The Monthly Roar

The Student News Site of Maryvale Preparatory School

The Monthly Roar

The Monthly Roar

    Our Student Spotlight

    Miranda Marin-Jarve

    My name is not Meranda Marine-Jarvis. My name is not Myranda Marvin-Jarv. Hi, my name is Miranda Marin-Jarve and I am a 14 year old Latina. My parents, Blenda Jarve and Gustavo Marin, my older brother Diego, and myself are Venezuelan born American citizens. I have lived in three states including Florida, Maryland, and Oklahoma. Today I am going to talk about identity and my journey on how I have come to the realization that people are different and identity is very important in recognizing yourself


    Miami, FL reminds me of palm trees, just the word itself connects to palm trees. My identity is like a palm tree. The leaves are called fronds. So many fronds, some bigger than others. If you removed one of its smaller fronds it wouldn’t make much of a difference, but if you remove a larger frond, it would make a much more significant difference. Miami is one of my larger fronds, my identity wouldn’t be the same without it. Some people call Miami Doralzuela, because Doral is a town in Miami where a large Venezuelan community lives. All of my friends and peers were Venezuelan or Latino. You would speak Spanish in the street and everyone would understand it. You could eat an arepa or a cachapa at your nearest grocery store. No one spoke English. My community was surrounded by people who look like me and come from the same situation that I did. I was happy, it was a happy place to be, obviously because Disneyworld was so close to it. Then one day, my dad got a job in Maryland. My identity changed. I was no longer a Miami surfer girl, I was a Baltimorean. All of my friends were American and I was worried that my Latina background would disappear. I was worried that my community would affect my identity. But my parents knew better. My mom cooks arepas every Saturday morning, and I am not allowed to speak English at my house. Actually, right in Washington D.C there is a huge place called Union Market where there are Peruvian, Venezuelan, Mexican, and Columbian shops and restaurants where the environment is very Latino and joyful. I love going there because it reminds me of my background and how delicious the food is. The community and my surroundings changed, but just because my physical state moved doesn’t mean my heart knows what my culture is, and what my true identity is. Yes, I live in Baltimore but that doesn’t mean I know that I am Venezuelan, and I know that my community is American and very few others are Latino like me.


    Inclusivity has changed a lot in the last few years. In the 2000s, 12.5% of the American population came from a Latino or Hispanic background. In 2023, it is 18.9%. People have become more inclusive and accepting of others even if they come from different backgrounds. My personal community includes me and doesn’t think less of me because I come from a different country. I feel at home in this community, I feel that I am a part of this community. I feel that I belong. In fact, I try to introduce others to my culture and what I do differently, including my language, food, and style. Sometimes I teach my friends something in Spanish, Actually I can try to teach you all something right now. Repeat after me. “Se, Tu, Propia, Persona.” Be your own person. This is something you should apply everywhere. Everything you do and are, builds your identity. Keep doing what you are doing, because that builds your identity too. People accept people, trust me, I know. You just have to be confident and not let your identity slip away. 


    I don’t look like everyone else. But I don’t let that stop me. I don’t care if people say “Why is your skin so dark?” or “Why is your hair so curly?” I take everything as a compliment, even if it wasn’t delivered that way. You shouldn’t be ashamed that you don’t have the perfect skin and perfect eyes, because no one is perfect. So why strive for a goal that doesn’t exist? Set goals that you can accomplish or that seem impossible but really aren’t. Your identity isn’t something that you need to change for anyone else, if someone doesn’t accept you for who you are then that’s their fault. I have been lucky enough that no one looks at me as less worthy because of the way I look. 


    Lots of kids receive mixed messages about inclusion. So here is the final message, look under my skin. What do you see? A girl with the hope that one day this world will be ideal and people everywhere will be included. But I am really glad that we are slowly getting closer and closer to this goal. Even though I am Latina, I feel that I belong to this community. This is what inclusivity truly is. As Queen Latifah once said “Believe in yourself. Stay in your own lane. There’s only one you.” Your identity is your own, no one else can have it, embrace it. 


    Thank you. 

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