Ke’Yonna Brownlee 8th Grade, FPMS
Actor in Training

Hi, Ke'Yonna Brownlee, actor in training. Yes, my ambition is to hit the stage and use my talents to talk to others through my acting. I was born in Benton Harbor, Michigan and currently play the role of a 13 year old middle school student at the Arts and Communication Academy. My future dream job is to be an actress.

A very unusual last name isn’t it? My last name comes from my dad’s side of my family. A couple of fun facts about me are that I live with my mom and two younger brothers and I have lived in Benton Harbor, Michigan for my entire 13 years of living on this earth. Most people don’t know this, but everyone is like family in this city, because everyone knows everyone. But Benton Harbor is looked down on as a bad place to live by many because of all the bad things that have happened. There is a lot of crime and drugs in the city. People think that kids that grow up here won’t graduate based on the past test scores. So we as a community struggle to encourage all the students to take school seriously.

With that negative umbrella hanging over us, there are many students who actually want to learn while in school, with the goal of graduation and for me, going onto my theatrical training. I work very hard on my studies. My family encourages me to do my best in all subjects. I don’t understand why some students give up. Maybe because that is easy. I want to have a positive impact on our society. I respect myself and am proud of the grades I earn. But it would not happen if my family and teachers were not encouraging me. Learning comes easy for me. I can understand that for some, it may be more difficult. But, we are all in this thing called school together, and can support each other to be successful.

As I have said, I want to be an actress when I get older. My hometown of Benton Harbor has provided me so many experiences. I have seen the good and I have seen the bad. I see myself moving in the right direction to possibly graduating high school early so I can pursue my dream. And I’m not gonna let anyone hold me back. Through my hard work, coaching from my teachers, support of family, and courage, I will walk out on the stage in all my glory.

Gershon Clay – Class of 2020, BHHS
In That Place

In that place,
Where broken families become prevalent
Throughout the whole city.
Where we idolize the Tiger Symbol,
Because in the midst of our adversaries,
We don’t fear them.

In that place,
We tend to be and do whatever we think is right,
Like how a tiger views its prey as food,
Not as another animal.

In that place,
When times are tough,
When all may seem rough,
We still strive,
Because if we stop,

We won’t arrive at our destination.
Though the path is long and far.

In that place,
The mother looks for food for her cubs,
Because the father isn’t present.
Reminiscent to the way we grew up, with a

Within that gap, lies
Important information
That used to be found elsewhere.

Jacobia McFarland – Class of 2020, BHHS
I’m Tired Of… 

I am tired of all of the negative emotions,
The hate from my own people,
The pain of being put in a box by society.
I’m tired of the drama of “To be or not to be.”
Why can’t I just be.

I am tired of the blind eye,
The unseen
The left behind
The untapped potential seen
In my people.

I am tired of being in last place,
Never good enough,
Less than adequate, and
Always the underdog in the fight
I never wanted.

Out of it,
No emotion,
Unable to feel anything
Other than tired.

I am tired of playing the constant game of
“The Run Around,” and
Some card being flipped, making me
Always being one step behind.

I am tired of this world,
The constant problems of being the best,
An illness we never seem to let go.
It’s the thing that drives the power of war.
I’m tired of living meaningless.