The Power of Words

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Throughout these past few weeks, I have continued to be amazed by the young scholars. Their incredible awareness and insight have been a joy to witness. Every day they are teaching me something new, such as how powerful our words can be. When I have phrased things in particular ways, they catch on immediately and make new connections. For instance, during one of my classes on Langston Hughes’ poem “I, Too”, we were discussing racist actions and why they hurt and one of the scholars piped up and said, “Because it’s like sandpaper”. Talking about sandpaper words vs. cotton ball words was the very first lesson I taught the scholars. It was a lesson on how we want to practice using words that make people feel like cotton balls inside, comfortable and nice, not rough and painful like sandpaper. After a week passed in which I didn’t mention the first lesson again, this scholar remembered and connected it to our current lesson! I realized then how, in my position of power, my words held power as well, and they were making an impact on these scholars. Seeing the influence I had on these scholars reinforced my confidence and the passion I have to bring my best every day for them.

By Sharon Lu


Sharon is a rising junior at Wellesley College where she studies Philosophy and Peace & Justice Studies. Through Wellesley's Lumpkin Institute, she learned about St. Stephen's and is now working as an Academic Intern on the A-TEAM. Sharon discovered her passion for community service in middle school and continued to pursue it throughout high school where she volunteered with non-profits such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Although she does not know yet what her career plans are after Wellesely, she is dedicated to working with underserved communities. In her spare time, Sharon enjoys going for long walks, philosophizing with friends, drawing, and watching Grey's Anatomy.