Hello, we are New York City!! (Also known as The Big Apple). Some of you may have heard Frank Sinatra’s song, “New York, New York,” where he describes New York as a big city and the city “that never sleeps.” Although, from this perspective it seems as though everyone in New York is a multi-millionaire businessman/woman who works in tall skyscrapers. There are 5 boroughs: Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island and although there are different parts, we are all united geographically: our landmarks (such as The Statue of Liberty and Times Square) and also by the New York culture. We may speak English a different way (including slang and our “accent”), and we may enjoy similar sports teams: Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Knicks, soon to come Nets, and Rangers.
Being a teenager in New York City, like anywhere else, can be challenging. Teens in New York face all kinds of pressure including sexuality, from their peers, and about their appearance. Many teenagers follow their friend’s footprints, even though it might not be the best road to follow. Many are able to get help by talking to someone they admire, or therapy and following teen prevention groups as well.
We are an ethnic diverse community, where many come searching for a new life or better opportunities. Our population is so diverse that walking 10-15 blocks will land you in a different cultural area. Our city is also carefree in the sense that people don’t mind what you wear, or how you act, as long as they don’t get bothered. You can express yourself however you want in New York City, and most people won’t judge you. We play different roles in our society. We are trendsetters, community activists, architects, street performers, politicians, nurses, doctors and a whole lot more. But even with all this diversity there is also negativity. Many communities face a lack of racial integration. And although many people are against it, separation of races still occurs. APSA is a great tool in helping to bridge this gap because we all come from different backgrounds and will all have the opportunity to get to know one another. We will also be able to take what we will learn about language and culture in China back with us to New York to teach, tell, and spread to our family and friends. So not only will we educate ourselves to better the future, but we also educate others and enable more people to embrace the diversity that makes this great city so special. Some of us may sing, others dance, and others play sports, but together we all make up NYC!
NYC APSA 2012 Scholars (alphabetically):