Who Am I? By Tashiana Williams

I once met this girl, her face so vivid in my mind, though her name I have forgotten
Whose eyes were chapter books, her heart a diary holding hostage feelings that were locked in
She began to unravel her inner thoughts, all at once to me
And then I learned that in order to fly your soul must be freed
She spoke of her heart that seemed to always get torn into pieces
And how her struggle to think straight always resulted in creases
She spoke of growing up with a mother and a confused father
Who would come around when he wanted to, but she never showed how much this scarred her

She grew up in a neighborhood in which she knew she didn’t belong
Where innocence was easily lost because violence was soo strong
Her mind was her gateway, she was blessed with intelligence
But who knew how easily that could be shrunken by ignorance?
Her self esteem was low, her confidence swept the floor
As she began to realize how cruel the outside world could be when you possess a visible flaw

She’d make sure to always be the backdrop in an abundant crowd
Afraid to speak up, but its obvious that silence is soo loud
Attention began to become her arch enemy
Her words full of emotion as she continued to speak to me
On the outside she seemed strong though on the inside she was weak
She often found herself giving up when the obstacles became too steep
This girl whose name just wont come back to mind
Has evolved into a beautiful butterfly overtimeIMG00124-20100726-1601
She has gained strength unafraid of what the future may hold
And considers herself a winner even if she doesn’t always take home the gold
She has learned that harsh words are the swords of the frail
And that talk is cheap, but actions, well they yell
Though her name I have forgotten, her story I will always keep
Who am I? I’m glad you asked .. because I am she.

Who Am I? by Keisha Howell

Who Am I?

I’m still searching for the answers

Am I a broken glass that can’t be picked up without hurting someone.

The sun that goes into hiding when the rain falls.

The scrapes on a place that no one wants.

Am I the least of favorite outfit that you just won’t wear?

That pair of shoes, that won’t fit anymore.

The dirt on a shoe that no one wants to clean.

Who Am I?

I’m still searching for the answers.

Am I the abandon child that no one seems to look for?

That hard math problem, that can’t be figured out.

Am I the caged bird that can’t be freed.IMG_1211

The street light that keep changing colors.

Who am I?

Who is this girl?

I’m still searching for the answers.

The answers are unknown which is the reason for this sad tone.

I’m searching for change

I’m sick of this game.

These pieces must be mended.

I’m sick of pretending.

Who am I?

Tell me cuz I’m tired of searching for the answers.

And if you can’t tell me I guess am that last bible scripture that cause tears to flow down your face, after a sermon.

A Sign of A Victory by Demetrius Johnson.

IMG_0012Throughout life, I believe, we are all destined to go through obstacles, trials and tribulations.  These events can either, destroy your faith and break you down to the core or bring the best out in you and show you your destiny. Whether the reason is you are destined to face situations and problems good or bad, you can face them and give life its bull shit back or you can let life bring you to being miserable, disconsolate, and even suicidal. I, Demetrius Johnson, know how life can bring you to being exultant or becoming disheartened only because life has brought me to down to my feet at times and also life has strengthen me to bring the best out of me.

As a child that faced foster care from the age of two, I myself stood before many challenges that I had to overcome; some to this very day I still struggle with. I sometimes wonder if foster care a system to destroy or make you. I didn’t find out until I was 16 that Foster care is somewhat a business. Families are making money off a child’s misery and pain. Struggling with trying to find love, acceptance, family and happiness turned my heart into a cold and lonely figure. I was once told by a wise man “don’t search for happiness, live your life and one day when you awake she’ll be home.” It’s a very formidable feeling to have to grow up without either parent and without some type of structure in your life.  You’re forced to have a relationship with complete strangers who only take care of you because of the income that will arrive on the 12th of the month.

Foster care is only one of many obstacles I have faced.  Between losing my mom, having problems searching for love and acceptance; my life hasn’t been a walk in the park. Even when the mountains seemed too high to concur, when faith became just a blur, and when hope was dying as a child with a dream- I still believed in change.   I believe in courage, strength, and I believe in a change. I believe in a future, I believe in foster children! We can rise above it and help change the world!

