Penn State Values Poetry Contest

 Integrity · Respect · Responsibility · Discovery · Excellence · Community

The annual Penn State Values Poetry Writing Contest is open to all current students at Penn State Berks, and submissions are divided into the following categories:

  • Student has attended Penn state 1-2 semesters.
  • Student has attended Penn state 3-4 semesters.
  • Student has attended Penn state 5-6 semesters.
  • Student has attended Penn state 7 or more semesters.

Prizes will be awarded to the three (3) best poems selected from each of the above categories. The prizes are gift cards to the PSU Berks Bookstore - $75 for first place, $50 for second place, and $25 for third place. Winners will  be notified the week of March 15, 2021.

The Rules:

The theme is Penn State Values. Poets MUST incorporate all six Penn State Values (Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, Excellence and Community) into the poem.  The poem must be an original and individual creation of the participant. Any poetic form, including free verse, is acceptable. Only one entry per student allowed. Each poem may only have one author. Only poems written accordingly to the theme of the contest will be considered.

Selection of Winners:

The poems will be judged based on adherence to the theme, originality, creativity, and artistic quality. Poems exceeding the maximum length will be disqualified. Poems containing foul language, vulgarities, and/or offensive material will be disqualified.

First Place Poems - 2020-2021

Genesis Santiago [1-2 semesters]

I don’t know them

I don’t know them
I don’t know them
No one had introduced me
I ran into them
I respectfully walked away but
It was a responsibility to discover
Them, What they meant
My community didn’t know and
I don’t know
These strangers
None of the thoughts in my head knew
Who they were
How much do I invest in them?
I questioned their integrity
Can I respect them? Can they respect me?
I don’t know
Integrity, Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, Excellence, Community
I don’t know who they are
Yet, at least,
Not for their full potential
They’re just words
Their importance defined by unimportant people
To me. How much?
Perhaps a dash
Who will end up excellent?
Them? Me? Both?
I mean who are they
Their tempting pretty names are nothing
But words
Do you know who they are?
I guess it is my responsibility
to discover their potential
For excellence in
My life
So that I may respectfully
Practice integrity
When introducing them to the community
That doesn’t know

Edith Konneh [3-4 semesters]

Let This Be

Let this be a year of integrity.
Integrity starts with knowing who you are and what you believe in.
Stay true to your morals and values.
You were not made to fit in so live authentically.

Let this be a year of respect,
Where we show love to one another and respect each other’s ideas and differences.
Every individual has something different to bring and when it is put together it makes something beautiful.
Let us respect what makes each person unique and spread love.

Let this be a year of responsibility.
You are responsible for what you say, how you feel about yourself, and how you treat others.
Take the steps needed to be who you want to be
Take hold and take responsibility of the life you want.

Let this be a year of discovery.
No more sticking with what is comfortable to you. No more being the same person you were yesterday.
Open your mind to new possibilities.
Discover what your peers have to offer, what Penn State Berks has to offer, what the world has to offer.
Take the extra step to learn something new, to try something different, to step away from what is normal to you.

Let this be a year of excellence.
Strive for success in every area of your life.
Do the unthinkable, do what they said you could not.
Show the world and yourself that you are great, you are strong, you belong.
You are more than you think so be excellent in all you do.

Let this be a year of community.
Share your dreams and hopes with others.
Help to build one another instead of bringing each other down.
Take advantage of the resources available to you.
Let us create change together, grow together, and love together.

You have so much to offer so let it be a year that you believe in yourself and your greatness. And when you do, share that feeling with others so that you may encourage them to do the same.

Rosainy Guerrero [5-6 semesters]

I love my values

Respect is something correct,
Students should be able to rest,
Responsibility is a good ability,
Professors should have integrity

Excellence is part of our independence,
And we as students need to be presence,
The school community is our family,
Not our calamity

Oh, myself discovery,
School can be my recovery,
I love school,
It’s cool

Brooke Chiappetta [7+ semesters]

PSU Together

Among a year of change,
We've seen many things anew.
But what hasn't changed
Are the students that make up our PSU.

A community stronger than ever.
One that values acceptance and respect.
These students are resilient,
As they find new ways to connect.

They've overcome so much already,
All with integrity and excellence.
They’re proud of their campus, their home.
And they are known for their benevolence.

They support each other, that’s a given.
Responsibility is proven without debate.
We stand up for each other,
And we stand, For the Glory of Old State