I’m going down the wrong path.
Most of my senior year I was working two jobs, and helping raise my brothers. People would think differently of me because I couldn’t afford to wear designer clothes or have a car. These things do not define a person. As I got older I gained confidence and was proud of who I became. Not only did I prove to others that the color of your skin or beliefs should define who you are. I saw that my school need some more diversity. Sometimes living in an all-white community is difficult when you are one of the few that are “different” and are out casted for it.
I try to add diversity to my community and my school through my art work and getting everyone involved. When painting people I always use different ethnicities, settings and back drops so everyone has the chance to connect to the piece on personal level. I bring up social problems through my art to create an emotional response to create diversity. I feel that by getting people more involved with art in the community will bring everyone closer together. Art allows you to see things differently and see the beauty in everyone and everything. To me that is diversity and inclusion, being different and unique all together.
The definition of diversity is a range of different things. That is what a community should be. If we were all made different for a reason because we are all different we challenge each other to be better ourselves. We come up with innovative ideas that continue to progress our world. Because we are different everyone has different interest, jobs, and talents.
Just think because we are all different we have teachers, carpenters, craftsmen, and so on. These people all shape our community and spark ideas within ourselves. Not only should a community be diverse with skills and interest but also races and ethnicities. When you have people from different backgrounds you are able to learn more about the world we live in. you get to hear and see things that will provoke you to ask questions and learn new things.
Especially for the young children I think it is very important for them to be exposed to different cultures and people before they leave home or go to college. It will prevent them from judging other people by the color of their skin or beliefs. This is essential for the upcoming generations. I truly believe that this will prevent people from, “Judging a book by its cover.”
I hope I have brought more diversity to my school and community showing and telling people that everyone is meant to be different and how we should all embrace each other. Instead of putting people down making yourself superior we could all lift one another up and live in harmony and unity.
So ask yourself is it really worth it to exclude someone or someone’s ideas because they are different due to their views or ethnicity? I strongly believe the answer to this is always no! By doing this people miss out on great friendships, relationships, connects, educational conversations, or great once in a life time adventures.