WUIS' This I Believe

2015 marks the ninth class of high school seniors WUIS has asked to share what they believe.  This I Believe was started by journalist Edward R. Murrow in 1951 to allow anyone able to distil the guiding principles by which they lived. 

The Rotary Club of Springfield, Sunrise has partnered with WUIS each year and provides a scholarship to each of the selected authors. 

The State Journal-Register supports this effort by printing the selected essays in the Voice section

WUIS will air the essays in their authors’ voices the last two weeks of February at 7:45 AM, 12:45 PM, 4:45 PM, and 7:45 PM.  The audio may also be streamed here at WUIS.org.

This I Believe is WUIS' annual essay program for central Illinois high school seniors.  An expression of where their minds are as they are about to enter the adult world.

The program began in 2007 and has been supported by the Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise each year.  The club provides each selected author with a $100 scholarship when they read their essay at a Rotary meeting.

 

Selected Authors

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

Pages

This I Believe 2015
7:45 am
Fri February 27, 2015

A Daily Realization

Maggie Lenkart - Southeast H.S.
Credit Rachel Lattimore / WUIS / Illinois Issues

I recently stumbled upon a neat little web series entitled “The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows” by John Koenig. Every short video consists of a newly invented word he explains in depth. One word in particular jumped out at me: sonder.  “sonder,” n. the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as yours. This feeling has always been something I have taken note of. As a little girl, strapped tight in my car seat, gazing out the window at the cars passing down the busiest street in town, I would think:  “Where are they going?

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This I Believe 2015
7:45 am
Thu February 26, 2015

A Universal Language

Shelton Cottle - Beardstown H.S.
Credit Rachel Lattimore / WUIS / Illinois Issues

One sunny September afternoon, one of my friends and I were searching the farthest reaches of our brains for some activity to keep us occupied. We often played the guitar together, but since the fall weather was so unusually pleasant, we could not just sit in some dingy basement and play to the termites in the rafters. We decided to take our music to the great outdoors; specifically, our town square.

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This I Believe 2015
7:45 am
Wed February 25, 2015

I Believe In The Piano

Jacob Pearson - Rochester H.S.
Credit Rachel Lattimore / WUIS / Illinois Issues

The frost tapped on my window as I sat at the antique desk in my room on that icy winter afternoon. Eternal mounds of snow pressed its hands up against our front door, and it concealed me from the exploration I longed for. I could hear the bitterness of the air outside whispering to me, teasing me of the arctic temperatures that loomed about. I was concealed inside on this day, and with nothing to keep myself busy, my mind was just as frozen as the world around me. My pencils and artwork lay untouched as my creative gears wouldn’t thaw.

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This I Believe 2015
7:45 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Unique Flavors

Kanisha Granderson - Lanphier H.S.
Credit Rachel Lattimore / WUIS / Illinois Issues

I believe in ice cream. Different flavors, different colors and smells. Some taste good and some not so good. The happiness you get when you find the flavor you like. The first bite and joy. I loved the flavor Jamoca. It was my favorite. Its coffee taste, brown color and smell - so deeply good. I wanted to try something new. I tried butter pecan. It was the new best. Its vanilla coating, walnuts on top and inside. I had switched. Like the click of a light switch but I wasn’t always so comfortable or confident about trying new things.

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This I Believe 2015
7:45 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Travel And Learning Cultures Bring Us Closer

Tess Peterson - Springfield H.S.
Credit Rachel Lattimore / WUIS / Illinois Issues

I love to travel.  At 17, I have visited more than 40 states. I have been to Canada and Mexico, and this past summer I visited China.  One of the most exciting days of my life was the day I received my passport.

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This I Believe 2015
7:45 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Pickled Hysteria

Brett Palmer - Lanphier H.S.
Credit Rachel Lattimore / WUIS / Illinois Issues

On a frigid January evening, I, along with other members of my church, decided to donate time to serving a hot meal to people planning to spend their night sleeping on a childlike cot in a warm, temperature controlled Salvation Army homeless shelter. I have no idea what to expect on a night like this. So many misperceptions of homeless people that had been drilled into my brain throughout my life were reappearing in my consciousness yet again. “Are they gonna take my money? Where are my keys?” Confused, nervous and skeptical, I begin to wonder why I’m here.

