YOUTH STATEMENTS

Giancarlos Asencio, Brooklyn
For me, this video means we are fighting for justice. It applies greatly to what’s going on in the world right now, and this video is a way of voicing how we want to be treated. The video is powerful because it gives us a chance to have our voices heard and make a change. The video can reach many people and can encourage them to join our cause. I hope that people will see the video and that it will spread and make a change in society. This video can help be a turning point, resulting in less brutality and more equality for African Americans. 

 

Kalia Asencio, Brooklyn

The #ImagineAwrld video means that my voice is heard by others, respected by others, and validated by others. This video demonstrates our suppressed feelings about the world we will live in. It is our true feelings of what we see around us daily and what we truly want to see in our world. Our video is an unwritten song of my and my fellow youth’ voices. What I hope people get out of our video is to listen before speaking to youths and to actually understand and value our thoughts and beliefs instead of brushing us off. I want people to realize that the youth are caterpillars going through a metamorphosis to become beautiful butterflies, and we want to see the world progress, not regress. 

Descriptive caption: A brown-skinned person with an afro and wearing an oversized light gray New York Yankees shirt raises their left fist, looking at the camera. Behind them are various posters, including one on the left that reads “Panic! At The Disco.” To the right is a mirror reflecting the bright sun and the hanging wooden letters “A” and “M.” The text on the frame reads, in white sans serif: “I would stand with justice."

Descriptive caption: A figure with black bangs and a pink shirt looks at the camera with an open mouth, likely in the middle of a word. Behind them is a teal room with a bright window and a bookshelf on the left-hand side. At the bottom are the words “imagine a world” in white sans serif. 

Givienna Geneva Gordon, Brooklyn
The #ImagineAwrld video means a lot. This group has been working hard from the start. Many workshops were done to make many different poems, and they were taken and put together to make one beautiful art piece. The video describes what we want and need in the world. I’ll even say that this video gives off the idea that change can happen. I hope that this video helps others see that the world doesn’t make us: we make the world.

 

Amanda Jones, Brooklyn
For me, the video means that, as teens, we can change the world. We have our power and our voices, and we can make changes. It also shows how we all came together, and we worked together to make this really inspiring video for other teens out there who are feeling down. This video will always have a special place in my memory because, even though we were in quarantine, this video came out so perfect, and I hope everyone gets to see it.

 

The video is inspiring and hopeful. I hope the video lets teens and everyone else imagine a world where we will see change, and things will eventually get better; we just have to keep moving. I hope this also inspires them to make videos of their own and have their friends and family make videos too. During this time, the video has helped me keep my head high and kept me doing my work. I hope people will keep their minds open and believe that we can make changes. People should start listening to teens because we are the future, and we all want a good one. Also, I hope teens around the country speak up and inspire change because we all need to work together to get this done. We can’t be quiet anymore.

Descriptive caption: This frame is mostly composed of a leaning green plant being tended by two, partially visible brown hands. Only part of a figure wearing dark blue pants, a pale striped shirt, and a gray-blue hat is seen. At the bottom are the words “we can be like plants” in white sans serif.

Descriptive caption: A layered image shows a figure from behind raising their right fist and wearing a pale sweater. The image shows a white truck and a small crowd of people outside a building, many wearing masks. It is overlaid by another image, showing a more faint figure with black hair and black glasses, looking out a window. Below, in white sans serif, are the words “we can be lungs that give life.” 

Samantha Rodriquez, Queens
This video is a chance for us to be heard and for us to leave a trace of our younger selves behind. It is a chance to leave an impact on the ever-changing world around us, and, even more than that, it’s a reflection of our unique moment in time. The video is a sharing of our lives. All these photos, poems, and videos have a personal significance or story behind them. It’s a culmination of our time together. I hope the impact is remembered not for making waves but instead for its ripples. I hope, in 10 years, it is remembered as a line of poetry stuck in a person’s head or the memory of an image they can’t quite place. I hope we live on in the minds of the people who are here to witness our work. I hope all of us remember what we were a part of; I hope we all remember what we made in 2020. 

 

Aurora Sadasy, Queens
This video is our voices coming together as a collective to show the world what we want: it makes us and the audience imagine a hypothetical world that isn’t too far off if we all collaborate as we did together in YAC. We need to stop just saying what we want and put our words into actions through small initiatives. I would describe this video as our way of contributing to this growing movement. Though the mission hasn’t changed, the faces have. And it’s time for the new faces to show themselves. This video is also our way of showing how we coped with this unprecedented time. I hope that this video inspires others to take change into their own hands. That will help take the movement into the new generation.

Descriptive caption: A cropped image of a series of paper cut-out figures, shaped like gingerbread persons, on a wooden surface and colored in black, dark orange, and pink. Below them is part of a cut-out globe and the words “for the world, I imagine” in white sans serif. 

Descriptive caption: A brown-skinned person with an afro is looking looking directly at the camera from within a group video grid recording. Behind them are various posters, including one on the left that reads “LISTEN" with a mouth above the word.  Across their face on the screen is overlaid text that reads in white sans serif: “just imagine."

Marvens Volcimus, Brooklyn
The YAC video, to me, means that, although we have been stuck inside for a few months, we have been doing something. It means that, despite all the events that have been going on in our society, we are still able to have our voices heard. It also means we are sick and tired of racism and that we are not afraid to take a stance.

 

I would describe the video as a creation of all of our hard work and dedication. Our weekly Zoom calls show that we had a mission, and we completed that mission together. I hope this has a big impact on the world because this video is not only about us but everyone else in the world who is combatting racism. I hope it shows some people the errors of their ways and influences them to not judge someone just on their skin color.

Grace Wang, Queens

The #ImagineAwrld video is the world that I dream about and view as my haven when life becomes overwhelming. It is a source of direction for me: no matter how chaotic the world may seem, we still have a goal of an ideal world, and we have a vision of what that world would look like. The video serves as a reminder of my time working with YAC and being a part of a strong and loving community. It calls up the memories of my time in quarantine and still having the ability to work and communicate with different teens around NYC.
 
The video encapsulates and reflects our intentions and desires for the world we live in. The video is able to visually demonstrate what we, as teenagers, want to see in the future. I hope this inspires people to make positive changes in the world and causes them to come together as one unit to make the world a better place. I hope it provides inspiration for people who may feel helpless and reassures them that our dreams are possible if we work in an open-minded way with one another. Also, I hope it helps people acknowledge that we come from the same Earth, and our experiences define who we are as humans.