"Man, you don’t even write no more," Aaron Boose’s friend said to him on the day he was suspended from Wilson Senior High School back in 2002. His friend’s words were a sharp indictment. Aaron had always written poetry and, in 2001, through work with YPT, he had become a playwright. His play, From Da Bricks to Wall Street, co-written with classmate Johnny Burton was performed at Woolly Mammoth in the fall of 2002 as part of the New Play Festival.
"It was so good because I had my family there. Everybody loved it. We met the actors before that. It was so good," Aaron remembers. "Before YPT, I never thought of writing that way. I never thought I could write anything that maybe children would watch actors perform out in the schools."
"When’s the last time you wrote anything?" his friend continued. Aaron didn’t have an answer. With his friend’s words ringing in his ears, Aaron returned home and sat down and wrote a play. "I thought, ’I gotta start writing again.’ I wrote another play Crossroads. I wrote it as a testament to myself. I got back in school. I got back on that road," Aaron says proudly.
Aaron continued writing. His play Street Vision explored life in DC from the literal perspective of the streets. "So many people are here today, gone tomorrow, but the streets are here forever. So many people die young. Their stories can’t be told. So I let the streets tell it for them," Aaron says. In 2003 he worked as an intern with YPT, teaching an After School Playwriting Program to elementary students at the Butler Center.
He also uses music to express his views. "Some people call it conscience rap but I say it’s reality rap. I talk what I see and what I witness. I try to raise awareness of what’s going on in society and I try to witness and encourage people that there are other routes they could go," Aaron explains.
Now Aaron is entering into his senior year at Howard University, majoring in Afro-American studies and minoring in English. He has a strong interest in Youth Development. This summer he is interning with the Trust’s Project My Time, providing summer enrichment programs for students at Kelly Miller Middle School in Ward 7. He envisions one day opening up his own alternative school for students who struggle in a traditional setting. "I want to open up the doors to them," Aaron says. "Let them know that they can do it. They might think that they can’t do it. But they should know there are people that want to see you succeed."
YPT is at Kelly Miller Middle School too, as a provider of summer programming. It’s an honor to work with Aaron Boose again.