Partnership Student to be Recognized in Washington, D.C. for Anti-Violence Poem
For many Gompers Middle School students, violence in their community is an unfortunate fact of life. Yet in spite of this, there are the voices of the strong who refuse to allow their circumstances to define them.
Being an avid writer, Kentrell accepted the challenge and jumped at the chance to submit an entry. The honor student's poignant poem captures the emotional and physical scares of domestic violence as experienced by his brother. Through his writing, Kentrell posits what the world would be like without violence.One such student is entering 8th grader, Kentrell Riley. Last semester Kentrell's AP English teacher Ms. Talley, introduced her students to the "Do the Write Thing Challenge," a contest by the National Campaign to Stop Violence that gives middle school students the opportunity to examine the impact of youth violence on their lives and challenges them to live a more peaceful existence.
We are excited to announce that his poem, entitled "Numb," was selected as one of the winning entries out of 2,000 national submissions. This weekend Kentrell will be traveling to Washington D.C. with Ms. Talley and his math teacher Ms. Parsee as one of two Los Angeles representatives. Kentrell, and representatives from cities across the country, will be honored during a ceremony at the Supreme Court Building as part of National Recognition Week.
Kentrell will have the opportunity to present his views on youth violence to such leaders as the Secretary of Education, the Secretary of the Interior, the Attorney General of the United States, the Administrator of the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as well as Members of the Congress. In addition, a book containing the students' writings will be placed in the Library of Congress.
We applaud Kentrell for this outstanding accomplishment! To follow is a copy of his winning poem.
The neighborhood I live in is not the best. In fact it's nothing to be proud of. Everywhere you look there's fighting, shooting, bullying, and tagging. But most of all violence. There are different types of violence. In my poem I focus on abusive violence. What inspired me the most to write this poem is what my brother has been through and things he told me about how he felt. Being abused is not easy. I haven't been through it but I can just imagine how I would feel. I wonder how the world would be without violence?
Therefore, I wrote this poem to try to stop violence and hope it will come to an end one day.
If you would like information on how to paticpate in the "Do the Write Thing Challenge" next year, please contact Ted Nguyen at Ted.Nguyen@lausd.net or (213) 241-2689.