I stand now as a young man who just turned 18, I used to believe no one loved me nor cared about me. It seemed friends and family were just a dream and my world just came crashing down a bit more every day. The road I was walking down led to nothing but anger, agonizing pain, and loneness.  To find myself, I had to stop isolating from everyone just because people made me promises and broke them.  People hurt me, family and friends disappeared before a blink of an eye, and also the pain I experienced from being in foster care.  I believe there is still good people out in the world. Just because your life may not be the way you want it to be it’s never too late to make an 180 degrees turn around.

I know my mother looks down on me and smiles. I am beating a system designed for money and to destroy children.  Even when I am weak and the world seems to be on my shoulders, I promised my mother, before she died, no matter what I would find a way to overcome foster care.  I will keep the faith and believe in what’s right. My heart can be crying while I’m in the middle of a smile. My entire life I have been through 30+ foster homes all around Brooklyn and Queens.  I was feeling suicidal at times, not caring anymore.  I was at the peak of my life but I wanted to finally give up because I had been arrested and sentence to some months in jail. This is when I changed my life at 16 and swore I would make a change; even though I knew it would be hard to get back on my feet. God has blessed me with a beautiful, caring, understanding girlfriend (Tyra); my astronomical foster parent, who is young and consider himself my brother (Kabar); an amazing social worker who stood by my side since I arrived in care ( Ms. Tony Ince); and so many more people who came in to my life and helped me believe in a future. They helped me believe that there are still good people in this world.

I am now a senior at Freedom Academy High School.  I originally had a grade point average of 36. Now, I can gladly feel accomplished by saying I stand with an average of  81. From a child who used to fight, steal, and lie and so much more problems I dealt with; I am now a man of my word.  A strong young man, who wants to become a lawyer for foster children. I want to change the lives of foster kids. I want them to know and believe they are not out there alone, I am here with them. We will continue to stand strong and fight this system together.

I won’t give up.  I will make it in life, prove everyone who doubted foster kids wrong, and show them change will come. We will beat this system that was designed to destroy and take our future away.   Even if our blue skies are now gray and everyday it seems you wake up angry, brokenhearted or you feel as if you can’t go on anymore; this is when you use your last breath and give life one more chance. Fight back and believe in what’s right, but most of all believe in yourself. I believe in all of us, the future may seem far away but change will come and we will stand up. This fight will bring the best out of us, this is just the beginning of a sign of a victory.

 

 

Thematic Essay thank you Sharon Ritch

How to Write A Thematic Essay thank you Sharon Ritch

Thematic essays will require students to write a coherent essay that has an introduction, supporting paragraphs and a conclusion. Note that the current SED social studies essay is divided into multiple sections, which invite independent responses. Currently, students can receive full credit without writing an introduction or conclusion.

Introduction

Step 1 Copy the Theme

Add an outside sentence after each sentence with in the theme

You can always choose a word to define from the theme

Step 2 Look at the TASK

Remove the word identify

Copy he remainder of the sentence

Step 3 Choose a topic or topics (depends on how many they ask for) from the selection given under the task box

Step 4 Look at the TASK bullet or bullets and put them into a sentence by removing the discuss or describe and adding ‘There are” or “There have been” or anything that makes sense to you

Body Paragraphs

For every topic they ask for, you will provide three paragraphs.  Below is the layout for each paragraph

Step 1 Paragraph 1 – Define or explain your topic.  If you are asked for more than one topic, only discuss your first topic because you will discuss your next topic after you have finished writing about the first one.

Step 2 Paragraph 2 – Think about the event.  Re write bullet 1 in statement form and answer accordingly

Step 3 Paragraph 3 – Rewrite bullet 2 in statement from and answers accordingly

Step 4 If you are asked for a two topics, go back and repeat step 1 – 3, for your second topic.

Conclusion

Discuss both topics in a general form

What have these events cause on a basic level?

