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True American

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To be a true American, some people think that a person has to agree with everything our government says, right or wrong. My belief is that, to be a true American one must strive to make this country a better place. A place that can be respected and looked up to by the rest of the world, rather than shunned and feared as it is today. To say that I am only interested in one specific social issue would be a lie. One person focusing on one problem will not make an impact. Being socially conscious is a big part of my life. I feel guilty when my life becomes stagnant, and I dont have any goals or concerns. Under the conformity of my button-down shirt and tie, I am wearing an American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU, t-shirt. It reads: Justice, Equality, Education, Involvement", all things I stand for and strongly support.

There are so many problems in this country that can't be ignored, some so complicated, I doubt they will ever be solved in my time on this earth. I've heard over and over that, "Every journey begins with the first step", and the fact that there are people out there like me trying to deal with problems other people create out of hatred, greed, or sheer stupidity, makes the world a better place. Some of the most important issues in my eyes are: poverty in the United States, racial equality, and nationalism.

The best way I have found to deal with these problems is through writing. I live in a very diverse neighborhood where I am exposed to different perspectives and opinions every day. Writing manifestos, opinion articles in local newspapers, or ranting on web sites are my outlets of political philosophy. The only thing more important to me than expression is action. Food drives and community meals are my options as a seventeen year old to fight poverty in my community. I also took part in "the homeless experience", a 24 hour simulation of homelessness to see where I was most needed. Actually acting on my



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