By Kamara Eveyln

Have you ever had someone tell you that you cannot accomplish a goal that you have set out for yourself? That has happened to me on numerous occasions. We young people call that “hating.” I used to be influenced by such negative feedback. For example, when I was younger people kept telling me that I was too young to pursue architecture. For awhile I let that input influence me, and I put my goal aside. I’m not doing that today. The advice I am suggesting is that you should not let anyone tell you what you are capable of.

I am the agent of my own accomplishments. I am the one who determines what it is I want to achieve, and what I am capable of. For example, Winnie Mandela was one of the greatest leaders of the revolution to overthrow apartheid in South Africa. She had many detractors. Each of these told her that she should “calm down,” stop fighting so hard, “take a break.” She refused to do any of these. She kept fighting until the people of South Africa won.

I want to go to Latin Academy. It is one of the three exam schools in Boston. My Auntie Yolanda went there and graduated. She is now getting her degree in Criminal Justice at UMass/Boston. I have had people offer me doubt regarding this goal. One of my friends said it is too much studying to get the kind of grades necessary to be admitted. I don’t let that hold me back. I am doing my studying now, and I am getting better every day at my academic work. I will continue to work until I achieve my goal.

My great grandfather, Conrad Lynn, was told that, because he was Black he could not be a lawyer. He didn’t listen to these people. He was one of the first African Americans to integrate Syracuse University Law School. He was the first ever Black captain of the debating team. Syracuse had one of the greatest debating teams in the country at that time — 1932. My Great Granddad reached great heights in his law career, being heard by the Supreme Court of the United States on numerous cases — the most famous being the one where his brother, Winfred Lynn, refused to fight in WWII because the US army was segregated. Today, the US army is no longer segregated. My Great Granddad stuck to his goals and achieved them.

Haters are everywhere. However, haters cannot determine whether or not I will succeed. My success is in my hands. I am the one who will determine to reach the goals I set out for myself. I have plenty of great examples in my life to use as a guide. I encourage the reader to look into your own circumstances and experiences, and identify inspirations which can help you to be as determined as I am.