The Future Shines through Harlem Streets

An student anthology of college essays and career poems.

This residency was made possible by the New York City College Access for All Middle School Initiative.

Artist Letter to Students,

Passion is something that we all must hold onto. Some of us know exactly what we want to do from when we are young and for others, it takes time. However, the best part of finding out what we want to do is that life is a journey and we are our own conductor. Our interests may change over time but our passions are just like NYC Subway Transit: sometimes on time, most of the time delayed due to traffic ahead of us. But we still must get on the train and go about our business. But when we follow our dreams and passions life becomes more enjoyable during those times when we unsure of the possibilities.

Walking into Hamilton Grange it was apparent that the administration has set a culture that is both creative and supportive in the education and overall enhancements of their students. Middle School is an integral part of our lives. We tend to forge a certain relationship with education that merges with our passions and understanding of our identity. The who we want to be and the what we want to do in life starts to formulate. Middle school is important in forging our identity. Hamilton Grange is exceptional at setting up that foundation through their supportive and cohesive educational network.

Our Teachers & Writers sessions allowed us to become part of the conversation that depicted, if nothing else, the sheer possibilities that are out their in the world by going to college. We could explore career options through our A-Z lists. We began to explore the concept of college from college tours and discussions. We wrote poems that used our senses to create the job and/or profession we might explore later in life. We also related the peer pressures we might face through our current understanding of middle school dynamics in an interactive Q& A session cultivated through a TV Show. Finally, we worked on explaining who we were, what we wanted or could offer through our collegiate style essays. Most of all, I learned about the talent that was in the building that would be shining through the streets in Harlem to change the world. It has been an honor to help cultivate the ambitions and passions of a unique bunch of students into strong voices that depict their future dreams and career goals. I know you all will go on to do great things.

Jay Howard