“I Am”: Original Poem from FLOC Scholar Christian

As a Scholars Program staff person, I have the opportunity to work with hundreds of young people, all of whom have infinite capacity to teach, inspire and impact those they encounter. I am consistently amazed by the poetry Scholars speak without even trying to be poetic; the ‘realness’ and ‘raw-ness’ (coupled with a somewhat counterintuitive innocence) with which they understand life; the unique perspectives they offer to anyone who will listen; their creativity, ingenuity and inventiveness; the ease with which they will sing and dance when the mood strikes; the fact that some still find simple humorous pleasure in crawling under a table (come on, it’s like fort-building using the only readily available resources); the trusting and open way they share and the way their smiles can change the trajectory of the recipient’s entire day.

All of this is a very long-winded way of saying that FLOC Scholars have amazing things to offer the world. And, through the Scholars Program, these students are encouraged and challenged to explore their identities, to voice their thoughts, to think critically about global issues, to build skills for success and to be thoughtful about their goals and dreams.

Last week, as part of the 7th grade curriculum related to identity exploration, the 7thgrade students wrote poems about themselves. One in particular caught my eye, so I wanted to share it, because it captures and exemplifies the thoughtfulness and brilliance of FLOC youth.

“I Am”

I am bold and courageous.

I wonder why people fight.

I hear small whispers.

I see white butterflies and they remind me of my loved ones.

I want to make peace everywhere.

I am bold and courageous.

I pretend that I’m flying in the sky, worry free.

I feel just lost in the sauce.

I touch the lives of others. I worry that people will grow up to be something they don’t long to be.

I cry because I’m happy, I cry because I’m free.

I am bold and courageous.

I understand nothing is given to me; I have to earn it.

I say don’t worry, every little thing is going to be alright.

I dream about what’s to come in the future, leaving behind today.

I try to do my best at helping others.

I hope to have peace one day.

I am bold and courageous.

–Christian, 7th grade

Thank you, Christian, for being.

(Kelley Thompson is the Middle School Scholars Program Specialist).

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