I’m From Washington, D.C. – Video Story.

by Ibada

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My name is Ibada and I’m from Washington, D.C.

When I was working at Yale this summer, one of the first students to arrive was a small, sort of fragile-looking girl, her name was Erika. And I think as teachers, or any kind of authority figure or role model in somebody’s life, it’s really important to support your strongest students, which doesn’t necessarily mean a student who has the best academic performance or your best athlete. Erica is definitely one of the strongest students I’ve ever had by far.

The objective of the program is to create a model for social enterprise or some kind of project working with social change. Erika is gay, she’s been out for two years. Her hands were shaking so badly she couldn’t even open the doorknob. I think she was just afraid she wouldn’t belong, and her best friend passed away this past April. April 22nd. His name was Aiden and he was transgendered, female-to-male, and he committed suicide just a few months ago. And Erika’s project deals with the LGBT community at her high school and bullying. So that’s sort of what Aiden faced and what took his life. She’s working against that and I think she’s sort of a bit troubled mostly because she’s fighting for him and she’s also fighting for herself which is a lot for a 16-year-old girl to deal with. The particular nature of her project for her was really hard to deliver, but I also think it allowed her sort of vent some of the feelings she’s been experiencing over the past few months. And to let herself be loved which was something very challenging for her.

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