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Conrady poet is honored

Isabelle Nowak was honored by the Anti-Defamation League for a poem she composed on the subject of “How The First Amendment Affects My Daily Life.”
The Conrady Junior High School eighth grader won first prize and a $5,000 scholarship at a dinner hosted by the ADL and held in the Grand Ballroom of the Chicago Hilton Hotel. She attended the award’s dinner with her parents, Matthew and Sandra Nowak, and her social studies teacher Grant Griffith.
 Nowak wrote the poem as part of an extra credit assignment from Griffith, who gives his students a chance each year to submit an entry in the contest.
She read her poem in front of more than 500 guests assembled at the dinner. Numerous Chicago civic leaders judged the competition.
The Anti-Defamation League announced the 2014 First Amendment contest winners earlier this month for first and second place in the categories of writing and art for the middle school and high school divisions.
Several thousand students from the Greater Chicago/Upper Midwest Region entered their essays, works of art, and multimedia that expressed their personal beliefs and stories to the following question: “How does the First Amendment affect my daily life?”
 Nowak won first prize for penning the following poem:


 Raising people’s eyebrows,
Everyone’s a critic,
And all the one’s symptoms?
Diagnosed as paralytic.
Frozen to their spots.
Real talk, it’s parasitic.
Pen don’t fail me now,
My mind just can’t be restricted…
Freedom of Expression...
free me of oppression,
suppression,
regression,
no guessin, a lesson’s to be taught…
Freedom can’t be bought,
the concept should be “re-thought.”
I’m out to prove my people’s struggle wasn’t all for naught..
Freedom of Expression,
My most treasured possession,
Vessel of transgression,
I can make my pen cry…
For when the ink runs dry,
So will the tears in my eyes..
I just pray that my honesty won’t be my demise…
Freedom of Expression..
free me of oppression,
suppression,
regression,
no guessin, a lesson’s to be taught..
Freedom can’t be bought,
I will continue to speak it
and enlighten those in the dark,
through my art if they seek it..
All imperfections are perfect,
so feel free to critique it..
Please believe it..
Freedom of Expression.
—Submitted by
School District 117