WPSU's This I Believe

Biweekly at 5:45 p.m. on Thursdays and at 6:00 p.m. on Sundays.

Tell us the personal philosophy and core values that guide your daily life, and hear stories from others.

This I Believe is based on the 1950s radio program of the same name and the media project (launched in 2005) from This I Believe, Inc. and Atlantic Public Media. WPSU-FM invites you, as a central Pennsylvania resident, whatever your background, to speak out.

Submit your essay.

Subscribe to WPSU's This I Believe podcast.

This I Believe: I Believe In Black Clouds

Mar 26, 2020
Essayist Jeremy Hoffman
Min Xian / WPSU

I believe in black clouds. 


This I Believe: I Believe In Being True To Yourself

Mar 12, 2020
Essayist Sandy Eichhorn.

I believe in being true to yourself.

I’ve spent my entire life as a younger sister. My older sister was the tall one, the academically gifted one, and the soccer prodigy. People saw me as a smaller, lesser-than version of my sister. Everyone loved her and I wanted to be her. Without realizing it, I constantly put myself in her shadow. I allowed my identity to be connected to hers. I was comfortable there.

I believe immigrants make America great.

This I Believe: I Believe in Staying Young

Jan 30, 2020
Essayist Zoe Salter

I believe in staying young.

This I Believe: I Believe In Getting In The Zone

Jan 16, 2020
Essayist Noah Shore

I believe in getting in the zone.

This I Believe: I Believe In Good Parenting

Jan 2, 2020
Essayist Alexandra Fleece

I believe in good parenting.

Since before I can remember, my cousin, Chase, has lived with my family. Our birthdays are twelve days apart and we have always been inseparable. We went to school together, had joint birthday parties, and basically lived our lives as twins. Although his last name isn’t Fleece, he did not know a life apart from me and my siblings.

This I Believe: I Believe In Bunco

Dec 19, 2019
Essayist Vanessa McLaughlin

I believe in Bunco.

As a trailing spouse, I’ve lived in Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Morocco, Boston, New York City, and Jacksonville, North Carolina. What’s a trailing spouse? Well, I followed my husband around the world for his career. We took our possessions, worked, traveled, and had children in these places. While it sounds exciting, when we arrived in a new city or country, I felt apprehensive about meeting new people. But through a game called Bunco, I was able to make life-long friends and gain valuable knowledge about the local community.

This I Believe: I Believe In Empathy

Dec 5, 2019
Essayist Brett Green

I believe in empathy.

Part of empathy is understanding that every life we meet goes beyond the small part we see. One day, seven years ago, my family and I learned this life lesson together while on a family walk. To everyone outside, it looked like we were on an idyllic family stroll. In truth, we were walking to the hospital where we would learn whether I could survive my brain cancer. Just like the people who saw us, we too had no idea about the invisible struggles anyone else on the sidewalk faced. This experience has helped us have empathy for others.

This I Believe: I Believe In Running

Nov 21, 2019
Essayist Alysa Rubin

I believe in running.

If you asked me how I felt about running five years ago, I would have laughed at you. My feelings about running? Pure, undeniable disgust. Coupled with my asthma and general lack of motivation, I considered running as one of my worst enemies.

This I Believe: I Believe In Taking Risks

Nov 8, 2019
Essayist Connor Griffin

“For all of you out there, there’s an old cliché: Go out on a limb—that’s where all the fruit is.”

I listened to Colin Cowherd say this years ago, right after he left ESPN to work at Fox Sports. As an aspiring sports broadcaster, I’ve always loved watching Cowherd, but I never bought that dumb saying. However, it’s turned out to be a saying that’s defined much of my life.

This I Believe: I Believe In Movie Theaters

Oct 24, 2019
Essayist Rebecca Inlow

I believe in movie theaters.

The first time I went to a movie theater, I was about 6 years old. My parents took my brothers and me to the Rowland Theater in Philipsburg to see the original Disney version of 101 Dalmatians – it was around 1969.

