Hello! My name is Dusan Murray-Rawlings (the “Dusan” pronounced like Dasani without the I), and I am a fairly mature-minded 16 year old who attends Washington Latin Public Charter School in Washington, D.C. I live in two homes, in one with my mother, grandmother, and little brother, and in the other with my father, stepmother, and dog Baxter. My parents have never been married, but I never saw that as much of a liability, except when trying to get to school or head into the city, because they both raised me equally. They, both being Black, broke the black broken home stereotype for me, which inspired me to always fight against them and seek a change, like some old Spike Lee film. In fact, it has made me much more determined to forge brass-bound, loyal relationships with anyone whom I meet, no matter where they may come from.
In school, I do a large variety of things, based mainly upon what I am interested in. Currently, I am the founder and leader of my school’s Comedy Club, Co-founder and co-leader of the Anime Club and Machinima Club (Machinima is the art of taking video games and repurposing them into skits, etc.), as well as a member of the Environmental Club, main writer for the School Newspaper, and officer in the Rock Band. I also do side jobs, etc., such as DJing for and helping to plan the school dances, selling food at the school store, playing in the school Jazz Band, keeping track of and updating technology as a Tech Team member, and so much more. It can be a lot to handle at times, and has made me step up my skills in time-management far more than ever before. I was never the best planner, but I’m slowly evolving into a stronger one like a shiny pokemon, for I was always a strong problem-solver.
Sportswise, I don’t do many. Sports aren’t really my main interest, but I enjoy some, such as Baseball, Wrestling, Soccer, and Cycling. Cycling especially, as I’ve been riding bikes ever since I was four years old.
I do what I can to balance my out of school life with my in school life though, as the ultimate student struggle. Out of school I take DJing classes with Words, Beats & Life, a nonprofit promoting Hip-Hop culture, practice and play the trumpet in my Grandmother’s Jazz Club, and volunteer my time each Saturday as a youth mentor/advisor in the First Light Program, a program that seeks to give middle school students the chance to pursue science outside of school in a real laboratory setting based in the Carnegie Institute of Science. Each activity I do outside of school, I do to grow more as a person and find mentors, as self-growth is my main concern. A cub does not grow by sitting around, but by having a good mentor and soon hunting for its own food. I follow that ideology and multiply it.
I have also taken up a bucket list of hobbies and interests that I keep track of, such as drawing covers for fictional books/comics/albums, writing short stories and essays, practicing my trumpet and guitar and composing songs and song lyrics/poems, reading anything I can get my hands or eyes on, teaching myself boxing and various forms of swordplay, teaching myself how to code in two programming languages, teaching myself Japanese, teaching myself Physics through Khan Academy, planning out future inventions and ideas in art and literature, watching movies twice for analysis and enjoyment, and exploring the city I live in.
This life is but one large challenge, with the good life as the reward to winning it. We all want the good life, but we can’t all get the good life. I want the good life, and I’m willing to persevere and climb through whipping winds and avalanches to grab it for myself. Everything I do, I see as another rock I’ve climbed or another cliff I’ve scaled to reach that ultimate goal, all teaching me so much and leaving me wanting to know more or as much as possible. It’s for this reason, among others, that I think is why I was chosen for the TOMODACHI program, to perhaps reach my final growth as a teenager and spur a new growth in me: One to think globally and truly promote a change. So…here I go.
Thank you for reading my bio, if you’ve managed to stick all the way through it!