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Speak out- It gets you places!
By: Jennifer N., Bishops College, St. John's, NF

Have you ever come across a problem in your community that you wanted to speak out about but felt you couldn't

Have you ever spoke out about something you believed in but got no results?

Teenagers and even adults think they can't speak out about a problem in their community and get results. Well, I have a story that will convince you and your parents otherwise.

I believe you should always speak out for what is fair, what you believe in and no matter what never give up.

It's no secret we have been having a horrible winter with a lot of snow. The city workers are having problems clearing the streets. Now don't get me wrong they are doing the best they can. However, in my situation something had to be done.

This winter in St. John's

I am a fairly new driver(just got my license in September) and live on a main thoroughfare in St. John's, NF. The city has been doing their best ploughing the streets. However on some streets (particularly mine) they hadn't really pushed the snow back. This left my street only half as wide as normal. On top of that my next-door neighbor always parks his car on the other side of the street directly across from my house(when he has a perfectly good driveway in front of his own house).

One day after school I was trying to back into my driveway. The person in the car behind me gets right up in my bumper so I can't back up. That in turn backs up the traffic one way. Then a big truck comes down the other side of the road and can't get past my neighbour's parked car which is blocking the other lane of traffic. This means that I am the only one that can move. The woman in the truck gets out and rudely bangs on my car window. She begins yelling at me, telling me I have to move. I am considerate and move and everyone goes on their way. After this incident I go into my house and call parking services. They say they will look into it. No one shows up (Big surprise!).

The next day the same thing happens. People are rude and yell profanities at me, when I have the right to back into my driveway. At this point I am very sick of this ..there is no reason for me to be harassed trying to get in my driveway. When I got inside I called the Mayor's office and left a message. I did it even though mom and dad thought it was a waste of time. "There will never be anything done about this problem", they say. To my delight, within half an hour, the Mayor phoned me back. I told him I was being harassed trying to get in my driveway and that it was a safety hazard (which is true!). He said he'd see what he could do.

My next-door neighbor doesn't park his car across from my house anymore and the street has been widened. I haven't had a problem since!

Now you can see from my experience that you can always speak out --never be afraid! Just because you don't get results right away or people tell you to not to bother, don't give up.

The moral of the story is -- speak out for things you believe in. Just remember as they always say "The squeaky wheel gets the grease!"

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