The 5th grade students at Thomas D. Gregg School 15 teamed up with Pacers guard C.J. Watson for an educational Black History Month contest. This is the second year the scholars of Thomas D. Gregg have taken part in the Quiet Storm Foundation Black History Essay Contest.

Watson founded Quiet Storm in his hometown of Las Vegas to create fun and educational opportunities for students in urban schools. Once he moved to Indianapolis to join the Pacers, Watson expanded the foundation to benefit students here as well.

This year’s competition prompted students to write a 500-word essay on an important event in black history and how it impacts our community today. The winner from Thomas D. Gregg was Yasuri A.; she will be honored at the Quiet Storm Foundation Black History Month Luncheon along with the winners from two other Indianapolis schools and the Las Vegas champions.

Our IPS winner devoted a lot of time outside of the classroom researching the historic Brown v. Board of Education court case, which ruled segregation in schools was unconstitutional. One of the most meaningful things Yasuri said she learned was the importance of education. “Many African American people had to fight for their education,” Yasuri noted. “It’s important for us to learn what happened in the past and how we got to the place we are today.”

Yasuri is very excited about the luncheon where she’ll be honored, but admits the main event is a little nerve-wracking. She is working to memorize her full essay to recite in front of the entire crowd! The most exciting part of the celebration, Yasuri said, will be the Pacers game on February 27. She will be there as one of C.J. Watson’s guests of honor, and she’ll be recognized at halftime!

We are so proud of Yasuri’s hard work and dedication to this meaningful competition. We cheer her on as she prepared to recite her award-wining essay! You can read it in its entirety below:

student essay for black history month