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CBS Hidden Gems: Middle School Student Honored for Essay on Violence

Seventh-grader Summer Bell and CIS’ Chief Partnership Engagement Officer Robin Koelsch were featured on CBS Chicago about Do the Write Thing, a national writing challenge that amplifies student voice.

Do the Write Thing encourages middle-schoolers to share the impact that violence has on their lives and explore solutions. Summer wrote a heartfelt piece about her personal experience with gun violence, and she, along with fellow seventh-grader Jaylen Trice, were selected to represent Chicago as ambassadors at the national Do the Write Thing Summit in Washington DC. Both Summer and Jaylen attend CIS partner elementary schools on the South Side.

During the Do the Write Thing Summit, Summer and Jaylen built connections with ambassadors from other communities across the country and discussed solutions to our nation’s violence challenge with legislators. Both of their written works are now housed in the Library of Congress.

When Summer was asked it helped to write about her experiences with violence, Summer said, “Yes, because it kind of made me feel safer and helped me get a few things off my chest, stuff I kept inside and I don’t really talk about often.”

Thanks to Latham & Watkins for being great partners in this work with us!

Watch the full CBS interview here.



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