Waipahu Teen Pens Best Poem

Waipahu Intermediate School eighth-grader Jessica Joy San Pedro recently was announced as the grand prize winner in the 15th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Poetry Contest.

Her poem, Peace and Equality, was selected as the best out of more than 1,050 student submissions. San Pedro, along with about 70 other winners from throughout the island, were recognized April 12 in an awards ceremony.

During the event, Gov. Neil Abercrombie and Mayor Kirk Caldwell presented top winners with certificates of achievement and prize posters.

“The details and images in San Pedro’s dualistic poem are memorable and unusual in a writer this young,” commented Melinda Gohn, coordinator of the International Peace Poem Project, the nonprofit sponsors of the contest. “We are delighted to have poetry of this caliber emerge on Oahu.”

San Pedro’s poem discusses war and peace, revolution and reconstruction and ultimately ends on a hopeful note. Here’s an excerpt:

“Peace enters a world with fairness and determination/Betrayal and war enters a world to a miserable nation … Let us prevent the world from being destroyed with wars and unfairness/ let it be a world full of peace, equality and awareness.”

The International Peace Poem Project was created to promote peace in schools and communities through writing about and discussing nonviolence.