“…she’s one of the strongest women in my life.”
From Aisis Hawkins Cesar Chavez Public Charter School for Public Policy

My name is Aisis Hawkins, I’m 15 years old and I attend Cesar Chavez Public Charter School. One thing people don’t know about me is that I’m very emotional and if someone looks at me they’re probably like, she looks fun and like a great person. And I am a great person! But it’s just that I’m really emotional and I get sad a lot.

My grandmother is the most important person in my life because I am just like her, and she practically raised me. I’m so close with her. I go to her house every single weekend. We chill together. We talk about a lot of stuff. I can talk to her about most of my problems, more than my own mother, I think because of the stuff that my grandmother’s been through.

She used to have an addiction. By telling me her story, it’s so shocking, but at the same time, it was like, wow, she doesn’t keep nothing from me. It’s like a reality check because she’s one of the strongest women in my life. A person that went through so much in life, period. It’s so emotional to talk about it because it’s a very deep thing for me. She’s like me. She’s very blunt. She doesn’t hide anything at all. She’s not scared to say nothing. So when she tells me things like that, sometimes it shocks me because I didn’t know her when she did that stuff, and it’s like a surprise.

It’s also a reality check for me because this woman, the most important woman in my life, has gone through so many things and she’s still strong. So, I think that her story tells so much about how strong she’s become and how much of a great grandmother she has been to me. So I guess that it brought us closer when she told me her story because she is the most important person in my life.

Interview conducted in Washington, DC .


scu_gatewaystem150x175 “I was kind of getting scared…what if my potential is not as high as theirs?”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “…you never know how it feels getting back up if you never fall down.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “I never wanted this to happen.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “… a whole lot of people in St. Louis haven't been to the Arch.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “… after that I felt worthless, and like a coward.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “Some teenagers my age are not like me for one big and important reason…”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “…it’s not all ice cream and cake.”
scu_gatewaystem150x175 “They just have to accept me for who I am.”
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