By Kenia Bustos
Community is where we all work together to work as one. In a community we value other’s opinions, hard work, time and the dedication they put into their lives. At Tahoma we have a community of hardworking women who give their time and dedication to our community. A lot of times they don’t get necessarily get recognized for their hard work .
Summit Public School: Tahoma works as a team to create equality in our community. We work to better our community by educating future generations.
I met with hardworking women in our community, and we decided to talk about their achievements in our community, stereotypes they face and if they feel they get represented enough.
Monserrath Mendieta, a Summit Tahoma junior, said teachers have done a good job making sure we are in a community that’s safe and because of that she has the ability to represent herself and she has the power to succeed even if she’s a women.
Mendieta said gender does not define anything she does. She doesn’t think it’s reasonable to have that mentality. “Our determination is what guides a lot of us,” she explained.
That left me thinking that a lot of times we let stereotypes define us and we are afraid of doing something just for the simple fact that we are afraid of being judged.
We talked about the work force and how women get represented as having jobs that are not as significant as the jobs men hold and how they think physical appearance is what will help us go far in life. In our community, we still need improvement when it comes to gender inequality; there are too many norms in the way of how things should be.
Supporting equal rights will lead to better community; it will help our society advance. We talked about our current presidential politics: how they want to ban Planned Parenthood and how taking away the right to make decisions about our bodies is unconstitutional.
Mendieta said her school is focused on enforcing gender equality. In our community, since the time we walk into this school, we all know there’s an equal chance of succeeding and getting into a four-year college.
Summit Tahoma does not prioritize people based on gender, color of skin, ethnicity, economic status or social background. I believe we must work hard to have everyone understand that we are all equal and that no one is better than anyone. We all have equal rights.
Adults don’t limit us to our physical appearance. The Summit Tahoma community offers programs during Expeditions, like the course Girl Rising, that help girls be confident about themselves. They talk about issues around the world based on gender. Mendieta said, “We are all working together to end the problem.”
Lia Pinelli, the Expeditions teacher who runs Girl Rising, chose Mendieta to help her give a talk about how women are represented in the world for the Strong Girls, Strong Women conference. “I chose Monse because she is one of the most brilliant, driven and thoughtful students I’ve ever met,” Ms. Pinelli said. At the conference, Mendieta and Ms. Pinelli talked to a group of girls about the importance of gender equality in our community and how important it is to be yourself all the time.
Marisa Craig, a Spanish teacher at Summit Tahoma, said she believes that no matter what background you come from we are all people and we all deserve equal rights.
Ms. Craig said, “At Tahoma we know each other,” as she mentioned that it was hard for our community to judge each other since we are a tight community that takes time to actually interact with people.
We talked about the pressure society creates for women because people are not open-minded about women having the power to run something. I believe that the leader of our country has no respect for women. We are at a time where there’s more awareness about women’s rights and gender equality, but I believe there’s still progress to do.
Ms. Craig said, “It’s not perfect here, but I do think we at least treat each other with respect.”
At Tahoma, we are surrounded by diversity, so we learn the importance of treating everyone equally and not letting gender affect the way we think of someone. Our community always works together for a better future. We are the future of America.