top of page

hear our voice

Real life Thoughts, Opinions and commentaries 

Why is the Teen Health Fair so important?

By Kerissa Henry

Initially, when I first learned of the opportunity to gain community service hours, I was
immediately intrigued in assisting, especially when I discovered that the job would entail helping my fellow teens. However, since being involved in the planning of the event, my motivation has shifted from earning service hours to helping my fellow teens have a fun-filled day and most importantly how to care about their health. Health is very important to everybody whether you are a child, teenager, or an adult. It encompasses wellbeing, as well as fitness.


The Teen Health Fair will be a very important event as, not only will teens be informed about living a healthy lifestyle, they will also gain access to free testing and not to mention food, fun, games, and prizes. I, in fact, believe that the upcoming Teen Health Fair is an event that can not be missed. I commend the Odo Achievement Center for their hard work and dedication in ensuring that this event is a success. It is very easy to see that all the ladies involved in the planning process really have the teens of Irvington’s best interest at heart. Additionally, their passion is seen throughout the way that I am treated, not only as a child but respected and included like all teens wish to be treated. Also, during monthly meetings, none of the opinions I bring up are ever dismissed or pushed aside no matter how silly they may seem. I am truly grateful for this experience and all I can say to my teens is #Thinkaboutyourhealthperiodt.

Why is the Teen Health Fair so important?

My Experience and thought on the Odo Workshop sessions.

By Daqwan King

I have been participating in the Odo Achievement Center sessions since its first year in 2015 and it has helped enlighten me about various problems that today's youth face. I would attend every session with my older brother and have discussions about addiction, technology and study skills. The sessions are fun and interactive, encouraging everyone to contribute something to the discussion. I invited many of my friends to the workshops and they all believe that the information they gained was important.


In one of the sessions, we talked about stress, what causes it, and how it affects the lives of high school students. There I learned about the large workloads and intense studying that my peers faced. Instead of making their grades better, they were getting worse. We talked about methods to de-stress like taking time to do what you want, dividing your workload into parts, and asking for help so the process can be finished sooner. These sessions has done so much for me and I plan to continue attending many more.

My Visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC

Rosemarie Swaby

It was quite an overwhelming and poignant, yet thrilling and awe-inspiring experience.  A chance to step back into time, learn and re-imagine the turbulent lives and experience of a people in a nation that enslaved and treated them as less-than-humans through slave labor, segregation, lynches, injustice, and racial hatred. 

Starting at the lowest all the way to the top-most level of the museum, I could not help but be inspired at the sheer size, scale, and magnitude of the displays and exhibitions of 400 + years of African American History.  From the early beginnings of the Slave Trade all the way through to the Civil Rights up to the election of the first African-American President, I ran through a plethora of mixed emotions, sad and terrifying, awed and inspiring as I was transported from one era to the next with pictures, artifacts, exhibitions, visual and oral displays using modern technology.

The reminder of the harsh reality and experience of slavery and the African American heritage permeated every bend and turn inside the museum.  However, as the triumph of the human spirit and the fight for freedom blended in with the success and privilege of African American athletes, artists, musicians, TV personalities, and celebrities, I was inspired with hope, pride, and appreciation for the chance to experience it all.

How I managed to balance responsibilities 
at home and school

By Esther Oko

The prospect of having younger siblings to model after yourself is a pretty delightful one. Yes, numerous joys come from this, but as a teenager in today’s society, having younger siblings has become a chief source of the stress that I assume. I have two younger siblings under the age of eight and I do my part in any way I can to take responsibility for them. Arriving at a point where I was able to balance my school work and responsibilities at home was not an easy one. When it came to how involved I was at school, I remember feeling so left out and behind as well as feeling as if I was unable to attain my fullest potential due to the restraint I felt in that aspect. For a long time since I started High school, I allowed myself to remain in the shadows because I believed I had these nonnegotiable duties when it came to my siblings. Most days, I would have to come straight home from school to babysit on weekdays and weekends. It made me incapable of committing to most things that I wished to participate in. Also, I was afraid of others perceiving me as one who was unreliable. It all felt very overwhelming.


Along the way, I learned the significance of compromise. I planned and scheduled my school work more frequently in order to make time for my siblings and my extracurricular activities. Overall, I came to understand that what I did no matter how little, did matter. I joined clubs and began participating in rendering service to the community, all while compromising with my parents. I even began to take my siblings with me everywhere I could when I had to participate in something at school that I could not miss. Of course, there was the issue of constant distractions at home coming from them. With those, I found ways to manage and still be productive at home. I derive the most happiness from the fact that I can still contribute to my siblings’ lives while giving equal attention to my responsibilities at school. Most importantly, they get to learn from me and I learn from them.

bottom of page