An Open Letter

After watching Amanda Gorman deliver her powerful performance of “The Hill We Climb” for President Biden’s inauguration, the 7th grade poets from West Park Academy wrote an open letter describing some of the societal ills they’ve witnessed in their young lives. Themes of gang violence, mental health, environmental justice, and homelessness are among some of the issues discussed in their letters.


Jocelyn B.

Dear Human Society,


Countless prays for people.

Praying if they will have food on the table the next day.

Or if they will get home safely.

The days you think that one day the world will be a better place.

Young beings holding a dirty cardboard that says “Need Help”

Walking along the road aimlessly desperate for hope.


Darielys O.

Dear Community,


Street violence is trouble

Blood fills the canals

Children disappear

Mothers in despair

Fathers shed tears

Bodies found

The stench drowns

Our community is falling

If we remain this way


Edwin Jr.

Dear Hood, 


Lots of looting

Lots of shooting

Always killing not kissing

Always riots

Never kindness



Ruby R.

Dear Dirty Streets,


Dirty trash everywhere on the sidewalk,

People just leave their trash on the grass.

Grass are living plants, they need fresh air.

But with the garbage around them, they could die from it.

People need to take care of their surroundings!

If it wasn’t for the trees we wouldn’t have fresh air.

So, we need to take care of the living plants!


Kevin R.

Dear Gangs,


Innocent people are getting caught in shootouts

And end up getting shot and dying

Then there’s the revenge, the payback

A never-ending cycle

Stop the violence!


Yuliana C.

Dear Mental Health,


They tried to kill themselves like 10 times

I tried to give them advice

But they denied

I asked for help but I had no one to help

One night. Pitch black.

You can hear the owls

The moon reflecting on the water

I walked in and there they were

Blood dripping down their wrist

There, just laying on the floor

I was crying for help





“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.