If you are totally stuck summing up your material for a conclusion, take your topic sentence or your most explanatory sentence from paragraphs 2, 3, 5 and 6 and use them to form a concluding paragraph.

Thematic Essay #2 Introduction

By Katie Regan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGGWuiHfnZk

Published on Jun 4, 2012   Thank you Katie for sharing.

Student Checklist for a Thematic Essay

My Introduction is more than a restatement of the Theme because

First Topic Review

My first body paragraph for the first topic is an explanation or definition of that topic

I answered all of the bullets for the first topic

I used 1 2 3 4 5 details when answering the bulleted tasks for the first topic

I added 1 2 3 4 5 outside facts and / or examples to the first topic in my essay

Second Topic Review

My first body paragraph for the second topic is an explanation or definition of that topic

I answered all of the bullets for the second topic

I used 1 2 3 4 5 details when answering the bulleted tasks for the second topic

I added 1 2 3 4 5 outside facts and /or examples to the second topic in my essay

Overall Review

I connected the given topics to 1 2 3 4 and events in American history

My conclusion is more than just a restatement of the Theme because

I followed the “How to write a Thematic Essay” Method

How to Write A Thematic Essay thank you Sharon Ritch

Thematic essays will require students to write a coherent essay that has an introduction, supporting paragraphs and a conclusion. Note that the current SED social studies essay is divided into multiple sections, which invite independent responses. Currently, students can receive full credit without writing an introduction or conclusion.

Introduction

Step 1 Copy the Theme

Add an outside sentence after each sentence with in the theme

You can always choose a word to define from the theme

Step 2 Look at the TASK

Remove the word identify

Copy he remainder of the sentence

Step 3 Choose a topic or topics (depends on how many they ask for) from the selection given under the task box

Step 4 Look at the TASK bullet or bullets and put them into a sentence by removing the discuss or describe and adding ‘There are” or “There have been” or anything that makes sense to you

Body Paragraphs

For every topic they ask for, you will provide three paragraphs.  Below is the layout for each paragraph

Step 1 Paragraph 1 – Define or explain your topic.  If you are asked for more than one topic, only discuss your first topic because you will discuss your next topic after you have finished writing about the first one.

Step 2 Paragraph 2 – Think about the event.  Re write bullet 1 in statement form and answer accordingly

Step 3 Paragraph 3 – Rewrite bullet 2 in statement from and answers accordingly

Step 4 If you are asked for a two topics, go back and repeat step 1 – 3, for your second topic.

Conclusion

Discuss both topics in a general form

What have these events cause on a basic level?

If you are totally stuck summing up your material for a conclusion, take your topic sentence or your most explanatory sentence from paragraphs 2, 3, 5 and 6 and use them to form a concluding paragraph.

Thematic Essay #2 Introduction

By Katie Regan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGGWuiHfnZk

Published on Jun 4, 2012   Thank you Katie for sharing.

Student Checklist for a Thematic Essay

My Introduction is more than a restatement of the Theme because

First Topic Review

My first body paragraph for the first topic is an explanation or definition of that topic

I answered all of the bullets for the first topic

I used 1 2 3 4 5 details when answering the bulleted tasks for the first topic

I added 1 2 3 4 5 outside facts and / or examples to the first topic in my essay

Second Topic Review

My first body paragraph for the second topic is an explanation or definition of that topic

I answered all of the bullets for the second topic

I used 1 2 3 4 5 details when answering the bulleted tasks for the second topic

I added 1 2 3 4 5 outside facts and /or examples to the second topic in my essay

Overall Review

I connected the given topics to 1 2 3 4 and events in American history

My conclusion is more than just a restatement of the Theme because

I followed the “How to write a Thematic Essay” Method

This essay is better than the last one I wrote because

 

 

How to Write A DBQ Essay – Regents Prep Global History

How to Write A DBQ Essay

DBQ stands for “Document based question” where there will be a number of documents provided with the essay question to analyze and use when presenting your thesis, as well as in your main point paragraphs. The documents contain bias, and it helps to point it out during your essay.

