Sometimes, high school kids find poetry, and sometimes, poetry seems to find the right kids.
"I started taking bits and pieces of crucial moments of my life, making them poems and expressing them to other people just to know that hey, you’re not alone,” said Wade Augustin, a sophomore at Piper High School in Sunrise.
Wade is an honor student. Encouraged by the teacher who sponsors the poetry club, he joined the Lyrical Masters and basically took over. Wade competed and received high marks for his performances at the Louder Than a Bomb poetry festival.
"And he actually just started writing and he turned out to be phenomenal at it,” said fellow poet Abigail Lange.
Wade grew up without a dad. His father left the family when he was little.
"It’s been extremely hard, I’m not going to lie,” Wade said.
Then he and his mom moved to Florida from London, England. It was a difficult adjustment, especially with no dad in the picture, but it gave Wade a lot of material for poetry.
Here’s an excerpt from one of his works, which he performed for us:
"You always told me don’t cry, I feel like you left me to die, I feel like you did me so wrong, you always told me family’s first, you put your family last,” Wade said, in an obvious reference to his father.
"When I found poetry and writing lyrics as an outlet, it actually made me more confident because I was always insecure,” explained Wade about how poetry changed his outlook.
His poetry mentor says it’s obvious that Wade, and many other kids who get into spoken-word poetry, use it as catharsis.
"He started right here and now he’s moving up, he’s taking those steps to be great,” said Myrlene Augustin-Cox, sponsor of the Lyrical Masters.
Augustin-Cox, who is not related to Wade, says he’s mature beyond his years, always looking for ways to help his classmates.
He’s also involved in so many activities, one of his teachers calls Wade the renaissance man.
"She’s like, 'renaissance man, come here, we need your help,' and it makes me happy because I’m known for many things,” Wade said, laughingly.
He plays football and lacrosse. He’s involved in drama and journalism. He’s a leader in the JROTC. Wade took a narrow path to success and blew it wide open through perseverance and desire, always looking to impart his hard-earned life lessons to his peers.
"You can come up to him and speak to him about your problems, he’ll listen, that’s kinda hard to find nowadays,” said James Guerrero, a fellow member of the Lyrical Masters.
Maybe the day will come when Wade’s father will listen to his son, and hear what he’s been missing. Here’s another excerpt from Wade’s poetry:
"I’m the guilt that you can’t hide, I’m the guilt that’s inside you,” Wade recited, with dramatic flair.
He wants to be an actor one day. Wade seems to be a natural for the stage.