Lizette Navarro, 16
Lizette Navarro is a Mexican-American woman and was named a 2017 Youth Poet Laureate of Oakland finalist by Youth Speaks, an organization that champions young writers in California's Bay Area, and by the Oakland Public Library. Navarro’s writing highlights important issues that she feels are under-respected and under-represented, including: race, gender, animal cruelty, and what happens when one falls in love. Navarro draws courage and strength from her mother, who was unwaveringly determined in raising her children without a father, and Bob Marley, who has inspired Navarro to be unafraid of her own voice and help create the change she wants to see.
She is highly conscious of her role as a Mexican-American and the struggles of her people. She uses all of her abilities to advocate for Mexican-Americans everywhere, especially those who might be undocumented or facing extreme poverty.
Navarro’s biggest dream is to be active in doing her part to make this world a better place to live. To date, she has completed over 200 hours of volunteer service across many facets of improving her local community. She has been invited to attend several national conferences that focus on changing the future of global medicine. Navarro plans to become a pediatric pulmonologist and utilize her profession to serve not just her community, but those needing aid around the world.
by Lizette Navarro
What’s my life like vs yours?
How are our lives so different yet so alike?
How could you have gained so much in so little time,
When I'm barely starting my fight?
But why is our world working this way?
Isn’t age just a number?
When did my age become a measurement of my intelligence?
The young is outnumbered...
Stop making it out as if we have no relevance,
Because you know what?
We are the future and we shall be discovered.
We are forced to be shaken with a sense of helplessness.
You tell us we don’t know the truth.
We use our strong sense of fearlessness as our voice,
We are the youth.
20 years from now will you be able to say you believed in us or hid the truth?
All we know is what is being shown from your roots.
You say that we're too childish; what's ironic is your own petulance.
This stereotype needs to be disencumbered.
Yet, the land of the “free” now excludes my age’s excellence,
You say we have a high level of recklessness.
We deserve the opportunity to show off our unique individual intelligence.
We are all different, yet you don't give us a chance to use our skills as evidence.
Can you hear my message?
Do you believe in the youth’s relevance?
Yo soy una Mexicana,
Because of the color of my skin it somehow defines my knowledge,
It somehow makes me not eligible for college.
What about The Latinos Fighting Back?
No, we are not rapists.
We aren’t here to steal your jobs.
All we want to do it escape this.
On your flag you have your 50 stars.
You look at me and call me an alien,
But am I really from Mars?
Not everyone of us has been put behind bars.
Some of us have put all our money towards our education and live in cars.
We're not all only bringing drugs nor crime.
Not everyone of us has ever stole a dime.
Maybe our life is full of endless trees we have to climb.
Maybe our dreams are harder to reach than yours of course,
But for now, we use our strongest force.
Yet years pass and there still has been no change,
This entire situation is flat out strange.
Lets come together and stop playing this game.
We aren't looking for anyone to blame.
?Porque nos tratan así?
?Porque nuestro mundo está así?
I am a woman so that makes me half the person a man is, so I'm told.
You expect me to mix the batter & bake you a cake for being bold?
No, that's not what a woman should be expected to do.
Women should be expected to be elected for everything a man is, too.
We teach & preach whatever we can all do.
We don’t want to see our children crying “boo hoo”
Why is our society telling to keep quiet too.
Women are action takers,
Not players in a game ready to lose.
But we are now stripped of our “choice” to have an abortion by policymakers.
We have gotten our rights abused and I refuse,
Refuse to let it end here with the future suffering of my daughters.
We look up to the sky to see our mothers who were seen as haters,
Haters for not letting themselves be abused.
We all may be classified in a different category than you,
But that does not mean I want to be used.
No, my gender does not mean I am helpless or confused.
We are all humans
We should not be hurt by a man's hand,
Or treated as less than.
Single mother can't feed her children being swindled into unequal pay.
We are cheated out of our abilities everyday.
How do you feel about us faking a smile to pretend that everything is okay?
Truth is, it's not okay.
The world says it's changing, but it can't without you.
The world is finally accepting us, but why haven't you?