Young writer enjoys civic duties

Friday, October 4, 2019 0 Comments

Young writer enjoys civic duties
Rakia Walker briefly traded the drama of theater for the spectacle of politics last summer.
The Barbara Goleman Senior High School graduate interned last summer for Miami-Dade County
Commissioner Barbara Jordan.
She landed the job through Jordan’s Summer Youth Internship Initiative, and grew from a shy bystander to someone who helped make positive changes in her community.
Walker, 18, of Miami Gardens is a freshman at Nova Southeastern University, majoring in drama.
She was detoured from her goals of writing plays and a novel to county government when the internship program assigned her to Jordan’s office.
For 10 weeks, Walker said she answered phones, recorded messages for the commissioner and sent emails to Jordan’s constituents and other elected officials in the county.
She also attended on several county commission meetings, and got to watch her local government in action and up close.
Walker said the experience taught her that citizens actually run the government, by voicing their concerns to their elected officials.
“Everyone plays a part in good county and city governments,” Walker said. “It takes everyone, not just the commission, to speak up on issues so their commissioners can fix them.”
Walker was professional during her stint in politics, said Tivia Rouland, an aide to Jordan who oversaw the internship program that placed 32 high school and college students in summer jobs.
“Not only did she get involved, she got her family involved,” Rouland said.
Walker, her grandmother and other relatives cleaned up areas in Miami Gardens one day last summer, a joint project of Jordan’s and Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert.
“She did a good job representing our office,” Rouland said.
Walker worked alongside Jordan at times and initially was intimidated by her.
“At first, I was scared to talk to her,” Walker said. “But I found her to be very funny.”
But her government experience couldn’t convince
Walker to change her major.
She’s still planning to study her drama. Her goals include writing stage plays and novels.
At Goleman, Walker was a member of her high school’s drama club, and was assigned to write a Halloween play about a vampire who attends high school that she also performed in.
Called “Our School’s Vampire,” it was based on the 1997 - 2003 hit TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Walker said.
Walker portrayed a mean-spirited girl who disparaged other students.
“I was thinking of a Buffy remix,” Walker said. “I was Buffy’s [evil] stepsister.”
She said Goleman’s drama club prepared her to reach her goals for college.
“I love the people at Goleman,” Walker said. “They are really sweet.”
Walker is working on her first novel that has theme that is very different theme from her play.
Called “There’s Always a Reason to Smile,” she hopes it empowers people to persevere over personal hardships.
“I want people to stop looking on the down side of things and realize their days are actually bright,” Walker said. “If they look at the happier times, their bad days can fade away.”
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