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“…it taught me not to be afraid or shy of my talent.”
From DayShawn Rustin Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy

I’m DayShawn Rustin. I’m 15 years old. I go to Cesar Chavez Parkside High School. One thing that people don’t know just by looking at me is that I’m actually pretty sensitive. I don’t like to show that side to people because I don’t want them to feel sorry for me or feel pity for me. I don’t want them to think I’m weak. I got a lot of trust issues that I don’t like to let people know. So I kinda use that to shield people, to block people out. I only tell people what they need to know unless they keep on asking questions. So that’s my secret.

One important event in my life from my past is when I did a talent show last year at our school. I sang Frank Ocean’s “Thinking About You”. I was like super nervous. I was shaking. I was scared I would forget the words and it was like so many people looking at me. But in the middle of it, after I started, I kinda got comfortable after I saw people clapping for me, cheering for me, and I saw people smiling. And after I got off the stage everyone was coming up to tell me I was so good, even people that I didn’t know. So it made me feel good. I guess it was important because it taught me not to be afraid or shy of my talent. To embrace what makes me special.

Interview conducted in Washington, DC .

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