February is Black History Month. For the February Junior Saints, students were invited to draw a picture of an African American woman or man who made history, and write about what they admire about that person.

Holy Trinity School, Washington, D.C.

Drawing of Anne Marie Becraft by Charlie Finnegan, kindergarten, Holy Trinity School, Washington, D.C.

“Anne Marie Becraft faced many challenges in her life and inspired many people to persevere through hard times. Growing up as an African American girl in the early 1800s was not easy. She did not have the right to vote or own property.  Many people around her were racist. The second school she attended, which was run by a white woman, closed because white people were discouraged from helping African Americans go to school. In 1820, the same year her school closed, Becraft founded her own school for African American girls. She was only 15. She ran the school for eight years. After that, she moved to Baltimore in 1831 to join the Oblate Sisters of Providence. In Baltimore, she continued teaching math, English and embroidery. Even though she only lived to be 28, she had a big impact on the people she taught. On April 18, 2017, Georgetown University dedicated Anne Marie Becraft Hall in her memory. 

“Anne Marie Becraft’s example inspires me to persevere when I am having a hard time learning something new, like when I was learning how to swim. At first, I was scared to get into the water. And getting into the water scared me for a while. But I kept doing it, and eventually it did not scare me anymore. Now I can do two different swim strokes, do a somersault underwater, and go off the diving board. I also love water slides. Anne Marie Becraft’s legacy inspires people to persevere and be courageous, no matter what challenges they are facing.  She inspires me too.” – Charlotte Vaughn, fourth grade, Holy Trinity School, Washington, D.C.

 St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“I like Dr. Mae Jemison, because I want to go to space like her.” – Drawing and writing by Aiden Lewis, second grade, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an activist and was a civil rights legend. Dr. King led the movement to end segregation and counter prejudice in the U.S.A. through the means of peaceful protest. I admire Dr. King because he spoke from his heart, he said everything he meant in his speech, he wanted the best for his culture, he made sure his voice was heard, and his dream was for Blacks to have fairness, equality, peace and rights as other colors in general (had).” – Drawing and writing by Ambria Mitchell, eighth grade, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“I admire Rosa Parks because Rosa invigorated the struggle for racial equality when she refused to give up her bus seat to a white man in Montgomery, Alabama. She is one brave woman to do that. I love that Rosa became a symbol in the civil rights movement. Rosa inspired me to become an activist so I can campaign and bring about social change.” – Art and writing by Keishai Hatton, eighth grade, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

Drawing of George Washington Carver by Denise Campbell, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“I have chosen George Washington Carver, because he made peanuts even more famous than they originally were. George Washington Carver even made 300 more uses for peanuts that would be loved all the way into the future. George even (made) soap, paint, and he founded industrial research. George even helped poor Southern farmers vary their crops. Lastly, I chose George because he was not born free, but was a slave who was freed after the Civil War, and after that he found his calling as a scientist, showing that people are only bound by their mindset…” – Sameer Davis, eighth grade, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“The African American I chose to wrote about is LeBron James… I admire LeBron James because he is one of the best NBA players ever. He was also the youngest player to ever be drafted by the NBA at the age of 18. LeBron James has also been involved in numerous business projects off court, too. He has a digital video company and a production company. I also admire him because he has won championships with three different franchises.” – Art and writing by Tristan King, eighth grade, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“I admire Sister Thea Bowman since she participated in numerous acts of kindness toward others and the Church… She was very kind-hearted to individuals, even though the world was going through a difficult situation which resulted in discrimination. I also admire how she persuaded all ages of men and women to communicate to one another through teachings, songs, Gospel preachings, prayer and storytelling…” – Art and writing by Jamie Baker, eighth grade, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

