My piece “journey while traveling” was inspired by my high school experiences and transformation into a young adult. This poem starts with me as a young teen and progresses into my exploration of adulthood.
Ilana Drake is a high school senior in New York City. Her work appears in Blue Marble Review, Bright Lite Magazine, Cathartic Youth Literary Magazine and YR Media and she has won numerous Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. Over the past year, Ilana has been quoted in Teen Vogue, The Lily (publication of The Washington Post) and the New York Times. When Ilana is not writing, she advocates for social justice and engages in public policy. She was recently appointed to the Chancellor’s Student Advisory Council and was a STARS CGI Fellow.
Amanda Gorman’s poem at the 2021 Inauguration inspired me to write my own piece about America’s values and ideals.
I wrote this piece after visiting the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site last summer and attending the United Nations Holocaust Memorial Ceremony on January 27, 2020. Seventy-five years have passed since the liberation of Auschwitz.
Last spring, the New York Times was flooded with articles about abortion and how some states were trying to undermine Roe v. Wade. After reading these headlines, I became scared for myself, the girls around me, and any person who has a uterus. However, I have learned that if you are scared, you must stand up and fight for change. I am fighting back with my words.