Get an inside look at the Balfour Scholars Program through the eyes of former attendees
Sunday, July 19, 2015
‘I’ve learned so much about myself’
By Bryce Gentry is a senior at Junipero Serra High School in Carson, California.
July 8, 2015 Growing up, I was afraid of losing. I’m still afraid of losing. I hate wasting my time and being laughed at. I hate being beaten in NBA 2K15 by 50 points. This fear has held me back from so much in my life, including meeting new people, trying things new, and at one point, talking. I used to have a slight stutter in middle school that I’m just now getting over. Being afraid and putting down life is about as pointless as it is expected by adults from teenagers my life. It’s almost as if we as teenagers negatively warp perspectives like how regular horror films make the monster or villain look bad. I want more people, including myself, to look at opportunities like the Indiana trip like how the audience watches found footage films: through a new perspective. I want to look at the good side of the hero and the villain.
July 19, 2015 I’ve learned so much and met so many people from the Balfour Scholars program. I wish that most of the people I met lived in California so we could hang out. I’ve learned so much about myself, what I’m capable of and what I need to work on. One of my biggest problems I’ve had in my easy, suburban life has been my stuttering. It first became prevalent enough for people to laugh at in the 6th or 7th grade, I think. I’ve been called everything from Mush Mouth to Doodle Bob. People would purposely interrupt me when I spoke just so I could trip up on words because they knew I wouldn’t keep up with the pace of the conversation without being stuck on or skipping one word or two. In middle school, the classrooms felt like nightmares, which prevented me from talking out loud or leading conversations that I knew I had full knowledge of. Throughout the last couple of years, I’ve been blessed to overcome some of my insecurities with my speech and articulation. Meeting people at Balfour encouraged me to push myself to speak more during the many open conversations that took place and to ask questions if I wasn’t sure about things.
I’ve also learned that there are many people willing to participate in my success and that I should be open in taking them in. When my flight home from Indiana was cancelled, Dr. Christina Wright Fields, the director of the Balfour program, set up hotel accommodations for my friend and me and even bought us snacks for the stay overnight. I am extremely grateful and blessed that she went out of her way to ensure our wellbeing and to make our flight home possible.