A keynote speaker, Kevin Honeycutt, at Northwest Council for Computer Education, spoke about how to face and deal with overcoming stereotypes. He says, “Don’t prove them right, prove them wrong.” To me, this means that we should overcome and not let people get to us, even though it may hurt our feelings, We know in our hearts that these may be very false, so don’t let them be a part of who you are. You should go on and continue to succeed to prove them wrong. Always work and do your best.
A stereotype is when you place someone in a certain group in a negative way. For example, if there are two young men and one is tall and one is short, there would be people who may stereotype him, so let’s say the tall man was black, some would probably say to him, “You’re black and tall so you must play basketball.” For the short young man, let’s say he is Chinese or Japanese: some people would say, “Oh, you’re short because you’re Chinese or Japanese.” All stereotypes aren’t directed towards what you look like or what your physical appearance is, but can be about where you come from and how much money you make. For example, I am African American and let’s say I am walking with two other African American males, and someone says, “Since they are black, they must be from the ‘hood or they must be in a gang.” There are also gender stereotypes as well. Women have actually been discriminated more than males all over the world. Some of the biggest stereotypes that I have heard about girls/young ladies is, “Oh you’re a girl, so you can do this thing, or oh you hit like a girl.”
Besides the overcoming and stereotypes, he spoke about student voice and how important it is. When a student gets their ideas or thoughts out to the world. When we think about student voice we think of the future, how can you pay no mind to our voices, and what we have to say when we are the future. Of course some people may agree or disagree with it, but we also have opinions, we have the ability to change the world, we know we can’t do it on our own, that is why we need you to listen, we know much more than what you think we know, and we are capable of much more than you could ever imagine.
Here are some student voices about their goals in life:
“So I don’t really have a goal but I have like an idea of what I want to be when I grow up. I would like to be a firefighter when I grow up, but I always hear other people tell me that oh you should be a basketball player since you are tall. Now, see, I do love basketball but a stereotype that’s thrown on most black males is that since you are tall you must have to play basketball or play football. I do love playing those sports but I don’t want that be thrown on that I have to play them, but when I tell other people that I want to be a firefighter they give the like WHHHHAAAATTT face, some do that and some be like, ‘oh ok that is nice.’ But I do like to hear when other people, like my classmates or close relatives think I should just do basketball. Some reasons why I choose to be a firefighter is because I like the fact that I get to save people. Now I do know that I am going to running into extreme heat and lighting, very hefty loads, and some of those loads can be people. But that is a lot like life and how we go through different trials and tribulations and we have to lift heavy burdens off of us. I also would to be a fireman because they also do a lot for the community. Not just fighting fires and helping when trouble comes around, they do other things such as feeding the hungry, giving out backpacks to kids in need, and also very many other things. Being a firefighter isn’t an easy job, to get hired for and the job itself, I do know that you have to be not only emotionally strong but also physically strong and they have to be intelligent as well. So knowing all of this that makes me want to be a firefighter even more, not just for the money and not for the fame or whatever else comes with it but that I want to able to save lives and also help with the community and do all of this through the Lord. There is a scripture that really motivated me to be a firefighter, the scripture is Colossians 3:23. It says that, ” Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart, as working for the Lord.” NCCE had reminded me that life is like fighting fires and when a relationship breaks down it crumbles down to the ground just like a building, when it burns down it crumbles, but I want to be the one that comes and helps to put the fire out or help that relationship or that problem.” – Joshua Bass
“From a very young age, I felt like I’ve been good at therapy, solving and talking out problems. I believe I would be good at this in the future and could probably do something with it for my future career. My goal/career path is to be a psychiatrist/psychologist. I feel like I could possibly relate to the patients/people that need help, considering the fact that I’ve most likely been through some of the same things they have.” -Mia Britt
“I love traveling, seeing new things, meeting new people and when I grow up I really want to do something that incorporates all of these things, I want to not only travel but help people in these countries who are less fortunate than I am, I know that before I can do that I should start with figuring out how to end poverty and hunger in my own country.” – Genesis Conyers
Question: How has work you’ve done in school this year been reinforced at NCCE?
“So basically all of the work that we have done really reinforces the things that we do a NCCE or some of the things that we saw at NCCE. There was one project in particular, which is my disguise project, that my other group member and I did. Our group had decided that we were going to focus on the subject of spoken word and how language is a way for people to communicate. We had used different Microsoft products, such as Office Mix and Sway, and we had used different websites to help us, including TED-Ed and Discovery Education. We also used our mobile devices to take pictures and video. “- Joshua Bass
Genesis: Attending NCCE and the Keynote by Kevin Honeycutt helped me see that I can do anything I want to do and be anything I want to be, that the only person that can ever hold me back from my dreams, and goals is myself. For a long time I’ve always dreamt of traveling and that I would one day be able to go anywhere in the world I want. Not to just say I’ve been there, but to be able to appreciate the beautiful earth that we have, to be able to learn about a culture other than my own is exciting to me. At NCCE I talked to different people about traveling and that I also wanted to study abroad when I attend college. It was very inspiring to get the same reaction from everyone and that was, “Go for it!” Like I said the only person that could ever hold me back is myself, so I think that when I need to prove someone wrong, the doubt is within myself. I can prove myself wrong by just doing it, I’d rather do something with the possibility of failing, than not doing it and living in regret for the rest of my life wondering what could’ve happened. So where exactly does technology play a role in all of this? Technology can help me do that by documenting these moments when I visit a new place and take pictures of the beautiful sights it will help me reflect, not only on the time I’ve had but, how I’ve grown, how much experience I’ve gained, and also knowledge. I will prove myself wrong and anyone who doubted me because, I didn’t let anything get in my way. I followed my dreams, and accomplished my goals, and have evidence on that, so in the end that’s what really matters. I will be able to look back at my experience at NCCE and be grateful that it opened my eyes and really gave me the confidence to go wherever my heart guides me.
Mia: Attending NCCE was an amazing opportunity. All of the sessions, specifically the 2 keynotes, really inspired me. The speakers helped me realized how much I can actually pursue my dreams and that my voice is important. They reminded me that it is important to overcome your sad, rough past and to turn it into something positive. By doing this, you have a story to tell. You can share your story with others so that they don’t feel alone, You can amplify your voice with the technology that we have to make sure it is heard. Success is the best way to prove someone wrong. When you show the people who doubted you, hurt you, etc. that you didn’t give up when they hurt you, it proves them wrong. It shows them that you are valuable, a diamond to be treasured, not a broken mirror but a Halle Berry, beautiful and successful.
NCCE reminded me that it is always important to always work at your best and to not give up, no matter who shoots you down.
“Don’t prove them right. Prove them wrong.
Without a voice, there’s not much choice
Your opinions go void,
If you die tomorrow
And you never spoke a word
Your story will remain unheard.
If you never speak up,
how can you stand out?
People have been
stereotyped and labeled
Even if that’s not the person that they want to be
Everyone has their own,
Background of why they are the way they are
We have been given this opportunity
To come together
And overcome the stereotypes and segregation
To display and share our
I want to share mine with you
I want to overcome the negativity
And digital pain that I’ve been through.
Behind the smile
And the curly hair
I have a story
I’m here to say
Things will work out
For the better
We should support one another
And amplify our opinions,
even if we don’t always agree.
Respect and not reject
Stop the silence
and prove them wrong.”
Authors are students from Renton Prep: