2020 Winner

This World We Live In

We live in this world

As a captive of our own insecurities

Tangled in its web of

doubt and lies

Convincing us we aren’t good enough

Convincing us to strive

To be





Models and celebrities

Our idols, who we dream to be.



Edited to perfection

No room for error

Because God forbid we make an error.


Messages of hate and greed

Flood our social media feeds.

Their insults a cleaver

Our self esteem on the chopping block.

Everyday becoming harder to be who we want to be

In this world of insecurity.


Girls in the locker room

Begging to grow a bigger chest

A smaller nose

A tiny waist

None of us give it second thought

None of us even blink

In this twisted world we live in.

A world where young girls are called thots for wearing

What they want

God damn it let the girl do what she wants.

Don’t give us another reason

To hate what we see

When we look in the mirror.

In this tear-stained world we live in.


A world that allows a boy

To rate another girl at summer camp.

A human being you’ve demeaned

By giving her worth a numbered name tag.

Just a number to you

But to her it is a tattoo

Inked into her wounds.

In this painful world we live in


A world where a girl just wanted to learn

But her professor thought that that meant

She wanted to have sex for a better grade.

Because to them

We are objects to be played with,

Toys to wind up and make dance.

They can’t seem to understand

That we don’t exist for them . . .

In this desperate world we live in


In a world where

Our intelligence is underestimated.

Where we are told we will be provided for.

Where we aren’t expected to be competent.

Where we’re called dramatic

If we show emotion


When we prove ourselves


If we have a dream


When we fight for something

A bitch . . .

For speaking our mind

In this world where it would be crazy

To even try . . .

We all pray for a better future

But no matter how tight we clasp our hands together

Prayers are not prophecies


And we cannot see

What tomorrow will hold

For our rights and our liberties.

No one

Can guarantee a better future.


Because of this





Uncertain world,

That we live in.


Polly Partridge

Sheridan School

Grade: 8


Washington, DC


Washington, DC

Favorite Author or Book:

My favorite author is Ruta Sepetys

Dream for the Future:

For my future life I want to live one day at a time and enjoy the opportunities that I have a chance to experience and learn from.

Inspirational Figure:

My 5th-grade Social Studies teacher, Ms. Arca, was an amazing teacher, and I learned so much from her. She is the reason that I now consider myself a feminist. She left my school last year, but I will always so greatly appreciate everything she taught me.