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September Youth Highlight: Miranda Kramer

September Youth Highlight: Miranda Kramer

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MKramerEach month, Youth MOVE Maine highlights a youth who is making strides to make their community a better place. This month, we are featuring Miranda Kramer a youth from our Mid-Maine region. Read her interview here:

1. Tell us a little about yourself…

My name is Miranda Kramer. I am a 15 year old brunette, and I love french fries because they can be made a million different ways. I’d rather live in a paperback story than in real life, which explains how I’ve been on a million and one adventures without ever leaving home. I’m a firm believer in the pursuit of happiness and rebelling against the status quo. I say I hate to run, but I do it anyways because it feels like I’m flying. I enjoy large teddy bears and old Disney movies. I twirl in the rain and dance on air. The word “cheeks” makes me giggle, and ladybugs freak me out. I have the biggest imagination in the world, and the cutest little dimples. I am a little weird, a little loud, and a whole bunch of awesome, but I am also independent, open-minded, and determined. My name is Miranda Kramer, and I am a strong girl with a big heart.

2. When you think about Youth MOVE Maine, what is something that you really value or like about Youth MOVE Maine?

Before I joined as part of the youth blogging team, I didn’t really have an outlet for my writing. Youth Move Maine has been my microphone, the place where my voice is heard and appreciated. This organization has also been an eye opener for me. Before Youth Move Maine, I was always very sheltered in the way that I talked and what I talked about. I used to be so scared of what people thought of my writing and the topics that I discussed. I never used to brave any controversial arguments or anything that could be seen as “inappropriate”. However, after just a couple of months at YMM, I was already sharing my opinions on things I never would have before, and I was so comfortable doing so because everyone was so supportive. Not once have I ever felt judged for what I talk or write about. Everyone’s opinions are accepted because at Youth Move Maine, it’s not about what society thinks is okay and appropriate; it’s about letting your voice be heard, no matter what you’re saying. There is no judgement when you speak, no backlash for your language, and no resentment for what you’ve done. Youth Move Maine has made me a better person, thanks to the people I’ve come to meet and the friendships that we’ve created. I will forever be grateful to them for giving a young girl a chance to share her voice.

3. What is one major issue that is facing youth today? How can other youth and providers help fix this issue?

As Jimmy Eat World once sang, I am right in the middle of this ride (of life). Although everything will most likely be alright in the future, I feel that a big problem in today’s modern society is that there is a lot of pressure to be a certain way. As kids, we are told that we can be whatever we want when we grow up, whether it’s the president or an astronaut or a rockstar. We eat abundant amounts of sugar and play with whoever we want  and fall in love because we’re kids and we don’t know any better. Yet, as we get older, our imaginations are called a distraction, something that makes us ignorant of what life is really like. We’re not allowed to like kids of the same sex, because someone told us it was wrong. We can no longer dream of being famous, but instead only consider careers that offer the highest income. We now have to watch our weight and worry about what other people think of our bodies. Suddenly, everything has labels: fat, skinny, slut, prude, perfect, gay, freak, etc. Society wants to prepare us for “the real world” where success is money, fame, and status. What happened to just doing what makes us happy? Everyone is shoving their opinions on our life down our throats, about what we should do, who we should love, and who we should be. We are kids. This is the time to figure out for ourselves who we’re meant to be. This is the time to make mistakes and learn from them. Society can not shame us into changing because we’re not seen as “normal”. When you dictate what we are supposed to believe, who to love, and how to look, you are teaching us to hate ourselves. You can talk about what’s normal all you want, but don’t be surprised when I stop listening. There is no “right” way of being human, so don’t say that who I am is wrong.

4. What inspires you to be the best you that you can be?

To be completely honest, I don’t know what inspires me to be the best I can be. I don’t really think it’s about being the best you can be, but instead about never giving up and to keep on trying. For example, I’m not the best runner, but I joined cross country because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. It’s really hard for me to keep up and a lot of the time, I have to walk, even when I know that I could keep going. I know that if I really pushed, I could do it, but sometimes I’m not strong enough. So, I walk. I walk and when I’m ready, I run again. I am not the best I can be, but I never stop trying. It’s hard for me, but I won’t quit. I show up to practice each day, even though it makes me want to cry. As long as you don’t give up on yourself, I think that not being the best you can be is okay. We’re human, and sometimes, we need a break to catch our breath. As long as you keep trying, you’ll get there eventually.

5. What is your favorite season (spring, winter, summer, fall) and why?

My favorite season is fall. I love fall because there’s so much color, in the trees and in the flowers and in the sky. I love going apple picking with my family. I love when it’s cold enough for a sweater, but there’s still that sunny warmth in the air. I love dressing up for Halloween, even though I’m too old to trick-or-treat. I love a new school year and meeting new people. I love haunted hayrides and apple cider. I love Thanksgiving feasts and pumpkin pie. I love fall because everything seems so picturesque, as if this is the way life is supposed be all of the time.

3 Regional Offices across Maine!

Youth MOVE Maine operates 3 regional offices across the state! Our offices are hubs of youth-focused activities! Find an office near you to get involved in one of our many programs across Maine.