What Defines You?


Jadyn Ford, Writer

April 23 through 26, The Nationalist decided to ask the students of Roosevelt High School about their identities. We encouraged students to write one word that describes them on a sticky note, which we stuck to a sign reading “What Defines You?”

Responses varied from positive to negative. The majority of responses are as follows:




As well as:



Or simply:




In addition to these, we asked students to write down a time they were treated differently because of who they are. Here are some of the anonymous, unedited responses:

“I got in trouble for talking and the white kid didn’t”

“Teacher put me in the back of the class because I’m gay”

“Wrestling as a girl”

“Guy’s only like me for my butt. Girl’s only hate me because of my butt.”

“When I first joined my senior police force, lots of people looked at me differently

because I am black”

“Being Hispanic”

“I got called skinny”

“Called a ginger”

“Sometimes people wouldn’t want me to play with them because I’m not athletic”

“People would be mean and call me names because of my religion”

“My mom brings me to church to turn me straight”

“I’m not good enough to be on the cheer team”

“I was bullied because I’m an aspie & bisexual”

“I was considered a “loser” in elementary and middle school because I was very poor”

“I was told I cheat because I’m black and all black people cheat. My white grandma said she didn’t love me because black isn’t beautiful. In one of my classes, this kid called me a dumb n*gger and nothing happened to him. I get followed in stores because I’m black.”


It’s clear that the diverse community we’ve built here at Roosevelt has come at the cost of individual hardship. The traits that are supposed to bring us pride sometimes bring the opposite; however, they’ve brought us a strong community. We Are Roosevelt, We Are One!

Photos by Vinessa Sowell