This I Believe chapter established at Centre
A new chapter of This I Believe at Centre, established this fall by Nachelle Mangeot ’12, will inspire students — and others — to reflect on their beliefs, write down these thoughts and pass them on.
This I Believe, a global non-profit organization, encourages people to write essays describing the core values guiding their daily lives and share them with others.
Mangeot first learned about This I Believe as a junior in high school.
“I went to an American school in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and took a class there called Theory of Knowledge. It was during this class that I wrote my personal This I Believe essay,” she says. “It was extremely rewarding to take the time to write 500 words on what I stood for and the values that define my daily life.”
The experience allowed Mangeot to realize how little time people take for reflection.
“Writing my essay took me a lot longer than expected. Sometimes we are so busy in the rush of daily life, we forget to think about the reasons behind why we do what we do,” she says.
While searching for a possible internship last summer, Mangeot discovered that This I Believe headquarters is located in Louisville and jumped at the opportunity to work there.
“I spent a month translating essays into Portuguese, which also meant that I got to read endless amounts of essays,” Mangeot says. “They spurred in me a whole range of emotions: in one day I could go from getting angry, to smiling, to crying and then to laughing.”
The idea to establish Centre’s chapter of This I Believe came to Mangeot instantaneously.
“One morning, while reading an essay, I had an epiphany of sorts and I decided to bring it to Centre. I thought that this would be such a good way to add to the community by building a public dialogue among students, faculty and staff,” says Mangeot. “Students spend a lot of time reading and writing, as does most of the Centre community. However, this is not about writing for class or for a grade: this is about writing and reading for yourself.”
Mangeot thinks Centre students are the perfect candidates for writing This I Believe essays.
“College is a perfect time for writing an essay — it’s during college that we get asked the question, ‘What are you going to do with your life?’” she says. “In order to answer this question, we must have a deeper understanding of what defines us. For this, I invited people to be a part of Centre, This I Believe.”
Writing This I Believe essays is catching on fast at Centre. President Roush wrote his and had it published in The Cento earlier this year.
“I believe we are at our best when we take our work and our service seriously, but choose not to take ourselves too seriously,” he said in the essay. “What I do is important. I am not so important.”
For Mangeot, the best part of This I Believe essays are their ability to bring people together.
“The power of words is often times attributed to literature and poetry, but it’s because they’re the embodiment of the human voice. Anyone can write one of these essays,” she says. “It’s all about embracing the thoughts that make us who we are, but also understanding those that define others.”