Positive I is an organization that aims to develop an understanding of what makes us different and the importance of who we are, through delving into the many facets that make up a person's identity! Your Identity is who you are. Society has created categories for each aspect of our Identity. It is made up of qualities that are both invisible and visible and has components that are both changing and unchangeable. Understanding each aspect of your identity will allow you to find confidence in who you are, and make your mark on the world, as only you yourself can do! There are many social stigmas around certain aspects of Identity, such as race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender. Our goal is to help break down barriers that society has placed in front of us in regards to certain facets of our identity, through learning about the value of our unique qualities. One day there will be no part of an individual's identity that is not accepted and when speaking from the “I” perspective, it will only be Positive, because we will be confident in who we are and the vitality of our differences, in shaping our Identity.
Nicole Munoz, a 16-year-old Junior, came up with the concept behind Positive I when prompted with the question in 2019, “What is an issue you see in your community or in the world that you would like to have a part in changing”. Having already discovered a passion for the medical field at a young age, her immediate answer was “something to do with mental health”. Nicole decided to use this seed of an idea and take action to fulfill her newfound goal, to make a difference in the lives of teens struggling with mental health challenges. It turned out that finding what to do with this idea was far more challenging than coming up with it! Positive I was initially set to be an organization focussing entirely on Gender, discussing how to pursue positivity in your Masculinity and Femininity, and defying gender roles that have shaped negative expectations for Men and Women. Slowly, it evolved into encompassing Identity as a whole, yet having gender as a primary facet still! Nicole recognized that the many categories which make up our identity are what make us who we are, and allow us to make our own unique mark on the world and change it in a way that only we can. Society has created prejudice towards people with differences, discrimination towards minorities, and oppression of those who defy societal norms. This lack of societal acceptance seems to be the root cause of many of the challenges teens face. Nicole realized what she could do. The lack of positivity when it comes to people's uniqueness is the societal mindset she would strive to change. This is how Positive I was born. Our organization aims to spread the voices of people who affiliate with certain Identity groups, give back to people in need who affiliate with the identity group being discussed that month, and uplift those who find the organization to have positivity in who they are. In their Identity! Accepting ourselves, and every aspect of who we are is the first step in combating certain mental health challenges! Positivity will be Nicole’s catalyst in creating change!