Albion's 2017 Big Read Leader Biographies

Albion's Big Read Leaders are rising 8th, 9th, and 10th graders who call Albion home. These students worked all summer and into the fall as they prepared to independently lead and facilitate community-wide book discussions throughout October 2017. Learn more about the nineteen amazing 2017 Big Read Leaders below. 

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A'Vee Washington

Describe one of your favorite memories from the Big Read Summer Leadership Program.: The scavenger hunt is my all time favorite, especially when we dropped the sock into a basket. Pretty scary stuff, man!

What is something you learned about yourself since participating in the Big Read?: I learned that getting along with people I didn't like before isn't so bad after all. 
 

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Carl Bates

What is something you learned about yourself since participating in the Big Read?: I've learned that I'm a really good problem solver and like leading discussions, also like participating when we debate about the book. 

What is one of your favorite moments from "True Grit"?: One of my favorite moments is when I found out 'Tom Chaney' was going to different towns changing his name and doing what he does.

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Ihaja Metz

What is one of your favorite moments from "True Grit"?: When LaBeouf "accidentally" shot Lucky Ned Pepper.

Describe one of your favorite memories from the Big Read Summer Leadership Program.: Doing the yarn grit sign.
 

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Jamiyah Funderburg

What is something you learned about "True Grit" or reading in general?: That women can do anything they want if they believe.

Describe one of your favorite memories from the Big Read Summer Leadership Program.: When we were swimming at tracing our shadows.

 

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Marshall Nicholson

Who is another person you connected with?: Emily Allison with talking about gardening and she was the one who said stuff about me at the end celebration. 

What is something you learned about yourself since participating in the Big Read?: I can now divide groups in an interesting way.

 

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ta'Jyanna Steward

What is one of your favorite quotes from "True Grit"?: "Knock him down Rooster!"

What is something you learned about yourself since participating in the Big Read?: I like competition.

 

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Za'Riah Kemp

Describe one of your favorite memories from the Big Read Summer Leadership Program.: Braiding the horses mane hair.

Who is another person you connected with?: Anna because she's very funny. Jamiyah because she's nice and easy to get along with. I have also become closer to Taj because she was already one of my best friends and I think being able to talk about something we both realize in the book. Aaliyah and I have gotten closer too because I can think about more questions off of the things she says. And Nels because he's funny. 

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Aaliyah Roberts

What is something you learned about "True Grit"?: While reading "True Grit" I learned older people really underestimate children.

Who is another person you connected with?: Rich because he saw me walking and he said, "Aaliyah what are you doing," and told me to be safe. When he said that I knew he cared about me. 
 

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Emmylou Roberts Christensen

What is something you learned about "True Grit" or reading in general?: I learned that every character is interesting if you think about them long enough. 

What is something you learned about yourself since participating in the Big Read?: I have learned how not to talk sometimes, and I learned that at the heart the Big Read is always the same no matter who comes and goes. 

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Ivan Green

Who is another person you connected with?: I connected with Rich because I already knew him before the Big Read.

What else do you want us to know?: I'm happy to be in the Big Read. 

 

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Jason Whetstone

Describe one of your favorite memories from the Big Read Summer Leadership Program.: Meeting new friends on the first day. Everyone was happy and had big smiles on their face.

What is one of your favorite moments from "True Grit"?: When Mattie was getting a whooping.
 

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Niya Williams

What is one of your favorite moments from "True Grit"?: My favorite moment is when Rooster is in court and they are having that dialogue. 

What is something you learned about "True Grit" or reading in general?: That girls can do many things, and girls are no where to being weak. 

 

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Ta'Liyah Austin

Describe one of your favorite memories from the Big Read Summer Leadership Program.: The horseback riding, getting to know people, and the book. 

What is something you learned about yourself since participating in the Big Read?: I learned that I was shy and it helped me to interact with others.

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Bebe Stovall

What is something you learned about "True Grit" or reading in general?: You can do what you want to do at any age and at any time.

What is something you learned about yourself since participating in the Big Read?: I can just make someone's day by saying something nice. Also I can make a great impact on my small town of Albion.
 

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Fred Steward

Describe one of your favorite memories from the Big Read Summer Leadership Program.: Donut fishing!
 

What is one of your favorite quotes from "True Grit"?: "No, he is a fine pony." - Mattie Ross


 

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Ja'Kobe Steward

Describe one of your favorite memories from the Big Read Summer Leadership Program.: Lower Baldwin and painting.

What is something you learned about yourself since participating in the Big Read?: I'm better at learning.
 

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Malena Solis

What is something you learned about "True Grit" or reading in general?: You can enjoy any book when you discuss them with the right people.

Describe one of your favorite memories from the Big Read Summer Leadership Program.: Meaningless questions--or so I thought--that led to amazing things.
 

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Ta'Hlia Davis

What is something you learned about "True Grit" or reading in general?: Mattie [and the] power of female characters.

Describe one of your favorite memories from the Big Read Summer Leadership Program.: The shoe game.


 

 

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Tyland Martin

What is something you learned about "True Grit" or reading in general?: I learned that Mattie is an independent young woman, she won't be disrespected and will not take no for an answer. 

What else do you want us to know?: I play four sports (baseball, wrestling, football, and basketball). I love reading books, my favorite book of all time is the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.