Members of the Baylor community service program asked scholars in the R.E.S.P.E.C.T. afternoon program, tutored by Baylor students, to provide a sample of their writing. Below are two submissions.
Za’Niyla Parker, a R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Scholar at Westside, chose to write about where she wants to travel after the pandemic.
When the pandemic is over, I really want to go to the beach because it’s really fun. My favorite part is the water, but sometimes the sand gets in my hair. I really hate that, but it’s just sand. The ocean is full of surprises, and I would really like to go early because most people will still be sleeping. It can be packed out there, but what I really love is going on the beach during the sunset.
R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Scholar Maddison Eubanks wrote this poem about Juneteenth.
Reminiscing about all that has been deprived and corroded
And every young mother who has been seized of their young
Every father who has been whisked till broken
Every friend foe, and peer who were to encounter agony
Because of our evident charmer, we’ve flourished through adversity
We moved through mountains
Abolished the pain
No longer a shake to linger our free rein
And we’ve fought a fight worth the recall
Maddison Eubanks is a seventh grade student at Howard Connect Academy, a new online-run school from the Howard School in Chattanooga. Eubanks has been writing ever since she could pick up the pen, jumping on any kind of short story or essay for class, but her favorite style of writing is poetry. Her fifth grade teachers made a tremendous impact on her, first by being great teachers, but also by being human. Their openness about education and their lives inspired Eubanks to connect with them more and pursue writing. Ever since, every poem she writes, she sends straight to them, along with a thank you note.
This poem was written for the EPB Black History Month Poetry Contest, in which students submitted pieces about Juneteenth and what black history meant to them. The poem speaks for itself, with Eubanks spending up to the last minute perfecting it before submission. While Eubanks definitely wants to at least publish a book when she gets older, the shining star still doesn’t quite know what she wants to be when she grows up, rather hoping to be able to participate in “a bit of everything” life has to offer. All I know is she will excel in anything that comes her way, and write an excellent poem while doing so.