Drawing of poet and writer Langston Hughes by Talayah Eaton, fourth grade, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“Shirley Chisholm  was a politician, educator and author. She became the first Black woman elected to the United States Congress. She was born Nov. 30, 1924  in Brooklyn, New York, and died Jan. 1, 2005… What I admire about Shirley Chisholm is she was a leader and helped plenty of people. For example, she helped form the Black Caucus (in Congress). She also made history by becoming the first black woman of a major party to run for a presidential nomination.” – Art and writing by Zaiyvion Wallace, eighth grade, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“I admire a lot about W.E.B. Du Bois. To start, he fought for equal rights… He was the first Black man who graduated from Harvard with a Ph.D.” – Drawing and writing by Marleigh Campbell, fourth grade, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a very kind person who sought peace in the world. Martin was the leader of many peaceful protests. He even had many speeches to give people hope for our generation, including one of his famous speeches at the Lincoln Memorial. 

“In 1944, at age 15, King entered Morehouse College in Atlanta under a special wartime program intended to boost enrollment by admitting promising high-school students like King. Before beginning college, however, King spent the summer on a tobacco farm in Connecticut; it was his first extended stay away from home and his first substantial experience of race relations outside the segregated South. He was shocked by how peacefully the races mixed in the North. ‘Negroes and whites go [to] the same church,’ he noted in a letter to his parents. ‘I never [thought] that a person of my race could eat anywhere.’ This summer experience in the North only deepened King’s growing hatred of racial segregation.

“In Dr. King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech, he continuously says that he wants peace, and for Black and white people to stand hand and hand together in brotherhood. I think life used to be brutal, because Dr. King says things about Black poverty, and racism, and even the ghetto. Dr. King was a very great leader in the civil rights movement. He was sadly assassinated in his prime.” – Drawing and writing by Lance Ruffin, seventh grade, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“Katherine Johnson was a woman who I didn’t know much about, which is why I chose her. She was born on August 26, 1918 at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia… She had three children, all girls. She received a Congressional Gold Medal in 2019… She died on February 24, 2020, at the age of 101; she lived a long time. Katherine got her education at West Virginia University in 1939-1940. She graduated college at age 18. When she first applied for NASA, she was rejected, but that didn't stop her. She tried again. She worked at NASA (and retired in 1986 after 33 years of service). This lady interested me a lot, I always wanted to learn or meet someone over the age of 100. She gives me hope that I will reach the age of 100 myself.” – Jalisa Barnes, seventh grade, St. Thomas More Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

 St. Bartholomew Catholic School, Bethesda

“I look up to Serena Williams in so many ways. She is a very strong black woman and I hope to be as strong as her one day.” – Drawing and writing by  Brooke Hughes, seventh grade, St. Bartholomew School, Bethesda

 “I chose Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. because he worked so hard to make it so that all people are treated equally and that no one is treated better because of what they look like. It inspires me to include everyone in games, not just my class or the people I think are better and that are my friends.” – Shane Strother, seventh grade, St. Bartholomew School, Bethesda

“I choose Katherine Johnson as an African American historical figure. I chose her because she was so successful in so many ways. She made history before she even worked for NASA. She was extremely intelligent and successful, and every day I strive to be more like her.” – Writing and drawing by Kate Schreiber, seventh grade, St. Bartholomew School, Bethesda

“I have chosen Mae Jemison. She was born on Oct. 17, 1956, and has done many wonderful things in her lifetime. One thing she is well known for is being the first African American woman to travel into space. Mae Jemison traveled into space in 1992. What I admire about Mae Jemison is her hard work and perseverance. She experienced “racial discrimination in school,” according to womenshistory.org, but nonetheless she completed a science and arts degree at Stanford University. Then she went on to Cornell Medical School. In 1985, she applied to be an astronaut, but NASA was not taking new people due to the explosion of Challenger Space Shuttle.  She applied again in 1987. There were over 2,000 applications for NASA, and Mae Jemison was one of the 15 chosen. After five years, Mae Jemison became the first African American woman to travel into space. I also admire Mae Jemison for her kindness. Mae Jemison went to medical school, and she worked at a Cambodian refugee camp in Thailand.  These are the reasons that I admire Mae Jemison. she has had an amazing life so far and is an excellent role model.” – Drawing and writing by Coco Chiu, fifth grade, St. Bartholomew School, Bethesda

