The Art of Gratitude Essay

When was the last time you went beyond saying “thank you” and did something toactually express your appreciation? In the dictionary, the word “gratitude” is defined as thequality of being thankful and one’s eagerness to express their appreciation, but I think it ismuch more than that. Gratitude means paying it forward, especially for the people The Art of Gratitude Essay

In Times Like These

“I wrote this poem trying to process the emotions I felt as an African American woman after the death of George Floyd. It details my grief process, and the little ways there is to find hope within the horrors facing my community every day. But the ending message of living your life to honor those who are no longer with us seemed more hopeful, so I entered it in that category.”

Walking Into Depression

“This story is about a girl who was living a normal life when things all of a sudden went the other way. Most of us were living a normal life before the pandemic started. Quarantine has affected everyone at least one way. It doesn’t matter if it was in a positive or negative way.”

I Have Grown Up Enough

“I wrote this piece the morning of Thursday January 7th in processing my feelings on Wednesday January 6th’s terrorist attack on the U.S. Capitol. I was missing my deceased grandfather extra this week, as I reflected on the legacy he helped shaped for the United States, and how I was watching it crumble before my eyes. The title of this piece was inspired by a poem we read in one of my writing classes this week, called Silhouette by Janice Lobo Sapigao, that we were asked to do a free write response to. This is the result, written in that 7 minute period.”

What Hope Means to Me

“My entry is a narrative, and it is about how I was able to overcome personal challenges because I learned how to believe in hope. I chose this category because I knew that when I saw the word hope, it immediately caught my eye, just because it has so much meaning to me in my personal life. I really put an effort, because I’ve never gotten to fully express my past and how I overcame it, but since I finally got to let it all out, I think the narrative turned out very well.”

The Power of Words

“I wrote a poem about mental health stigma. It talks about the words one might use and not realize that they could affect someone going through a mental health condition. I created this poem to provide awareness for mental health stigma and how to end it. I learned multiple words that can affect someone going through a mental health condition, some of which I had previously used myself.”

The Caped Crusader

“The poem highlights the story of one of our favorite childhood superheroes in a way that it often does not get told. It overall exemplifies his path for attaining justice not only for himself but for many citizens of his city which, to be fair, is an all too common route taken but it is a bit different when it comes to this specific hero. His story has a more dark and gruesome take to it and is far far deeper than most people who simply watched the movies have come to known. Aside from that is a story that often inspires people to live their most justice and honest life.”

R.B.G. We Miss You

“I wrote a poem about the feelings I felt when I learned of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing. These emotions overwhelmed me and even scared me, but they inspire me to live my life with the spirit of Ruth Bader Ginsburg inside of me. I chose to write about this category because Ruth Bader Ginsburg has always been a big role model in my life and all of her work inspires me to fight for what I believe in. She was a pioneer for many women in politics and wasn’t afraid to stand up to her male counterparts when she felt it was necessary. She believed in equality and that no one should be judged on their ability to complete a job by their sex. I plan on living my life with the courage and strength of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and passing on her work and morals for generations to come.”


“My poem has been a reflection of the events of this tumultuous year. More than a reflection, it entails the observations and conclusions that I have come to thanks to my time spent pondering about my future, especially with mounting academic and social pressure. I believed that it will assist in so many mental health issues we see today if people just viewed life differently. It is some advice that I wish I had known sooner because coming to terms with it helped me understand my goals in life and what I wanted out of it.”

A Day in My Life

“The way my speech relates to what was asked, I wrote about the unfairness I encountered in my life, the discrimination, and stereotypes I’ve been put in, and the injustice. I wrote about how many unfortunate events have blocked me from getting to my full potential. I find myself being afraid to go out and play in my community and always looking behind our car wondering if the policeman was going to stop my family or if I see a policeman, it makes me feel anxious, uncomfortable, nervous, and unsafe. When I leave my home, the first thing I would see was protestors. That was very scary to me as a 12-year-old. I want to give a message to people that do not see what I see or do not feel as I feel, nor experience what I experience. Many fazes I have been through in the world, listening to the news on tv, radios, the encounters, good and bad have inspired me.”