Allie’s Story

Facing Voices of Teenage Girls in South Bend, Indiana, Teens

Allie has attended four schools because her family has moved many times during her childhood. She has lived in Texas, Arkansas, and now lives in South Bend, Indiana, where she attends Jefferson Intermediate School. Her family came to this area because her step-dad is working on his Ph. D. at Notre Dame. She currently lives with her mom, step-dad, and little sister and plans to be moving to another home in town in the near future.

Allie has a lot of interests including playing the trombone (which she doesn’t love, but still plays), singing (she plans to join choir next year), art (even though her school does not have art classes), riding her bike, and playing video games, especially Minecraft. She does not participate in any after school activities. She likes to be with her friends and do silly and sometimes dangerous things. The most dangerous thing she has done is ride her bike down really big hills.

Allie describes that she “enjoys meeting new people” and that she always does her best to get to know new people. She does this at school by inviting new people to join her group of friends, because she doesn’t want people to feel that they are being left out. Allie stated that her strongest strength is “being friendly towards others.”

Allie described that there are many bullies at her school and that many of these bullies often approach her. She described a situation where a group of girls were “making fun of her because her pants were too short.” Allie said the girls were teasing her for this, and that the only response she could come up with at the moment was to ask them “why they were wearing the clothes that they had on.” Allie described that this happened near the end of the year and that while she knew her pants were a little short, she didn’t feel that she should get new ones so close to the end of the year. She described that she does not mind being “a little different” from the other girls at school anyway.

Allie described that the bullying and teasing can be a lot worse than this at her school. Allie does her best to ignore the bullying, but also feels that she should “stick up” for herself and for her friends. Allie believes that the community would be a better place if more people “loved each other more” and thinks that this can be a possibility if everyone “thinks more about the feelings of others instead of themselves.” Allie likes to give hugs to people she knows and meets and thinks the “world would be better if more people gave more hugs.” Allie

Allie’s Story Continued

When Allie looks in the mirror, she sees her reflection. She sees a “young teenage girl, with messy blonde hair, blue eyes, and glasses.” She doesn’t know yet who she is or what direction her future is going in specifically. She knows that 5 years from now, she will be “in high school.” She dreams of becoming a mechanic or maybe an architect. She believes that in order to be a good person one must “not be judgmental towards others.” She believes that one of the most important things in life is “how you treat others” and feels that teenagers today should “be nicer to each other.”

This story originally appeared in Facing the Future Through the Voices of Teenage Girls, a publication of The Facing Project that was organized by Ivy Tech Community College and the Office of Mayor Pete Buttigieg in South Bend, Indiana.

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