June 14, 2016
Ninth grade students from the John D. O’Bryant Writers’ Room published personal op-eds in 826 Boston’s latest Young Authors’ Book Project, “They Don’t See What I See.” On topics spanning women’s rights, migration, gun control, racial inequality, and poverty, these essays attempt to address issues on the minds of tomorrow’s leaders at a time when the nation as a whole is wrestling with divisive and violent discourse on the same topics.
As part of class work in 826 Boston’s Writers’ Room (a stand-alone classroom inside of the John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science), students drafted, revised, and perfected their op-eds, which were professionally published in a volume with a foreword authored by the Boston Globe’s Katie Kingsbury. At the event, students read their deeply personal works with sincerity and courage. Jasmine Baez was overcome with emotion while reading her account of her first hand experiences with gun violence. Among the audience were Crystal Coy-Gonfa, head of the ELA department at O’Bryan and several BPS teachers who attended to support their former students. The students signed books and celebrated with school staff and parents at the Globe’s headquarters.