In March of 2015, ten teen girls from our Education Program — T’asia, J’yona, Reiyanna, Jonae, Makiya, Rose, Najae, Serenity, Jeanet and Temil — came together to write “The Day Tajon Got Shot.” Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, they wrote the book to offer insight on what happens to communities when one of their own is victim to police brutality. Each of the young women wrote from the perspective of a different central character to create an overarching picture of a community. Following the publication of “Tajon,” the book gained numerous awards, including the 2017 INDIES Winner for Youth Author and the 2018 Top Fiction Winner of the In the Margins Book Awards. They each have graduated from high school as published authors. The youngest of the teens graduated from high school in 2020. As of today, each of the young women continues to inspire their community. Many of them are still active with “Tajon” through our partnership with Shout Mouse Press and continue to participate in conversations about police brutality. Buy the book here. Listen to their recognition by DC City Council in 2019.
The Teen Writers of Beacon House