“…during the ribbon pinning I walked out on the stage to read my poem…”
From Shane Jones Corliss High School

Hi my name is Shane Jones. I want to talk about my grandmother because she was the positive role model in my life. She told me what not to do, what to do, when to do it, but at the same time made fun with me. She made time for me when my mom and my dad couldn’t have time to talk to me and just sit there and play with me.

There was this one incident when I was younger – it was for my 8th grade graduation pinning. My mom had school and my dad, I wasn’t staying with him, he lived in another state. So my mom said she couldn’t make it, so I thought I wouldn’t have anybody to come to my ribbon pinning, to pin me or anything. And I was sad because I wanted my mamma and my grandmother, but they said they couldn’t come.

So during the ribbon pinning I walked out on the stage to read my poem and I looked up and I saw my grandmother waving and smiling, and that just… brightened my day. It made me happy. I mean, I thought nobody was gonna come. I thought I was just gonna be there by myself. But my grandmother saw me, heard me read my poem, and then came and pinned me. And then afterwards, she told me why my mom couldn’t make it, because my mom was doing finals and she couldn’t miss it or they kick her out of school. So, that’s that.

Interview conducted in Chicago, IL.


scu_gatewaystem150x175 “I was kind of getting scared…what if my potential is not as high as theirs?”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “…you never know how it feels getting back up if you never fall down.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “I never wanted this to happen.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “… a whole lot of people in St. Louis haven't been to the Arch.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “… after that I felt worthless, and like a coward.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “Some teenagers my age are not like me for one big and important reason…”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “…it’s not all ice cream and cake.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “They just have to accept me for who I am.”
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