“Stars” spoken word written and performed by LA buildOn student

Alannah Forman traveled to Malawi to build a school with buildOn during the summer of 2013. Alannah attends CHAMPS Charter High School in Los Angeles, California, where she’s been a part of buildOn for two years. As a reflection on her experience, she wrote and performed a spoken word piece to inspire others to take action and give back. Below, she describes her passion for changing the world and what she hopes to do to share that commitment!


It takes a group of people with a common set of values and beliefs to change the world, but it only takes one person to spark that change. My experiences and excitement are spreading throughout my school, and I’m proud as the Co-President of my high school chapter to motivate a new group of students to change the world. Nowadays it is extremely difficult to hold a person’s attention, so I needed to share my story by doing something original that I am passionate about. I’m not the only one who has gone to Malawi to help build a primary school, but I know I can express this experience in a new light.


I fell in love with Spoken Word a few years ago, and with the encouragement of a buildOn staff member, I wrote a poem about my journey to Malawi. The world will change, people will change, when we realize who we are can never change. I’m turning my passions into a lifestyle and I hope to pave a way for other Millennials to follow a course in their life that leads them to pursue careers that they are passionate about. Passivity leads to nothing but complacency; I am ready to inspire collaboration for a world where my Malawian family and my community alike will come together to create a better tomorrow. I have no intention of backing down from this tremendous commitment to bring a larger sense of purpose to every person. I want my peers to find a way to showcase their talents and passions through giving back.


I hope my video engages more students in the fight against poverty domestically and internationally. 19,000 children worldwide are dying everyday due to poverty, but that doesn’t need to happen. The solutions are attainable. It is our generation’s time to collaborate on strategies and actively implement campaigns that address these issues.


Stars from Alannah Forman on Vimeo.