Young Scholars’ Open Mic Spotlights Student Talent

Cylee Davis, sophomore, performs an original song.

Christinna Longenecker, Staff Reporter

It takes a lot of courage to stand in front of a group almost entirely made up of peers and present a talent or express your feelings. That is what many Norristown students did within the Community Room of the Norristown branch public library the evening of Nov. 26. Despite the teens’ obvious dear and anxiety, they came forward and made quite the impression on the audience. Some people even took action and asked to be included, presenting their own acts.

After the event, which was held by the Young Scholars of the Norristown Area High School, many students were relieved, and happy with the outcome.

Some of the acts included original poetry, singing, and even a speech given by sophomore Ruqayyah Taylor, which  addressed the severity of issues in America today, particularly the shootings, safety hazards, and toxic American ideologies.

Jill Meyers, the Young Scholars adviser, was incredibly pleased by the results.

“We were just happy that everyone was comfortable going up there,” Meyers stated. “That’s definitely what surprised us the most.” She embraced the opportunity to reconnect with past students and see them come up and spill their hearts out on stage.

MCs Sherlyn Bailon and Christal Zequeida made quite the impression as well, being very outspoken and communicating with each act in a positive manner; Sherlyn even sang for the audience, and it definitely rocked, leaving many students speechless.

Not just Norristown Area High School students participated in the event. Miyanna Whittington and Jayayiah Johnston came out from Roosevelt, both shocking the audience with profound rap solos.

“The fact that the girls came from Roosevelt was amazing,”  Meyers said. “We’re trying to show that this is inclusive to the Roosevelt kids as well. They’re part of our district too.”

The acts weren’t limited to just students either, as Neil Schafer, English teacher, made his way to the stage, reciting a classic poem by William Carlos Williams and an original poem, as well as a shameless plug for the school’s  literary magazine, The Scribbler. The Scribbler, of course, is a great opportunity for students to share their creative work, whether it be a poem, short story, drawing, or photograph.

After the event, free food and beverages were offered to everyone who attended, and the audience was able to interact with not only each other, but the talented performers as well. Overall, the night was considered a success. Students evoked catharsis and unity, and the teachers were proud to see such an outpouring of creativity. 

This is not the only Open Mic Night that the Young Scholars are planning; they hope to host at least three per school year, each including a specific theme pertaining to the time of year it takes place. If you would like to follow up with this, be sure to be on the lookout for posters in the halls.

Note: The Young Scholars are looking for people to manage social media accounts. Any students interested should see Ms. Meyers in Room 327.