Rights to Defend

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I grew up hating history classes. They were always the same—read, remember, regurgitate, repeat—and I stubbornly insisted that no teacher could ever make the subject appealing to me. Freshman year of high school proved me wrong. With a focus on current events and disdain for the bland and repetitive, Mr. Levine had created the impossible: a history class I could sit through. Often, I lingered afterward to continue a debate or remark on the day’s topic, but it was not until the end of the year that he mentioned the Human Rights Club. Curious, I decided to visit his classroom for the next Wednesday afternoon meeting—and the rest, as they say, is history.

Warmly welcomed by the club’s handful of members, I fell into its rhythm with ease. After identifying and thoroughly researching an event like the Barakat Walk for third-world literacy or the Boston Pride Parade, we would hold fundraisers or pay out of pocket to attend. As I began actively seizing chances to organize or participate in these trips, I found that I was driven not only by the individual gratification each one brought, but also by the reassurance that there was always another cause to support, another opportunity to make a change that reached far beyond the scope of...

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