Meet Belem – a statement at 16 yrs old
When I arrived at the class, like other teens my age, I didn’t want to be noticed. I was bullied for many years in school because I wore black clothes and wouldn’t talk to anyone. The ABT class has shown me so much like how to meditate to calm those thoughts that tell me I’m not enough. I discovered there are feelings in me; I didn’t even know I had. There is a way out. Life is beautiful. People can actually care for me, and that makes me care for them.
After three months of taking the Arts for a Better Tomorrow classes, I learn something really important: I learn how to feel again. And that is something I know I would not have learned in school. I want to live, I want to be here. I now feel alive, and I don’t feel like I just am going through every day just to get through it.
I feel stronger even when bad things still happen, and they will happen, but I know I am worth fighting for me to be the best me, to be the best Belem I can be. That is my role, and I will play it better than anyone else. I will study psychology in the university, and I will help girls my age who are going through what I went through so they can also know there is a way to come out ahead.
UPDATE: Belem is now 18yrs old, in her first year in university, and on ABT’s Tijuana Youth Program Development Committee. “I have learned so much about myself, and I’m not done learning. I am so grateful to ABT. I am in the first year of my university studies and am looking into the possibility of becoming a psychologist. Have not decided for sure, but one this that I’m sure of is I will be developing a program together with ABT to help teen girls struggling with issues I struggled in my early years, which are destructive thoughts and behaviors. I will call my program: ‘Las Niñas del Arte’ because we all have that potential of knowing we do.”