This I Believe: I Believe In Mental Health Awareness

Oct 10, 2019
Essayist Caroline Knightly

I believe in mental health awareness.

I believe that one cannot be physically healthy without being mentally healthy. Mental health has always been something I take very seriously. One’s emotions and mental stability can change their whole life, for better or for worse. And in doing that, it can change the lives of individuals around them.

This I Believe: I Believe In Party Dresses

Sep 30, 2019
Essayist Cindy Simmons

I believe in party dresses.

My mother and I both use clothes to make a statement.

For 26 years, my mother, Margaret Simmons, worked as a high school home ec teacher. She can sew anything:  business suits, wedding dresses. She must have altered a hundred prom dresses over the years for her students who were not conventionally sized.

This I Believe: I Believe In Jeopardy

Sep 12, 2019
Essayist Steph Krane

I believe in Jeopardy. Growing up, my family had a dinnertime routine. No matter what food we were eating or who was sitting around the kitchen table that night, we would always watch Jeopardy! at 7 o’clock. As Alex Trebek read the questions (or, as they’re known in Jeopardy terms, answers), we ate leftover lasagna and tried to remember facts about world geography and Shakespeare. The first person to shout out the correct answer was the winner.

This I Believe: I Believe In Connection

Aug 29, 2019
Essayist Micaela Amateau
Emily Reddy / WPSU

I cry every day. My tears are tears of anguish but also tears of the most intense joy.

This I Believe: I Believe In Thank You Notes

Aug 15, 2019
Essayist Stacie Chandler.
Curt Chandler

I believe in thank you notes. I believe in sending them and in receiving them. Absolutely for gifts – every gift REQUIRES written acknowledgement – but also for random acts of kindness or thoughtful behavior and for hospitality.

Ask anyone, “Hey, how are you doing?” and they will most likely respond, “Busy. I am SOOO busy. There is just too much going on.”

People are busy. Everyone is busy. 

Work. Play. Shopping. Recreation. Family. Cooking. Errands. Laundry. School. Housework. 

Social commitments. Yard work. Commuting. Volunteering.

This I Believe: I Believe In Siblings

Aug 1, 2019
Evan Beebe (right) and his sister, Isabel.
Laura Beebe

I don’t know the type of person I would be if I were an only child, and honestly I don’t even want to imagine that version of myself. My older sister Isabel has taught me so much in my brief 19 years, both through her successes and her (occasional) mistakes. 

We weren’t the best of friends as children; my mom always tells me she was legitimately worried we would hurt each other in one of our epic brawls. My dad even started calling family game night “family fight night” because they would usually end with Isabel and me being sent to our rooms. 

Essayist Mo Jingxi
Emily Reddy / WPSU

I believe in the kindness of people. 


Many people have been kind to me here in State College over the past three months.


What would you wish for if you are going to stay in a foreign country for the first time by yourself? For me, I wanted to adapt to the new life as soon as possible and make some friends. 


Fortunately, I did that because of the kindness people offered to me.


The first day I arrived, my Chinese roommates, who I didn’t know before, asked whether I’d like to join their weekend trip to Cleveland.


This I Believe: I Believe In High Heels

Jun 20, 2019

I believe in high heels.

I can still remember prancing around the living room of my childhood apartment in my mother’s white satin stiletto sling backs. They were a gift from my father and she wore them for special occasions. When my mother took an afternoon nap, I quietly removed the shoes from their box, slid them over my small feet and stepped out across the parquet floor. I felt great. I couldn’t wait to grow up and wear heels every single day.

This I Believe: I Believe In Bravery, Not Perfection

Jun 6, 2019

I believe in bravery, not perfection.

When I was growing up, I learned how to be brave at the lake in New Hampshire my family visited every summer. I would jump off swings, rocks and boats, soaking myself in the murky water. My siblings would watch in awe. I was the daredevil, the center of attention—and I loved it. At the lake, I possessed a kingdom of my own, and I determined that I would conquer the world.