“I chose Ruby Bridges, because I am truly inspired by her civil rights movement. Her bravery encouraged me to work harder in school. Ruby Bridges' famous walk to school inspired millions of people across the U.S. Her actions are truly brilliant and amazing. She became the first African American to integrate a school in the South. Her bravery will be forever remembered in the United States of America” – Writing and drawing by Ellie Cheng, fifth grade, St. Bartholomew School, Bethesda

“Maya Angelou is an amazing role model for many reasons. She is someone to be looked at, her strength is admirable to everyone. She was an amazing poet, and that alone deserves more than one award, but she was also an amazing human being. She was a spokesperson for women, and African Americans. I think one of the best things about Maya Angelou is her kindness, because you don’t have to be especially gifted to be kind, anyone can, but I admire that she chose to (be kind). Maya Angelou is a trailblazer for everyone, writers, or not, because Maya Angelou is truly a phenomenal woman.” – Drawing and writing by Elise Gomez, fifth grade, St. Bartholomew School, Bethesda

“I chose Simone Biles because she is one of the most accomplished and dominant  gymnasts of all time. She has a combined 32 Olympic and World Championship medals. Her seven Olympic medals ties her with Olympian Shannon Miller for the most Olympic medals for an American gymnast. In 2018, Simone Biles was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Recipients reflect the spirit of Arthur Ashe, possessing strength in the face of adversity, courage in the face of peril and willingness of standing up to their beliefs. She showed the world her talents and had a lot of courage, and that is why I chose her.” – Drawing and writing by Claire Schreiber, fifth grade, St. Bartholomew School, Bethesda

I think it’s important to honor Black people that came before us, they sacrificed so much so we can live how we do today. We should not just celebrate their accomplishments for a month but all year long.” – Alexandra Hughes, seventh grade, St. Bartholomew School, Bethesda 

“I chose Aretha Franklin. I chose her because she’s not only an incredible singer, but she was also a civil rights activist and impacted the world a lot with her voice, and her personality. Aretha was a very kind and generous woman, and her songs were incredible.” – Drawing and writing by Isabelle Delgado, seventh grade, St. Bartholomew School, Bethesda

 

Mary of Nazareth Catholic School, Darnestown

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., artwork by Mary Sabti, second grade, Mary of Nazareth School, Darnestown, Maryland

 

St. Michael’s School, Ridge, Maryland

“Martin Luther King Jr. wanted fairness and equal rights for all. – Art and writing by Jace Hawkins, third grade, St. Michael’s School, Ridge, Maryland

 “Martin Luther King Jr. had the dream that there would be equality. He did not give up on his dream even when he was treated badly.” – Brandon Cambara Gonzales, third grade, St. Michael’s School, Ridge

Rosa Parks stood up for herself and for all people so that they could have equal rights.” – Junior (Jose) Cervantes Corona, third grade, St. Michael’s School, Ridge

“Barbara Johns stood up for what she believed. She went on strike so that all children of all colors could get an education.” – Art and writing by Hadley Day, third grade, St. Michael’s School, Ridge

 

“Rosa Parks did not give up her seat on the bus because all people deserve to be treated with dignity.” – Art and drawing by Cecilia Hidalgo Vasquez, third grade, St. Michael’s School, Ridge

“Martin Luther King Jrhad a dream and fought peacefully for freedom and equal rights for African Americans.” – Kellen Holmes, third grade, St. Michael’s School, Ridge

“Claudette Colvin bravely stood up for equal rights. She fought so that all people could sit anywhere on the bus.” – Valencia Irving, third grade, St. Michael’s School, Ridge

“Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream that that there would be justice for all people no matter what color they were.” – Art and writing by Soren Luther, third grade, St. Michael’s School, Ridge

