“My differences have caused trouble in my life, but they have also made me a work of art”

The CYC is immensely proud of 6th grader Nora Standish, whose essay ‘Weirdly wonderfulness: Life with the “Geek Disorder”‘ was chosen as a feature for Rapid Growth Media. This must-read essay highlights the power of difference instead of seeing what sets us apart as purely detrimental. Or, as Nora so eloquently puts it “My differences have caused trouble in my life, but they have also made me a work of art.” The beauty in this being, of course, that Nora’s differences are part of what make her such an amazing and empathetic author. Through the bravery to share her unique perspective, both in this essay and in her other writing, Nora broadens her specific experience into an accessible and relatable narrative. In other words, Nora’s writing, like so much of CYC students’ work, empowers those who read it.

Nora participates in our weekly middle school programming, where she just helped to write and act in the first-ever CYC short film, Unspoken. The movie was created through a consensus process. This meant that Nora and her fellow middle schoolers had to agree every step of the way. And this short film is just one of the many ways these students are encouraged to pursue their voices and stories.

The CYC aims to be a place where everyone sees their differences as powerful and beautiful. We hope that through amplifying student voices from a young age, the students will learn that what they have to say matters and matters deeply. And we love to see other places in the community helping students to see this as well. Nora’s essay is part of a series of stories focused on the programs and people positively impacting the lives of Michigan kids. Read more of this series here.