Esperanza Rivera, 15

Esperanza Rivera is a freshman studying visual arts at Chicago High School for the Arts in Chicago, Illinois. Rivera attends an after-school teen writing studio at 826 CHI, a writing and tutoring center for Chicago youth aged 6 to 18, to further study and explore her love of writing.

Though she does not have a certain style as a writer, she enjoys the process of determining exactly what she feels and freely expressing those thoughts without judgement by others. Rivera is determined to change minds through writing. In her English class, a peer was complaining about a short essay assignment and said that writing was pointless and talking was easier. She showed her peer that writing was just as important as talking and that the written words allowed them to express themselves in completely different ways when compared to oration. Rivera was invited to read one of her stories at Eat Your Words, an annual food and literary event organized by 826 CHI.

Rivera champions the amplification of youth voices. She is often troubled by the lack of consideration lawmakers give to the voices of her generation. Rivera believes that youth ideas, problems, and issues not only need to be heard but that more youth voices need to be present in our national dialogue. She says that lawmakers and adults in general need to consider youth ideas and movements because the youth are the ones who will be in charge of the future, who will take action and impact a better world for all.



By Esperanza Rivera


Hope: A feeling of trust, expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

Throughout our life we have faced problems,

intimidating fears

destructive lies

tearing us apart,

aggravating issues,


broken hearts

and broken promises

Each of us, even if we don't recognize it, have held onto a single wisp of hope inside us during those times.

Each and every one of us have faced problems alone.

Yet at the end of the day it is up to us on whether or not we will let it eat away at us until we can't support ourselves anymore

and we completely break down and fall apart.

It is up to us to refuse to give into the problems.

We each are hoping that hope will prevail and overcome each of them.

Yet when we really think about it, every time something bad happens to us we immediately resort to throwing the towel into the ring and walk away.

Sometimes these problems can be solved if we don't give up and we keep trying our best. But at times we won't ever know because of how fast we had given up on hope.

If we all had some in our life it could help us.

Even the smallest bit goes a long way. Just the smallest helps us prevail our problems.

It pushes us,

keeps on driving us

and moving us forward.

Yet in order for hope to take action we have to believe that it is out there.

We need to believe and understand that there are worse things in life

we need to appreciate our lives and

we have to try our best to help fix the problem.