“Poverty. Why is it that we can have almost everything here in the United States, and somewhere in the world in another country people are dying and living from very little supplies. I would like to change that so everyone could just get rid of …
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In an era of hyper-global scrutiny, Colorado Community Media wondered how this year’s high school graduates would answer that question. Their responses leave you confident about our future, in the hands of people who want to create a world that is kinder, with more tolerance and compassion for all. Take a moment, in these next few pages, to listen to what the Class of 2017 has to say.
“Poverty. Why is it that we can have almost everything here in the United States, and somewhere in the world in another country people are dying and living from very little supplies. I would like to change that so everyone could just get rid of the hate and join as one, so that everyone is united.”— Cristina Vigil, Hidden Lakes High School“Bullying. Every day there is a kid committing suicide between the ages of 10-24 and approximately 4,400 lives are lost each year in the LGBTQ community. In that same community 82 percent had problems during the previous year with bullying around sexual orientation. Speaking for myself, I was bullied so much it became difficult to go to school, until I stood up for myself. When they knew I wasn’t afraid anymore, they stopped. I am still bullied once in awhile and sometimes I get made fun of, but it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to.”— Jose Bonilla Vidales, Hidden Lakes High School"If I could change one thing about the world, it would have to be how people actually see the world. I think that most individuals, especially those my age, including myself, tend to focus on what we can take from their surrounding environments rather than what we give back. I wish we were more globally aware, rather than being so selfishly self-aware."— Courtney Reanier, Academy of Charter Schools Thornton“The inequality between men and women. Throughout the world, men are not just paid more money, but also have more rights, more opportunity and experience less violence solely based on their gender.”— Alyssa Salazar, Horizon High School“The awareness of renewable energy. I feel like this topic is one that is brought up only in conversation but is not really acted upon. I feel like most people don’t know the actual prosperity that could be shown economically, socially, and even steps to make the environment cleaner. I do believe that climate change is a real thing and we need to take steps in order to help preserve our planet for generations to come. I would like to see renewable energy being cheaper, more efficient and more distributable in every part of the world.”— Davis Raines, Horizon High School“I would transform the amount of suffering animals in the world from numerous to none by rescuing them, spaying/neutering them and implementing strong background checks on those looking to adopt.”— Melissa Albert, Horizon High School“The fact that people are too caught up on what they can’t control. They get upset over something that they had no impact on. If evverybody just focused on themselves and what they could control, then there would be less conflict in the world. This would also provide people with less to worry about and make everyone happier and friendlier.”— Bradon O’Connor, Legacy High School“How people shy away from hard work. Life isn’t always going to be easy, but the only way to get stronger and better is by working your ass off and not accepting anything less than your best.”— Logan DiLullo, Legacy High School“To decrease the destruction of our natural environments. The world has so many natural beauties such as the expansive coral reefs, the vast jungles and rainforests, and even the staggering Rocky Mountains so close to us. Due to various uncontrolled impacts like pollution and climate change, however, we are losing some of nature’s greatest gifts. Coral reefs are dying, deforestation is shrinking the deeply mysterious rainforests, and urban expansion is destroying our environment as a whole. If these destructions are not decreased, we will lose all of our greatest natural wonders.”— Matt Ahern, Legacy High School“Abolish racism. Even though our world acts like there is no racism, we all know it still exists. People need to learn to be more accepting and to take people the way they are. Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. We are all stardust. In the end, our skin color, religion or nationality does not matter.”— Alan Alvarez, Mapleton Early College“Racism. It has brought pain, struggle and limits to not only my family, but to our society. We are all human, we all have a language, and we all are doing one thing in this life: working hard to one day succeed and live a steady lifestyle. Racism has brought nothing but harm to our society, so if I had the opportunity to change something in this world that is what I would change. We would change it by showing others how we are all equal. We are all one race — human. We should learn to work together for our future.”