Where we come from helps define who we are, the stereotypes do not

STA students come from all over the map, but we all share a common second home.


illustration by Ellie Grever

One reason STA is so great, amongst many reasons, is because our students are diverse. Diverse in the sense that they all come from different places, are a part of many different cultures and communities. However, where you come from can also place you into a specific stereotype. We tend to stereotype Leawood as “preppy and rich,” east of Troost as “ghetto,” Raytown as “sketchy,” etc, etc. The truth is, just because someone is from a certain neighborhood or part of town, that does not mean they fit into the stereotype of that area.

Stereotypes can be harmful and limiting and we should not place them on our STA peers based on where they come from. Where you come from helps define who you are, the stereotype associated with it does not.

Getting to know girls from different places helps expand perspective. You can learn new things or see situations in different ways when you have a community with diverse worldviews. Placing stereotypes on people from different areas can shield you from really getting to know their cultural understanding of the community. STA students are not all the same, and we should embrace that. We all go to different grocery stores, churches, grade schools, etc. Despite these small differences, we all ended up here at St. Teresa’s for the same reason: a great education and a strong sisterhood.

It is close-minded to consider east of Troost as “ghetto,” Leawood as “rich,” call Lee’s Summit “the scummit,” or think the Northland is a “wasteland.” The girl who runs the hip fashion blog is from Blue Springs. The girl who sits next to you in English class who you talk to about “The Bachelor” with lives east of Troost. The girl who never wears Lululemon and shops at thrift stores for cool clothes and good deals lives on 151st street in Leawood. The girl who always has fun ideas and adventures in mind is from Lee’s Summit.

It doesn’t matter whether you live forty minutes away from school or five minutes. Where you live may contribute to your values or how you see the world, but just because you live in Leawood doesn’t mean you have to be preppy. Just because you live east of Troost or in the West Bottoms doesn’t make you “ghetto.” Just because you live in Blue Springs or Grain Valley doesn’t make you country. What makes STA girls so unique is that we can be whoever we want to be, no matter where we come from. STA simply acts as the connection between all of us, shaping us all into beautiful, strong, confident women no matter where we’re from.