This I Know

“This I Know” is a project of Bainbridge Youth Services, empowering youth voices in our community through first person narratives. These are published monthly in the Bainbridge Island Review. (They can also appear on, the library’s online literary and art magazine.) You are invited to speak your mind, and get published! 


This I Know is statement of your personal beliefs, of the values which rule your thought and action. Your essay should be about three minutes in length when read loud, written in a style as you yourself speak, and total no more than 500 words. 

What YOU choose to write is so uniquely you that no one can write it for you. You must write it yourself, in the language most natural to you. When you share your thoughts, they may become of untold meaning to others. Many feel isolated, alone or misunderstood; this is your chance to be heard, understood, and increase feelings of community. 

This is your opportunity to share not only what you believe, but how you reached your beliefs, and if they have grown, what made them grow. This necessarily must be highly personal. Your authentic feelings are valued. 

Writing your own statement of personal belief can be a powerful tool for self- reflection. Reflecting on what truly matters is important and sharing this with others is very impactful, as what is most personal is also often what is most universal. 

Your belief, simply and sincerely spoken, is sure to help those who hear it. Be confident it will enrich them. 

To guide you through this process, we offer these suggestions: 

Tell a story about you: Be specific. Think of your own experience, friends and family, and tell of the things you know that no one else does. Your story need not be heart-warming or gut-wrenching—it can even be funny—but it should be real

Be brief: Your statement should be about 500 words. 

Name your belief: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your statement might not be about belief. Focus on one core belief. 

Be positive: Write about what you do believe, not what you don’t believe. 

Be personal: Make your essay about you; speak in the first person. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.” Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to speak. Read your essay aloud to yourself, and edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone, and story that is uniquely and only you

Thank you for considering sharing your voice and views with our community. An editorial review panel will chose twelve articles to appear in The Bainbridge Review in 2020, one per month.