“Barbara Johns wanted better education for all children including African American children. She was 16 years and was very brave.” – Caitlyn Primm, third grade, St. Michael’s School, Ridge

Rosa Parks did not give up her seat on the bus because she wanted to take a stand for equal rights.” –   Aaliyah Smith, third grade, St. Michael’s School, Ridge

 

St. Columba School, Oxon Hill

“Rosa Parks was an African American activist who took part in the Montgomery busy boycott… She refused to take part in bus segregation and sat in the front seat where, during that time, white people were supposed to sit… She and other civil rights activists came up with the idea of a bus boycott and march. Today, she is known as a great and brave person.” – Artwork and writing by Shaniya Campbell, sixth grade, St. Columba School, Oxon Hill

 “I chose to write about Carter G. Woodson because without him, we would not be celebrating Black History Month. Carter G. Woodson was considered the pioneer who was given much of the credit for establishing Black History Month. He has been called the Father of Black History because of his work and influence to write about the many accomplishments of Black Americans in U.S. history.” – Gavin Smit, seventh grade, St. Columba School, Oxon Hill

“I admire Kobe Bryant because he made up this thing called ‘Mamba Mentality.’ It means that you are constantly trying to be the best version of yourself. It inspires me to try to be better today than I was yesterday.” – Jonah Soriano, eighth grade, St. Columba School, Oxon Hill

“What I admire about Harriet Tubman is that with her courage, dignity and determination, she helped free slaves by leading them into the Underground Railroad.” – Josette Amado, eighth grade, St. Columba School, Oxon Hill

“I admire Ruby Bridges for having the bravery at just 6 years old to face all the hate she was receiving just for going to school. Ruby played a big role in allowing children to be in a diverse school.” – Drawing and writing by Georgiana Papouras, sixth grade, St. Columba School, Oxon Hill

“I drew Rosa Parks because she stood up for what was right. Rosa Parks is a very caring and inspiring human being. She also didn’t care about what everyone thought of her.” – Artwork and writing by Lani Gonzales, sixth grade, St. Columba School, Oxon Hill

“One of my favorite African American women in history is Maya Angelou. She was a famous poet. I admire that she was able to express herself through poetry. My favorite poem of hers is ‘We Wear the Mask.’” – Artwork and writing by Hayden Estrella, eighth grade, St. Columba School, Oxon Hill

“I chose Harriet Tubman as one of the most inspiring African American women in history. She was the fearless Underground Railroad conductor, nicknamed ‘Moses of the People’ during the Civil War, where she helped numerous slaves escape slavery. She was also credited with fighting for women’s suffrage and serving in the American Civil War. I admire Harriet Tubman because she was one of the bravest people in her time to do what was right, even if it endangered her own life. She was a standout as an African American figure, because she loved and fought for her people and for freedom and equality. She truly made history in our nation.” – Arlo Pangilinan, eighth grade, St. Columba School, Oxon Hill

St. Peter’s Parish, Olney

“I choose Sister Thea Bowman because even though she had cancer she still tried to encourage people with her words and song.” – Maggie Jerome, third grade, homeschool, St. Peter’s Parish, Olney, Maryland

 

St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

Drawing of Ruby Bridges by Messai Rivers, eighth grade, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

 “Kobe Bryant inspires me to push myself harder.” – Cameron Fermine, eighth grade, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“Paul Robeson inspires me to help my community.” – Keon Generaleighth grade, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“From Cicely Tyson, I can learn to be passionate in my work, to be true to myself, and stay strong to character.” – Zaria Settle, eighth grade, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“Claudette Colvin is my African American hero who teaches me to have the courage to stand up for my rights.” – Megan Wright, eighth grade, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

I have two heroes: Kobe Bryant and Ruby Bridges. From Kobe, I learn honor, respect, to be passionate, work harder than I think possible, that failure is a good thing as long as I can learn from it, and to always have a growth mindset. From Ruby, I learn to be more confident, to try my best, fight for what is right, and never let words get to me.” – Artwork and writing by Messai Rivers, eighth grade, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“Nat Turner teaches me to remember few rewards come without risk. We should also be willing to do what others will not.” – Jordan Smith Jr., eighth grade, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

