Leanda Peter, a sophomore at Salem College, saw the way she spoke (accent) was a flaw but she has come to the realization and acceptance that no matter what, everyone is different. Leanda saw her accent as a flaw because when she first moved to the US, at school she was made fun of because she spoke differently than everyone else. It was constant laughter and teasing which took a toll on her. She felt like she was trying to adapt to her new surroundings, but the other kids would not allow her to. She became ashamed. Speaking out loud during class or in general became a struggle for her because she didn’t want to be seen as an outsider anymore. She didn’t want others to make fun of her. At that moment she had not accepted her flaw. These moments caused her to struggle with public speaking. As time went on she found new friends, she became more comfortable with herself and speaking to others. She has come to accept the fact that she has an accent. She always will! This will not stop her from being herself or even being comfortable in her skin.
Leanda has some powerful words to share with you all. “No matter what your flaw is or was, everyone is different, everyone has something that they struggle with, but you have to find the power and strength within yourself to live life for what it is worth. No matter what society will always try to find a way to bring you down and to make you feel miserable with yourself and everything that comes with it, but you have to remember that you are better than that. You are POWERFUL, you are STRONG, you are DIFFERENT, you are a woman of color and nothing is more beautiful than that.