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Student Spotlight

"Tutoring has helped me be more confident in class. I would recommend the program. I feel this program has enhanced my skills and now I feel that I am more confident in class, and I am not afraid to speak up and ask for my teacher's help."

- Eighth Grade Student,

Walt Whitman Middle School.

A poem from the 8th grade student, Kiari Quevedo, writing in the style of Amanda Gorman, an assignment devised by our tutors, Tami C. and Laurie B.

by Kiari Quevedo - 8th Grade
Inspired by Amanda’s Gorman’s “The Hill We Climb”
How will we rise from the dark clutches of our past,
If everything is a repeat of it,
Try we might, but try is seen as a call to war
And many are eager to answer,
Some lay down their arms, but others pick them up
Shots are fired and fingers are pointed
But no one’s at blame and we know it
And the pain that comes is forced upon us,
Defence becomes attack, and right and wrong mix,
Then neither side is right, and hate continues to bloom
Like a flower spreading its seeds
It becomes a field, watered with blood and lit with rage
Everyone is forced to pick a side and those who don’t are shamed,
Division is not a thing I see as right
But what if it is needed?
Not as his color and hers, but right and wrong
left and right, happy and sad,
We need to say “Yes, we see differently, but that’s okay”
And if we can’t, violence doesn’t have to be answered with violence
What if we don’t push back, but don’t bend at the push
Stand firm and walk through the crowd
Like MLK did not so long ago
He was not alone, and neither are we
Everyone is unique but there is always something we share
Not as just in our species, but in our life
Our past, present, future, in ourselves as a person
We are all the same in our different ways,
We do not need to let the flower of hate bloom,
The flower of love wants to bloom too,


But it can’t, because we hide

We hide from what was before

And try to forget

This brings a harsh cycle

And puts a song on repeat,

A song of anger, a song of pain

And a past of pointing fingers and wars,

We divide and hate over different colors, beliefs, and ways
We say the past was fine, then say it was wrong,
We bond over hate instead of love
And cry out in rage while we bring out arms
When we can reach out our arms to help,
Like children, crying instead of the simple solution
It’s time to grow up and accept;
We can reach out for others
Realize there is nothing to fight over
Everyone is at blame and that’s okay
We are broken, but not beyond repair
We are still growing and we can heal
Like a tree that took an axe, forgive and accept,
We’ve come too far to be controlled
By another scar, we can get through this
We just need to move on and try again,
Fear and hate isn’t an answer
War only brings more pain
Sow the seed of love
Instead of shooting the bullet of hate
Accept that mistakes have been made
And that more will be made,
Only then can we heal and grow

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