Grade Level: 7-8
Student: Gabriela Chan
Teacher: Susan Ze
Chapter: Livermore EA
César Chávez was a man who stood for what he believed in: service to others, sacrifice, and respect for life and the environment. He was not afraid of what people would think of his actions, such as starting strikes that would make the United States a better and fairer place. His actions and words influenced me as well as many other people.
César Chávez began many strikes to help farm workers gain equal rights. He had experienced what it was like to be a farm worker as a boy and teenager. Farm workers were treated very poorly; they got low pay and worked long hours under terrible conditions in the fields. As a member of the Community Service Organization, an organization that fought against unfair programs, César Chávez made people aware of how mistreated the farm workers were, and he was able to help the farm workers gain their equal rights.
In October, I participated in the first annual Wheels for Meals bike ride, to earn money for Meals on Wheels, an organization that helps provide food for seniors. I rode fifteen miles for a good cause. When people saw me biking, they may have realized that they could do something as simple and fun as biking to help raise money to help people in need. The fact that I was helping people in need made me feel glad. César Chávez once said, “If things are done with sacrifice, they are more lasting.” His family had to work in the fields for growers. School had kept Chávez from working in the fields with his family. When his dad got injured in a car accident, Chávez left school to support his family. He made a huge sacrifice and gave up his education to help his family in their hard times.
I have never made such a huge sacrifice as César Chávez did, but I have made some little sacrifices. With my church, I sponsor a child in Africa. Once, I sacrificed my afternoon to serve elderly people at my church. Chávez made enormous sacrifices to help others, and has inspired me to want to sacrifice more to help others in a big way.
In the 1980s, Chávez began a major campaign against the use of dangerous pesticides. The pesticides used by the growers were not only harmful to the environment, they were also harmful to farm workers and consumers. He made the public aware of the harm of pesticides, and this led to a boycott of grapes in the 1990s. Chávez wanted the environment and people to be safer.
Just recently, I have become more concerned about the environment. I try to be “green” by recycling, reusing, reducing, and putting everything that is biodegradable in the green waste bin. Also, I educate my family about being “green” and try to get them to conserve energy. I have influenced the members of my family to be more “green”, and now they don’t get a bag at the store when they don’t need one. César Chávez was a very influential person. He has inspired me to follow my dreams, give to others that are less fortunate than I, and to have a great respect for the environment. I want to acknowledge César Chávez day on March thirty-first to commemorate him. César Chávez was a regular person, but when he stood for what he thought was right, he changed the lives of farm workers and inspired many people.