The Beat DFW Daily Video

Congrats to Kastina Marie Fishback, Gisselle Rodriguez and Hannah Elizabeth Young these werw the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners for Mayor Pro Tem Tenell Atkins and the Dallas Public Library’s “What it Takes to be a Girl on Fire” essay contest. Hundreds of DISD students wrote an essay for a chance to meet Alicia Keys at her Dallas concert on March 17, 2013.

These young ladies wrote excellent Essays, with Kastina’s being chosen as the winner and she got to Alicia Keys this past Sunday at her concert here in Dallas!

All Three girls were invited to the station and given a private, behind the scenes, tour of the Radio Station.

And here are their winning essays:


Name: Kastina Marie Fishback

Grade: 11

School: Skyline High School (Dallas)

Unquestionably On Fire

It takes a lot of strength, courage, and ambition to be a girl on fire. Those are some of the most important characteristics a female can possess living in this time period. We live in a society where morals have been chattered, adolescence has furtively become adulthood, the unheard of becomes the new normal, and standards are almost unheard of. If a woman can overcome all of these tribulations thrown at her, she is unquestionably on fire.

Morals are beliefs concerning what is acceptable, and what is unacceptable. Nowadays, anything has become acceptable. Premarital sex, prostitution, pregnancy, gangs, violence, and under aged smoking, drinking, and pill popping are topics that can now be heard in the typical conversations of teenagers. They are tortured with the desire to give in and engage in these activities. If a girl can keep her morals high and live by them to resist the peer pressure, even if it means standing alone, she is unquestionably on fire.

Adolescence is a period in life where a person is transitioning from being a child to becoming an adult. It is a time of growth and innocence. Nowadays, that chance to actually grow can often be rushed and the period of innocence is taken for granted. Female teenagers are often forced to handle way more responsibility than they should have to. A broken home causes the teenager to step up and play the role that was taken away, whether it is mother, father, or both. She is often forced to get a job to help out with bills, miss important high school functions to babysit little siblings, and make tedious decisions that can affect the life of her family and herself. If a girl can turn this into a motivational force to drive her to success, she is unquestionably on fire.

I have been on this Earth for 16 great years. I have dealt with many obstacles, more than a teenager should be faced with. Yet, I still remain with a smile on my face every day. I know that I have a great future ahead of me, and I refuse to let meaningless things ruin that. I WILL be successful because I have the brains, confidence, and determination to do so. I am a girl who with the strength of my faith, family, and mind, will never give up. I am unquestionably on fire.


Name: Gisselle Rodriguez

Grade: 6

School: Gaston, W. H. Middle School (Dallas)

This Girl is on Fire

There must be a million different ways one can be successful in life. I have come to learn this at my young age. I believe one must set their own formula for success. The following steps are in my life so that I can also become a girl on fire!

Hard work is the first step because it will earn respect. How? Staying focused on your education. Never lose sight of your goals and go for it. If you show responsibility and loyalty, you will earn the trust of important people. I will learn to never stop learning because the world is always changing in so many different ways. If only I could learn them all. One thing for sure is that I will never stop trying and give it my best.

Organized is next. It is being prepared for the changes in life. Being organized helps you stay on track. A lot of people like it when you are organized. It gives a very good impression of yourself. If you know where everything is at, you will always be prepared in life when you most need it.

Goals are the third good thing to have. I will tell you some of my goals. I want to go to Booker T. Washington High so that I can become a major in Dance and Theater Arts. I would like to get better grades and pass the 6th grade. Soon, I will learn about becoming a young lady. Then, I must set goals to later become a successful woman, like my mom and dance teacher, Ms. Brisby, two women I admire for their success as women.

Respect is last but most important. It pays off to be a hard worker because you earn respect. It also earns you respect to be organized. A lot of people will also give you respect for your goals. If you are responsible, other people will see that you are prepared and give you respect. You always have to have loyalty to get respect because they have to know that they can trust you.

Dream with dedication- you will have to dream a dream about success. Then, set a goal so you can bring it to life. Never give up no matter how hard it gets, let your dream be heard so you can show the world who you are. Get ready for me world! I am coming with a strong will to survive.

This is why Alicia Keys is a perfect inspiration to me because she is a hard-working woman who has earned her respect and admiration from all her surroundings. This is the fire that lights my life: to be the successful woman that I know I am starting to become. I’m sure my formula will be my best key.


Name: Hannah Elizabeth Young

Grade: 7

School: Marsh, Thomas C. Middle School (Dallas)

What It Takes to Be On Fire

Alicia Keys sings “This Girl Is On Fire.” But what does it take to be on fire? Is it the confidence to show the world what you contain within? Is it the courage to do it, even if you might fail? Is it the inspiration you get from someone who is on fire? Is it the wisdom to know you can do it? Is it that something special that sparks the fire? I think it is all of these things.

You need confidence because, without it, you won’t be able to go out and do it. How can you be on fire if you don’t want to show the world what’s within? Courage and confidence go hand-in-hand. You need determination to get up every time you fall down, to push forward even though all you want to do is quit. You need the wisdom to know how to get there. Something special is what starts the fire you just need the other key elements to keep the flame going.

Marriane Williamson once said:

Our greatest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond all measure… It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us–there is nothing enlightened about shrinking so others won’t feel insecure around you. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.

These are wise words and they are true about many people. Adele, Taylor Swift, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lawrence, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg, and Alicia Keys are all people who allow their lights to shine and let others be inspired by their light. Alicia Keys is one of my inspirations because “Girl On Fire” could be about her. She inspires me to follow my dream of becoming a singer.

I know what it takes to be on fire. I just have to get myself there with confidence, that something special, courage, determination, wisdom, inspiration, and faith in myself that I can do it.