Monday, August 3, 2009

Day 3: Appreciating Diversity

Students and counselors pose with Melvin McCray '74 of ABC News after a Broadcast Media workshop. (Photo Credit: Brian Rokus '99)

By Ana Rivera (Newark, NJ)

Diversity is a theme yet to be fully appreciated and embraced by American hearts and souls. I believe this specifically applies to my situation, growing up in a harsh and close-minded community. Where I reside, being different is perceived in a negative manner, instead of being accepted and welcomed. Individuals who are blessed with coming from a different heritage and ethnicity are in a sense persecuted and isolated in terms of social standards.

When I arrived at the PUSJP along with my luggage, I arrived with a heavy burden upon my fatigued shoulders. A burden that was the belief that every place had the same pessimism as home. Instead of finding the expectation to hold true, I was amazed at what I found. I felt overwhelmingly positive in a room full of people of different colors, religions, ethnicities and personalities. Each participant of the program has something different and valuable to bring to our societies’ currently limited journalistic table.

The fact that everyone judges you for the content of your character rather than your physical appearance is not only rare in my experience but also appreciated and astounding! This program did what no other place that I experienced in my years could dream to do. No matter what preconceptions and stereotypes many individuals like myself grow up with, I trust and hope that through this program all of us will share the content our enlightened minds with anyone who is willing to open theirs.

1 comment:

  1. i feel the same. I'm so glad i came here and met people of various backgrounds. :)