McGuire student earns national recognition for song ‘Hero’

McGuire student earns national recognition for song ‘Hero’

Eleven-year-old Jeremiah Nouel, an 8th-grader at McGuire Elementary School in North Providence, records his original song ‘Hero,’ which recently earned top place in the National Parent Teacher Organization’s Reflections art contest.

NORTH PROVIDENCE – When faced with hard times, it helps to have a hero in life to look up to. Eleven-year-old Jeremiah Nouel, of North Providence, believes a hero’s spirit lives inside all of us.

That was the message of “Hero,” a song written and produced by Nouel for this year’s National Parent Teacher Organization Reflections art contest, for which Nouel won first place in the music composition category at his school, McGuire Elementary, and then at the state level.

Now, Nouel’s song is up for the “Outstanding Interpretation” award at the national ceremony in Ohio this summer.

The theme for this year’s Reflections contest was “Heroes Around Me.” Students were encouraged to think about what it means to be a hero, especially the heroes we have in our daily lives, before submitting an original song, dance, short film, essay, photograph or visual art installment. Nouel won out of a pool of more than 150 entrants in his category alone.

Participating in the contest meant more to Nouel and his family than the McGuire 5th-grader initially expected, with the lyrics of his song helping to see them through what his mother Rosamy described as a “dark place” for the family.

Shortly after Nouel told his parents about the art contest, his father was arrested.

“With my dad in jail, I was going to give up and not participate at all,” Nouel said. “I felt discouraged because I wanted him to be there.”

Despite the circumstances, his father encouraged him not to give up. Together, they wrote the lyrics to “Hero.”

Rosamy said, “His dad was telling him: don’t give up. I know you can do it. Don’t let what’s happening stop you from getting it done.”

The song begins, “Life can be so hard, hit you by surprise, but you can’t stay down – get up and fight.” It continues, “To find the strength within, you need to have the will. Why set up for failure, you can win. If you fall again, climb the mountain, have some faith. Never give up, you will be OK … you’ll be OK.”

The chorus starts, “’Cause everyone needs a hero deep inside their heart. Everyone needs a champion; don’t think otherwise. Everyone needs a winner, you just have to believe that everyone is a hero – and that hero lives within.”

Rosamy said, “We were going through a lot as a family, so inspiration for the song came out of that dark place. The song was born from Jeremy really having to be a hero to make it happen.”

Nouel said the message he hopes people take away is that anyone can be a hero by tapping into the inner strength they never knew they had.

“The song is saying: everyone has something inside of them,” he said. “You don’t have to be a policeman or firefighter – they are heroes, too – but you can be a regular person and still be a hero.”

Jeremiah professionally recorded the song in a local studio with help from his father’s music producer.

The song was so well received locally that the kindergarten students at McGuire will perform it at their graduation this year.

“Knowing what he had to get through to get to nationals … for us as a family, this has been a real victory,” his mother said of the experience.

When he’s older, Nouel said he hopes to be a motivational speaker.

“I’d like to be that impactful person who gives people something to think about,” he said. “The small things you do or say can make someone’s day.”

He said he has no plans to stop singing, one of many interests he has including baseball, basketball and motivational speaking.

“I’ve been singing my whole life,” Nouel said, noting that he won the “most musical” superlative from his peers for his tendency to start singing in class. “It’s a really good feeling that my song stood out among the rest.”

Nouel will make his debut live performance of “Hero” in Columbus, Ohio, during the national Reflections awards ceremony, taking place June 22-26.

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Hero
Mariah Carey
There's a hero
If you look inside your heart
You don't have to be afraid
Of what you are
There's an answer
If you reach into your soul
And the sorrow that you know
Will melt away
And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you'll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you
It's a long road
When you face the world alone
No one reaches out a hand
For you to hold
You can find love
If you search within yourself
And that emptiness you felt
Will disappear
And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside…
Lord knows
Dreams are hard to follow
But don't let anyone
Tear them away, hey yeah
Hold on
There will be tomorrow
In time you'll find the way
And then a hero comes along
With the strength to carry on
And you cast your fears aside
And you know you can survive
So when you feel like hope is gone
Look inside you and be strong
And you'll finally see the truth
That a hero lies in you
That a hero lies in you
Mmm, that a hero lies in you
Songwriters: Mariah Carey / Walter Afanasieff
Hero lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Universal Music Publishing Group
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"Hero" as written by Mariah Carey, Walter N. Afanasieff and Bongani Nkosi....