Honors student Jeremiah Clarke was on his way to becoming a published author well before he arrived at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Many of the works in his collection of poetry, Something Inside So Strong, were written during his high school years growing up in his hometown of Nassau in the Bahamas.
Outwardly he was studious and involved. At Kingsway Academy, he was president of the Chess Club and involved in the Debate Club, Teens for Christ and Key Club.
But on the inside he struggled with life’s hard questions, such as the current state of the world and its pain and loneliness.
Clarke, who was born with mild cerebral palsy, found his inspiration in Matthew 11:28, which states, “Come to me all you are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
“When I wrote this book, it was my way of talking to God about my problems,” said Clarke, now a sophomore majoring in pre-law at PBA. “I didn’t have the answer to my problems, but I knew He did.”
Clarke said his mother urged him to publish his poems as a way to encourage others.
“I wanted them to know that if they had God, they had hope,” he said.
Clarke said that until he came to PBA, he viewed the world differently. “I put the whole world in a box,” he said.
However, from the first week he arrived on campus, his perspective changed, he said.
“This isn’t just a university. It’s a family,” he said. “The professors care about the students and their well-being. They want them to succeed.”
He has since joined the Poetry Club and is busy with the rigorous course load of the Frederick M. Supper Honors Program. He said he enjoys walking the path of great authors through the program.
Clarke said he hopes to become a lawyer someday. “I want to fight for those who are too weak to fight for themselves,” he said.
In December, Clarke shared his testimony and his book with the Palm Beach Atlantic University Board of Trustees.
He told those in attendance that there is a connection between his book and PBA.
“God used the talent that he gave me to make me who I am,” he said, “and PBA helps me stay close to God and grow a little stronger each and every day.”