Voices of Youth: Detroit teen tells grandparents' story through moving poem

This story is part of a series that sees youth partnered with writing, photography, and art mentors to help capture their own perspective and narrative. The program is made possible with funding from the Skillman Foundation.
Jaimee Hickson is a senior at University Prep Art & Design High School. The 17-year-old was paired with Voices of Youth Engagement Coordinator and luminary Detroit poet, Joel "Fluent" Greene who mentored her as she wrote a poem dedicated to her grandparents.

"The reason I chose the topic of my grandparents, as well as how they contribute to my life and others around them is because of the impact I know that they’ve made on my family and I," says Hickson. "Knowing my grandparents' stories, and how they’ve maneuvered through life, while remaining so selfless to one’s around them has made this process very heartfelt to me."

As part of the process, Jaimee interviewed her grandparents, "Recording this interview also gave me something to remember and look back on when my grandparents earn their wings. So I am very grateful to have them today in order to make this video, knowing others sadly may not have had the opportunity to do so."

Greene says working with Hickson on her project has been an "absolute pleasure.” “To hear her speak so warmly if her grandparents deeply resonated with me," says Greene. "Especially considering mine are no longer living. She is extremely intelligent, inquisitive, and focused. It's funny…when we were sitting and talking at Aretha's Jazz Café, all I could think about was how the world would be in good hands if left to young adults like her."

Blessed am I, by Jaimee Hickson

Whole-hearted, humble, and consistent love.

I'd always knew I was blessed with you.

Blessed that you were good so life was good to you.

Blessed that you were dealt in my deck of cards.

Blessed that you are still here and well.

So blessed that you love me.

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