• Editor: Ian Cruz Writer: Kayla Cortéz

September Item Challenge

Updated: Oct 14, 2020

Reflect on all the items you possess. Reminisce on that sports glove that you won your first state championship with or that family heirloom that has been passed from generation to generation for years. Now, think about the significance these items hold to you. No matter how small the item is in size or how little you recall its importance, each item contains an immense connection to your identity. Seeing that identity is one of the three main pillars of STXi, the Activities department thought it more than appropriate to base this month’s challenge based off of reflection of self.

The activity tasked individuals with submitting photos of an item that represents who they are as well as a short description as to why. It strived to encourage people to reflect on what makes them their most true self. The goal was not only met by our Activities Department but was triumphed by other members of our community with meaningful submissions.

We have included three submissions below that truly caught the attention of STXi:

-The first submission belongs to Vanesa Marmolejos, Co-Leader of STXi. For centuries, names have possessed messages and symbols that relate to peoples’ perceptions of who they are.. This submission truly conveyed the strength of this relationship between names and identity:

The name Vanesa means butterfly; this drawing of a butterfly represents my name and my journey as a dreamer. When I was 8, I moved to the United States in search for a better life. I lived in North Carolina for a couple of years, in which I repressed a lot of myself and my culture. It wasn’t until I was 14, that I moved to the RGV, where my identity was solidified. I finally felt at peace with my heritage. This picture is a reminder to be proud of who I am.”

-The second submission is by Ana Rodriguez, the team leader of the Web & Design Department. As we grow up, family accounts for shaping us into the people we are. Because of this, family is an essential aspect of identity. Ana accurately described how items possess the same family memories that contributed to her individuality:

"Mamma Mia is a movie that has been part of my life for a long time now, the first couple of times I’ve watched it has been in my grandma’s house. I would sing and dance and have my grandma watch me just have fun as a child. I didn’t know it back then, but the movie was one of the things that made me want to learn English and get outside my box and grow. Now every time I watch it, I can only think of good memories, my family and childhood. I would say this item represents me and my good times, just like the movie, I go through ups and downs, but I know I can always count on my family and I am grateful for that."

-The last submission is from Natalia Estevez. STXi believes that it's pivotal to be the change by encouraging all individuals to utilize their most crucial tool: their voice. There exists a bridge between our beliefs and our identity, as they shape our character. Natalia not only exemplified her leadership skills, but how the use of these skills connects to who she is.

"That item (more so that sign and what it represents) illustrates the kind of person I am because I have been raised to be a natural born leader, especially when no one else is willing to. I am determined to show others that they can speak their minds, share their voices, and be themselves no matter the circumstances or stereotypes that tell them otherwise."

Whether it’s your name, your favorite movie, or your beliefs, STXi encourages you to reflect on what makes you, you. And as months progress, challenges issued by the Activities will continue to challenge the way you think about your culture, community, and identity.. We urge you to participate in these monthly challenges to gain a deeper understanding of these three pillars.. Now ask yourself, what item connects to your identity?

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