Do You Feel Inspired To Reach Your Dreams?

In an Era of Groundbreakers, Students Share Their Thoughts


Vice President, Kamala Harris

Maggie Phelps, Writer

Kamala Harris broke the glass ceiling on Inauguration Day by becoming the first female and person of color Vice President of the United States.  Americans celebrated this day like it was a shocking occurrence, something they had never seen before. 

But why is seeing a female in office so shocking?  There is a first for everything, but why is it so groundbreaking when we see it play out?

Could it be because the environment around us doesn’t promote us to achieve our dreams?  Both male and female students at Central Hardin had thoughts on the topic that they shared in a recent survey. 

It has been a trend within history that women simply can’t achieve as much as men.  In the 50s-60s, women were portrayed as housewives who stay home and take care of the family, with no ambition to achieve their goals.  It hasn’t been until recent years that we have seen a large number of women rising up and breaking barriers and going after what they want. 

And no woman is too young to start.  Greta Thunberg, the 18-year-old climate activist from Sweden, has been actively fighting for climate change since 2018 when she was only 15.

This comes as no easy task for Thunberg.  After being named Time Magazine’s person of the year in 2019,  Thunberg received quite a lot of criticism,  one coming particularly from former President Donald Trump.  

Trump said in a tweet, “So ridiculous. Greta must work on her anger management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend. Chill Greta, chill!” 

Thunberg responded to Trump’s criticism by casually changing her Twitter bio to say, “A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.” 

Despite facing criticism, Thunberg is still out there fighting against climate change with a program she founded called “School Strike For Climate (Skolstrejk för klimatet)”

Role models like Harris and Thunberg help to inspire people on a daily basis.  Having a strong role model in your life goes a long way to help promote people to achieve what they want. 

Freshman Meadow McGimsey, says that her mother is her biggest role model. 

“She encourages me every day to accomplish my dreams or makes me believe that it is possible,” she said.  “It’s my mother, she encourages me to do my best and to focus on the things that are most important. […] My mom also teaches me the importance of being kind hearted and to treat others as I would want to be treated.” 

McGimsey, along with many students at CHHS, says that her family is her biggest role model.  

However, some students, such as freshman Brandon Dennis, find that external influences help to be their role models.

“Although my parents and teachers are amazing and have supported me in everything I do, I believe kids today are not only being raised by the adults around them but also the internet,” Dennis said.  “I’ve learned a lot from all the adults in my life but also by watching vlogs and podcasts, I think I’ve learned more on how to handle myself and more on how the outside world is gonna be and how to survive when I’m out of school.” 

Good role models are a great way to help encourage us to accomplish our dreams, but having the right environment that promotes us to do so is equally important. However, finding that great environment can be really hard to come by. 

“I feel like the dream I have is one that many don’t understand,” junior Kayleigh Gray said. “This world, sadly, seems to revolve around income. Even in school, we’re learning about things ‘that can better our chances of attending a good college’ so we can have economic success.  But, personally, the success of my dream is not determined by the amount of money I earn.”

Along the same path as Gray is junior Jackson Lucas.

 “I wouldn’t say my environment is against my dreams, just doesn’t promote exactly what I want,” Lucas said. “Overall, it still feels supportive in its own way.”

Women defining their own success has been coming to light recently and is a great influence to young women wanting to do the same.  Gender roles in work fields are starting to fade away.  However, some students at Central Hardin find that their gender plays a role in their ability to go after what they want. 

“I feel as if it is a real possibility disadvantage will arise because of gender,” freshman Ella Crowder said. “However, this does not change my dream and just makes me want to work harder to break that barrier.”  

There have been 49 vice presidents throughout the history of the United State and Harris is the first woman among 48 men that have been her predecessors. Working hard as a district attorney for San Francisco, California Attorney General, and as a United States senator for the past five years, she broke the barrier and is now our first female Vice President.  

“I may be the first to do many things–make sure I’m not the last,” says Harris via Vogue 

While many don’t feel like their gender plays into their ability to achieve their dreams, this barrier still exists for some and it is an obstacle to overcome.  Having a positive community and having influences that lift you up will promote you to go after what you want. 

Remember that no matter your gender, dream, surroundings, or social stance; your dreams are worth your time, and every step you take is just one step closer to accomplishing them. Never let others stop you from chasing your dreams.