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Science Hill’s Tybre Faw showing students they are never too young to use their voice

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Science Hill freshman Tybre Faw may be taking similar steps as his idol, the late Georgia Congressman John Lewis, but he is quickly carving his own path in the world. Faw’s story of meeting his idol during an encounter in Selma, Alabama in 2018 is the basis for a new book called “Because of You, John Lewis”, which was written by New York Times bestselling author Andrea Davis Pinkney.

Faw and Lewis became close friends staying in touch and getting together whenever their schedules allowed until the Congressman passed away on July 17, 2020. Faw paid tribute to his friend at his funeral by reciting Lewis’ favorite poem, Invictus, by William Ernest Henley, during Lewis’ funeral service. Standing in front of former presidents and dignitaries, Faw recited the poem in the same church where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used to deliver his sermons.

“I was one of those thousands of people in the summer of 2020 when John Lewis passed away, I watched the memorial service, and here at the podium of the Ebenezer Baptist Church was this amazing 12-year-old young man, delivering his remarks about his friend, Congressman John Lewis,” Pinkney said. “That’s how I learned of Tybre and saw the power of what this young person is doing in moving the legacy forward.”

Faw said he is flattered at the attention their friendship receives. And while he misses his friend each day, Faw said he remembers the lessons he learned during their time together.

“(Congressman Lewis) showed me by his example how to guide and be a leader,” Faw said.

“It’s a big thing to have on my shoulders,” Faw said of continuing his idol’s legacy. “But I chose this route. Since the Congressman has passed, it’s my job to get other people involved, carry the torch and get into good trouble.”

And Pinkney thinks Faw will be able to do just that. The two recently spent time together at the National Book Festival in Washington DC that took place over Labor Day weekend.

“He’s everything and more,” Pinkney said about Faw. “He has the knowledge that he feels like he was chosen for this and he is on the sidewalks and streets getting into good trouble. Or at least talking about the importance of that idea and inspiring other young people to feel the shoes of those that came before.”

While Faw is focused on his future, he also has his feet grounded in the present. He currently starts for the Science Hill freshman football team on the offensive line and also sees time on the defensive line. He noted that he was surprised when he first heard from Pinkney, but hopes the book and his story will inspire little kids to chase their dreams and meet their heroes. 

“Mrs. Pinkney thought this would be a great story that might inspire kids to chase their dreams and prove that no matter how young you are, you can still chase your dreams,” Faw said.

That message still motivates Faw, who already has an offer of a four-year scholarship to Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. The offer was extended by the school’s president just a few days after Congressman Lewis’ funeral. He is also good friends with Boyz II Men singer Nathan Morris, who serves as a trustee for Faw’s educational fund.  Morris and Faw recently got together after a Boyz II Men concert earlier this month.

Faw will attend college one day, perhaps even law school. But he noted that he will continue to honor his mentor by working hard in school and dedicating his life to making good trouble.

Pinkney feels that Faw has all the tools to help change the world.

“Tybre, like so many young people, are turning the page on history,” Pinkney said. “They are really the shining the light of modern activism. And that lets us know that there is hope for a bright future.”

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