The Herald Bulletin

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Community

February 19, 2012

Black History Month Essay Contest winners

Here are the three winning essays in the Ike Weatherly Jr. Black History Month essay contest for fourth and fifth graders.

Mrs. Tauri Ivey

By Emma Williams, Liberty Christian School
Have you ever been through something that changed your life? Mrs. Tauri Ivey, my music teacher, has. Here’s her story:
Mrs. Ivey was born Sept. 6, 1978. Mrs. Ivey had a very hard childhood. She was given the responsibility to not just take care of herself but also her brothers. She says she remembers washing her brothers’ clothes every night in the bathtub with a plunger because they didn’t have a washer or dryer. She also remembers cooking dinner for her brothers while her mom was strung out on drugs.
Mrs. Ivey suffered physical, mental and emotional abuse as a child. She even suffered at the hands of her mom’s friends. She remembers being teased a lot at school because of the color of her skin. Mrs. Ivey attended a different school every year. That made it hard for her to learn academically. That was the day she was removed from her mom’s home. She went to her grandmother who raised her until she was seven. She didn’t know her father, and her mom was hardly around.
She said she never knew what it was like to be a real kid because she had to act like an adult most of her childhood. Mrs. Ivey’s grandmother helped her discover her gift of music. She invested in piano lessons for her. Later she began singing and playing piano at her church. Music was her life outside all the suffering.
When she got older, she had some rough times because of her childhood. Even though her grandmother did the best she could, Mrs. Ivey wasn’t taught properly the life skills needed in order to live a productive life. She had to learn many life lessons on her own the hard way. At one point in her life, she lived in a homeless shelter. Despite all the things she had to go through, she didn’t let them bring her down.
She graduated from Broad Ripple High School. She also received her B.A. from Martin University with a 4.0 GPA. She says she is thankful for all she had to go through because her circumstances have made her stronger as a woman of God. She is blessed to have a wonderful husband and four beautiful children. Her struggles have allowed her to counsel other young children who are going through the same issues as she did.
Mrs. Ivey is my favorite music teacher. She inspired me because I want to be a Christian singer when I grow up. She also inspires me because she is always worshiping and praising God. She says we should always praise him in everything we do, and she inspires me to do that. She is also inspiring because she always has a positive attitude and is always on the lookout for a way to help you become a better Christian. She always has a great attitude even if she’s been having a rough day. That’s one out of many things I love about her.

Zaki Ali

By Lesly Rosas, St. Mary’s School
Lots of people find their heroes on TV and the Internet, but I found mine in Anderson, Ind.
Zaki Ali was born on Oct. 24, 1965. His mother’s name is Girtha and his father’s name is Cleo. He has two sisters and two brothers. Their names are Cheryl, Carol, Lynn and Darwin. Zaki was the youngest.
When he was a little kid he was poor. His mom did a good job of keeping it a secret from Zaki and his siblings. She was also strict. His father was absent and was not involved in his life when he was a little kid. Zaki saw his mother struggle. She did her best to make things safe for all five children. She could barely get them through school or put enough food on the table.
Zaki didn’t like reading. In elementary school and high school he was in special education. He has dyslexia. Reading was difficult for him. He attended high school in Peoria, Ill. Zaki did well in school, and he won a football scholarship to college.
The first college he attended was Central Illinois Community College for three months in 1983, and then he attended the College of Eastern Utah from 1983 to 1985. He attended Southeast Missouri State for three years from 1985 to 1988, where he graduated. After his bachelor’s, he attended the University of Wisconsin for two years from 1988 to 1990 and earned his master’s degree. Last, he attended Chase College of Law from 1994 to 1998. He became licensed to practice law in 2000.
He wanted to be a lawyer because his mother was sentenced to prison. He also wanted to be a professional football player but was released from the New England Patriots in 1987 and Miami Dolphins in 1988.
Zaki is very busy. To stay fit, he swims, cycles and runs. He likes helping people because his mother taught him that it is important to help people in need.
When I am older, I want to be like Zaki and help people.

'Hey, Hey, Hey, It's Bill Cosby'

By Meghan Kirkpatrick, East Side Intermediate School
Born in 1937 in Philadelphia, Bill Cosby had a difficult childhood. His family was poor; his father drank heavily; his brother died young; and his family lived in “the projects.” But Bill worked hard to help his family survive.
While being the man of the house he worked hard in school and eventually earned his doctorate in education. Cosby is best known for being an actor and a comedian even though he faced many challenges and a lot of discrimination as his career began.
I chose to write about Bill Cosby because I knew about him from “The Cosby Show” and “Fat Albert.” As I found out more about him, I discovered many reasons that Bill Cosby is an impressive role model. He worked hard to overcome discrimination in the acting community, remaining positive and using humor to lead others to accept and acknowledge African-Americans in the world of comedy and acting. As his career developed he was able to show African-American men in roles that presented them as leaders — well-educated, successful, happily married and firm, fair and loving fathers.
Bill wanted to teach others — kids especially — how to be good people and make good choices. In shows like “Fat Albert” he used humor to teach important lessons. He is a very courageous man who used his gift of humor to create a life for himself while at the same time being a positive role model for many, many people.
Learning about Bill Cosby has inspired me to make good choices and to use my gifts to make a difference in the world by helping others and by setting a good example of doing my best. He has also reminded me that all people have value and that everyone should have the chance to succeed.

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