People of Pioneer: Layla Dobbins


Layla Dobbins is currently a junior enrolled at Pioneer

“I’m a black, Arabic, bisexual woman, so it’s hard to offend people. I’m never uncomfortable with my identities and I’m really open with everything. I do feel stereotypes sometimes, however, and they bring a lot of stress because I feel like I am carrying my race and gender. For example, I often fear me being loud enforcing the stereotype of a black woman. I have come to the realization that no one listens when you yell, but sometimes it gets to the point where I am muting myself, and this is frustrating because I feel like I am letting things slide and being forced to choose my battles because of stereotypes. I feel that I have had to prove myself, so I am taking four AP classes this year. The climate at Pioneer has made high school an easier experience for me because everyone is so open. I know that pioneer students will back me up when I face microaggressions and that is empowering. The definition of a microaggression is a small assumption made because of a racial background like he knows the answer because he is Asian. I often go back and forth on the issue of informing people when they make a microaggression and I will if I know they are good people who just did it by accident. I believe that as individuals we have a choice on whether or not to teach people about their insensitivities, but we as a society have the knowledge to be better people in our pockets so it is our responsibility to know these things. The most important thing I participate in here at pioneer is BSU and it takes up the majority of my extracurricular time. Some people think that BSU is just a social group, but we’re so much more. We do community service, charities, and internships as well as college tours to show kids there is more to life after high school. It has taught me the valuable lesson that there is great diversity inside the African-American race whether it is socially, financially, or intelligence-based, there are a multitude of personalities. This is why is believe that the most prevalent issue for our generation is racial and gender stereotyping.