That is what HPAC, through partnership with Kenyon College Young Writers Program, is trying to convey through the work of five local young adults: Stephen Paez, Mercedes Carrasco, Darleny Urena, Nicole Taveras and Jane Francisco.
HPAC encouraged the five students to apply to the intensive Kenyon College Young Writer’s Program in Gambier, OH. All five were awarded scholarships to attend the two-week workshop.
The five students spent two weeks at Kenyon College learning how to express themselves with a pen and paper. During the Young Writers program, students spent about eight hours a day in creative writing workshops. The students experienced the college lifestyle for the first time and interacted with people from all over the country and the globe. The program selects teachers, many who have been returning for years with a passion for writing, who instruct high-school students on how to become better poets, thinkers and writers. Classrooms are very active and lively, with participation greatly encouraged. The students critique each others’ work, and leave the program with hundreds of pages of ideas.
And the ideas they take home with them are just waiting to burst out of their personal notebooks, and into the public.
The five young adults from Hunts Point will demonstrate what they learned at Kenyon and their voices through their work in progress, The Five Points. This literary magazine, featuring an assortment of hard news, creative writing, personal profiles and more, will showcase the work of five young Hunts Point students.
Here are “The Five.”
Stephen Paez is a senior at Saint Raymond Academy for Boys. He feels that life should always be taken seriously — try not to drift away into society’s distractions and never become content, even if you are successful. He was born and raised in Hunts Point. Each of his siblings has taught him to make the most of every effort in his life, whether it is going above and beyond in school or never giving up. After his four years of high school, Stephen wants to go to college to become a registered nurse.
Nicole Taveras is a resident of the Bronx. She wants to pursue a career in pediatrics. Nicole is now a junior at Saint Catharine Academy for Girls. She has helped women in the Congo who are currently living in harsh conditions. She also is involved in the Science and Technology Entry Program at Fordham University. In her free time, she loves playing sports like basketball and volleyball. She loves hanging out with friends, shopping, and spending time with her family. Nicole is really spunky and fun but knows how to stay persistent when it comes to her school work.
She goes by the name of Jane Francisco. She is a 15-year-old Bronx resident. Jane is now a junior at Preston High School, which is located in the Throggs Neck area. Jane enjoys writing, reading, hanging out with her friends, and playing soccer. She has a very witty personality and always enjoys a good laugh. At the same time, Jane is a serious, intelligent, and committed student. After graduating from high school, she hopes to attend a university out of state and acquire a degree in business.
Darleny Urena is a 15-year-old junior at Cathedral High School in Manhattan. She is interested in many forms of art, including writing. In her free time, she writes short poetry and creates plotlines for future stories. Darleny looks up to poets such as E. E. Cummings and Edgar Allan Poe. She hopes to go to a private college to study medicine. She is particularly interested in neurology.
Mercedes Carrasco is a 15 year-old student who resides in the Bronx. She is a junior at Riverdale Country School, where she is an active athlete and club member. Mercedes enjoys playing soccer, basketball, and softball; she also enjoys dancing. She is a die-hard Dwyane Wade and New York Mets fan. She loves her family and doesn’t know how she would get anywhere without them. She is an honest and trustworthy friend who is there for everyone. Mercedes is friendly, kind, and sometimes referred to as sassy. Mercedes is a vegetarian. She strongly believes in giving back.