Nicole - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Entered on February 24, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: prejudice

I’ve spent most of my life traveling back and forth from the east coast to west. Unfortunately, while I attended elementary school in Richmond, VA, I had to deal with many prejudiced people who thought it was amusing to judge me based on my cultural background. I was the only Filipino in my class and the students seemed unforgiving of that fact. While everyone acted and practically looked the same, I stood out with my oriental appearance and practices. I had a torturous year of teasing and ridicule before moving back to California. Even now, being 19 years of age and a college student, that period of my life is always present in the back of my mind. However, I don’t believe I would be the person I am today if I never went through that experience. Tolerance is something that I strongly believe in. I’ve met many people from many different countries and I have never selected my friends according to where they came from. The varieties of people I’ve met have enriched my life and I’ve learned so many things from them. I’ve come across countless ignorant and racist individuals and I try my best to steer clear of them. I believe that being in a diverse environment is enjoyable as well as educational. It can help break the stereotypes and introduce someone to another way of living. There is no reason to put another person down because of their sex, religion, ethnicity, or orientation.