Get to know the town: Hannah Kemp

FREDERICA — Hannah Kemp is “a bright young lady with a bright future,” according to Kaneisha Trott of First State Community Action Agency, Inc. She’s also an award-winning poet at just 13-years- old.

After practicing her craft for less than a year, the student from Lake Forest School District took home third-place honors during Delaware’s statewide Teen Idol event presented by AIDS Delaware on Aug. 5.

Learn more about Hannah in this week’s Get to Know the Town:

Name: Hannah Kemp

Age: 13-years- old

Hometown: Frederica

Educational background: Eighth grader at Chipman Middle School

Occupation: Student, summertime horse farm employee

hannah kempWhen did you start writing poetry?

“I started poetry in my seventh grade language arts class with my teacher Rhonda McBride.

Do you have a source of inspiration?

“Short films are my inspiration and what happens in the real world today. I just watch a whole bunch. I find them on YouTube and things like that. And I see the things that happen on a daily basis in schools… I have a big understanding of what happens in schools and in my school. I’m very observant.”

Why focus on “words kill” in your poem?

“I experienced bullying first hand in school last year and even this year since I changed my hair color. It’s kind of a conviction in my poem. I wanted to tell people that simple things can lead up to depression, suicide… “The bottom line is that words kill. I’m working on another poetry piece with the same line called Bot tom Line and I want to use that as my last line: ‘Words kill.’”

How did you feel when you placed?

“I was happy! I had thought that the others were way better than me.”

What was it like performing in the Delaware Teen Idol?

“I was very, very, very nervous! I was excited, but it was an awesome experience overall.”

Why did you participate in Delaware Teen idol?

“Ms. Marla (Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club Teen Service Director) and my mom brought it to my attention and encouraged me to participate. So I decided to be a contestant.”

What advice do you have for other teens around your age?

“I would probably get emotional and tell them like, for all the people that do make fun of people, that words and actions can break people and hurt people really badly. I would tell them that if they are going through, like, depression or anxiety or stuff like that… it does get better. I know it’s hard because I’ve experienced that.”

 Hannah Kemp of Frederica says Marla Smith, youth development professional with the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club, helped connect the youth with the Delaware Teen Idol event for which she took third place. The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

Hannah Kemp of Frederica says Marla Smith, youth development professional with the Greater Milford Boys & Girls Club, helped connect the youth with the Delaware Teen Idol event for which she took third place. The Chronicle/Jennifer Antonik

Where do you see yourself in five years?

“Probably a freshman in college. I’m going to research colleges first and major in business and psychology.”

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

“A little more college to go, but I would be building the foundation of my business. I want to build my own mental health clinic for kids with anxiety, depression, self-harm issues and mental disabilities such as schizophrenia and things of that nature. I want to help them channel their emotions. And I’m very passionate about robotics, technology, music and art which all helps.”

What are your hopes and goals?

“I want to make my writing make an impact. I want to be an inspiration to teens just like me. I want to help people. I was thinking also along the lines of being a motivational speaker for my job. I want to encourage people, even adults, that if they experience being called names and being brought down that they shouldn’t worry about it. It does get better. Small things, their actions, even just saying, ‘Hey, you’re ugly…,’ it can affect them greatly. It’ll hurt a lot.”

What other hobbies do you have?

“Drawing, singing, writing, playing the keyboard, spending time with family & friends, reading, being with people, going out in the evenings with family (family time) and psychology. I just really want to make a difference. That’s my hobby.”

Jennifer Antonik can be reached at mc@newszap.com

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