Student wins $2,500 scholarship for poem about bullying - WNEM TV 5

Student wins $2,500 scholarship for poem about bullying

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“I see you watching, I see you stare, as they spit in my face, as they pull my hair.”

It’s a line from the award-winning poem written by Arthur Hill junior, Ceria Barnes.

This poem, about bullying in her school, won her national recognition with the RESPECT challenge.

“I've been talking about it ever since I wrote the poem, I could win, I could win. But there's the possibility that I don't win so I cool down a little bit,” Barnes said.

But aside from bragging rights, Barnes also won a $2,500 scholarship.

And the best part for Barnes? The whole announcement was a surprise.

“I thought it was just a meeting, regular meeting we always have on Mondays so I was really surprised,” Barnes said.

Tabitha Donald, a health educator at Arthur Hill, said Barnes went above and beyond for her entry.

“[Barnes] chose to put on an open mic forum for Arthur Hill High School, when she did that, she created such an awareness in our school. She honed in on bullying that that message is so important for our district,” Donald said.

Barnes's family also came to surprise her with her achievement

“She gives 110 percent in everything she does, she's always willing to help the next person,” said Barnes’s mother, Deeanglia Wallace.

Wallace said the scholarship will be put to good use.

“She's headed to college, so it will help her a whole lot,” Wallace said.

Barnes is president of the Teen Advisory Council at Arthur Hill, which also was awarded $2,500.

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