UNION, NJ – Over 50 students shared their thoughts and inspiration about life, love, injustice, discrimination, insecurities, career paths, passions, education and other issues at Burnet Middle School’s 6th Annual 8th Grade Poetry Slam Thursday evening.

“About six weeks ago, I started talking about the idea of poetry,” said eighth-grade English teacher and event organizer Erik Gabriel, “and a lot of the students cringed at the idea of having to write, the idea of having to rhyme and at the idea of having a purpose to their writing.” 

“We actually have poets up here tonight,” said Gabriel.  Gabriel said the Poetry Slam includes the visual arts as well with students on stage working on pieces of art.  Art pieces were auctioned off at the end of the evening. All proceeds from the evening’s event will be donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. 

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Performances included:

Rachel Mendoza – “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles

Mr. Gabriel – “The Calling”

Aryanna Perez – “Take a Stand”

Jannat Chaudry – “Fairy Tales”

Gabriel Quintos – “Life”

Megan Felix – “Exhausted”

Moneasha Valmont – “My First as an American”

Daniela DaSilva – “What I Feared”

Justin Novoa – “Today”

Shannel Santana – “Scared of the Light”

Christina Pierre Louis & Adebisi Akilo – “OUR Temple”

Ava Camargo – “Loss”

Krystelle Emogene – “Katawho?  Double K BAE’s”

Rachel Mendoza – “Worth Fighting For”

Hava Weiss – “Hiding”

Aaron Katalbas – “The Girl with the Auburn Hair”

Delsey Capil – “For You”

Amanda Pan & Safiyyah Subhan-Khan – “Pachebel’s Cannon”

Ms. Bridget Sloan & Victoria Smith – “Make You Feel My Love” by Adele

Kiara Torres – “Who Am I?”

Arthur Shafik – “Everyone’s Favorite Game”

Noraine Cruz – “It’s Ok”

Nicholas Vasquez – “Technology”

Rabia Brown – “Her”

Megan Tantuico – “You”

Makaylah Michel & Cassandra Meronuli – “Dead and Beaten Hearts Lay”

Haley Crowell – “Success”

Anddy Vertil – “Where I’d Like to Be”

Anna Holland – “Not My President”

Vanessa Clark – “My Life”

Justina Shafik – “Fe-male”

Jacques Dutreuil – “Election Day”

Mikaella Ordonez-Ron – “Boxes”

Ivana Brito, Paul Olusoja, Aaron Katalbas, Lorenz Nunag, Cassandre Eugene, Kiara Torres – “Sunday Morning” – by Maroon 5

Visual Artists:

Michaela Hyatt

Chelsea Nkrahene

Victoria Smith

Junior Enamorado

Daniela DaSilva

Aryanna Perez

Cassie Peterson

Kaitlyn Urena

Joanne Onday