By PAVE Peer Leaders Joseph Zeitouny, Anna Kraffmiller, Xavier Quintanilla, Mariel Jean-Philippe, Carmen Serrato, Nicole Jacobs-Marques, and Lila Campbell
At one of the weekly PAVE (Peers Against Violence Educators) Peer Leader meetings at Waltham High School, students were given the following prompts around our four Domestic Violence Awareness Month themes: My Voice Matters, I Am One Of The Voices, I Will Use My Voice For Change, and We Are Louder Together. They each completed one, two, three, or all four prompts. At the next meeting, the teens cut up and rearranged the sentences to form the poem you see here. While doing this, they thought of themes, of rhythm, and of their powerful, vibrant voices.
My Voice Matters because my life matters.
I am one of the voices of the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities.
I am one of the voices of the Latinx community. I take pride in this in spite of the political climate. I realize how privileged I am to be American born and that I speak English. I try to help my community by interpreting.
We are louder together when we are united to speak.
I will use my voice for change that makes a positive impact.
I will use my voice for change to advocate and respect my boundaries.
I will use my voice for change because I am capable of it.
My Voice Matters because a community is made up of individuals and each of these individuals matters. Their opinions, thoughts, and well-being matters because we are only the sum of our parts.
My Voice Matters because kids need to have a voice in the world.
We are louder together with our voices and our hope.
I will use my voice for change in my community. I will speak out against injustices. I will share my opinions to inform those who want to learn and give the opportunity to those who might not want to.
My Voice Matters because every voice can combine and find strength in numbers. Survivors and allies alike can find strength and spark change as a group.
I am one of the voices that make changes in the community for the better.
I am one of the voices that speaks out to help those with the same pain.
I will use my voice for change to break the cycles and inspire people to keep fighting.
We are louder together to unite a community of leaders.
I will use my voice for change. I have always love the music used in protests- I love people raising their voice together, literally, filling the air with their ideas. May we fill the air and ourselves.
I am one of the voices that will speak out and help create change. I will advocate for myself and my communities.
My Voice Matters because I matter.