A Pair of New Perspective

A Pair of New Perspective

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Theoretical Perspective on Unification

 On October 10, 2014, The Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at CUNY based in Lehman College presented a performance called Mexico Maya created by Javier Dzul. A Mexican modern dance that considers the Maya culture, Mexican heritage and the experience from undocumented Mexicans in the United States; the Dzul Dance. The performance was incredible and exquisite; it truly left me speechless.

  The event was relevant to me because the performance took me one step closer to my indigenous culture. Not only did I learn about the Maya dance but I felt the emotion that each performer was trying to express. I believe this is significant to the world because everyone can learn from a rich ancient history that is part of Mexico. Growing up in the Bronx around different cultures was a big impact in my life because that experience led me to hate my own origin of my ancestors without first being familiar with. I believe this experience affects an aspect of the world because there are probably others that went through the same experience as me and have not yet spoken about it. If we can just help spread culture within the community through academics, art, music and storytelling, then that exposure will help our documented brothers and sisters figure out that they belong to two cultures. The American culture; which is diverse and filled with other amazing cultures, and our origin culture that belongs, not only to our mothers and fathers but to us; as their children as well. With the acceptance of both cultures, that will be our first step to becoming one as humans and not categorized by colored.
 Unification through culture is Humanism. With a country so diverse, we should unite as one big culture. There is a prestigious philosopher called Jean-Paul Sartre, who believed in “Existentialism is a Humanism.” He said that “Existence Precedes Essence.” Meaning that an individual had the ability to decide their own future because destiny is in our own hands. This is one of my favorite quotes that lured me and affect me with a virus of love towards philosophy. The reason I share this quote with you is the same purpose I created this theory that I called “Unification is a Humanism” in dedication to Jean-Paul Sartre. This is my theory that I am personally working on; it’s not yet done because the theory requires a surfeit of research. However, I believe we all have a moral responsibility to come together.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Cycle Breakers

Let me properly introduce myself; 

My name is Jesus Benitez. I am in my second semester at LaGuardia Community College and my major is Philosophy. I am a single father to my amazing son, Mason.

-I am an Ambassador and mentor for the CUNY Fatherhood Academy at LaGuardia

-I am an Ambassador for the College Discovery Program in LaGuardia

-I am a Spanish Heritage Scholar for the LaGuardia LUCE program

-I am also one of the Becari@s Scholarship Recipients and Head Organizer for the Becari@s within The Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute At CUNY

 I want to talk about an amazing program that helped me begin to change my life for the better. That program is called the CUNY Fatherhood Academy, which aims to strengthen fathers and families by promoting responsible fatherhood and economic stability through education and employment for 18-24 year-olds. The CUNY Fatherhood Academy helps to prepare students to obtain their High School Equivalency   Diploma or enroll in college. However, in order for you to know how much the CUNY fatherhood impacted my life, you must know some of my history before I entered the program.

I was born and raised in the Bronx. Growing up in my neighborhood I did not hear people talking about college much nor did I have an example to follow. My family has always teetered on the edge of poverty since arriving in this country from Mexico. I was raised by my mother, a single parent who had no choice but to work two jobs to support our family. When my mother was at work, as the oldest of four, I helped take care of the needs of my brothers and sisters and provide guidance as best as I could, however I was really just a kid myself.  Eventually, at the age of 13, in order to make my mom’s life a little easier, I got a job working as a cashier. Because I did not like school and I was making money to support myself and my family, I was being lured away from education.

 At the age of 17, I became a father, so I dropped out of school to support my family full-time. When my son was a year and a half old, his mother left and I became a single parent. I worked intensively and even had 7 part time jobs at one point. Because I lacked a father figure in my own life, I know that it’s important for me to be a role model for my son. Now, I am the only person to provide guidance to my son. This responsibility brought us closer together, showing me how much we need one another and helping me learn some important things about myself. Watching him grow and develop made me realize that I needed to change my life so that I could provide more options for him. So I knew that I needed to go back to school and get a higher education.

 I was introduced to the CUNY Fatherhood Academy and decided to give them a try. Because I was a single father, I did not believe I was able to attend College. My mindset was only to provide my son with what he needed and help him grow in life.  In other words, to have a career I dreamed of was over for me. I slowly began to trust Raheem Brooks and David Speal, the program coordinators, who were the ones to give me the push I needed not only to dream of eventually getting 2 PhDs in Philosophy and Public affairs and double minoring in Latino studies and Spanish but to set me on a path with tools to make that possible.

 I analyzed my progress in the Academy and realized how they inspired me to continue my education by going to college. Being able to help me realize that my path towards success was not over; was incredible.  At that moment I decided to get more involved with my community, help the CUNY Fatherhood Academy expand throughout the City and improve myself academically by going to college. One of my mentors, Raheem, sent me a link and told me to apply for the CUNY Becas Scholarship. My other mentor David, helped me revise my essays and apply for the scholarship These are the kind of people they are, They always help everyone that participates in the Academy. Because of them, I am a Becario and I met a group of leaders that I now consider my family and we are fighting to change the world.