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This I Believe 2015
7:45 am
Thu February 19, 2015

I Believe In Confusion

Larissa Mulch - Southeast H.S.
Credit Rachel Lattimore / WUIS / Illinois Issues

People have often asked me why I’m not straight, and I like to tell them the following: When I was four years old I sneezed and no one said “bless you” and at that moment the devil entered my soul. Of course the journey to discovering my sexuality was not nearly so simple. It was, and still is more like the yellow brick road; long, winding, Judy Garland is probably involved somehow, and it’s been very, very confusing. I believe in confusion.

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This I Believe 2015
7:45 am
Wed February 18, 2015

I Believe In Deadlines

Jillian Cole - Springfield H.S.
Credit Rachel Lattimore / WUIS / Illinois Issues

Imagine everyone could live forever - never aging, never worrying about having time to do the things we envision because we have limitless years. However, such a life is impossible. Humans are not made to last. Though it seems terrible to be confined to only one hundred years, It’s a blessing. Having a deadline for life, and for many things in life, is beneficial to mankind, and to the individuals who live or have lived. If humans could live forever, I’m inclined to believe it wouldn’t be a good thing.

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This I Believe 2015
7:45 am
Tue February 17, 2015

Size Matters

Kaytlin Jacoby - Taylorville H.S.
Credit Rachel Lattimore / WUIS / Illinois Issues

I have never been thin.  Since my earliest memory, “normal-size” clothing has not fit me.  I remember being seven, distressed that I had to shop the tired floral prints of the “husky” sizes.  I remember the day I was told that I was too big to wear two-piece swimsuits.  I remember that I stopped swimming entirely because no swim suit fit comfortably.  I remember wearing trendy clothes that were too tight in middle school because I wanted to wear the pretty outfits all the other girls wore.  I remember crying after a day of shopping because everything looked bad on me.  I remember averting

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This I Believe 2015
7:45 am
Mon February 16, 2015

The Power Of Trying

Aron Suszko - Springfield H.S.
Credit Rachel Lattimore / WUIS / Illinois Issues

I have always believed in something that few seem to grasp. Something that you wouldn’t expect. I believe in trying. Not success, not failure but simply trying. The power of trying does not make itself very apparent because there are too many people (myself included) that aren’t brave enough to step up to the challenge. When I was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, I felt the world had dealt me a losing hand, and there was nothing that I could do. I slogged through life for the longest time, content that my fate of failure was sealed.

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This I Believe
12:41 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

"This I Believe" Essay Contest Deadline Is Jan. 29

WUIS is looking forward to a new set of entries for this year’s WUIS “This I Believe” Essay Contest.  As in the past, ten winners – current area high school seniors - will be selected from among the entries.  The deadline for submissions is Thursday, January 29th, just a week away!  Ten winners will be welcomed here at the WUIS studios to read their essays for broadcast in February.  Each winner will also receive a a modest scholarship from the Rotary Club of Springfield Sunrise.  Submissions at WUIS.org.

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This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Fri February 28, 2014

26 Letters

Amelia Paries - Lanphier HS
Credit Dan LoGrasso / WUIS

From the moment we're born, we're bombarded with an endless array of words. Long, short, pretty, ugly—but all meaningless. Until we’re taught to read and write. But, even before then, we have to learn the alphabet. It's amazing, truly, how many ways those 26 little letters can be manipulated; the seemingly endless combinations that make up the language we know and take for granted. I love words. I love how they can take simple bedding and turn it into softly ruffled sheets, bathed in sleepy whispers and sweet dreams.