— Daniela Castor, Mapleton Early College“Allow every student to get an education. I would provide equal funding so every student has access to a good education. Our education system seems to revolve around good schools vs. bad schools. It can’t be expected for low-income students to do better in school if we don’t have resources to help them — or the funding. Just because I come from a low-income community, it doesn’t mean I am less capable of finding success.”— Janeth Mancha, Mapleton Expeditionary School of the Arts“Allowing everyone accesses to clean water. When people are allowed to have clean water they are allowed to spend their days worrying about other things, and it helps cut down on the spread of diseases. Everyone should be allowed to live their lives, and when they have access to clean water they are free to do so.”— Bryce Larson, Mountain Range High School“That misinformation and bad science exists and fills the heads of people who have no way of knowing that it’s not accurate, that’s what I would change. Everyone deserves to know how the world works so they can make informed decisions throughout their life. Unfortunately, people can call themselves scientists or doctors and gain the trust of unknowing people for their personal gain. In a perfect world, only the unbiased truth is reported.”— Ignacio Varela, Mountian Range High School“When something is wrong what do humans do? We dissect the situation and judge the people within. It is something that will never change. But what we can change is whether we listen to what our diagnostics are telling us, or we can take a deep breath and find out who people really are underneath their exterior.”— Jacob Scheller, Northglenn High School“The attitudes of people. I’d choose to have people be happy. Because with the world being happy we can live in a world of peace.”— Joseph Pippin, SkyView Academy“The laziness that my generation has. My generation has an entitled attitude which creates an atmosphere where they do not have to work for anything — everyone believes that they deserve to get whatever they want. It also leads to a major lack of respect.”— Kim Cuthbertson, SkyView Academy“End animal abuse because so many animals (especially dogs) show nothing but love to us, but there are still people taking advantage of them and treating them like garbage. And it’s super sad.”— Vincent Tran, Skyview Academy“By being a leader. Teaching my peers and younger kids how to lead by example and strive to be successful. I would show them the importance of perseverance through hardships and how being a leader reflects to others and makes things a whole lot easier. I would do this because being a leader has taught me that not only being looked up to makes a difference to yourself, but makes an even bigger difference to others, and what matters most is not always about how far you can strive to take yourself but about how far you help others strive to be their best.”— Fred Otero, Thornton High School“The way we treat each other. One act of kindness can bring joy to others and change their viewpoints on other people’s personalities, social lives and cultures. I would change the way we treat each other to improve our future lives without hate.”— Gaby Sotelo, Thornton High School“Discrimination in the world. Everyone from every country would agree on all things and we would all live in harmony.”— Josiah Siele, Thornton High School“The way everything is taken through society’s perspective. I feel as if society influences others to be a certain way or do certain things, and by doing this only holds them back from doing or becoming something they have always wished. Why would I change this, you ask? Because I know people on a personal note who are afraid of becoming what they want or to achieve their goals because that’s not what society believes is the right thing. People are so worried about society’s thoughts and beliefs that they put aside their goals for the benefit of society.”— Dolly DeHerrera, Westminster High SchoolIn this generation, everybody is seeking for likes, when there should be real love. I want a culture shock to happen, where individuals with harden hearts, find true happiness because it is when people love themselves that the world will begin to change."— Raezelle Maestas: Academy Charter School Thornton“How judgmental and critical our world is of people. I would change this because I believe people judge others based on unrealistic expectations and ideals of what we as people should look like and act like, that it forces the victims of ill judgment to hide their true selves in order to please other people. The world would be a much happier place if everyone was allowed to live their life freely without judgment.”— Vincent Carmean, Westminster High School“Racism. If racism was not present in society, the potential would just skyrocket because the minorities would not fear being judged and turned down because of their ethnicity or skin color. This is a fact that I have been exposed to and have seen how brilliant people don’t pursue their dreams because they fear discrimination. I have set the goal of becoming an architect, no matter the obstacles or social barriers. There is too much potential being wasted because of the barriers that are put up by an idea that just serves to damage our potential and hinder our progress.”— Jesus Corona Rodriguez, York International
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