This I Believe: I Believe In Storytelling

May 23, 2019

I believe in storytelling and bringing attention to those who live outside the limelight.

In the summer of 2017, I collaborated with my great-aunt and godmother, Marie-Edith Douillard, who has lived in Paris for 40 years and works for a human rights organization called Amnesty International. She introduced me to two refugees and helped me create a short documentary that has since been successful at various international film festivals.

This I Believe: I Believe In Board Games

May 9, 2019


I believe in board games.

As a kid, I started with the basics like chess, Othello and Monopoly. As I got a little older, games like Stratego, Risk and Mastermind were added to my collection.

This I Believe: I Believe We Must Remember The Armenian Genocide

Apr 25, 2019

This essay originally aired on April 26, 2018.

I believe we must remember the past so it doesn’t repeat itself.

I believe in talking about important political issues in school.

School shapes children’s lives in a major way. School teaches children about the world around them, about how things work. So what better place to teach kids about politics than school?

This I Believe: I Believe In A Good Cup Of Coffee

Mar 29, 2019

This essay originally aired on Oct. 25, 2018.

I believe in a good cup of coffee.

I was about five years old when I brewed my first pot of coffee. I remember reaching for the red plastic container labeled Folgers, lifting the lid and appreciating its rich aroma.

I carefully counted the spoonfuls of Folgers, while my brother, who’s just a year older, measured the water. The counter the coffee pot sat on was barely reachable, but we made it work.

This I Believe: I Believe We All Have A Story

Mar 14, 2019
Essayist Molly Smith.
Molly Smith

I believe we all have a story.

I grew up in a small town about 30 miles outside of Harrisburg. When I say small town, I mean we only had one high school with about 60 kids in each graduating class. We had one red light, one Sheetz, one grocery store and a few banks.

This I Believe: I Believe In Traveling Alone

Feb 28, 2019
Essayist Shawna Mumma in Italy.
Shawna Mumma

I believe in traveling alone at least once in your life.

I’ll always remember how I felt the morning of December 27, 2014. There were butterflies of excitement in my stomach as I found a window seat near the back of the German train car. I settled in and double-checked that my written itinerary was still in my pocket. The train began to leave the station. Once the pure rush of adrenaline wore off, a feeling of complete shock hit me.

What in the world was I doing? 

Was I prepared to travel through Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium and England on my own for two weeks?

This I Believe: I Believe In Forgiveness

Feb 14, 2019

My dream had always been to play basketball in college. But during my junior year of high school, I got a severe concussion. In the months that followed, I went through concussion therapy, different drugs and steroids, and seven different doctors. By August 21, 2015, I was progressing well in therapy—so well that I was going to be cleared that day. I was in the car with my sister on my way to my very last appointment. I was ecstatic. I couldn’t wait to play basketball again for my senior season, and then in college.

This I Believe: I Believe In Myself

Jan 31, 2019
Essayist Alexis Fenstermacher.
Alexis Fenstermacher

I believe in myself.

When I was a sophomore in college, I realized I wanted to be a nurse in the military. I had just gotten back from a medical clinic in Honduras and felt inspired—I wanted to travel and help others while doing it. I knew nothing about the military, but when I Googled “traveling nursing jobs,” the first thing that came up was the Air Force.

This I Believe: I Believe In Lemonade

Jan 17, 2019

“Take one pint of water. Add a half-pound of sugar, the juice of 8 lemons and the zest of half of a lemon. Pour the water from one jug into the other several times. Strain through a clean napkin.”

I believe in the power of lemonade.

To most, the drink brings back childhood memories of hot summer days, family cookouts and catching a breeze outside.

But don’t get it twisted. The lemonade that has been quenching my thirst as a Black woman in the U.S. today is what’s being served up by the Queen herself, Mrs. Beyoncé Giselle Knowles Carter.