NewHolly teens share their creativity and college preparedness know-how

Written by on September 1, 2017 in NewHolly, Seattle Housing Authority - Comments Off

By Voice staff

This summer, 15 NewHolly residents between 14 and 18 years old were enrolled in Seattle Housing Authority’s Summer Youth program.

Jim McCue, program manager, said, “We want the stories that they develop and tell through the watchful guidance of local poets and community-based organizations who have provided writing workshops to be directly reflective of our community here in NewHolly.

“We believe The Voice will provide that outlet for students to share their experiences with parents and families, and thus, create more lasting bonds.”
The Voice agrees. Here are some of their stories and reflections.

Some NewHolly residents participated in Seattle Housing Authority's six-week Summer Youth Program. It’s an opportunity for the teens to develop their skills through the arts and learn more about career and college readiness and financial literacy.

Some NewHolly residents participated in Seattle Housing Authority’s six-week Summer Youth Program. It’s an opportunity for the teens to develop their skills through the arts and learn more about career and college readiness and financial literacy.

Author: Omar Yusuf
Title: High School Dropout Prevention
A big problem in the United States is high school dropouts. Did you know that every year, over 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States alone? That’s a student every 26 seconds, or 7,000 a day.
This shows that something has to be changed in the system for the graduation rate to go up. One solution I came up with was to make school relevant for all students – by doing this, students will be encouraged to stay in school and participate. I know from a personal experience that people tend to like things and stay through to the end if it is relevant to them.

Authors: Najma Mohamed, Amira Jama, and Samiira Yusuf
Title: Unlawful Imprisonment
False imprisonment occurs when a person is restricted in their personal movement within any area without justification or consent. Although actual physical restraint is not necessary to a false imprisonment case, it is a common law and a felony. It applies to privates as well as government detention.

Over the past 23 years, more than 2,000 wrongfully convicted persons were exonerated. We can change the system by community policing. In order to minimize unlawful imprisonment, things must change, like preconceived notions, DNA testing and rehabilitation in and out of prison. We can change this by reaching out to city officials and government.

Our allies in this situation are people of color. Our opponent is the government. We can achieve this by doing protests, rallies and meeting with city officials to discuss this change. We know change has happened by lowered crime rates and fewer exonerations.

Author: Yonis Ahmid
Title: My Brother’s First Steps
My little brother and I were in the living room and I was helping him keep balance. Then, he took a few steps. Then, more! And then, he fell. I helped him up and he started walking. I didn’t have anyone to tell and I was shocked because no one was home to see.

Author: Abdirahman Yusuf
Title: Shout Out to My Uncle
There’s always the one story that is cemented to someone’s head – the one story for me is the one Ramadan that left me happy. After my uncle delivered me a wonderful basketball hoop, I started to fall in love with it. Hooping every day, being happy until Ramadan came. Everyone that I hung out with in my street came to hoop every day. We loved playing three-on-three games, especially since we were so hungry and it was the easiest way to forget about our hunger.

There is always a good and bad in a story: the bad was that the soil always turned to sand in the summer, dust entered our eyes, but still, we ignored it.
Even if the aroma from the food cooking in the kitchen was entering the backyard, we kept playing and ignored it, but for the people who were sitting on the bench waiting for the next game, it was hell. But they didn’t care at all. Finally, all this happiness, friendship and competition came from my uncle for giving us a hoop that we never asked for, but loved so much.

 

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