10-year-old has ‘Unique’ way with images, words

By: By Natalie Davis - Staff Writer

Unique La’Metria Bennett is making waves participating in writing and oratorical contests.

The upcoming fifth-grader at Wadesboro Elementary School, daughter of Edward Lee and Metrice Bennett, has been racking up awards for several years.

“Unique has always taking an interest in reading and writing since the young age of four,” her mother said. “She will basically write about anything, and she takes pride in advancing her vocabulary and having neat penmanship.”

As a third-grader at Wadesboro Primary School, Unique won 1st place in a PTA art contest for T-shirt designs. Her drawing was used as the design for a school-approved shirt.

This past year, she was the 1st place winner for the “Read Across America” Dr. Seuss Week T-shirt contest for grades four through six.

She was also awarded by the Anson County Writers Club for her entry titled “I am Unique,” as the 1st place winner of the 2017 Youth Poetry contest for grades three through six.

“There’s dancing, drawing and academics just to name a few,

Jack of all trades, keeping up with me might put you in a daze…

I am talented.

I know who I am, where I come from and where I’m headed to,

I believe in myself and everything that I do… I am self-confident.

I’m not just focused on my success, I like to see others at their best…

I am encouraging.”

Unique was given the opportunity to participate in an oratorical contest that included youth of all ages and churches. They were given options to choose as their topics and she was the only one from Flat Rock Missionary Baptist Church who agreed to be a participant.

She attended attended the rehearsal with the other participants who were ages 12 through 17. Each participant had to speak for three minutes.

She performed her speech first in front of the moderator and was followed by the other participants.

“At the time, we did not know about the age limit. It turned out that she couldn’t participate because of her age,” her mother said. “The moderator informed her youth director that she was amazed because Unique’s performance was as good as the older kids.”

Although she couldn’t compete in the oratorical contest, Unique was given the opportunity to perform at her church for Youth Sunday.

“In the beginning of preparing for this event, Unique did express some nervousness due to a shy faze that she tends to go through,” her mother said. “However, as time went by and she became better prepared, she was more open to the idea.”

The topic Unique chose was “the benefits of living God’s way.”

When asked about her choice, her mother said that “she could relate to the topic because of how she hears her parents express to her on how we should live right and how important it is to know about God as a child.”

In writing this selection, Unique gathered words that were relevant to the topic.

“I sat down with her and we narrowed down the ones that we would incorporate into the piece, and that’s how she came up with the context,” her mother said. “She took things that she had experienced and learned to express the topic based on the words that she chose.”

For example, Unique took the word “faith” and wrote about how she used faith in her life as a youth.

“I hear my mom talk about how childhood should be one of the most forgiving and happiest times of my life. However, as a youth we face challenges day by day.

Knowing that I should treat people the way I want to be treated allows me to have meaningful relationships with my peers.

When it comes to friends, I believe that God’s friendship is the most beneficial of them all. God never leaves or forsakes us. He is a listening ear when I need one.

The congregation responded with with a standing ovation, showing their “amazement” and “love.”

“As parents, we are excited about her interest in writing and curious to see what else she has in store,” her mother said, adding they provide Unique with constant encouragement and one-on-one help.

“Whether it’s writing or something else, we always remind her to do her best and give anything she does her all, because it’s not about always winning, but doing what makes her happy,” her mother added. “Unique is continuously making us proud, not because she is a winner, but because of her dedication and hard work.”

Unique Bennett wants to be a forensic scientist when she grows up.

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By Natalie Davis

Staff Writer