2011 Barbara George Art & Poetry Contest Finalists

Winners of the 2011 Barbara George Art & Poetry Contest

Barbara George Art and Poetry Contest

First Place — Vicente C., 17 for "Struggles"

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First Place — Vicente C., 17 for "My Struggles"

The list goes on when they ask me "What Makes Me Strong?"
I've learned from my wrongs,
To make stronger bonds.
Towards positive goals
...
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Second Place — Eduardo S., 17 for "Latin Culture"

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Second Place — Jon C., 16 for "Family Matters"

Family is my sustenance
when trouble knocks me to the ground
My family is my rope.
my family helps me get back up....

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Third Place — Tyree D., 17 for "Our Roots Run Deep"

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Third Place — Joseph P., 13 for "What makes me strong is Brandon"

What makes me strong is my younger sibling Brandon (name withheld), as a five-year-old child he has witnessed so much violence and neglect. He's in kindergarten and I think to myself "wow when I was in kindergarten I was learning my alphabets"...
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Top Ten Art Finalists

Preview each of the art pieces below.

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Top Ten Poetry Finalists

Preview each of the poems below.


What makes me strong is Brandon

What makes me strong is my younger sibling Brandon (name withheld), as a five-year-old child he has witnessed so much violence and neglect. He's in kindergarten and I think to myself "wow when I was in kindergarten I was learning my alphabets" but it makes me happy knowing that he's going to be more successful in life than I will ever be because he's really wise, smart and he has a great personality for a baby. I remember when he was first born August 5th, 2006. When I held him in my arms and looked in his eyes. I don't think I'll ever be able to express the emotions that I felt at that very moment. I thought, "wow he's the most beautiful baby I have ever seen in my life." To me he's my motivation to live and study. Just because I want the best for him in this world, Behind these walls as a juvenile I really have some time to myself to really get some of the most deepest and sensitive feelings out. I don't want Brandon to have to bear the feelings that I'm facing right now. It's horrible knowing that I have a little brother outside these walls wondering where I am & if I'm safe or not. That's why once I get out I have some freedom. I'm never coming back in here

— Joseph P., 13
San Francisco County

What makes me strong is;

What makes me strong is;
The things I don't do wrong.
At the end of every song.
It seems that they were strong.
They survive their struggles,
For me, there's a lot of tugs,
But at the end,
I think I just needed a hug.
What strong means to me is,
The things people do for kids.
Some people think there in a pound,
But, all I got to say to those people is,
If your lost,
Get found.

— Angelina B., 14
San Francisco County

STRONG

Money makes me strong,
My mama and sister Love makes me stronger,
Working out makes me strong,
Reading books makes my mind stronger,
Being quick makes me strong,
Being smart makes me stronger,
Meeting girls makes me strong,
The homies makes me stronger.

— Antoine W., 15
San Francisco County

Untitled

my mom
and my little sister
make me
strong!
my mom
makes me strong
because she's
been my mom
and dad
for me
she's hard working
my sister's
smart
and mature
though she's
my lil sister
she counsels
me!
She makes me
Want to change but
I cant
My mom tells
Me!
It hurts my sister
That I'm here
Away from them
She's so smart
She won prizes
Because of her
Writing skills
And it makes
Me sad!
Because my mom
Is struggling
Me being lockup
Mom working so late
Providing for us
Her feeling alone
I have to be strong
For her and my sis
The end

— Rey P., 15
San Francisco County

My Strong Points

What makes me strong is the one above
having faith in G.O.D. is everlasting love
I'm not perfect but I try to be a black man in
America is like a land full of beasts
Nothing but negativity and temptation in a place we call the streets
But it isn't easy to turn down
especially with a bunch of friends around
What make me strong is the music in my mind and metaphors
that will leave a person thinking for hours
and plenty of music that will have you singing in the showers
What makes me strong is the constant support of family and close friends
Got to thank them because where would I be without the people I love?
What make me strong is the constant sight of struggle and poverty
With my thoughts to have a better life and proving the people who
Expect me to fail wrong
What makes me strong is to see a person who everyone thought would be another
black statistic in society turn around to be successful
The material things that people so dearly adore
really doesn't matter like dust on the floor
listening to all these rap songs will leave a brother mind gone
until the struggle in the hood is gone
I'm going to be the best I can be because I'm real mind strong

— Leauthry C., 16
San Francisco County

Family Matters

                          Family is my sustenance
              when trouble knocks me to the ground
                            My family is my rope.
                    my family helps me get back up.

