Sela Breen: March For My Life (memoir/essay)

Southern Legitimacy Statement: Sela wrote about herself instead of writing a SLS but we forgive her. Read the following essay and you’ll see why. “I am a ninth grade student at Mamaroneck High School. I am fourteen years old, and love sing, dance, and spend time with my family. I have always loved to write, and want to share my work outside of a class room setting. I greatly appreciate all time given to my piece.”

March For My Life

When I was in elementary school I remember coming home to a somber house while my parents told me that young kids had been shot at their school, just a couple hours from us. The kids were my brother’s age, around six or seven, and the shooting had taken place at Sandy Hook Elementary School. At the time, I barely gave the event a second thought, but fast forward six years and I am marching with my mom in New York City, protesting the very same issue that led to that disaster.

As I grew older, my interest in politics propelled me towards activism. I became more aware of the privileges I am lucky to have and the restrictions I am subjected to. As a child and student people take advantage of you because you can’t stand up for yourself. In restaurants, you are overlooked for seats because there are adults waiting behind you. And now, apparently, our safety is being looked over as well. But I am done being taken advantage of, and so are millions of others. When I saw what had happened at Stoneman Douglas High School and how the students were standing up for themselves, I knew I wanted to be part of that. 

Flash forward and I’m at the March for Our Lives NYC with my mom and friends, holding up a sign and chanting “VOTE THEM OUT” and “THIS IS WHAT DEMOCRACY LOOKS LIKE” at the top of my lungs. I walked alongside all of the other fed up teens who are ready to stand up for themselves and speak their mind. I had the honor of watching activists speak their minds and show me what it is like to be the change you wish to see. I was surrounded by other people like me, standing up for what we believe in, standing up for our basic rights. 

The experience was so empowering. Not only was I standing up for what I believe in, I was standing up for myself. I was standing up for my friends, my brother, my cousins, and all children. For years people have stepped on young people because they don’t know how to fight back, but we do. I fight back for what I believe in and I will continue to until I see a change.