Introduction

  1. Copy the Historical Context
  2. Add an outside sentence after each sentence within the Historical Context.
  3. Define a word from the Historical Context if you cant’ think of anything else
  4. Look at the TASK bullet or bullets and put them into a sentence by removing the discuss or describe and adding “there are “ or anything that makes sense to you.

Body Paragraphs

  1. Make sure you have labeled each document with a task number.
  2. Copy your answers directly from the constructed response in the task Numerical order.  Put all the 1”s first then the 2’S… depending on how many tasks there are.
  3. You can make a separate paragraph for each constructed response or if there are only a few of one task you can put them together in a paragraph.

Conclusion

  1. Rewrite the Historical Context
  2. Add an outside sentence after each sentence within the Historical Context
  3. This time instead of defining a word as you did in your introduction add key phrases from your body paragraphs

Wenzel’s World – How to write a DBQ

http://wenzelsworld.tripod.com/home/id19.html

How to Answer a DBQ

What do you do once you open the DBQ package?

  1. Read the historical context and determine the theme of the documents
  2. Read the Tasks and number each bullet point
  3. Begin the documents

How do you read a document?

  1. Read the caption or the title
  2. Read the question
  3. Look at the document for the answer
  4. Underline what you think is important and the answer to the question

How do you answer a document correctly?

Begin with –

  •    According to
  •    Based on
  •    As it can be seen
  1. Rewrite the caption or title
  2. Transform the question into a statement
  3. Write answer from the document
  4. Add any outside information to flesh out the answer
  5. Decide which “task” the question belongs to and write the number
  6. Decide which “task” the question belongs to and write the number next to the question.  Then answer the ”Task” question with regards to that particular document.  This will be your last sentence

If there is only one part to a question, do steps 1- 6

If there are two parts to a question

  • Steps 1-4
  • Steps 3-6

*In a two-part question, you may find that the second question answers a different task than the first question.  If this is the case, complete step 6 to both questions.

Examples of DBQ Essays…..

http://www.regentsprep.org/regents/global/examoverview/dbq.cfm

thank you Sharon Ritch

My Hero By “Unknown”

My hero didn’t win any awards or win any money. He is neither; Batman, Superman, Spiderman, nor Professor X. He is a simple human being, like us, who has no superpowers. My hero is my father; he is a diligent worker, who works hard everyday to provide for his family.

At a young age I didn’t really have a mother figure in my life. My mother gave birth to my sister and I and left us with my grandmother. She would go and go. She was never there to see me go to my first day of preschool or any of my birthdays. I don’t hate my mother; but when my sister and I were young, she just dropped us off and never looked back.

My father was the only one that was there. He would send money every month for my sister and I. He never abandoned us like my mother. I remember that day like it was yesterday, when my father sent for my sister and I to live with him; it was the happiest day of my life. We were being rescued from living in harsh conditions and brought somewhere that we had never imagined.

In today’s society, a woman is the one who normally raises the kids, not the father. The father normally walks out on his children because he can’t take the stress or he doesn’t want kids. My father is one of those few men who stayed. He stepped up to the plate and took care of his responsibility.

I remember, one day I was up early in the morning while my dad was getting ready to leave for the laundry mat. I looked out the window and I saw him with that heavy laundry mat on his back. It broke my heart because while I was getting angry for little things, I never stopped to think why he does the things he does. On that day, I learned to appreciate the things he has done.

My father is not my hero because of the things that he has done. My father is my hero because of the way he does it. He does not complain, he is not lazy, he is always up and ready. That’s what makes him my hero. To me a true hero should not be determined by the number of awards they receive or by how strong they are, but by their true character.

Dancehall!! by Kevin King

IMG_0651As a boy growing up, music has been a major aspect of my life. When I’m sad I turn to or even when I am happy, I just love music. Some say my love for it is a trait passed down from my father; well I guess it is a family thing.

