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I-CREATE YOUTH'S Fellowship Program is an opportunity for youths aged 13 to 22 to embark on a project involving disability rights and awareness. Each fellow works on a research or creation project in STEM, Humanities and the Arts, or a hybrid of both. Find out more about our fellows' projects.
Selected fellows will receive guidance, resources, and connections to embark on a community project on disability rights and awareness. They pair up with a mentor while being at the liberty to steer their project in the direction they want. All fellows work remotely.
Representation of Women in Literature: Problems and Diversions
The Drive Behind the Project
I remember that when I was very young, I was gifted dolls and kitchen sets to play with, most of them on a pink theme. Even the walls of my room were pink. On the other hand, my brother always had toy cars, helicopters and robots to play with. Even though I liked these gifts, I didn't like the color pink. Both my brother and I preferred blue. I sometimes wondered why I couldn't play with cars and why my brother was not given kitchen sets. I once even thought that there was something wrong with me: girls are supposed to like pink, right?
I also took to storybooks at a very young age, and like most other children, started with fairytales. I read stories of Cinderella, Snow White, Ariel and others, and again, every time the general storyline was that a gentle girl falls into some trouble, and is rescued by a man, and then they live happily ever after. I enjoyed these stories too, and would sometimes dream of my own "Prince Charming."
When I was a little older, I noticed that even in my school textbooks, whenever there was a mention of kitchen or household chores, it was always associated with women. While when the matter was of earning outside the house, it was mostly associated with men.
I had often heard my relatives say, "What is the use of studying, at the end you are only going to manage the kitchen in someone else's house." Though I always felt that there was something wrong with this, at the time I couldn't figure out what it was. It was when I came across an instance of domestic violence that my neighbor was being subjected to, that I started doubting all the "happily ever afters" I had read about. I later came to know that my mother was a homemaker because her in-laws wouldn't allow her to work after marriage. She had always wanted to become a lawyer.
Since then, I started diving deep into the topic of gender inequality. I realized that my perceptions of what girls and boys should or should not do were based on my experiences, as well as what I had read and heard. The fact that a section of society was suppressed because of their gender and that literature may have had a role to play in it, drove me to explore this topic. This research is a manifestation of my comparative investigation, and I wish to expand further on this topic in the future.
Bronx, New York, USA
A Sprinkle Of Representation
In comparison to Millennials and Gen X, Gen Z members were more likely to characterize their mental health as fair or bad. Three factors are believed to be at play in the increased use of mental health services and complaints of poor mental health: Life has brought a variety of stressors, leading in an increase in psychological issues and a desire for mental health care. Mental health awareness has progressed to the point that what was formerly dismissed is now acknowledged as an illness that requires treatment. Because the stigma associated with seeking mental health therapy has dissipated, Gen Z is more likely to identify their own difficulties and seek help if they feel they have a curable mental health illness. There are a number of reasons why Generation Z is more stressed than previous generations.
To eliminate mental health stigma and enhance the lives of individuals who live with it, psychology and social work work together. It assists us in completely comprehending human behavior as well as current community concerns. When you're overwhelmed by society's unrealistic statement, "You don't have to struggle in silence," you tend to wallow in your feelings. That is the reality of mental health; it only becomes an issue when someone feels as if they are drowning and thinks that staying below is better. Mental health is important. Those few words have the power to convey a thousand words. What does it mean to be mentally healthy? According to the definition, mental health refers to your social, emotional, and psychological well-being. Mental health can be influenced by genetics, experiences, and family history. Mental health stigma exists all around the world and is seen as a neglected issue.
In addition to social or public stigma, there is personal and institutional stigma. People's emotions of shame and hostility regarding their illness are referred to as self-stigma. Institutional stigma refers to organizations' and the government's lack of resources/opportunities for people with mental disorders. Overall, these stigmas can have a negative impact on persons seeking treatment, lowering their hope, self-esteem, and all of their connections. What we fail to realize is that everyone is going through or has conquered something, and it may be different for everyone. We must change people's attitudes and inspire them to continue fighting the battle.
I want to be the person that I wished I had during difficult times. I'll make sure to listen to the voices and needs of marginalized students before it develops into long-term mental disorders. Representation for me is not only about being a voice for marginalized students, it's also about being the person low-income minorities can talk to because it's hard to open up when you don't feel like anyone can relate to you. We don't have a support system and that's who I want to be. It matters who you talk to, who understands the struggles you face, who you open up to. My goal is to form a united community that strives for change. On my journey, I plan to study child psychology as well as work in different sectors like high schools, family homes, and hospitals. Becoming a pediatric psychologist is about giving someone the resources I didn't have. It’s about being able to ask "Are you okay?" and get a genuine answer. It's about eradicating the stigma that has been created in our community.
ACCESSIBLE CHROME EXTENSION
I have generally seen the websites which we usually view or build do not have measures or ways through which it's easier for people who are disabled. Maximum to maximum we see there is an option for text to large or small but what about people who have dyslexia , what about people who face tremors or people who need contrast in background. So to solve this issue , I am starting to develop a chrome extension so that people with disabilities can also easily use websites and it's more accessible to them.I believe being disabled person is no different from us it's just they are some points where they are dependent to take help so why not make them independent by introducing a chrome extension for them.
I developed a chrome extension which has features which can help disabled people to become independent. I built a fully functional chrome extension throughout the fellowship and I hope to be able to publish it officially so that all people can use this. The outcome I am expecting is to be successful in my aim and my aim will be fulfilled when I will see disabled people working independently and using my build chrome extension. Their smiles of accessing websites easily is my victory and the outcome is the site I wish to view.