This I Know2020-09-09T15:05:17-07:00

“This I Know” provides a platform for youth voices to be heard through first-person narratives published monthly in the Bainbridge Island Review.


This I Know invites you to make a great contribution: nothing less than a statement of your personal beliefs, of the values that rule your thought and action. Your essay should be about three minutes in length when read out loud, written in your voice – about 500 words.

We know this is a tough job. You may even find that it takes a request like this for you to reveal some of your own beliefs to yourself. If you set them down in writing, you may be surprised by the insights you gain.

We would like you to express not only what you believe, but how you reached your beliefs, and if they have changed, what made them change.

Writing your own statement of personal belief can be a powerful tool for self-reflection. It can also be a wonderful thing to share with family, friends, and colleagues. We believe that reflecting on what truly matters is important and that 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 inspire and help those who hear it. We are confident it will enrich them.

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

Tell a story about you: Be specific. Ground your belief in the events that have shaped your core values. Consider moments when your belief was formed or tested or changed. Think of your own experience, work, 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. Make sure your story ties to the essence of your daily life philosophy and the shaping of your beliefs.

Name your belief: If you can’t name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be about belief. Also, rather than writing a list, consider focusing on one core belief.

Be positive: Write about what you do believe, not what you don’t believe. Avoid statements of religious dogma, preaching, or editorializing.

Be personal: Make your essay about you; speak in the first person. Avoid speaking in the editorial “we.” Tell a story from your own life; this is not an opinion piece about social ideals. Write in words and phrases that are comfortable for you to speak. We recommend you read your essay aloud to yourself several times, and each time edit it and simplify it until you find the words, tone, and story that truly echo your belief and the way you speak.

We hope the time you spend writing your statement of belief allows you to know yourself better.

If you wish to submit your article for possible publication in the Bainbridge Island Review, please fill out the application. Thank you for considering sharing your voice and views with our community. An editorial review panel will choose twelve articles for 2020, one per month.

We prioritize submissions that:

  1. Celebrate diversity and value inclusion, voices that otherwise might be missed in our community culture.
  2. Implicitly teach adults how to empower young people.
  3. Speak to key beliefs that support youth well-being, self-compassion, and compassion for others.

Need some draft prompts to get you started? Here ya go!

  1. Letter to my younger self… Something that I wish I had known.
  2. What I wish my parents understood or knew…..
  3. College essays that talk about a relevant topic
  4. (For alumni) What have you learned living outside of the Bainbridge bubble?

After you have completed your article, please fill out and submit the application. Please email your article to [email protected].

The Ballad of the In-Between

By Cecilly Stokes As part of Bainbridge Youth Services’ This I Know writing project, Cecilly Stokes wrote this ballad earlier this year during 6th

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