×
Grade 12
Narrative, Persuasive

The Reason We Have Balance

Kailyn Espinosa, 826NYC

She is a young female who is Puerto Rican and Mexican. She enjoys baking and cooking, amidst other things. She believes it is important to speak your mind and tell your truth. Her life motto is “hard work pays off, and if it hasn’t paid off then work harder”. She likes spending her free time with friends and family, always trying to socialize with others and seeing new places.

I would like to say thank you. Thank you so much for putting your life on the line every single day to helps others. All of you truly are making a difference in this world. The amount of courage and compassion that it takes to work in these conditions is huge, and not everyone would be willing to do it. So it is greatly appreciated that you all have gave it your 100 percent of effort and dedication. So many families are suffering, but you all have the pleasure to say that you helped, which is amazing. This pandemic has made things swirl out of control, but the reason we have balance is because of you. Times are tough, but it will get better. Your hard work does not go unnoticed.

From This Resource

by Cristeta Boarini, 826MSP, and Skylar Burkhardt, 826 National
Grades 4–12
Lessons
Essential Words: Letters of Gratitude to Essential Workers

by Cristeta Boarini, 826MSP, and Skylar Burkhardt, 826 National

Informational
Narrative
Persuasive

Few expressions of gratitude are more meaningful than a personalized letter. In this lesson, students reach out to essential workers…

See more Writing at this level

Grades 11–12
Writing
Where I’m From

by Michaiah Anderson, The 826 Dallas Project

Memoir
Narrative

In this personal narrative, a student describes their family origins with an intimate point of view

Grades 11–12
Writing
Nothing New to Us

by Julianna Cruz, 826 Dallas Project

Informational
Narrative

This narrative piece contemplates the struggle of immigrants during the pandemic.

Grades 11–12
Writing
Dancing in This Hurricane

by Earl Williams Jr., The 826 Dallas Project

Poetry

A powerful poetic piece about the experience of being Black in America.

Grade 12
Writing
Lives on the Line

by Terry Velasquez, Grade 12, The Bronx, NY

Narrative
Persuasive

In this letter from the Essential Words lesson, a student shares gratitude for the dedication of nurses and gives “credit where credit is due.”

Grades 11–12
Writing
I Took My First Steps…

by Maria, Grade 12, 826 Boston

Narrative
Persuasive

In this public narrative, a student makes the case for creating community change by building youth centers in her neighborhood.

Grades 11–12
Writing
Home Away From Home

by Jennifer Alcocer, The 826 Dallas Project

Narrative

This personal narrative addresses the struggles of students graduating high school during the pandemic.

Grades 9–12
Writing
Stupid Blue Screen

by Vanessa Ramon-Ibarra, 826DC

Narrative
Poetry

Living in the digital world can create unwanted attachments, as one student laments.

Grades 11–12
Writing
The Woods

by Jesus Sanchez, The 826 Dallas Project

Fantasy/SciFi
Narrative

This creative short horror piece explores the mysteries and danger of a night in the woods.

Grade 12
Writing
Still

by Franny, 826CHI

Poetry
STEM

A student spins through space and a treasure trove of memories in this poem.

Grades 11–12
Writing
My Uncle Nilton…

by Ryan, Grade 12, 826 Boston

Narrative
Persuasive

In this public narrative, a student illustrates the hardships his uncle has faced to argue for a path to citizenship.

Grades 8–12
Writing
A Challenge

by Shayne Williams

Narrative

Discover what one student experiences when they tuck their phone away for a whole day.

Grade 12
Writing
Suitcase Blues

by Cristina, 826CHI

Poetry

A student recounts separation with a beloved friend through a nostalgic lens.

Grades 7–12
Writing
My Family Interview

by Johnny Vasquez, 826 MSP

Narrative

A family interview reveals a mother's painful past and shines a light on her persistence.

Grades 8–12
Writing
It Might Not Always Disappear

by Sian Laing

Narrative

When Instagram becomes an unsightly battlefield.

Grade 12
Writing
Finding My Wings

by Camille, 826LA

Memoir
Narrative

A student finds her wings in unexpected places in this piece about the transition to college.

Grades 9–12
Writing
What Becomes of the Brokenhearted

by Ryker, 826michigan

Informational
Narrative

Liner notes that showcase the meaning and musicality of the Jimmy Ruffin song “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted.”

Grades 9–12
Writing
Technology Gives Me a Way In

by Jonas K., 826 National

Narrative
Persuasive

A student explores the paradox of how technology is used amongst teenagers.

Grade 12
Writing
It will be hard, but you will prevail

by Helen, Grade 12, 826 MSP

Narrative
Persuasive

In this letter from the Essential Words lesson, a senior at South High School in Minneapolis offers words of support to healthcare workers across the country, including her own mom.

Grades 9–12
Writing
Haunting Picture

by Jazlyn Moses, 826 National

Narrative
Persuasive

One student explores their online persona and the lasting importance of conscientious social media practices.

Grade 12
Writing
Generations

by Jizelle Villegas, Grade 12, 826 Dallas Project

Poetry

The stunning and vulnerable poem processes feelings of loss, grief, and hope for the future.

Grade 12
Writing
Nosey Much

by Kayla, 826 Boston

Poetry

This poem offers a very-real answer to "What do you want to be when you grow up?"

Grades 11–12
Writing
I’m Here to Stay

by Leydi Di Villanueva, The 826 Dallas Project

Narrative

This creative narrative imagines how the coronavirus views humanity during the pandemic.

Grades 11–12
Writing
Alemeny

by Izzy T., 826 Valencia

Narrative

A student reflects on memories of home and what binds her special community together.

Grade 12
Writing
The Heart of New York

by Matthew Inoa, 826 NYC

Narrative
Persuasive

In this letter from the Essential Words lesson, a student describes how essential workers are the pulse of New York, fueling the city’s hope.

Grades 9–12
Writing
Giving Shelter

by Steysi Hailee, 826LA

Narrative

A student reflects on a small moment and single sacrifice that transformed her outlook on giving.

Grades 11–12
Writing
De Werito A Prieto

by Katya Torres, The 826 Dallas Project

Narrative
Poetry

This bilingual poem explores the harrowing story of a boy working while in school to save his mother.

Grade 12
Writing
Two-Sided Latin Culture

by Karina Centeno, Grade 12, 826 Dallas Project

Poetry

This poem takes an honest look at two sides of the writer's culture.

Grades 11–12
Writing
Wrong Black Boy

by Oriel, 826NYC

Poetry

In this poem, an echoing question strikes a chord and reveals the tragic loss held within systemic injustice.

Grade 12
Writing
Cake for the Culture

by Isaiah, 826 New Orleans

Narrative

This student reveals the mysterious origin story of the king cake. Hint: it includes Big Freedia, DJ Chicken Wing, and a massive party.

Grades 9–12
Writing
A Glitch in the System

by Soraya, 826NYC

Poetry

This student’s powerful piece reveals the essence of racial injustice.