Our Youth

Blessed Teresa’s Words Inspire Loughlin Writers

Writing contest winners Cheyenne Edwards, Stephon D. Jones, II, and Shannon McLeod received awards at school’s literary event.
Writing contest winners Cheyenne Edwards, Stephon D. Jones, II, and Shannon McLeod received awards at Bishop Loughlin M.H.S.’s literary event. (Photos by Sharon Lopez and Amy Marcel, juniors at Bishop Loughlin.)

By Tuesdai Freeman and Stephon D. Jones, II

Bishop Loughlin Memorial H.S., Fort Greene, recently hosted a writing contest. The competition was organized by Loughlin’s Library Media Center via “The BLoglin,” Loughlin’s blog and events page. The prompt for this competition was inspired by Spring into Action, an annual event of the Regional Council of Young Lasallians in the U.S. and Canada. The students were asked to base their poem/prose around the quote of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, “Not all of us can do great things. But we can all do small things with great love.”

This theme roused students from different grade levels to enter their own heartfelt interpretations of the quote. Ted Frank, the school’s library media center specialist and co-director of the House System, chose this year’s contest prompt after having received it in a letter from Superior General of the Brothers of Christian Schools, Brother Robert Schieler. Frank said, “This was by far the best BLoglin contest we have ever had… such rich, varied, and sincere entries!”

For the first time in the history of this contest, there were two first-place winners. One of them was Shannon McLeod, a senior graduating this June, with her poem, “My New Answer.”

“My idea came from Baltimore’s outcry and the shootings and killings around the country on the news,” McLeod said.

Her poem focused on the need for human intervention in all situations we can fix, saying no one has the power to make her “shh.” Often times when we ask questions, they are answered by prompts to forget about inquiries or just stay quiet; however, in her poem, McLeod challenged this by stating that she will no longer allow anyone to silence her curiosity.

McLeod shared the top spot with freshman, Cheyenne Edwards whose poem is entitled, “the greatest power.”

“My poem describes how human beings have the raw, unused potential [and] energy to do great things and how [they] rarely use that raw unused energy,” Edwards said.

Ted Frank, library specialist, gives award to Christopher DiGeronimo.
Ted Frank, library specialist, gives award to Christopher DiGeronimo. (Photos by Sharon Lopez and Amy Marcel.)

Her poem is unique in that it does not use capital letters. When asked if she intended to emulate e.e. cummings, Cheyenne replied, “I just thought that the words looked more uniform that way… I just started typing and [they] just flowed.”

Runner up, Christopher DiGeronimo, senior, submitted a poem entitled, “Greatness,” expressing his zeal for achieving great things, not only in big ways, but also in small ways, too.

“He is a hard-working and determined student,” said DiGeronimo’s English teacher Vincent Visco. “He knows what he wants and he writes constantly.”

Stephon D. Jones, II, the recipient of an honorary mention, penned a short piece of prose entitled “A Little Thing I Had to Do,” which recounted an experience of a homeless man being tormented by a malevolent stranger. It vividly describes the surrounding area and the feelings he was faced with while deciding whether or not to act on his sentiments.

The prizes were awarded at a literary event in May with the winners taking home cash prizes, points for their House System House and extra credit in English. The following week, teachers and students were proud and eager to show off the winners at the annual LaSalle assembly, where McLeod and Edwards passionately read their poems for an attentive student body.

Freeman and Jones are juniors at Bishop Loughlin.