Student essays published on NPR’s ‘This I Believe’ site

The suffering of a lifelong stutterer. The implications of a car accident. The travails of middle school politics.

These are just some of the situations, along with lessons learned, discussed by six Pellissippi State students and alumni whose English 1010 essays recently were accepted and published on NPR’s “This I Believe,” at

The six—Madison Allen, Gary Brown, Ivann Garcia, Amy Kidwell, Rebecca Randolph and Noelle Thomas—were all students here when they submitted the essay last school year.

“I am so proud of all of our students for this accomplishment,” said Anne Pharr, assistant professor of English, “not just because of the hard work it represents but also because of the message that’s communicated in each of their essays.”

The essays were written to reflect moments each student faced failure, and what each one learned from that. This I Believe is an international organization that engages people in writing and sharing essays describing the core values of their lives.

“Having their writing published by such a well-known and respected site is quite remarkable,” Pharr said.