Jasmine Mans At LCE Writing Challenge Awards Ceremonies: "It All Started With One Poem"

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We challenged students on the Reservation to write a poem about or a letter to an inspirational woman on Pine Ridge, past or present.  The entries included tributes to mothers, grandmothers, teachers, friends, activists, women who overcame a lot to achieve a lot, and women who persevered to obtain an education and build a career.

LCE Founder Maggie Dunne asked Spoken Word and Poetry Sensation Jasmine Mans if she would share some words of encouragement and wisdom to the young writers at the Awards Ceremonies. Although Jasmine could not make it to Pine Ridge in person, she provided each of the winners with a personalized copy of her book of poetry, “Chalk Outlines of Snow Angels” and she sent the winners a congratulatory video message (posted below).

As expected, Jasmine’s message was a powerful one, about the ability of the written word to change the world, and about the obligation of those who write to use this skill. Her message was one of optimism, encouragement and understanding. At the conclusion of the video, she read one of her own poems, she shared a part of herself with the students, so that they would understand her perspective on their accomplishments.

Before reading her own poem, Jasmine told the competitors:

“Take this ability you have been given and keep it in your heart,
and keep it in your mind and understand that it is a tool for transformation;
it is a tool for revolution and change….
and what I mean by that, is that education and your ability to write
grants you access to another world,
grants your people access to another world….

And I remember being in your seats,
I remember writing a poem,
                        It all started with one poem.

Don’t let this be the last poem you write,
Don’t let this be the last story that you tell,
Your story is someone else’s story,
Your opportunity is someone else’s opportunity,

The steps you use to walk into your first opportunity,
will be the gateway for so many other people just like you…..

I am so proud of each of you…. who decided that:
‘I want to step out on a limb, and I want to share a portion of myself,
in order to change my world.'”

Please watch and be inspired by the message from Jasmine Mans, an inspirational young woman, commending the inspirational writers of Pine Ridge, who wrote about the inspirational women in their communities.

Wow, there’s a lot of inspiration in that last sentence!

You can read the entries of our winners at this LINK
You can see the bios of our Writing Challenge Judges at this LINK
Photo Albums will be posted on our Facebook Page soon!

          LEARN. CARE. ACT.

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