Letter: Urban Poets Society gives youths opportunity to shine

June 11, 2014 

I attended Slam Night on June 5, a community youth arts event presented by the Urban Poets Society and the Living Theater Project. It was an evening of poetry and performance.

The poems and the play, Dear Diary, were original works written by at-risk youths. I was deeply touched by the honesty, the depth, the rawness and the hope that glimmered through these works.

The rap songs spoke of the harsh realities these youths face. A young lady gave a heartfelt rendition of the Alicia Keys song No One. These performers have incredible talents, and giving them an opportunity to be heard by a supportive audience can help these young people transform their lives.

Jordan Chaney, founder of The Urban Poets Society, shared about his difficult childhood and his dream to become a poet. He fulfilled his dream with the help of mentors and teachers who supported him along the way. Now he mentors and encourages marginalized youths to fulfill their dreams. What a marvelous gift this is!

I work with marginalized youths and if we as a community provide the right opportunities, these youths will respond and rise above whatever keeps them down.

SILVANA KROGSRUD, Pasco

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