By Laura, age 16
You try and convince me I am nothing, just a worthless ‘thing’ to be toyed with. You label me in order to have control over me, but your words cannot cage me. I will not be beaten down with this torment I do not deserve. I am not yours to treat as you please, your lies and rumors will not haunt me. I am strong, my power is inner and I am not as
pathetic as you think. I walk with my head high, for I am more then your labels and stereotypes. I am not afraid to stand up for myself; I have pride in who I am. I am not dirty, empty or alone. You cannot hurt me so easily. My happiness has nothing to do with your approval or acceptance of me. I am who I am and you will not change me. I am a person, worthy of love, life and respect. Your judgments mean nothing to me. I am proud and there is nothing you can say that can make me ashamed of who I am. You cannot defeat my spirit, your words can only make me stronger. My ideals, dreams and truths are mine and no one else’s. I do not push my beliefs on others, but I stand up for my rights. I cannot be categorized, for I am unique. I have respect for myself and the people around me. The power you believe you have is fake; you cannot take power from me. To have power, you must first have respect.