By: Zimiego Smith
Second Place Winner, 2014
Grades 4 to 6 Division
Basis DC, 6th grade
My name is Zimiego Smith and I am 11 years old. I am not the smartest nor the most athletic kids in my school. I am not even one of the popular kids in school. I don’t have a lot of friends although I will like to make more friends but because I am very shy, that makes it hard for me to do. Most of kids in my grade don’t even know who I am and the ones who know me think that I am quiet but not realizing that I am shy. I am one of those kids that you will call a “good kid” because I never get in any type of trouble nor would I be considered a problem kid. I am just an ordinary 6th grader.
I have an older sister named Kamsi who is 13 years old and she goes to the same school that I go to. Some kids in our school make fun of her because she is not like the other kids. My sister is different from most kids her age because she have Aspergers syndrome. Aspergers syndrome is often considered a high functioning form of autism. It can lead to difficulty interacting socially, clumsiness and some times repeat behaviors.
My sister Kamsi is the smartest, kindest and most beautiful person that you will ever meet and I know this because I know who she is. I have always been the type of kid that will not speak up when I see something wrong or people doing something wrong because of my fear of speaking up due to my shyness and also never wanting to get in trouble. I have always wanted to protect and I believe that it is my duty as her brother to protect her from all the bullies at school, but I never had the courage to do so. I always remember what my mother always tells us (my sisters and I) to always watch out and take care of each other, although I acted like I didn’t hear her sometimes but I’m always listening.
One day at school, I saw a boy in my sister’s class bullying her in front of a group of kids, although this is not the first time that I have seen or heard someone making fun of her, but for some reason on this day…it was seeing the look on my sister’s face that says that she feels hurt and alone and none of the kids stood up for her or came to her defense. I knew that was my opportunity to do the right thing for once in my life by speaking and stand up for her and also to let everyone know that she has someone who cares and loves her enough to stand up for her. I went up to the boy and told him that his words are both hurtful and mean not only to Kamsi but to everyone who heard him say those words.
I also addressed the group of kids (who stood and watch this boy bullied Kamsi, and did and said nothing) about how they also hurt Kamsi by not speaking up and defending her from the boy that was bullying her. I asked the boy to leave my sister alone and to stop picking on her, although I was afraid of what he might do to me because he was bigger than me but I was willing to do whatever I had to do to protect and stand up for my sister, even if it meant getting into trouble, which I was willing to do.
I don’t know if what I said to the boy will stop him from bullying my sister again but I am glad I was able to stand up to him and say something. I am proud of myself for overcoming my shyness and fear to stand up for what I believe in and for someone who is not able to do so on their own. The best thing that came out from what I did, was when my sister thanked me for standing up for her and that made me feel good and courageous.