This summer, all Higher Achievement scholars became writers. To boost academic gains that are often lost over the summer months, our scholars participate in a six-week Summer Academy where they learn about topics in the year ahead – not the year behind. To put their English and language arts skills to the test and to encourage self-expression, each scholar wrote one article for their Achievement Center Magazine. Scholars chose their topic and writing style, and sculpted their article to share their voice. This opportunity inspired a broad range of articles spanning from letters to the editor to personal stories to poetry that explored countless topics.
Over the next few months, we will be sharing this scholar work on our blog. The first piece is from Delasia P., a DC Ward 7 Achievement Center scholar. In this piece (below) she reflects on an important person in her life.
By: Delasia P., 8th Grade
As a child I was always happy and energetic. I was always going places with my mom and dad, like the movies, pool, mall, etc… As I was growing up, I revolved around one grandmother, Catherine. She was the grandmother that was always in my life and that I was used to.
Growing up, she was always excited to see and talk to me. Once I was around the age of 7 or 8, everything seemed to change. After my dad went away to prison in the year of 2010, I started to be around my grandmother less because every time I was around her, she always talked about my dad. When she did, it bothered me because I missed him, and the thought of him not being here with me was upsetting.
Once I turned 10 or 11, my grandmother started going in and out of the hospital. One night, she had to go to the emergency room because she fell and started bleeding. At one point, she was doing well and went to the hospital less.
At the age of 12, I stopped going to see her even though she lived across the street. I didn’t make much of an effort to see her. My mom would say “Lay-Lay let’s go see your grandmother” and I would say “Ma, I don’t feel like it”. Sometimes my mother would even force me to go.
But there was one day in particular I remember very well. I had just been dismissed from Higher Achievement at 7:45pm on Wednesday. I was hungry and tired. Once my good friend and I got into the car, we saw that my mother had brought us 10 piece nuggets, fries, and a sweet tea. We began to eat our fries. As my mother pulled off, she said “Lay-Lay I have to tell you something.” In my head I was thinking, “Please don’t tell me another person close to me died”. Then she said, “Grandma died”.
When she told me, I dropped my fries into the bag and leaned back into my seat. After that, we arrived at my friend’s house to drop her off. I remember thinking about all the things my grandmother and I shared together. I began to feel bad because I didn’t want to go visit her when she was in the hospital and when she was home.
That night when I got home, I finished eating my food. I went into my room and started crying. Who would’ve thought that she would be gone so soon. Now I regret every moment that I didn’t go see her and how I barely used to call. I wish that she would just come back!!
Read more original scholar work over the next few months, by following us on Facebook at @HigherAchieve.