Music is a way of life and how someone sees life, also music expresses emotions. I used to listen many genres of music, these genres includes rock, pop, hip-hop, soca, reggae, RnB, and also dancehall reggae. The genre that really had influence on my life because of its creativity was dancehall reggae, which sprung up from reggae and originated in Jamaica.

Dancehall reggae is a genre of Jamaican popular music. It is a sparser version of reggae, meaning that its ideas are scattered, it speaks about everything that happens in Jamaica. Some ideas spoken through dancehall music are politics, religion, culture and even dance. Some artistes in the business are Movado, Vybz Kartel, Popcaan, Blak Ryno, Tommy Lee, Shawn Storm, Aidonia, and Gaza Slim etc.

Of all the artistes in the business, Vybz Kartel’s work impacted me the most because he is the best artiste in the business. This is more of a fact than an opinion. I always wanted to be like Vybz Kartel. However, I currently write my own dancehall reggae songs and wish to take Kartel’s place in the business.

pass_mi_gun

what_a_bwoy_can_chat_vybz_kartel_shadow_after_dark_riddim_mp3_86001(1)

wicked_heart (r-f.wen.ru)

movado_box_a_money_money_box_riddim_june_2012_new_aac_59917

vybz_kartel_get_gyal_easy_blackberry_ping_riddim_nov_2010_dj_wizzle_prod_aac_45134kush_morning_riddim_mix_mp3_38444-1

Freedom Academy Graduation Scholarship

Scope of the Scholarship:

The scope of the scholarship is to encourage and reward four graduating seniors who distinguish themselves through their writing.   We hope that the scholarship will provide an incentive for students to find there voice and develop ways to express it.

Scholarship Amount:

$500 per student to be awarded upon graduation.

Requirements:

In order to qualify for consideration in the scholarship, students must do the following:

  • Meet all graduation requirements for the 2013 academic year
  • Be an active participant in the Freedom Academy High School blog featured on CreateanewslifewithSusanne.com
  • Student must provide documentation that they have applied to a post high school educational institution such as: college, trade school, apprenticeship and/or internship.
  • Submit a 1500 word essay by April 15, 2013 on one of the following topics:
    • Take me to your favorite place, describe it and tell me why you love it.
    • If you were mayor of New York for a day, what would you do? Why?
    • If you were given $20 and a free day how would you spend it and what would you do?
    • Describe an event in your life that changed you.
    • Describe someone or something that you lost and wish you could get back.
    • If you could spend the day with someone, who would it be?  Why?

Students must submit a draft of their essay for review and editing to a Freedom Academy teacher of their choice.

 

One Day by Naje`e Smith

One Day

Too many people in the world grow up without a father figure in their household. My American dream is for children to get the chance of having both a mother and father growing up. It is not fair how some kids grow up to have discipline and others don’t if children in the world grew up with both parents in a household younger boys would have grown up to become real men. Instead, some grew up to abusing females, raping, killing or stealing what is not theirs. If there were more positive male role models, this world would be a better place. When I get older I plan to make a difference. More people need to fight for having fathers not abandoning their children. The men in our society are very important. By them being around it will determine your kids future.  IMG_0453

Men have the right to do more then a female can.  Males are more likely to get chosen for a job and it isn’t fair. It’s hard for a single mother to raise her child alone. Studies show the average single mother to raise her child alone. Studies show the average single female with a well paying job makes 15 to 40 percent less then the average male. ( LYF) Why should women have to struggle with raising a child, working, paying for their children’s school alone? If there were two parents, there wouldn’t be that much of a struggle because they will work together on raising their child. A single parent compared to a child with both parents has a lot to do with a child’s outcome.

Children living in single parent homes have a risk taking behavior such as smoking, drinking, or drug occurrence.  Compared to children living with their married or biological parents they whelm up in college or out of state progressing better with their life then a child growing up with one mother. Fathers can teach their sons how to treat a female the right way. Fathers can teach their daughters how to respect themselves and teach them what they should deserve. Today in this world we have nothing like this we have boys running around shooting each other. And girls showing off there body parts. This society today isn’t right.

