Ombudsman Student’s Essay Published in Local Paper (Savannah, Ga.)

Date: March 5, 2013

Eighth-grader Khalil Henderson, a student at the Savannah Ombudsman West Center, didn’t realize when he submitted one of his assigned essays that it would appear in The Savannah Sports Monthly. Khalil’s English teacher, Ed DeVita, is the publisher of the local newspaper and was
so impressed with Khalil’s essay about playing a key role in an important basketball game that he wanted to publish it. “I was so surprised when Mr. DeVita asked if he could publish my essay,” Khalil said. “I am really proud of it and my mom was absolutely flabbergasted.”

Khalil said he discovered his love of writing in the third grade and it’s been a passion ever since. His favorite writing styles are narrative and persuasive, and he finds inspiration from great writers such as Mark Twain.

“People have told me I have a real talent for writing, but honestly, it just comes easy for me. All I need is a topic and I can write for days,” Khalil said.

DeVita believes Khalil has tremendous talent, especially for a young writer. “I have been a published writer and teacher for quite some time and I have never run across a 13-year-old who can create detail, maintain the pace of a story and flat out write the way Khalil can. I have had some college interns who didn’t come close to what he is able to do. He is a truly gifted writer,” DeVita said.

“There are a couple of things that impress me about Khalil and the way that he approaches his writing,” DeVita said. “The first is that he is not intimidated by the length of a piece. He attacks each project head on. He is intensely proud of his work and that is reflected in his word choices and use of dialogue. Even though he is quite young, he paints a very clear picture without cutting any corners.”

Khalil said Mr. DeVita’s teaching style helps to further encourage his love of writing. “The way he teaches is so unique and fun you don’t realize how much you are learning. The fact he is a real publisher makes me want to learn as much as I can from him.”

Click here to read Khalil’s article “The Game” as published in the Savannah Sports Monthly.


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