Imara Bright-Johnson


Throughout my seventeen years on this Earth, I haven’t encountered many frightful events. I participated in normal activities as a child such as: spelling bees, the pom pom team, volleyball games, and running for student council. As you could imagine, these situations weren’t very terrifying. There came times when I would get butterflies in the pit of my stomach before a big game or before hearing the results of an election. However, those feelings did not compare to standing in front of almost 400 people. The thought of having the eyes of hundreds of people focused on me, waiting to hear what I have to say, was more than nerve-racking.

Walking to the podium on that Sunday morning is a moment that I will never forget. Before I knew it, the time finally came for me to gather up the courage to present my work to this room full of people. Ironically, the theme of my speech was “being fearless”. I attested to having some of the common fears of our society and admitted that giving this speech was the most fearful thing that I have ever had to do—but I did it, and the feeling of joy that I felt once I was done trumped the feeling of fear that I felt before.

That morning, I spoke about not letting people or situations scare you—and since then, I have done just that. I solely believe that I have no reason to be fearful. I know that I can do anything I can put my mind to, whether it is giving a speech or attending the college of my dreams. From that day on, I promised myself that I will continue to be fearless in whatever I do and use my experiences to help others do the same.