Paseo Academy

Lauren Kirby / KCUR

Stacy Lafontant is nervous. The 16-year-old junior at The Paseo Academy of Fine and Performing Arts is about to step up to the podium to do something she’s never done before in public: Recite poetry.

“I’m going up in front of a lot of people,” she says, “and there might be kids that are better than me; I might forget the words.”