                  The trust of my sister kept me going
              And she makes sure I go back to school
          Keeps me away from the hood and the block
         Because she wants me to stop acting like a fool

            Mom always showed me a handful of love,
                        taught me right from wrong.
                Filled my stomach with warm food and
                      Always made me feel so strong.

                      My dad is as strong as concrete
             And makes sure that I am on the right track.
                He enforces his rules on me but it's okay
                 Because I know he always has my back.

        My family is the best even though I have been a pest
While I've been in here I have thought a lot bout my actions its
             time for change and I'm ready to rearrange

 

— Jon C., 16
San Francisco County

You Make Me Strong

A cold breeze hits my spine
Yet my thoughts are filled with fiery rage,
Flash backs of pain and loneliness
Struggling to find a way,
l tell my self I'm done for
Then suddenly I see you,
With that beautiful bright smile
Your soft touch calms my mood

If she wasn't in my life
I would still be roaming lost
Searching for a meaning
Hunting for a cause
If I didn't have her love
l don't know who I would be
Just another lost soul
Looking for warm love in them cold streets

— Miguel G., 17
San Francisco County

MY STRUGGLES

The list goes on when they ask me "What Makes Me Strong?"
I've learned from my wrongs,
To make stronger bonds.
Towards positive goals,
Where I'm from people Duck like moles,
When pistols roar,
They say its for a cause, but what is it really for?
Society tries to ignore,
And look the other way,
But time is ticking, and I hope I can see another day
What makes me strong is the place where l grew up,
Where people choose up,
Different paths,
Some hustle to get what they never have,
But that life leads to a blood bath,
Or the penitentiary,
My back round is out the ordinary,
Teens want to grow up but they shouldn't be in a hurry,
While I have been locked up, I picked up the dictionary,
Because knowledge equals power,
What makes me strong is the problems I have been devoured,
Not letting bad influences put me down like a coward,
Walking with my head up, 24 hours

— Vicente C., 17
San Francisco County

What Makes Me Strong

My family makes me strong
without them I am weak like a lost boy in
the jungle
they work until their hands wear down
to make sure there are clothes on my back
so that my body is protected by the wind
and the weather
they make sure when I come home there are
vegetables on the table
the gross taste of celery
lingers in my mouth and makes me gag
they make me eat it to stay healthy
the smell of thanksgiving dinner reminds me
I'm loved
the sounds of arguing and laughing comfort me
when I'm sad or lonely
my family is the reason I'm still happy and
breathing and health
that's what makes me strong.

— Vernon M., 17
San Francisco County

(SELFMADE)

Growing up not knowing who gave birth to u.
Asking GOD does anyone want you?
Feeling like the world was as close
yet as far as mars.
Feeling like an outcast no rap group.
Knowing I have a family
but they don't want to claim you.
What also makes me strong
knowing that even with everything
I didn't have I got for myself everything
I needed I got for myself.
What also makes me strong is
knowing that my I come from a different bred
that I have Great qualities
such as I'm a Leader not a follower,
I hold myself to high standard,
I don't let my fear hold me back
I never back down to a challenge but,
I know how to pick my battles.
My HATERS make me strong
cuz when you got haters you are doing something right.
The moon makes me strong
cuz it gives me a hope that i can shine through the dark times
in my life just like it does every night.
My heart makes me strong because it keeps power and
ambition flowing through my blood like a waterfall.
God Keeps me strong
By filling my soul with power, strong will, and light.
I MAKE MYSELF STRONG BECAUSE IM MADE OUT OF ALL
THESE THINGS THAT MAKE ME STRONG.
To sum it up I’m SELFMADE!!!!!!

— Tiree P., 17
San Francisco County

Notice to Users

In order to protect the identity of our participants the art and poems submitted do not include contact information. All submissions do, however, state the participant's first name, last initial, age and county in which the work was submitted. All pieces are original and the right to use their pieces was established.

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