GARY | Johntrell Bowles is a freshman at 21st Century Charter School and is an aspiring Doctor. During the summer he enjoys working out with friends and family from home. He also is involved in a variety of sports such as track, baseball, basketball and even football. Johntrell also is very active on the debate team. He enjoys the areas of Social Studies and Language. Johntrell believes all people have the right to healthcare. Being in foster care and seeing his mother affected by congestive heart failure has made him a leader.
April’s South Shore Leadership Youth for Community Engagement (SLYCE) session really brought about a change in me and my other colleagues. In previous sessions we talked about being a leader and how to be settled and comfortable wherever you’re leading from, whether it was the side, front, or even the back. In our previous sessions we also talked about the area around us and making important decisions. Those were great sessions but, there wasn’t any session that was going to compare to this one. I’ve always been a guy that was for world peace and people coming together despite race, religion, and sexuality.
We started off the session by having Connie Kann, an inspirational presenter, share her presentation. She had told us “that we were going to sing”. The first thing that came to my mind was “I can’t sing. Why does she want us to do this?” We ended up singing songs like “Man in the Mirror” and “Earth Song” by Michael Jackson and a song by Barbara Streisand. Just looking around at everyone singing these great songs brought a big smile to my face. We all came together despite our differences and sang all these songs together and managed to have fun with it. It shows how the government should come together and decide what’s best for the people. If a bunch of freshmen’s, sophomores, and juniors in high school can do it, they can too.
We also talked about how sometimes in life you have to be the buffalo. In real life when it’s a storm that is about to hit in a buffalo’s area they run right through it because outside the storm it’s a brand new sunny day. In our life we are going to have trials and tribulations but, it’s all on us to decide how we’re going to deal with it. We can’t be the cow and run away from the storm because eventually it’s going to catch up with us. That’s something I’ll never forget and it has helped me pass it on to other people in my life. Being a leader doesn’t mean your life is going to be easy. You’re still a human being who is going to experience challenges.
Then after that insightful presentation we took a trip around a part of Valparaiso. It was great to see what new ideas and plans they had for the city. They were showing us how they weren’t going to leave abandoned buildings unattended. This shows the ultimate sacrifice for a city. It was a great experience being in April’s SLYCE session, and it has changed my life completely!