Sydnee Paige Thomas is an 11th grade student from Meridian, Idaho. Like many people her age, Sydnee is beginning to feel the crunch of her upcoming college years, and is working diligently to be able to afford them.
One outlet Sydnee has found is entering writing contests with the prospect of winning some cash doing something she loves. In an exclusive interview with If You Only News, Sydnee told me:
Seeking out scholarships for college has become a norm in my everyday life. When I encountered the “Love What’s Real” poetry contest, sponsored by the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, the thought of being able to submit something I write everyday and win money for it really stood out.
A little bit of ambition goes a long way. This extremely talented young woman submitted a poem about abusive teen relationships with an ending that proves that Sydnee is wise well beyond her years:
You don’t have to hit me for me to feel abused, words tend to be a cleaner kill.
You put such high expectations on me, I wish you knew that I can hardly be an example of the word “divine.”
Contrary to popular belief, The word “perfect” only exists when your definition differs from everyone else’s.
I wish I could only come to realize, That I am merely speaking to my reflection in the mirror.
Sydnee’s perspective is an introverted look at the difficult relationships teens tend to have with themselves. I asked Sydnee what her inspiration was. She told me:
The contest is centered around teen relationships, and the first thought that came to my head was to speak out about the negative relationship I have with myself. Overall, the poem was a way for me to truly understand myself and the ways I can improve my attitude about my place in the world.
Sydnee’s unconventional approach earned her a cash award, along with the distinguished prize of having her poem published. While her poem wasn’t a grand-prize winner, it certainly stole my heart.
Congratulations, Sydnee. I look forward to reading more of your work in the years to come.