Meet Aaliyah

Aaliyah Williams-Camp
Eastway Middle School

Aaliyah with Site Coordinator Sherese Rodriguez

We are pleased to introduce you to Aaliyah Williams-Camp from Eastway Middle School! Aaliyah is one of two national winners from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools district in the annual Do the Write Thing essay contest. Out of more than 1,000 entries, Aaliyah and Michael Tadi (both are CIS students!) – were the top two winners in CMS!

Aaliyah’s Site Coordinator, Ms. Rodriguez, says Aaliyah is an exceptional student – “intelligent, kind, friendly, and athletic” (she played 4 sports at Eastway!). She is also a natural leader, says Rodriquez, who has “a true passion for helping others and fighting social injustices.”

Ms. Rodriguez knew Aaliyah enjoyed writing poetry and encouraged her to enter the contest. Aaliyah wrote a poem about her experience with self-harm and mental health challenges, titled “Survivor.” In the poem’s preface, she says she wrote it to advocate for and persuade more teens to open up and tell their own stories.

“I believe if they become comfortable opening up and sharing their stories, then fewer lives will be lost to depression and other mental health issues,” Aaliyah said.

We are proud of Aaliyah for courageously sharing her story in this way, with the intent to encourage and benefit other teens with similar stories. You are indeed a leader, Aaliyah!

A few photos from Aaliyah’s trip to Washington, D.C.

As a national winner of the contest, Aaliyah got to travel to Washington, D.C. in July, along with Michael Tadi (also a CIS-Charlotte student) and 22 other national winners from school districts across the country. Aaliyah’s mother, Michael’s grandmother, and CIS Site Coordinators Sherese Rodriguez and Michael Clark were included in the trip as well, all expenses paid! They visited the Library of Congress (where the students’ winning essays will be archived), toured the U.S. Capitol and other historic D.C. sites, had dinner in the home of the U.S. Ambassador to Kuwait, and much more. It was an exciting and very educational tour of our nation’s capital!

Attending a special dinner and reception. Aaliyah is third from left.
Attending a special dinner and reception. Aaliyah is third from left.
Aaliyah_Washington trip-1
Touring the U.S. Capitol building