Sarai Reed

Sarai Reed attributes her well-roundedness to experiencing the best of both urban and suburban lifestyles as she shuttled between her two families in northwest Washington, DC, and Columbia, Maryland. Sarai attended first through eighth grade in Howard county public schools. Active in school choir, art shows and drama club, she excelled at a range of creative endeavors.

By the age of thirteen, Sarai had set her sights on Duke Ellington High School of the Arts. Although she intended to apply for both the Literary Media and Communications (LMC) and Theater departments, during her audition she fell in love with the Literary Media and Communications department, chaired by Mark Williams, and she never did go back to audition for Theater.

Her three years in the LMC department at Ellington have given Sarai range for her talents as a writer, performer and student. This year she performed with the R Street Collective (an LMC performance group) at a variety of venues. She also produces R St. Speaks Open Mic, along with other LMC juniors. Her writing classes have exposed her to diverse genres—journalism, play writing, mass media, and marketing. She was selected to read her poem in honor of Stevie Wonder during his benefit performance at the Kennedy Center this February. The common denominator in her writing is the questioning of societal norms, expectations and stereotypes.

Sarai strives to be well-read, well-traveled, and cultured. Beyond her academic activities, she is a student representative on the high school cabinet, teaches Sunday school at St. Augustine Catholic Church, serves as class president, and is an inductee of the National Honor Society. She can always be found with a book in hand, and her future plans include college and postgraduate work in English and literature. After she earns a PhD, she would like to teach college and work as a journalist, novelist, poet, and activist.