The 20th annual DC SCORES Poetry Slam!, the largest youth spoken-word competition in the District, showcased original poetry and songs written by students who participate in the award-winning after-school program. November’s two-night event was held at Roosevelt High School on Nov. 15 and H.D. Woodson Senior High School on Nov. 16. On the first night of the Poetry Slam!, students representing 23 elementary and middle schools performed in front of a near-capacity audience. The poems illustrated how proud students are of their differences, and gave them a forum to express their anxieties during such a time of angst in our country. Immigration and embracing differences were common themes. The poems truly showed how powerful DC students’ voices are. Elementary school winners were Seaton (First); Tubman (Second); and H.D. Cooke (Third); while Diamond G. of Seaton won the individual Shine Award. Middle school winners were Truesdell (First); Brightwood (Second); and Chavez Prep (Third). Ja’Quan W. of Lincoln won the Shine Award. DC SCORES creates neighborhood teams that give kids in need the confidence and skills to succeed on the playing field, in the classroom, and in life. To learn more, volunteer or donate, visit DCSCORES.org.