Opal Besaw: I Was Raised to Believe

Opal Bespaw

As part its collaboration with the PBS American Portrait initiative, The Rural Youth Catalyst Project asked rural young people from across the country to respond to the prompt “I was raised to believe…”  

This week, we are pleased to share the the voice and experience of Opal Besaw, a high school junior in Kalispell, Montana. 

Opal is passionate about equality for all people, especially those with Different Abilities. She loves using her voice to help others. When she isn’t advocating, she enjoys listening to music, collecting handmade Teddy Bears, and reading and writing fiction.

Watch Opal read her original poem “I Was Raised to Believe.” 

The Rural Youth Catalyst Project is an independent working group aligned with the Rural Assembly. Working nationally, the Rural Youth Catalyst Project aims to strengthen and create opportunities that allow rural and Native youth to realize their hopes and dreams while remaining in or returning to their communities.  

This past fall, the Rural Youth Catalyst Project announced our partnership with PBS American Portrait: A National Storytelling Project.  PBS American Portrait is an ongoing, evolving initiative that is asking for people all across the country to contribute their experiences and perspectives to create a documentary series that captures the diversity and realities of our country. 

Utilizing themes from the American Portrait Project, we asked rural young people from across the country to respond to the prompt “I was raised to believe…”  We are excited to share their submissions. Learn how to respond to our latest prompt.

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