The Freedom Song

My American Creed speaks upon my own experiences growing up in Westport, my continued exposure to the arts, and how my family, freedoms, and opportunities have helped to influence my passions.

By Claire B. from Staples High School in Connecticut
In my American creed, I believe that the freedoms strung together by the founding fathers have allowed Americans to reach their full potentials, providing a country filled to the brim with opportunity, hope, and widespread communication. Without these freedoms and opportunities, I would never have been able to receive my high level education, grow up in a wealthy town, or live in a nation where myself and my fellow Americans have a say. These are just some of the advantages that I have had over others because I was fortunate enough to grow up in the United States, a place where I am accepted for who I am and respected for the things I want to achieve. However, the United States has had many faults. Our political views and personal vendettas have gotten in the way of unity, forcing Americans to turn on each other because of their differences. This is not something that should be allowed to continue. The United States was founded on the principle that all men are created equal, and by allowing our government and our citizens to act on their personal negativity, we are compromising the most valuable and attractive aspect of our nation; Freedom.

Growing up in Westport was nothing less than a blessing, however it was tough growing up in a wealthy town coming from a lower class family. Many of my friends grew up with unlimited access to money and opportunities, many of which I could never even dream of. While I was growing up, my mom always said the same thing. “Things are tight right now”, but they were always tight. My dad shared a similar phrase so he would say, “I’m hemorrhaging money!” whenever I came to him with a large expense. It was never easy because as much as I wanted to live the way my friends did, I couldn’t complain. Everyday I went to a clean school. Not only did I receive a top notch academic education, but also a wonderful education in the arts. I started music classes in kindergarten, orchestra and choir in the fourth grade, and band in the fifth grade. I also began musical theater in the fourth grade where I found what would be my greatest passion; performing. In middle school I continued with band, Camerata, jazz band, and musical theater. As one of my many extracurricular activities, I performed with the Fairfield County Children’s Choir where we went on to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Once I got to Staples High School I auditioned for Staples Players, their musical theater program, and began my high school musical theater career starring in Newsies. Ever since then I have stayed heavily involved in Staples Players working on Legally Blonde, Merrily We roll Along, Curtains, and more. Most recently, I was appointed crew head of our costumes department and will soon be performing in Back to the 80’s and Mamma Mia. I have now been involved in a total of 22 productions with many more to come, and I plan on continuing this work by attending college for Musical Theater. I have accomplished so much and come so far from where I started. That was possible because I grew up in a system where the arts were encouraged, and I was free to choose what path I would follow. If I hadn’t have been free to do so, I would never have discovered my true self.

What was really special about my growing up was my family. My parents always allowed me to express my opinions weather they were right or wrong. They never pushed me away from my passions but found resources to help me excel in them. My dad always told me that the best way to learn is to live, and sometimes your going to fail. It’s your job to come back from your failures, and prove them wrong. I have carried this advice with me through thick and thin, and I think of it as a reminder that anything is possible, if you put your mind to it. Like a certain Star fleet captain once said, “I don’t believe in no-in scenarios.” My brother was also a huge part of my life, and he continues to be. Not many siblings who are six years apart get along so well, however my brother and I are as close as they come. He followed his passion as well where he graduated this year from Point Park University with a BFA in Musical Theater. He inspires me every day, and although we don’t always see eye to eye, I know that I never could have gotten where I am today without him. My mom had a saying she must have told me 20 million times. She said, “A wise man is a man who knows how little he knows.” This saying used to bother me at a young age because I didn’t appreciate what it meant. As I matured, I started to realize what she meant by that.

America’s values although complex, are clear; freedom, opportunity, family, education. These things make the world go round. Unfortunately, not all countries share these values. Some are built on the foundations of fear and hate where freedom is a dream. That is why the United States offers a home, to those searching for the American dream. I know that with the comfort of freedom, opportunity, and knowledge, I will go on to accomplish great things doing what I love. That’s my American Creed, what’s yours?

Work Cited:

Baylis, Carla (June 8, 2019) Personal Interview

Baylis, Chris (June 7, 2019) Personal Interview

Baylis, Jack (June 10, 2019) Personal Interview

Star Trek (May 8, 2009)

Staples High School

Neary 2A 18-19

Sophomores

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