I'm 16, turning 17. Stereotypes are so prominent in this society. I'm mixed and have had girls put hate notes in my locker about the color of my skin. I don't want to think like that. I want to know a person for who they are. You may know about someone's culture but that doesn't mean you know their story. My dad died when I was 3. In middle school, they would make fun of me because I didn't have my dad. That hit home for me. I don't know how my mom did it. She had me when she was 20 and practically raised me on her own. She would always say "be a leader not a follower." It eventually sank in -- I'm president of a club at my school, I'm fluent in Chinese and I'm proud to say my mom is my hero.