Steps to Change

2 February 2019

“FOSTER HOME ON TRIAL FOR ABUSING CHILDREN”, “PARENT BEATS CHILD TO DEATH”, “BABYSITTER ABUSES BABY” – we witness these on the news often. Yet do we, everyday people, take action? For years I stood aside watching the news. With each new headline popping up about another child abuse case, my pulse momentarily stops, and the strings of my heart snap.

I’m only a high school student. How will I make a difference? People had constantly bombarded me with negative thoughts, making me believe I lack the ability to force change.

Steps to Change Essay Example

Then, my junior year of high school, I took an American government course. I, unknowingly, was introduced to a whole new world. I thought poorly of this class, unaware of its future impact on me. Normally people would tell me “you’re only a child. You can’t make a difference.” That changed.

My teacher gave me one week to answer a loaded question: how can you create change in your community? My mind screamed at me:

What if I could better children’s safety from child abuse?!

To do so, I had to create a mental step by step plan:

I remember the call’s high pitched ring.

“We can’t get to the phone right now. Please contact us at another time,” I spat, syncing with the voice recording.

Yet, this didn’t stop me. I needed more information on Oregon’s law on child abuse.Oregon Human Services was the best resource.I consistently called them without backing down. The annoying ring repeated into my ears. This time, the robot didn’t speak to me.

“Hello this is Oregon Human Services front desk, how may I help you?”


The patient attendant provided me useful websites and pamphlets. I was one step closer. I marked off my mental checklist.

Step 1 complete.

“Give Us This Day” was one of the cases that appeared on the news often. Unbelievable. How could those monsters do such a thing to these poor innocent children? My body reaches boiling point. Poor sanitation, starvation, neglect, and physical abuse – some of the many cases the foster home care faced. This was perfect. This would be my target.

Step 2 complete.

My father, a former police officer, informed me on how his department handled child abuse cases, and their process of doing so.

Step 3 complete.

I pondered the limited methods of preventing this issue. How can I, a high school student with little power, put a stop to an issue that requires more power? The answer: find a commission with power.

Step 4 complete.

After sleepless nights and drinking gallons of coffee to keep my eyes open, “Oregon Commission on Children and Families” flashed before my eyes on a pamphlet I discovered on an Oregon government website. The Commission focuses on improving the lives of children and families in Oregon.

Step 5 complete.

“Dear Oregon Commission on Children and Families, …”

Step 6 complete.

How could those evil beings do such a thing? If the world is becoming a better place, how come we continue to face this? For a long time an empty feeling held still in my stomach; I felt hopeless watching as children are unrightfully yelled at by their guardians, hit by the one person they dearly want to call “mommy”, and left to starve in foster homes that are supposed to show them love and fill their little souls with happiness.

But now I feel empowered; I am able to contribute to change in my community. Instead of being idle when faced with a problem, I know how to take the necessary steps to become part of the solution. As cheesy as it sounds, I hold the power to make an impact that will lead to differences in the community.

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