That’s why when I get older im going to host multiple events on the struggle of single parents there’s going to be charities, fund raisers, a family events so single parents would get a chance to meet new people. They wouldn’t have to continue raising their son or daughter alone. I want my committee to spread all around the world so everyone can see the importance on his or her kid’s future. If I come across children with lost fathers I will work with the police until we find them. No one deserves to be left alone.

Growing up without both parents can be very difficult. Such as higher poverty rates and lover levels of educational and occupational attainment. That’s why parents need to stick together and work on their differences in the sake of their children. When there are two people in a household it becomes a better chance for children to have a better future. Families need to have the experience of getting to know each other. Lets make a difference and change societies outcome…..

My American Dream by Gelsomine Reme

My American Dream

IMG_0464People’s definition of an American Dream are all different. Some people’s American Dream could be the typical one; owning a nice house and luxury car, have a successful career, and a family. Like most, I do want to own a beautiful big house one day, and have a successful career but I wouldn’t be content with just that. I feel now, at 16 years old, I am already living a portion of my American Dream. The American Dream that being African American won’t limit me. However, my American Dream isn’t only that. It is for black people to not live by the stereotypes and statistics that are always said against us African Americans and for us to never disregard our past and to let the the people of our past to inspire us to do better.

50 years ago no one would’ve ever thought that after the civil rights movement that we would ever live to see a black man become president and serve not only one term but two terms of presidency. As a black person looking forward to the future, I know that I am not limited just because of the color of my skin. This is one of the greatest milestones many wished to live to see. Obama isn’t the only one who portrays a good image of black people, there are many others such as Oprah Winfrey, talk show host and actress who is considered one of the richest black females in the U.S with a networth of 2.7 billion and the young Gabby Douglas, a gymnast and olympian who was the first African American awarded a gold medal for her event. Although we have good examples, we also have bad examples as well; Bad examples that seem to outweigh the good ones.

First and foremost, some of the common black stereotypes is that African Americans are all corrupt and immoral people, and will eventually end up in jail. We won’t ever make it to college and don’t ever get anywhere in life and we are all welfare recipients are also another. Although these are just generalizations, these stereotypes do in fact have some statistical truth. According to Bureau of Justice statistics, they show that the US prison population is made up of 13.44% White, 20.29% Hispanic and 60.21% African American. We are responsible for most of the crime in our communities; the Bureau of Justice also proves that in high populated African American communities there are high crime rates than communities . Education statistics also aren’t better. According to National Center for Education Statistics, it’s proven that blacks dropping out of high school are higher than any other race and it is likely that we won’t earn a degree or even a diploma. I know for a fact that some of our stereotypes derived from these statistics and this is why I don’t argue with the ignorant minds that believe all black people are like this. As an African American i will say we must represent ourselves better than this.

I have high hopes that my American Dream will be achieved eventually. My dream that African American people will not only do better as people but for the statistics to improve and people start associating us with better stereotypes like “All African Americans are smart” or “Have lives”. Until I live my American Dream, I will just be a good example of a black person. I will go to college and get an education and obtain a degree in either education or physician assistant studies, have a successful career and take care of my family without assistance, and eventually own a house one day. In addition to this, I will also advocate for this cause. I will create youth groups for blacks so I can inspire them to be successful people in life and make them aware about these statistics that defame our race. I will also speak to the masses about my dream and we should take steps in making a future for us better now.

In conclusion, there are many bad stereotypes concerning us African Americans, and not that this is the only contribution to our bad stereotypes, but our bad statistics is one of the reasons why. My American Dream is for African Americans to do better, be aware of these statistics so we won’t repeat them for our future. To try to achieve my dream, I will set up youth groups and publicly speak about this issue to encourage them, inspire them and for them to be aware. Most importantly, I myself, will be a good example so that black people would be inspired by me. I have no doubts that one day my dream will become true and I hope to live and see it.