OWEd Writing Fair Experience

Ben is an OWEd Senior College & Career Writing Fair scholarship winner and 12th-grade student at Benjamin Banneker High School, Washington, DC.

On February 12, 2015 I wore my dad’s favorite watch. It was his prized possession. Whenever he had to go outside his comfort zone, that watch was with him.

On that day, February 12th, I wore his watch. I was at Martin Luther King Library to give a presentation on something dear to my heart. I had no idea how the audience was going to react; how would they treat the young man who asked for financial aid for non-citizen students.  No doubt I was nervous. I remember glancing out at the audience seeing a larger and more menacing crowd. I was the last person to present and felt the pressure of ending it on a good note. I was finally up, I walked to the mic, and took a deep breath….

Once I took that deep breath I started to remember what I’d done to prepare: the sessions I went to for six Thursday’s in a row; how much my skills had grown in the past month.

When I went to the first session I was so tense, I had so many ideas. The OWE team, especially Eric, guided us in how to build our argument. Every week, a few of the students had to share their presentation with the class. We gave constructive criticism while being able to incorporate some of the things we heard in our own presentations.

I’ve never really been a fan of writing, but I wanted to get better at this. I wanted to be able to prove my point to anyone. The comfort level that I have when I write has increased and I push myself to keep trying new things, to keep these skills throughout my life.

February 12, 2015--A day I won’t forget. I met students like me who were skeptical about their presentation. On that day they looked like professional speakers who could persuade an audience to do anything.  I was finally up, I walked to the mic, took a deep breath…. and the rest is history. When I spoke I remembered my training. I guess I didn’t really need the watch after all.

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