 We have fathers that attend the CUNY Fatherhood Academy that decided to change their own destiny. We call ourselves the Cycle breakers because we have taken one of the biggest first steps to get out of our comfort zone and go back to school. It’s hard because like me I had a 6 year gap away from school and adapting back into the school environment wasn't easy. I was ready to drop out but I was convinced to stay from one of the fathers in my class. These are the kind of fathers that attend the program, the ones that look out for each other.

Now, let me share you the program statistics:

We had 173 students enrolled in the CUNY Fatherhood Academy

76 students were placed in jobs

56 out of 103 students earned their High School Equivalency Diploma

35 students obtained internships

21 students have enrolled into college

 Unfortunately, we are no longer going to be able to increase our statistics because the CUNY Fatherhood Academy was not refunded. It is hard to imagine the program that helped change my life to no longer be available for young fathers. Even though we are not fully funded, we are still focusing on helping the remaining fathers pass their High School Equivalency Exams, gain employment or prepare them for college. It’s a program like the CUNY Fatherhood Academy that truly makes a difference within the community because no matter what happens, they never give up on you. We fight for the fathers that truly want to become Cycle breakers. They deserve the same opportunity I had and I hope we will be able to continue to provide that.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Hermano de Apoyo

Albeit I am living a lie in the eyes of society,
Treason, for those who imply the almighty
Land of the free, home of the brave, they say
The freedom tower over shadows the immigration detention center, today
Hatred in their eyes, for all they see is brown
Smiling and gracious, I tend not to drown
I am a proud Chicano brother
Apoyando the Unafraid

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Implementar Ideas!

On July 8, 2014, I was one of eight students to meet the new Chancellor of CUNY James B. Milliken. I was there to represent a program called College Discovery as their Ambassador and it was a great experience.

Later, on August 12, 2014, CUNY Chancellor Milliken invited us, the LaGuardia students to a reception party where I got to meet other students from student government from Brooklyn College, Bronx Community College, Lehman College, and Queensborough Community College.

Finally, my favorite event on Saturday, August 23, 2014, I hosted the Becari@ breakfast. On this day, the Becari@s collaborated ideas for fundraising. We created a committee in order to give everyone in the becari@s an opportunity to grow as a leader. To move forward. While doing all of this, we had an awesome breakfast where everyone brought food or drinks so we can all share together! We even had tamales. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

El Principio (The Beginning)

July 12, 2014 is a date to never forget. I hosted a BBQ for my fellow brother and sister becari@s (CUNY becas scholarship recipient). We are a group of future/perseverant leaders in different fields, such as, computer science, theater, music, political science and etc. The fundamental aspect of the BBQ was to inspire my fellow brother and sister Becari@s, to never give up and to stay together in order to make a difference in the world! We are stronger together than apart. We are going to show the true meaning of “United We Stand.” We have a moral responsibility of becoming everyone’s voice. 

 Here is a list of the things that we shared during our time together at the BBQ:

*Our own personal goals and goals as a team
*What is everyone's story, to help us connect with everyone.
*Helping the becari@s build confidence; making them realize that our weakness can be the weapons to make each of us stronger
*The true meaning of showing each other support! 
*And the importance of standing up for what we believe in because if we don't stand up then who will? 
*The different workshops/fundraisers to attract more people to support us by using the different talents of each of my fellow Becari@s! 

July 12, 2014 was our first step in making a difference ! 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hacking the word Perfection


Why is such a word like perfect so sensitive to others. 

Some people say that god is the only one to be perfect

But, why can't we be .. perfect?

Why does it bother people when they hear the word perfect? 

Some people automatically assume that it means a person that does not make mistakes, does not bleed, think too highly of them-self and etc. 

That is not what I mean when I say perfect 

What if we hack perfection; not as a word but as a tool

A mental implement that can help us everyday to build confidence and a imaginary barrier that passes through all the negativity from people
So when an individual tells me that it is imponderable for me to achieve something in life 

I will ignore him and tell myself that 

I am perfect 

Not necessarily being better than him but strong enough to take his bullets without getting hurt just like superman does

Furthermore, confidence ..

Some people in this era lack confidence 

Sometimes I do as well 

We are .. Only human 

What if there is a way to change that 
With hacking the word perfection as a tool

I choose to empower myself with perfectionist in my own eyes to build the confidence to help me keep moving forward

I'm talking about being able to create an image of a fictional perfect person and taking it's place

To imagine myself as a superhero perfection in a comic book and I can do anything to save myself or the world 

Being perfect in my own eyes is to Have the ability to improve myself but not necessarily be the ideal perfect.

We all are human beings and yes; we make mistakes but why do we lack that potential need to express ourselves that we can never be perfect 

Perfection should be an individual to others 

 and not as a word on how we tend to describe the ideal perfection that we can never achieve !  

Perfection should be hacked as an implement

So next time someone tries to put you down 

Just tell yourself 

I am perfect !!