When I Look In The Mirror, I See…

When I look in the mirror, I see me…Facing Myself

When I look in the mirror, I see someone who is tired of being tired. She has a face, hard from betrayal and hurt, darkened by the sun and weathered by tears.
Her body is large, hated by the society she lives in. The life she lives is somewhat plain—it is quiet and submissive. Her eyes squint; she’s trying her hardest to see the person she wants to be, but the image only blurs.

She fears her own face and it requires every ounce of her lingering strength to face herself. She wonders why people don’t understand her—where she comes from and why the choices she makes are so different than the norm.

In her eyes, I see an empty space, a void waiting to be filled with these difficult feelings called satisfaction and acceptance. If she held her hands up, I would see the remains of hard work and a few traces of artistic genius. Lifting a little higher and you would see the scars she gave herself a few years ago. She doesn’t wear them so proudly anymore.

Her face shows confusion, and I see she is stressed, but most apparent of all I see myself, this person who knows no matter what the circumstances are around her, she will get the final say on what will truly affect her life.
-Jaleesa, 19


When I look in the mirror, I see… Someone Else…Or Me?
When I look in the mirror, I see someone else,
Someone that other people want me to be.
My hair is different, cause no one
Likes it my way in a pony tail.
It was down, straight as can be
My whole image is different.
To them I am quiet, which lets people
Take advantage of me.
When I look in the mirror, I finally see
Myself, standing strong, standing up for myself
I have found my own image, I see my
Curly black hair the way I want it
My responsibility and self and not someone else
Looking back at me through the mirror
When I look in the mirror, I see…ME!
-Chanda, 20


When I look in the mirror, I see…Acceptance
When I look in the mirror, I see a bizarre figure. I think I am the only person who looks like me. Now here I stand across from someone with every aspect of my physique. What’s more mysterious is he can mimic my every movement. When I look into the mirror, I see a cloud storming in. I feel this life is not going to be an easy road but I know I can handle it.

I see a strong, determined young gentleman who will be successful in life. He’s not afraid to take the dangerous road. He believes everything happens for a reason. He will not give up on his goals.

When I look into the mirror, I see a person who is growing from out of his shell. Someone who is caring and respectful, and accepts himself for who he is.
-Dasen, 18

The kNOw Youth Media
The kNOw works to support and equip young people with the journalism and advocacy skills they need to tell their stories and the stories of their communities.

In 2006, over 25 youth began participating in weekly after-school writing workshops where they congregated in the hallway of a two-story building in West Fresno and learned the essentials of creating media and telling their stories. The group evolved over the next five years and is now proudly recognized as The kNOw Youth Media.

Through our program, we create opportunities for our youth participants, who in turn create long-term positive change in their communities. Our approach weaves youth development and youth media innovation to produce our biannual youth publication, multimedia projects, and community forums.

The kNOw began as a project of New America Media, which was the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate of 2000 ethnic news organizations. In 2018 The kNOw became a project of Youth Leadership Institute.

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