IAGB Youth Corner June 2021

IAGB Youth Directorial column

June 20, 2021

Diversity is what makes each of us unique and special. This is what we are taught throughout our lives. However, in our lives, differences can be hard to accept if we don’t fully understand them.  They can seem bizarre and “abnormal,” yet when our exposure to these differences increases and when we strive to learn more about them, then true acceptance is on the way. June is pride month, and in it we celebrate the diversity of love, gender, orientation, and expression. For those who have not grown up with such open exposure to the LGBTQ+ community, the road to true acceptance may be a long one, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth the effort. The first step may be to recognize the innate differences in people. The second step would be to understand the different terms that are used (the Genderbread Person can be a helpful tool in beginning this process) in order to realize the scope of possibilities. The next step is to gain confidence and be comfortable with openly discussing the themes of sexuality and gender identity. The final step is to understand that a person’s sexual orientation is only a part of their identity. They shouldn’t need to identify themselves as a member of the LGBTQ+ community to everyone they meet. We want to work towards a society where we don’t assume people are one way until they tell us they are otherwise. They could be anything until they tell you their pronouns or who they are dating. And even then, these things may change as the person learns more about themselves. Perhaps this is a goal that will not be attained in the next 5 years or 10 years or 20 years, but my hope is that it will be realized in the near future. And it starts with people, with exposure, with understanding.

~ IAGB Youth Editorial Director, Aarushi Pant

IAGB Youth of the Month

June 22, 2021

This month’s youth spotlight is Mahathi Gopinathan, a rising senior at Shrewsbury High School. Her interests, both in and out of school, lean towards brain sciences, mental health, and computer science. Combining all these passions, she co-created an app called The Kindness Calendar. This app, which is coded in Swift for iOS, displays a different kind act on each day of the calendar. Performing acts of kindness benefits the receiver as well as the initiator due to the linkage between helping others and emotional and physical wellbeing. For this app, Mahathi won the 2020 Congressional App Challenge, the most prestigious prize in student computer science. Hosted by the U.S. House Of Representatives, the challenge seeks to inspire students to pursue careers in computer science. Mahathi’s Kindness Calendar app has been put on display in the U.S. Capitol Building for one year. Additionally, Mahathi is active in music, from Carnatic vocal and veena to classical piano and viola. As a violist, she has been able to play at events such as Central Massachusetts Districts, Governor Baker’s inauguration, and throughout venues in the Czech Republic. She says “I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given and am excited for what the future may bring.” IAGB congratulates Mahathi Gopinathan on being the June 2021 Youth of the Month.

~ IAGB Youth Editorial Director, Aarushi Pant

IAGB Art and Music Spotlight

This month for our Art and Music Spotlight we have a poetry submission from Ruhi Shroff!

A beautiful picture

They say don’t wear revealing attire 

They say sit like a woman

They say don’t speak with authority

They say act like a woman

They say don’t be this, or don’t be that

They say don’t be indifferent, be a woman.

They see the world as it is, minus the women

They say “not all men” instead of celebrating all women

The truth in question is the fear

of their tyrannical domination coming to an end.

A blank canvas in the beginning

And by the end of the beginning there could be a beautiful picture

embodying all the happiness and the melancholy

A fantasy if you will, but more powerful than anything seen before.

A beautiful picture emerging from a blank canvas

of a dictatorship 

overthrown by a woman.

But she won’t keep it all to herself

Greed has no place in her world

She will strive to build a place for all

A place free of judgment

A hard task, but certainly achievable

She will show them where they came from

A woman.

 –Ruhi Shroff

IAGB Youth Opportunities Column and Raising Awareness

IAGB Youth Spotlights:

Who: 25 and under

When: Submissions are due by July 15th.

Nomination form: https://forms.gle/yNMAZNBDeNB9c14SA

Inviting nominations for the next IAGB Youth Spotlights! Each month, the IAGB youth initiative spotlights talented local youth who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to art, sports, or the community! Nominees must be 25 years of age or younger, and they must have lived in the New England area.

This is the youth opportunities column!  Parents, please consider highlighting the following opportunity to your children!

Free Summer Biology Class:

Who: Students aged 12-15

When: July 2 – August 13, Thursdays from 4 to 5 PM

Sign up form: https://tinyurl.com/2fxdvvk2

Get excited for Summer Biology! Running from 4 to 5 PM, Thursdays, starting July 2 and ending August 13, this free class takes a trip through the science of life—from cells to DNA and genetics! Held over Zoom and hosted by high school students, this class is intended for students aged 12-15. Please contact aylusmetrowest@gmail.com with any questions.