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This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Thu February 27, 2014

The Most Powerful Element

Kelsey Hubble - Southeast HS
Credit Randy Eccles / WUIS

During my freshman year of high school, my circle of friends was fairly limited.  I had three friends who I associated with daily, and I was perfectly content with this.  In place of expanding my social standing and friend group, I spent a good number of my days walking home after school and doing nothing besides laying in my room listening to music.  This might sound lonely to some, but I was happy doing it, so I felt no need to change.  Music was and is one of the greatest companions I’ve had, and one of the best tools I feel people can use to connect with themselves, and even others.

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This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Wed February 26, 2014

I Believe in Snow Cones

Alex Brosseau - Southeast HS

I used to live right on the busiest street in the world. Maybe, I’m exaggerating a little bit, but it seemed pretty busy to me. Cars zoomed up and down the street, traveling around the world, and I wasn’t allowed to go past my block on my own, which now seems to be very logical, but at the time it seemed like the most ridiculous rule. On hot summer weeks when I was cooped up to my huge lawn and vast house, my sole escape was Snow Cone Tuesday.

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This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Tue February 25, 2014

The Sneetches

Gabrielle Gardner - Southeast HS
Credit Dan LoGrasso / WUIS

I believe that Sneetches are Sneetches. This probably sounds ridiculous to most people, but it is a belief that has greatly affected my outlook on life. In the children’s story “The Sneetches” by Dr. Seuss there is a very important lesson about people and their differences. In this story, there are Sneetches that live on the beach (or the beaches, as Dr. Seuss would say).  Some of these Sneetches were born with big stars on their bellies while others hadn’t anything on theirs.

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This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Mon February 24, 2014

Great Sacrifices Give Great Rewards

Pauline Kersjes - Springfield HS
Credit Dan LoGrasso / WUIS

    It is July 31st. I am standing in an airport far away from here. I turn around for the last time and see my parents and three sisters waving goodbye with tears running down their faces. I have not cried a single tear today. I think the tears are all gone. I cried enough yesterday. I am way too excited to cry anyway. Today it is finally going to happen. I have been waiting for this moment for almost two years. I believe that this year is going to be worth it.

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This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Fri February 21, 2014

I Believe in Dirt

Abagail Perrero - Southeast HS
Credit Randy Eccles / WUIS

I believe in Saturday mornings with my mother. Waking up in the morning, the sun just barely peeking in through my curtains. Struggling into last night’s jeans, eyes still glued shut with sleep. Bad TV dramas while both of us avoid our homework in the winter, but in the summer we skip breakfast and take bumpy car rides. We walk hand in hand past a pockmarked brick road and a green bar door, down and over one block from a parking meter left unpaid. A skip over the train tracks and we are at the Farmers’ Market. A right turn for home-made bread rolls and our favorite salad guys.

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This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Gay Forever, Hell For Never

Gabe Knott - Jacksonville HS
Credit Dan LoGrasso / WUIS

You’re going to hell. Yes, you, the young male wearing the loud shirt, scarf, and skinny jeans. Yes, you, the student tutor with a 3.8 GPA, who aspires to have a family, who has goals for your life and a career in mind and who was baptized in a Southern Baptist church; none of that matters when the TRUTH is that you aren’t natural and neither are your actions.

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3:51 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Southeast Trumpets Five This I Believe Authors

Out of the ten student authors selected for the 2014 This I Believe program, five attend Southeast High School in Springfield. Congrats to them and all the authors!
2350 East Ash Street Springfield, IL 62703 217/525-3130
This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Wed February 19, 2014

Independence Creates Happiness

Stephanie Dunn - Lanphier HS
Credit Dan LoGrasso / WUIS

In middle school I asked  myself a lot of questions. Why do I have multiple teachers? Why is my body changing so much? Why do I feel attraction to all these boys? One thing I thought I knew was love; I loved my family so I completely understood what love was and what it took to love someone for life, right? In eighth grade I started “dating” Joe. It was the stereotypical boyfriend/girlfriend, middle school relationship. Our parents drove us to and from our houses watching movies, playing video games, and going to the park to kick a soccer ball around.

