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Teen Shares Powerful Poem At Family Week

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Teen Marie Penn, was not exactly excited to attend Family Week 2019 with her mom, but after spending time on campus and participating in the Writing What Matters workshop with Dar Williams, she wrote and shared a poem about her own transformation that moved the whole community. 


Each year, hundreds of families come to Omega Family Week to experience a balance of time together and time apart, so each family member can learn, play, and grow. Families of all configurations are encouraged to attend.

Single mom April Kelly Penn, and her 15-year-old daughter Marie Penn, signed up for Family Week in 2019. It was a financial stretch, so April took money out of savings hoping that the experience at Omega would deliver some peace and provide a much-needed refresh in their lives. Marie, however, was not excited for the trip.

But once on campus Marie had a change of heart. 

"As the week progressed Marie became light and transformed," April said. By the end of the week, she shared a poem she wrote with the entire Family Week community at the Thursday night showcase.

"It was the most beautiful sight and worth every penny I spent," April recalled. 

Watch below as Marie shares her poem about her transformative week. 

Watch Marie read her poem to a packed crowd at Omega's Family Week. And don't miss her thanking her mom and Dar Wiliams for their support.

Why I'm Here

by Marie Penn

I came here out of force,

like pulling from a horse. 

At the time id rather sleep,

and shallow away and weep. 

Now i want to stay,

and I’ve learned to obey. 

To respect others and to be kind,

this place was really hard to find. 

Looking behind, and dancing in a line,

writing and playing,

eating and observing,

suspecting and confusing,

blinding and loving. 

Here for love. 

For acceptance, 

and leadership, friendship,

and independence. 

I improved, I healed.

My heart is steel.

My mind is stainless. 

My smile is greater. 

My awareness is higher. 

Im leaving from a second home, 

with hope. 

Im leaving, refreshed. 

Im leaving with a fully improved mind. 

Im leaving with a bucket of love, and a cleaner act. 

Im leaving with positivity for my future,

and my time will last. 

The only thing that will pass is the storm,

and nothing more that i have to painfully endure. 

Im returning to my room with a smile,

and the only thing I left behind is that monster behind that door.