Jalila is one of our amazing eighth graders. She’s well known at Marian for writing and performing free form poetry. Jalila writes about culture, inspirational women, and her ability to name and claim her gifts. Insightful and athletic, Jalila has many remarkable talents. She tested out of our reading diagnostics, performing at a12.9 grade equivalency, choosing thoughtful reads like: Brave New World, The Great Gatsby, Roots, and Animal Farm.

“Jalila is one of our most creative, driven Marian students. She has evolved from fifth grade into a confident, thoughtful person and continues to grow both as a student and as a young woman. Jalila is an easy student to teach because she’s naturally curious and thinks deeply about the world and the issues around her.” ~Sara Mashburn, language arts teacher (fall 2017)

Click here to listen to a recording of Jalila’s poetry.

Gifts
by Jalila

I used to look for inspiration that was already in me,
All the confidence I was trying to buy myself,
If they didn’t like me, I used to say, I’ll be better off by myself.
Spent all that time for people to say I’m fine when I really should’ve spent it trying to find myself.

It was never my intent to try to be like someone else.
But in the events that occurred,
I heard that I had all these gifts and to find them I would have to look within.

I didn’t know where to begin so I started at the end.
I went to all my friends and saw what they could do that I couldn’t.
When I got done I saw that all my “hidden” gifts were pushing through.
I’m like the rose that grew from concrete,
Instead of proving nature wrong, I proved myself wrong.

Funny it seems, but by keeping my dreams I learned to breathe fresh air.
Like Tupac once said,
“Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.”

So don’t be scared to find the gifts that are inside of you,
name them, then claim them and celebrate them, only then will you be able to liberate them.

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