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This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Tue February 18, 2014

The Real Me

Katerine Bowman - Southeast HS
Credit Dan LoGrasso / WUIS

I don’t choose to wear makeup. Some people may look at me with disdain, and others wonder why I opt out of such a common practice. I see girls around me with perfect faces, unable to tell that they are covered with the cloudy foundation, and with their eyes painted just right so that I find it easy to look and hard to look away. But I myself find no yearning to be “beautiful,” or to look “flawless” simply so that others may be more visually attracted to me.

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12:00 am
Tue February 18, 2014

The State Journal-Register Prints 2014 This I Believe Authors

WUIS' This I Believe partner, The State Journal-Register, printed the first week's essays in the Tuesday Voice section.
Each year, public radio station WUIS-FM asks high school seniors to share what they believe. The program was started by journalist Edward R. Murrow in 1951 and WUIS has participated for eight years.The station partners with the Rotary Club of Springfield, which provides scholarships to the selected authors.The winning essays will be broadcast on WUIS (91.9 FM) during the last two weeks of February.Today, we publish five of the winning essays.
This I Believe 2014
7:35 am
Mon February 17, 2014

A Squirrely Story

Mason Lott - Pawnee H.S.
Credit Randy Eccles / WUIS

It was a beautiful summer day.  The sun was shining, there was a light breeze, and I was flying down Glenarm Road at speeds upward of 20 MPH.  The grass was high that day, providing an attractive view, and I was enjoying the ride with the rest of my cycling group who rode just a few paces ahead.

We were forty-five miles into our weekend ride, when I heard a small rustle in the tall grass. Moments later, I saw a ball headed right towards me.  The next thing I know, the “ball” was lodged in between my front tire and the frame of my bike.  

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This I Believe - 2013
7:45 am
Wed February 27, 2013

Pickle Dog

Kristen Koch - Jacksonville High School
Credit Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues

 

As a child, I would always wait with excitement by the door, counting down the minutes for my parents to come home from work. Now that I am in high school, I often fail to greet my parents with anything other than a “what’s for dinner?”

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This I Believe - 2013
7:45 am
Tue February 26, 2013

Sharing Meals

Elaina Conley-Keck - Springfield High School
Credit Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues

 

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This I Believe - 2013
7:45 am
Mon February 25, 2013

Tough Times in Life Teach You How Strong You Really Are

Renay DeFrees - Lanphier High School
Credit Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues

 

Scared.  Utterly terrified.  That is the only way I can describe how I felt when I was told my father was going to die. I was eight years old when my father was diagnosed with cancer. That was November 18th, 2002. A few weeks passed and everyone held their breath. On December 16th we were told the cancer was terminal. The carcinoma had metastasized and had already spread throughout his whole body. The doctors did not expect him to make it through the week. “It is time to say goodbye”, they said.

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This I Believe - 2013
7:45 am
Sun February 24, 2013

Kindness

Samantha Comerford - Rochester High School
Credit Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues

 

I believe in kindness. The small act of holding the door, or smiling as someone passes. Everyday on the news I hear of an arguing government, a suffering economy, and a war overseas. It is hard to keep a kind spirit when it seems that anger surrounds us. In times like these, I believe that kindness is more important than ever.

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This I Believe - 2013
7:45 am
Sat February 23, 2013

Being the Little Big Brother

Aaron Vasquez
Credit Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues

 

 The strength and willingness to accept those with autism may seem to be a daunting task at times, but many people overlook the strength the few individuals that are diagnosed with autism actually possess.

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This I Believe - 2013
7:45 am
Fri February 22, 2013

Hallmarks

Vlada Gudzenko
Credit WUIS/Illinois Issues

 

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This I Believe - 2013
7:45 am
Thu February 21, 2013

The Girl Detective and Me

Elisabeth Dunn – Sangamon Valley High School
Credit Randy Eccles / WUIS/Illinois Issues

At the age of eight, I was introduced to the young woman who would change my life.  The more I learned about her, the more I admired her. We went on adventures together, and though some were a little too scary for me, I was always delighted to tag along.

This woman’s name was Nancy Drew.  Yes, she was a fictional character, but she was also my friend. In a single summer, I read every one of the 56 original Nancy Drew books. That was the same summer that I became a Reader.

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