Aspiring Young Writer Was 'Pepper' Inspired
This week's Whiz Kid was a featured poet at last week's annual Martin Luther King dinner.
In honor of Martin Luther King Day, eighth grader Kristina Hathaway's assignment was to create artwork, a poster or poetry relating to the topic of prejudice and discrimination.
For the Holten-Richmond student, this was not just an opportunity to showcase her writing skills to her classmates, but also to have her work featured at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Awards Dinner.
Hathaway's inspiration not only came from her love of poetry, but also a special duo, Paul and Donna Pepper, who she knew were recipients of the Drum Major of Justice Award at the dinner.
"I was motivated because the Peppers were getting an award at the dinner," Kristina said. "I know them through church; Mr. Pepper has been one of my youth group leaders for a long time and has always been supportive of anything I wanted to do. I wanted to make the night even better for them."
Paul Pepper said the night was even better.
"When we walked in to the Danversport Yacht Club and saw her poem I was amazed and knew the night was going to be a success," he said. The Peppers, who are actively involved at Maple Street Church, and were honored for their weekly Welcome Table, said Krissy exempifies the motto of "paying it forward."
Still, Hathaway didn't know her poem was selected until her mother and grandmother happened to be at the dinner, and saw her work on display.
"My mom called me as soon as she saw my poem. She told me to check my phone, because she sent me a picture," Kristina recalled. "I started bouncing off the walls. I thought the best part was that if I zoomed in on the picture I could read the whole thing. My mom also told me how proud everyone from my church was because they had no idea either."
Hathaway said she has always loved and excelled at writing, and she finds it easy to find inspiration.
"Writing may seem hard for some people, but if you want to get started try writing about something you feel passionate about. It will be easier. When I was writing my poem, I tried to put myself in their shoes, to help me understand how that period of history was like for them," she explained.
Not only a writer, Hathaway is currently in HRMS' production of Fiddler on the Roof, ski club, and does community service at the school's library for National Junior Honor Society.
Outside of school, Hathaway is a member of the Maple Street Church Youth group and Church Choir. Last summer she participated in her youth group's trip to New York City to volunteer at soup kitchens.
And Pepper said he's confident Hathaway has success marked for her future.
"She strives to make a difference, and she does," he said. "She knows right from wrong and feels every one should be treated equally. I am not sure what the future holds for this young woman, but the path she is on now--nothing will stop from achieving good things."