Rosa Parks shows me that I can stand up for myself, especially when I feel something isn’t right.” – Armani Hoston, eighth grade, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

“Muhammad Ali shows me that no matter your race, anything is possible if you put your mind to it.” – Denari Nesbitt, eighth grade, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

Drawing of inventor Lewis Howard Latimer by Kadence Johnson, eighth grade, St. Francis Xavier Catholic Academy, Washington, D.C.

Academy of St. Matthias the Apostle, Lanham, Maryland

“Ruby Bridges is one of my favorite American activists. She was so brave. She was only six and went to an all-white school, and people weren’t happy, so they yelled mean stuff at her, and she didn’t even cry. I always think people like Ruby are people God is using to share to the world what is and isn’t right. And no matter how much mean stuff was said to her, she still went to school. My one dream is to one day meet her because she is such an interesting person. I think how we should deal with racism is with love and learning…” – Artwork and writing by Olivia Udebuala, fifth grade, Academy of St. Matthias the Apostle, Lanham, Maryland

“I admire a lot of things about Harriet Tubman. She was born in slavery and was tired of working for people who did not care about her. I admire her because she was talking for justice and also she would pray to God. She was really brave to escape out of slavery and help over 200 people to escape, too. One of her quotes was, ‘God’s time is always near.’ I really admire Harriet for her bravery and for being strong and not afraid or weak.” – Drawing and writing by Bezankeng Khumbah, fifth grade, Academy of St. Matthias the Apostle, Lanham, Maryland

Drawing of Rosa Parks by Ayami Notice, fifth grade, Academy of St. Matthias the Apostle, Lanham, Maryland

“Ben Carson is a doctor. He was born in Detroit, Michigan. He was a pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center. He wrote over 1000 neurosurgical publications. He is a believer in God, and because of that, one of his quotes is, ‘You can understand why I’m a believer. I have seen miracles.’ …He has done a lot, and he helped a lot of people. He is inspiring.” – Drawing and writing by Isabella Penado, fifth grade, Academy of St. Matthias the Apostle, Lanham, Maryland

“As a Black little girl, I have been on stage all because of Marian Anderson. When she was growing up, she always wanted to perform on stage, so when she did, all the white people were shocked, because they had never seen a Black woman on stage, so I am so proud that she did that so all the Black women or kids can perform on stage now.” – Drawing and writing by Korrine Wiseman, fifth grade, Academy of St. Matthias the Apostle, Lanham, Maryland

Drawing of Rosa Parks by Basir Smallwood, fifth grade, Academy of St. Matthias the Apostle, Lanham, Maryland

“I admire Misty Copeland. She is an African American ballerina. She was the first Black prima ballerina. She is a famous ballerina and made history.” – Enuma Offiah, fifth grade, Academy of St. Matthias the Apostle, Lanham, Maryland

“Maya Angelou inspires me in many ways. She was a civil rights activist and worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. She was the first female inaugural poet. One of my favorite quotes from her is, ‘If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.’ Maya Angelou really left a mark on me and the world.” – Stephanie Oben, fifth grade, Academy of St. Matthias the Apostle, Lanham, Maryland

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Women's History Month is the topic for March Junior Saints

March is Women’s History Month. For the March Junior Saints, students are invited to draw a picture of a woman who made history, and write about what they admire her.  The drawings and writings should be emailed to [email protected] by Wednesday March 9, 2022 to Mark Zimmermann, the Catholic Standard's editor, and they should include the name, grade and school or parish of the student printed clearly. 

Due to time constraints involved with reviewing the volume of submitted work, it is requested that schools or parish religious education programs limit their entries to 10 drawings and 10 writings from their students. The best formats to send are jpegs for artwork and word documents or pdfs for writing, if possible.  Thank you!