In Our Words

In Our Words 2017-11-02T11:25:16+00:00

The Vance Family’s Story

Kathi Bloom is the mother of seven Vance children, ranging in age from a junior at Ohio State University to a not yet year-old baby. For Kathi the America SCORES Cleveland program started out as a fun, free after school program. The program quickly became more to her and her children. “What I like most about the program is the closeness or bond that is created over so many years with coaches, SCORES staff and the kids.” Each of her children watched their siblings grow up through the program, playing in soccer games, performing poetry and completing service projects. For each of the Vance children, the program helped them learn something about themselves and created memories they will keep forever.

As a program, America SCORES Cleveland has watched the Vance family grow up through the years. We have watched them internalize our mission of empowering urban youth to lead healthy lives, be engaged students and have the confidence and character to make a difference in the world. We continue to strive to make an impact not only on individual poet-athletes, but whole families like the Vance family.

Kathi Bloom: Mother of seven Vance Children

Petey Vance: 9th grade at Bard High School of Early College

Kassidy Vance: 12th grade at John Marshall High School

Arianna Vance: 10th grade at John Marshall High School

Trinity Vance: 3rd grade at Artemus Ward School


Articulate. Powerful. Inspirational.

We could describe our Poet-Athletes’ poetry in a number of ways, but it helps to see for yourself. Check out a sampling of their rhymes:

I Stand

I’m here before you
and I raise my hand.
I’m making a promise
to take a stand.

I stand against violence
so I stand for peace.
I stand against crime
so it will decrease.
I stand against bullying
and weapons too.
I stand for justice for me
and for you.

I stand against abuse
it doesn’t matter what kind.
I stand for strong bodies and healthy young minds.

Listen up little kid
we’re here to say
We stand up each
and every day.

Stop the violence and the killing.
We need more. We need healing!
Stand up!
Stand up!

You can make a difference for me and for you!
Stand up!

– Wade Park School, Boys Team Group Poem, Fall 2015

America Will Always Be Great

America will always be great
Beyond the wars, beyond the destiny, beyond the history
America will always be great
Because the people, because the faith, because their hopes
America will always be great
Because the blood of the soldiers, the love of the parents and the care of the teachers
America will always be great
Yes, it is indeed, every time you look around, this is what you see…
Hard working people, working day and night, without taking breaks make their sacrifice
America will always be great
Yes, it is indeed, every time we go to we do it peacefully…
EMS, firemen, and all of the police, keep us safe, saving lives every single week
America will always be great
Because of whom we are and that is the only way we want it to be
Once great, always great

 – Ezekiel Vargas, Buhrer Dual-Language Academy

Dear Exhaustion

You feel like a bowl of ants.
You must like to mess with me every day.
You taste like broccoli in a rotten shoe.
You smell like a bunch of sweat on dirty books.
It’s like I don’t even exist.
I feel like I’m walking in purple fire.
I want to just sleep until you leave.
And if you don’t leave,
I just want to sleep for a week.
Sometimes I just eat a lot of food that day.
Or I take a bath or shower.
When you’re with me I don’t want to play football, basketball or soccer.
And when I’m not outside.
my friends feel sad and want to play with me.
Exhaustion, you make me so mad!

– Camron, Willow School


Kids are dying
Mama’s crying
What are you doing?
Everyone’s last word
Hoping you’re dreaming
Then you wake up screaming
Tamir Rice was shot and killed at age 12
That could’ve been me
Only person who saved me is Jesus Christ
People out here risking their lives
Gun shots 1,2,3,4,5
Diving down to the ground
Please stop
Then you hear that last pop
Police hands up now
Then there’s another POW
Then you go down
What’s happening to this town?

 – Jayla Jones, Campus International School 

Confused No More

In life when I was young,
I felt something was wrong,
I looked around all confused,
It seemed as if I didn’t belong.
In my confusion I went to my mom,
She helped, she sang a very soothing song.
In life as I grew, when I tried to give my opinion,
I was told to move along.
I heard this and wanted to change it,
Because I knew they wouldn’t say that, if I was famous.
If I was different I would have no limit.
They wouldn’t tell me to move,
They would tell me be specific.
In life you are treated different just because of one person’s thinking.
You still have to stand your ground,
Even if your feelings are sinking. In life you have to stand proud.
If you feel something is wrong, shout it out loud.
In life you have to feel great,
It’s time to say something, don’t be late.
After you stand your ground,
You look around to see a crowd.
You tell them life’s not as easy as 1,2
It’s as easy as 1,2,3,
As long as you are the best you can be.

 – Grace Harris, Wade Park School


Dribbling, passing, shooting, scoring
Soccer is the opposite of boring.
From the time I wake up till the end of the day.
Its the game I love to play.
I like to dribble the soccer ball
Its way better than staring at my bedroom wall.
When I go outside to play
Its better than a boring day in May.

– Shermon Cooper, Newton D. Baker School of the Arts

Where I Am

Where am I?
Thought I was home
But I am really not.
It’s getting hot
Burning up on the outside
Dead on the inside.

Where am I?
I am lost
Nowhere to go.
It is dark, cold and lonely
I am giving in
The Darkness is too strong.

Where am I?
I try thinking about it
Head hurts
I am still on fire
Please let this pain go
I don’t want this.

Where am I?
I finally see where I am.
The sky brightens
The burning is gone
The birds are singing
I feel alive.

Where am I?
I am home
I am in Cleveland
I am in the land.

-Tre’Shaun Anderson, America SCORES Cleveland Alumnus

My Color Poem


Color: Red
I feel red when I get mad.
When I heard about 911 and all the people that got hurt,
This is how I feel.

Color: Orange
I feel orange when everyone gets along.
When communities help one another,
This is how I feel.

Color: Yellow
I feel yellow when justice is brought to the people in this world.
When police protect others,
This is how I feel.

Color: Green
I feel green when kindness is shown.
When athletes show good sportsmanship,
This is how I feel.

Color: Blue
I feel blue when I see sadness.
When people are being treated unfairly,
This is how I feel.

Color: Purple
I feel purple when someone is found.
When Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight were found,
This is how I feel.

Color: Pink
I feel pink when I hear about cancer.
When people are hurting,
This is how I feel.

 – Jose Caraballo, Robinson G. Jones School