‘Untitled’ by Sierra Moore

This piece was part of the Ánimo Voices Competition, which invited students to write about innovators, upstanders, visionaries, or rebels that have made a difference in their local or broader communities. The competition was an opportunity to motivate, recognize, and celebrate our strong student voices through writing and art.


by Sierra Moore, 9th grade, Ánimo City of Champions Charter High School


You have probably driven by this address many times
Not even knowing what this houses history lies
Why not come out of your comfort zone?
Or materialize and look at something so minor through my eyes?
through all the stress and tears, some kind of victory will lie
Only by my surprise will recognition be deserved
It’s not in their air, it will be established and known everywhere
Let me share some knowledge
Something that one will never learn even in the wondrous world known as college
My heart will be bent forever
Worked hard, ran one hundred yards not to freedom but to handicap kingdom
I slaved, I forgave, I gave up ideas contained in my starving brain
I, Ella Mae Turner-Givens, is saying ‘remember my name”
I didn’t make the rules, but I know how to play the game
More worried about safety than the unhealthy glory of fame
I am one who is not ashamed
Of my god given gift to educate minds
Finding that’s when I helped create the stick figure like sign before it was painted
Blue and white, it was orange and white, a wonderful sight
Every day I looked at the blinding light
And proves that I was bright enough to do better than what was expected of me
Many say I talk too much as if it’s too much at one time, like the information overwhelms
Every time I press a key on my piano it represents how many times my heart skips a beat when I teach
Anything in my reach translates to my adoration for education, justice, and humanity that ill forever preach
Reminiscing of when I met Bobby Kennedy, gave him a gift that didn’t cost a penny
I lead a choir, voices that sang a symphony, giving off anxiety, bringing you back to childhood
Creeping off the bed while Santa comes down the chimney though your mother tells you to fall asleep and count to infinity
I’m in the encyclopedia but to me I am nothing more than a local celebrity in the media
I’ve done so much and I haven’t noticed it for myself
Nevertheless, of what I think of me during my lonesome, I gave the world purity and I gave the world help
Though I am trying to make you see things through my eyes, let’s go deeper and look not only through mine, but a handicapped person cries and breathe in their sighs
This is something I had to do also for myself, so please don’t think you’re alone, looking through their eyes while having trouble of my own
I just couldn’t see this problem grow
Therefore, I took a stand, touched the sweating palms of these stranger’s hands and with them gathered my thoughts to endorse my plans
So I took my posse and mobbed legally, the outcome of this are scoops in sidewalks, makes it easier for many to get where they’re goin, no need for public transportation
I know many don’t have patience
Buzz took some ink when he first landed on the moon which shows us it is time to sleep because its night
The sign that gives kids the thought to turn on their Scooby doo night light
And the reason why there are walks on the sand due to its light
But when the ink came back down to earth a stamp was made out of it
And the placard they gave me, well the stamp you can find on it
The president at the time was Nixon, made his signature mark on it
This was given to all who did a deed
Through my glasses I wear I say they did a good job of choosing what type of reward to give
But even if I didn’t receive a reward honestly I wouldn’t care because I know where my heart was when it was time to share
I was an alumnus, couldn’t help but raise two fingers up for the burgundy yellow,
I marched on, marches on, just like tommy Trojan
I became an expert in my craft, a masters was not enough, I needed expertise, a doctorate is what I achieved, a PHD
And to know that a little DNA of me lives on in a girl named Sierra Jey Moore
Don’t forget we can change the world down to its purist form
From the inside, straight from the core
2158 west 82nd street LA California cross street Van Ness is the last household of Ella Mae Moore!